9 Tips to increase Employee Engagement in 2023
From quiet quitting to the Great Resignation, the last few years have been incredibly tumultuous for employees and employers alike.
The truth is, all the latest trends in work come down to employee engagement and experience.
But employee engagement is about more than just employee happiness. The people on your team are the key to your business’ success. If your team members aren’t engaged, they’re more inclined to do the bare minimum or even leave.
Engaged employees can also create happier customers and better overall business performance. Investing in employee engagement is about more than just your employees – you're investing in your company's future as well!
But let’s start from the beginning. What is employee engagement?
What is employee engagement?
At its core employee engagement is how your employees feel about their role and workplace. It’s a vital component of your team culture.
But feelings are subjective – so how do you better understand your employee engagement levels? The truth is, there’s no one right way to measure engagement. Rather it’s a sum of the opinions and feelings of your team. Some of it can be calculated quantitatively using metrics but much of it is qualitative.
There are several things you can consider when it comes to getting a pulse on employee engagement.
● Job satisfaction: Are employees happy with their company and role? This can be done through something as simple as a survey.
● Employee turnover rates: How often are you replacing roles because employees have resigned?
● Absenteeism: How often are people not showing up to work? (This doesn’t include planned paid time off (PTO) that is part of their overall compensation.)
● Employee net promoter score (eNPS): Are your employees likely to recommend your company as an employer?
At the end of the day, employee engagement comes down to what matters to your team members. So if employee engagement is low, it’s important to listen to them.
Otherwise, it can quickly trickle into other areas of your business.
Why is employee engagement so important?
Employee engagement helps employees build an emotional connection with their work. It’s what makes them actually want to come to work every day and make a positive contribution.
So what happens when employee engagement starts to drop in countries like the United States?
Spoiler alert: it results in more than just some disgruntled employees. It can also make a huge difference in the performance of your business.
Let’s look at some ways high employee engagement can benefit your organization.
Increased employee satisfaction
To put it simply, engaged employees are happier and like their job more!
It might seem trivial, but it can make a huge impact on how they show up to work every day. Happier employees are more likely to offer their full potential versus just going through the motions.
In a world where things like quietquitting continue to be top of mind. Helping your employees stay happy will encourage them to perform at their best.
Better employee retention
Happier employees also tend to stay at their jobs longer. So better employee retention is a signal that employees are more engaged with their work.
Recruiting and onboarding new talent is time-consuming and incredibly costly. In fact, it can cost 6-9 months’ salary just to replace an employee. Keeping your existing team members engaged can save you thousands if not millions of dollars a year.
On the flip side, when it comes to hiring, low turnover can make your company appealing to top talent. It’s also likely that your employees are likely to recommend you to their connections – opening you up to a wider pool of potential talent. Just like how companies use NPS to measure business performance, eNPS is a great way to measure company culture and engagement.
Employee engagement can even offer a competitive advantage to an employer.
Higher productivity and quality of work
As a general rule, we all want the people around us to be happy. But the reality is that an organization's primary goal will always be to prioritize business objectives.
The good news? Employee engagement can have a major impact on employee productivity.
9 ways to boost talent and employee engagement.
Some aspects of talent engagement come down to the basics, like salary, benefits, and other compensation. But it’s also hugely reliant on your company culture.
Every organization wants engaged employees, and many of them will go above and beyond to ensure employees feel heard, appreciated, and valued. However, the most important thing is that you’re meeting the needs of your team. Beer on tap or free pizza won’t improve engagement, it's not what matters to your employees.
Once you know what’s important to your team, it’s time to show that you’re listening and taking action.
Here are some ways that you can improve talent engagement in your team:
1. Provide meaningful work.
While most people work to earn a living, they also want to feel purpose in what they’re doing. The need to feel valued and motivated – whether it’s working toward a product that they believe in or simply feeling like they’re making a meaningful difference in their role. Otherwise, they’re likely to disengage.
Meaningful work can manifest in many different ways. Consider questions like:
● Does the work contribute to their career goals?
● Does the work ladder up to the company mission?
Sometimes it’s as simple as helping an employee draw a line between their work and why it’s important. But if an employee’s day-to-day is checking none of these boxes, it might be time to re-evaluate why they’re doing that work, to begin with.
2. Foster a culture of transparency
No one likes to feel out of the loop. Transparent and open communication can make a huge difference in helping employees feel more valued and find a sense of purpose.
People who feel their workplace is transparent are likely to be 6x more satisfied in their workplace.
There are many ways to improve transparency within your organization:
● Town Halls and Ask-Me-Anythings (AMAs): To share company-wide updates and questions.
● Anonymous feedback surveys: To give employees an opportunity to share feedback confidentially.
● Open door policies: So people can feel like they’re allowed to ask questions.
● Team stand-ups: To help teams get clarity on what everyone is working on.
● 1-1s: To give individual team members time to connect and stay in the loop.
3. Encourage peer-to-peer employee recognition
It’s so easy for teams to get stuck in the day-to-day, especially in remote teams. Encourage your teams to step back and give kudos to their co-workers when it’s warranted.
From lending a helping hand to hitting targets, there’s so much to be celebrated at work on a daily. Big or small – make celebrating a core value for your team. Both the receiver and the recognizer are likely to feel a boost in their happiness through a simple act of appreciation.
It’s like starting your day with a gratitude journal entry. Encouraging individual acts of kindness and appreciation can foster a culture where gratitude is at the forefront.
4. Build a culture of appreciation
Appreciation shouldn’t exist solely within individual team members. It’s something that should start from the top.
Whether it’s celebrating wins or milestones, it’s important that your team knows that their hard work is appreciated. At the end of the day, we’re all human – simple acts of recognition can make a huge difference when it comes to motivation and performance. It also plants the seed for things like peer-to-peer engagement.
One way to make sure employee recognition and appreciation happens regularly is by implementing an employee recognition program.
However, acts of appreciation need to be inclusive and apply equally across the board. This way no individual or no team feels left out. Otherwise, it can have a significant impact on the engagement of employees who feel left behind.
5. Instill employee confidence
We’ve all heard the saying “fake it ‘til you make it”. While it’s not the best motto 100% of the time, there’s something to be said about being confident in who you are and what you do.
By making your employees feel confident in their work, they’ll be more motivated to deliver high-quality work. But building employee confidence is more than just providing positive reinforcements:
● Establish clear expectations: Your team will work better if they know what’s expected of them.
● Offer support where needed: Help your team succeed by providing the support and tools they need.
● Give constructive feedback: How can they improve and be even better next time?
● Track and celebrate employee success: Recognize any effort and progress they’re making toward their goals.
On the other hand, you should also invest in your employees so they feel confident in their decision to stick with you as an employer.
6. Invest in your employees
Your employees want to know that they matter to you as an employer. You can demonstrate their value by investing in them as employees and as people.
Perhaps it’s an investment in their work through additional training or education. Or perhaps it’s expanding your benefits and wellness offering.
Not only will this improve employee engagement and satisfaction, but it can often impact loyalty. Like most things, it’s a two-way street. Your team will be more willing to invest time and energy in you as an employer if you do the same!
7. Build a rewards system
Let’s face it, most of us are incentivized by rewards.
While rewards and incentives alone aren’t going to solve employee engagement challenges, they can play a huge role in improving motivation.
Employee rewards systems can work in many different ways. It can be tied to milestones, like work anniversaries or it can be tied to targets. You can also reward teams together or as individuals.
Remember that rewards don’t haveto break the bank! Your team just wants to know that their efforts are seen and appreciated. A little recognition can go a long way.
8. Offer flexibility
Work-life balance is more important than ever before. Flexible policies help your employees feel like they're in the driver’s seat of their work. This can include flexible working hours, remote work opportunities, and more.
Of course, this doesn’t mean turning your workplace into a complete free for all. But giving employees the opportunity to make work work for them, can make a huge difference in their engagement.
9. Provide the right engagement tools
Some of the things on this list are easier said than done. But the right tools can remove barriers and make engagement much easier.
Fortunately, we’ve seen a huge rise in software and technology designed to build culture and employee experience.
Invest in tools that support your employee engagement efforts like:
● Communication software: Make it easy for teams to connect and stay engaged through easy-to-use platforms like Slack or Zoom.
● Employee recognition software: Tools like Evergreen help make employee recognition second nature.
● Employee culture and performance management: Get insights analytics on your employee engagement and culture.
● Rewards platforms: Use these to make things like rewards trackable to measure the impact.
It’s time to prioritize talent engagement
Employee engagement shouldn’t be an afterthought. It’s something every company should prioritize in order to make the most out of their teams. By implementing some of these tips, you’ll help your employees and your organization bloom.
Ready to take the first step? Sign up for the Evergreen App. Evergreen makes peer-to-peer employee recognition a breeze. Plus, every time someone recognizes their peers, you will plant a tree in their honor. Schedule a demo today and get a 14-day trial for free!
Recognise good work in your team while doing good for the planet
Evergreen is the only peer-to-peer recognition app that lets teams recognise a job well done, while planting trees for the planet. For the ultimate positive, feel-good team culture.