1. Model your core values and emphasize your mission
Employees are more engaged when there’s a goal they can get behind and a purpose to inspire them. Your core values and mission statement are the foundation of your company culture, which plays a large role in how engaged your employees are. Start by creating a concise list of company core values, then train each employee in these values. Doing so will guarantee employees understand the importance of the company’s values, how they positively impact the business and what’s expected of each individual. Lead by example and hold every member of your team accountable. Failing to do so will foster a bad company culture of distrust that will disengage employees.
2. Prioritize feedback
Optimal amounts of feedback correlate with positive manager reviews. Even managers who give their direct reports too much feedback are rated higher by their team than those who don’t provide enough. The gist? Employees crave feedback, and it influences their level of engagement. Start by scheduling check-ins for each employee with their manager, then encourage middle management to establish regular review sessions with their team as an ongoing initiative to improve employee engagement.
While it may be tempting to implement a company-wide schedule for feedback, keep in mind that every team is different and frequent touchpoints may feel unnatural to some. Managers should talk to their direct reports about their preferred methods for receiving feedback in order to engage employees in a way that’s meaningful to them.
3. Concentrate on engaging management
Your managers’ levels of engagement directly affects their teams. Let’s take a look at some stats: in the U.S., 34% of employees are engaged at work, which nearly aligns with the 35% of managers who report being engaged. Plus, employees report that 75% of great managers are passionate about the work they do — that kind of positive attitude is contagious. While your workforce engagement strategy should account for the individual needs of every employee, focusing on middle management is an effective way to quickly increase employee engagement across the board.
4. Coordinate volunteer opportunities
Employees want to know they work for a company that cares about making a positive contribution to society. Volunteering unites employees toward a larger purpose, offering an opportunity to connect on a deeper level. Indeed, 70% of employees believe volunteer events improve morale more than happy hours and 89% believe companies that sponsor charitable activities have a better work environment.
Look for a volunteer opportunity that’s located near your office and plan an event for after work. This is an easy way to come together as a team and give back to your community. Additionally, offer a “Volunteer Day” as an employee benefit. This should be a day outside of your PTO policy that employees can take off to donate their time to a cause they’re passionate about.
5. Prioritize physical and mental health
It’s easy for individuals to engage with their work when the organization makes an effort to enhance their overall wellbeing. A company-wide wellness initiative is a great way to improve employee engagement. Sponsor workout classes as company outings and, as a long-term solution, consider offering fitness subsidies to encourage healthy lifestyles beyond the office.
Offer meditation classes and encourage employees to take mental health days when they need to step away from the office and focus on themselves. Additionally, stock the kitchen with healthy snacks that will fuel employees during the busy work day.
6. Recognize top performers and reward achievements
Engaged employees will go out of their way to go the extra mile. However, they still want to know that leadership sees and appreciates their efforts. Take time to acknowledge your employees and allow them to do the same of their peers.
Since feedback is a top priority among employees, encourage managers to make positive recognition part of their day-to-day. Utilize your communications channel or HCM system to promote acknowledgements to the whole company. Additionally, consider engaging your HR department to implement an incentive program.
7. Conduct employee engagement surveys frequently
Not only will regular employee engagement surveys help you understand what’s working in your organization, but it will make your employees feel valued. Giving each individual the opportunity to voice their opinions encourages honest, open communication. Employee feedback is essential to successfully engaging your workforce. You can look to notable corporations for inspiration, but at the end of the day, your team is unique and will respond best to certain employee engagement strategies. Quick pulse surveys give you the data to do just that.
8. Plan company outings
The level of employee engagement in your workplace has a lot to do with how your employees relate to one another. Set up opportunities for them to connect on things outside of work and foster personal relationships. You don’t have to go far or break the bank to do so — plan an on-site happy hour, game night or potluck dinner. Make sure to provide some variety in your events to promote inclusivity.
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