Just how engaged are your employees? Do they start with you all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, only for that enthusiasm to wear off as the months progress?
Keeping your employees engaged should always be a top priority for any organisation. Still, it’s easier said than done, and we see a lot of company leaders struggle with this on a daily basis. Some organisations develop an employee engagement strategy to tackle this challenge whereas others leave it to chance.
Get it right, and you will create a highly empowered workforce capable of great achievements. Get it wrong, and it could lead to high levels of absenteeism, errors, sickness, and reduced productivity.
Below we’ve created a list of 100 top employee engagement activities, ideas and strategies to help. Implementing some of these will move you closer to a more engaged workforce who will want to work for you and deliver a high level of performance.
What is Employee Engagement?
First, let’s highlight what employee engagement is and its definition. Employee engagement refers to the level of investment that employees make in the organisation they work for both mentally and behaviourally.
In addition, it encompasses how committed employees are to helping an organisation achieve its goals long term, and how motivated they are to involve themselves in a company’s processes and adopt company values.
Why is Employee Engagement Important?
The importance of employee engagement is clear to see. We all know the difference between a motivated and inspired workforce compared to one that just goes through the motions. They are never going to add to the success of the company.
Here are some key employee engagement benefits for businesses to keep in mind:
• Increased profits
• Improved wellbeing and mental health
• Improved customer service
• Reduced staff attrition
• Increased levels of enjoyment and fun
• Career advancement
• More ideas and innovation
• Better creativity
• Process improvement
• Recession proofs your business
• Increased productivity
• Reduced error rates
Strategies and Ideas to Improve Employee Engagement
The remainder of this article provides you with 100 employee engagement ideas and activities for your business to adopt and potentially benefit from.
We have grouped our ideas into ten main groups according to areas most businesses often struggle with. If you wish, you can use the links below to skip to the tips that are most relevant to your business’ goals and priorities:
• Better Understanding Your Team
• Changing Employee Perspectives
• Encouraging Employee Growth
• Providing a Work-Life Balance
• Being a Better Leader
• Improving Communication
• Setting Employee Goals
• Improving Employee Benefits
• Improving Your Hiring Strategy
• Measuring Employee Engagement
Better Understanding Your Team
Keeping your employees engaged is easier if you understand them, their goals, and their motivators.
Here are ten employee engagement ideas to help you get to know your team better.
1. Spend Time with Your Employees
To get to know your employees, work with them. Schedule team meetings, take them to lunch, and learn their interests.
2. Schedule One-on-One Meetings
Don’t just spend time with employees in a group. Schedule one-on-one meetings and get to know them as individuals.
3. Learn Employees’ Communication Styles
Some prefer to communicate face to face. Others prefer email. Learn your employees’ preferences so that you can communicate more effectively.
4. Conduct “Stay” Meetings
Instead of exit interviews to find out why someone is leaving your company, conduct “stay” interviews to learn why employees have stuck with you.
5. Distribute Regular Surveys
Pulse surveys help you get to know your team, determine how they’re doing, and measure engagement consistently.
6. Provide Assorted Feedback Options
Beyond surveys, give employees multiple ways to provide feedback, such as an anonymous comment box, a group chat, etc.
7. Ask About Short and Long-Term Goals
Ask about employees’ short and long-term goals. Knowing their goals creates accountability, boosts motivation, and ensures they always work toward new achievements.
8. Ask Employees to Write Their Own Job Description
This exercise shows you how employees view their responsibilities and position in the company. It provides insight into potential disconnects, too.
9. Conduct Strengths Assessments
Strengths assessments show you what employees think they’re best at. Use this information to assign responsibilities that align with their interests and talents.
10. Learn Employees’ Recognition Preferences
Recognition means more if it comes in someone’s preferred style. Some want to be shouted out in a team meeting. Others prefer a hand-written note.
Changing Employee Perspectives
Engaged employees aren’t just showing up and punching the clock to earn a pay cheque. They’re committed to your company and its mission.
These ten tips will help you change employees’ perspectives and encourage them to find more meaning in their work:
11. Share the Company’s Mission and Values
Employees are often more engaged when they know what their employer stands for. Clarify and provide reminders of the company’s mission and values.
12. Relate Team and Individual Goals to the Company’s Mission and Values
Find a way to connect personal goals of your employees to the company’s mission and values to create a stronger sense of purpose.
13. Ask Employees to “Find Their Why”
Find out what motivates each employee — a desire to support their family, contribute to a specific cause, etc. and then show that you are there to support them in achieving this.
14. Share Your Vision for the Future
Employees may be more engaged and motivated if they know your long-term vision for the company or the team you manage.
15. Focus on Output Instead of Input
Worry less about the minutiae — hours worked, whether someone is two minutes late — and focus on the results they produce.
16. Commit to Charitable Causes
Many employees want to make a difference in their communities. Provide regular opportunities to volunteer for charitable causes.
17. Be Transparent
Be transparent about how employees contribute to the company’s mission and how close the business is to achieving specific goals.
18. Recognise Employees Who Exhibit Company Values
When an employee acts in a way that reflects the company’s values, celebrate them to motivate others to do the same.
19. Recognise and Encourage Innovation
Employees are more engaged when they don’t feel boxed in. If someone is challenging themselves, recognise their innovation.
20. Give More Responsibility, Not More Tasks
Ensure you’re giving employees more meaningful responsibility, not just adding meaningless tasks to their to-do lists.
Encouraging Employee Growth
Engaged employees don’t want to stay stagnant. They regularly look for new ways to grow and improve.
Here are ten suggestions to help you support them in their quest for growth:
21. Offer Continuing Education Opportunities
Give employees access to continuing education programs. Offer programs throughout the year, too, so more people can participate. This can be a mixture of virtual training and face to face courses.
22. Create a Mentorship Program
Pair new employees with seasoned ones, or pair an employee with someone from a different department so to learn about that person’s job.
23. Support Outside Learning Endeavours
If employees want to do additional learning outside of work, support their initiative. Consider reimbursing them for tickets to conferences, seminars, etc.
24. Utilise Technology for More Efficient Learning
The use of an online learning platform and online courses are cost-effective and efficient for continuing education options.
25. Offer Networking Opportunities
In addition to offering formal courses, host networking events to employees can meet and learn from other professionals in their field.
26. Encourage Individualised Learning and Training
Encourage employees to find learning options that work for their preferred learning style or offer individualised suggestions. Some prefer short, microlearning options and others prefer longer, eLearning Content and courses to work through.
27. Create and Share Professional Development Paths
Create clear paths to specific promotions or positions. If someone wants to be a manager one day, a clear pathway helps them stay focused and continue working toward their goal. Here’s a personal development plan template to work through.
28. Help Employees Develop Hard and Soft Skills
Don’t only focus on technical skills. Give opportunities to develop communication skills, active listening skills, etc.
29. Let Team Members Be Trainers
Give team members a chance to share their unique subject matter expertise with others.
30. Incentivise Learning and Development
Sweeten the deal. Offer rewards when employees reach a certain level or complete a certain number of training courses.
Providing a Work-Life Balance
It’s easier for employees to be engaged when they have a good sense of work-life balance. Work-life balance prevents burnout and allows team members to be more focused and productive while on the job.
These ten employee engagement ideas will help you support your employees as they strive for more balance:
31. Offer More Flexibility
Do your employees need to work from 9-5 Monday-Friday? Schedule and location flexibility allows them to work when they’re most productive. Here are some working from home tips to help.
32. Encourage Employees to Set Boundaries
Whether they don’t answer emails after a particular hour or aren’t available on the weekends, encourage employees to set boundaries between work and personal life.
33. Respect Employee Boundaries
Respect employees’ boundaries, too. This respect shows them the importance of boundaries and encourages them to respect the ones others set.
34. Automate Repetitive Tasks
Do your employees have poor work-life balance because they’re wasting time on repetitive tasks? Automation options can free up their schedules.
35. Prioritise Employee Health and Wellness
Healthy employees are happy, productive employees. Encourage regular exercise, healthy eating, mindfulness, etc.
36. Show an Interest in Employees’ Interests
Your employees shouldn’t eat, sleep, and breathe work. Show an interest in their hobbies and encourage them to continue pursuing them.
37. Encourage Outside Projects
Furthermore, encourage employees’ outside projects, even if they have nothing to do with work.
38. Offer More Paid Time Off
Paid time off allows employees to rest and recharge — so they can return more engaged and productive — without worrying about losing money.
39. Encourage Vacations
Don’t just offer paid time off. Let your employees know you want them to take vacations and get out of the office regularly.
40. Set and Stick to Your Own Boundaries
Along with encouraging employees to set boundaries between work and personal life, you should do the same. Lead by example.
Being a Better Leader
By developing yourself as a leader, you can boost your employees’ engagement and increase their commitment to their jobs.
These ten tips will help you improve your engagement and theirs:
41. Regularly Seek and Respond to Feedback
Find out what your employees think about your leadership style. Then, use that information to improve your management tactics and boost employee engagement.
42. Tailor Your Approach to Your Employees
Don’t force your employees to mould themselves to you. They’ll be more engaged if you adjust your communication and leadership styles to them.
43. Use Positive Reinforcement
Recognise and reward the behaviours you want to see more of, rather than constantly pointing out what people are doing wrong. This type of positive reinforcement boosts morale and engagement.
44. Address Issues Quickly
If a problem does arise, address it right away. Don’t wait until it escalates.
45. Eliminate Unnecessary Meetings
Don’t bog employees down with meetings. Give them time to focus on their jobs and accomplish their goals.
46. Don’t Micromanage
Micromanagement can hinder engagement and morale. Let your employees know you trust them, and you’ll likely see their work quality improve.
47. Celebrate Successes of All Sizes
Don’t hold back when recognising your employees. Celebrate small and large victories to keep them motivated and engaged.
48. Exemplify the Company’s Values
As a leader, it’s your job to exemplify the company’s values. It’s easier for your employees to uphold them if you’re doing so, too.
49. Conduct Performance Reviews
Regular performance reviews keep employees on their toes and allow you to address goals, potential problems, etc.
50. Let Your Team Review Your Performance
Let your employees formally review your performance as well. Letting them do this shows that you care about their opinions and want to improve.
Prioritising Communication and Collaboration
Better employee engagement comes primarily from good communication and collaboration.
Here are ten employee engagement strategies to improve communication, collaboration, and therefore engagement:
51. Choose the Right Tools
Look into team collaboration tools that help everyone share messages and documents and collaborate on tasks. The right tools ensure everyone feels included and valued.
52. Define Clear Communication Processes
Clear communication protocols also keep everyone on the same page and united in their goals.
53. Encourage “Water Cooler” Chat
Let your employees know you want them to have casual, non-work-related conversations. Join in from time to time, too, so they know you mean it.
54. Create Socialisation Opportunities
Give your employees opportunities to build relationships outside of work with team happy hours or other outings.
55. Give Everyone a Chance to Speak
Some employees are naturally more extroverted than others. During meetings, make sure everyone has a chance to speak up and share their perspective.
56. Insist on Honesty
Let your employees know you always want them to be honest, even if they deliver bad news. Unfettered honesty creates a more transparent, supportive company culture.
57. Host “Anxiety Parties”
“Anxiety parties” allow everyone to share their worries and get feedback. Employees know they’re not alone when everyone shares and can connect more deeply.
58. Host Regular Team Huddles
A weekly team huddle is a great way to share wins, set goals, and get everyone on the same page.
59. Establish Office Hours
Establish office hours so employees know when they can come to the office and chat with you during the week. Then, stick to those office hours.
60. Consider Company Clubs
Company clubs (a new employee club, a gardening club, etc.) offer opportunities for employees to socialise and build stronger connections, further boosting engagement.
Setting Employee Goals
You’ll find your employees are more engaged if they’re consistently working toward new goals — both team and individual.
These ten employee engagement ideas can help you level up your goal-setting strategy:
61. Set SMART Goals
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. These goals encourage long-term engagement and keep your employees focused.
62. Consider Using OKRs
OKRs provide another way to keep employees focused on their goals. OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results. Objectives are qualitative goals you want to accomplish, and Key Results are the quantitative metrics you’ll use to measure progress.
63. Set Regular Check-In Dates
Set regular dates to check in and monitor employee and team progress toward their goals.
64. Reward Progress
When someone makes progress, no matter how small, recognise and reward it.
65. Boost Motivation with Gamification
You can further boost motivation with gamification. Award points when someone hits a milestone, then offer rewards when they earn a certain number of points.
66. Assist With Goal Troubleshooting
If someone struggles to achieve a goal, don’t lecture or punish them. Talk about what’s holding them back, how to fix it, etc.
67. Share Your Own Goals
Let employees know what you’re working on, too. Sharing your goals can motivate them to continue pursuing theirs.
68. Encourage Group and Individual Goals
Set goals for the team, and encourage individual employees to set their own goals. A dual approach creates a greater sense of purpose and more motivation.
69. Align Goals Across Teams
Look for ways to align multiple teams’ goals. For example, connect sales and marketing goals.
70. Use Moonshot Goals
Moonshot goals are big ones someone isn’t 100 percent sure they can reach. Use these goals to boost motivation and encourage progress over perfection.
Improving Employee Benefits
Even if your employees love their jobs, they’ll likely be more engaged if they feel they’re compensated fairly.
Listed below are ten employee engagement strategies to help you improve your approach to compensation and benefits:
71. Ask Your Employees What They Want
Go straight to your team and ask what benefits matter most to them.
72. Offer Regular Raises
A raise is rarely a bad idea. Consider offering regular raises to keep employees motivated and show that you value them.
73. Provide Employee Discounts
Whether it’s a discount on products your company sells or discounts from other businesses in the area, people love to save money.
74. Offer Wellness-Related Perks
Offer wellness-related benefits like gym membership reimbursement or access to healthy food at the office.
75. Don’t Be Stingy with Vacation and PTO
Remember, breaks boost productivity. Don’t be stingy with the amount of vacation time or PTO you offer.
76. Make Flexibility the Norm
Many employees value flexibility even more than money. Give them the freedom to work when it’s best for them.
77. Distribute Better Swag
If you give out swag at your company, make it stuff people actually want and use.
78. Offer Mental Health Support
Mental healthcare is just as important as physical healthcare. Provide access to counselling, mindfulness resources, etc.
79. Loosen Up the Dress Code
A more casual dress code can help employees feel comfortable and focused.
80. Don’t Use Benefits as Bribes
Benefits are great, but don’t use them as replacements for other improvements — such as communication improvements, work-life balance improvements, etc.
Improving Your Hiring Strategy
Make engagement the norm immediately by creating a hiring strategy that encourages it.
Use these ten tips to improve your hiring strategy and recruit more engaged job seekers:
81. Write Better Job Ads
Sell your company in the job ad. Get people interested in being part of your team from the get-go.
82. Set Clear Expectations
Include a detailed (but not daunting) and accurate list of responsibilities in the ad so people know what to expect.
83. Focus on Culture Fit
When interviewing, focus on how well you predict candidates would fit into your company culture, not just their skill set.
84. Engage Employees During the Hiring Process
Stay in touch with employees throughout the hiring process. Better candidate engagement gives people a better view of your company before they even start working.
85. Offer Better Onboarding
Create a detailed onboarding program that teaches employees everything they need to know to succeed at your company.
86. Assign Each New Hire a Mentor
Pair each new hire with a mentor who can answer questions, show them the ropes, and keep them motivated.
87. Check in Often
Check on new hires regularly to see how they’re doing and make sure they feel seen and supported.
88. Include Trainees in the Conversation
New hires might be hesitant to speak up. Ask questions directly and make sure they know you value their opinions.
89. Plan New Hire Activities
Consider creating activities just for new hires so everyone can get to know each other and feel more connected.
90. Create New Hire Welcome Kits
A welcome kit starts things on a positive note and tells new hires you’re happy they’re part of your team.
Measuring Employee Engagement
To improve employee engagement with the above strategies listed, you need to have a protocol for measuring it.
Our final ten tips will help you improve your measure process to see better results:
91. Set Clear Employee Engagement Goals
What does employee engagement look like to you? Clarify your goals and make them SMART.
92. Set Clear KPIs
Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to measure employee engagement progress.
93. Measure Consistently
However you decide to measure progress, measure it in this way consistently to know if your attempts are working.
94. Keep Surveys Brief
If you’re using surveys to measure engagement, keep them brief and focused. Don’t weigh your employees down with a giant list of questions.
95. Answer FAQs
Your employees might want to know if their responses are anonymous, what you’ll do with survey results, etc. Answer all these questions when distributing surveys to keep everyone on the same page and encourage them to take part.
96. Compare Apples to Apples
Consistently measure the same factors to assess employee engagement and progress over time accurately.
97. Invest in Employee Engagement Tracking Tools
If you struggle to track progress manually, invest in tools that make the process easier.
98. Generate Detailed Reports
Generate detailed employee engagement reports and share them with your team.
99. Share Data with Higher Ups
Share reports with higher-ups to back up your reasoning behind certain employee engagement practices and initiatives.
100. Adjust Your Approach as Needed
Don’t be afraid to pivot. If a strategy isn’t boosting employee engagement, adjust and try something new.
Driving Employee Engagement – It’s Your Turn!
From regularly distributing surveys to beefing up your employee benefits package, you can take all kinds of steps and adopt various strategies and ideas to improve employee engagement at your company.
Keep this list of ideas in mind and put those most relevant and feasible for your business in place, and you are likely to start seeing improvements in no time.
Skillshub offers various services and tools to help you implement strategies that improve employee engagement. Our online learning platform allows you to provide your teams with an extensive library of training courses and you can create your own eLearning content with our team to provide your employees with knowledge that is tailored to them and their personal learning plans.