Managing employee engagement has become a crucial aspect of keeping productivity levels high within a business. If employees aren’t engaged in your business and happy in their work, then you can bet they won’t be as productive as they could be.
It’s a hard fact that engagement levels and productivity levels correlate in business. In fact, research shows that a 5% increase in employee engagement links to a 3% increase in revenue growth in the subsequent year. So it’s really something worth investing time into.
But who should be managing this?
Employee engagement is an area that is usually led by an internal communications function, or in some businesses it’s through a personnel function.
But it doesn’t have to be on that scale. Employee engagement is something all businesses can consider, no matter what the size.
Six steps to enabling employee engagement in your business
So, where to start when it comes to making sure that your staff feel engaged with your company? Here’s some top tips to help you on your way when thinking about an employee engagement strategy for your business.
1. Figure out what your colleagues want
You’re thinking about employee engagement, so why not use it as an opportunity to ask your employees about what’s going to work for them?
They’ll appreciate the chance to be involved in shaping any initiatives – why not get their input by running a multiple-choice survey via a free tool such as Survey Monkey?
Or get your teams together, get out some Sharpies, Post-It notes and paper, and brainstorm ideas on what would improve communication and engagement for them at work.
An employee engagement strategy is built around your communications objectives and what you want your employees to ‘know, feel and do’.
A key part in making this happen is through the tactics you’ll use to land those messages, so ask your teams whether they prefer emails, newsletters, face-to-face updates, phone calls, vlogs or videos (or a combination of these). The list goes on!
2. Give your employees a voice
A really easy way to give some control to your employees is to regularly ask them to voice their opinions in a way that is meaningful.
Conduct a regular survey – quarterly, half-yearly or annually – to gain colleague feedback and commit to improving upon the common themes that crop up in the feedback.
As important as the survey itself is the follow up and what action has been taken as a result of your employees sharing their feedback with you – so be sure to put plans into play and communicate them.
By asking the same questions, over time you’ll be able to see year-on-year changes and improvements in themes.
3. Include employees in the decision-making process
Employees want to be a part of the decisions that are made in a business, whether they are highly engaged or not.
Research shows 91% of employees who are satisfied with their involvement at work feel loyal to their organisation.
So, next time you’re making a decision about an event, new catering facilities or something bigger, try to incorporate ways that employees can be involved in the decision-making process; try focus groups or polls to get the data on what employees think.
4. Think outside of the box
A quick search on Google and you’ll find hundreds of ideas on how to engage your employees effectively.
But your tactic needs to suit your audience, so think about what’s going to really get your staff engaged in your message.
Today’s digital capabilities mean there are loads of innovative techniques you can try, including these:
- You could create a weekly vlog to keep your staff up to date.
- Start up a newsletter that you send to your employees on a regular basis.
- Maybe it’s as simple as running a Q&A session where you get your staff to write their questions on paper aeroplanes (a personal favourite of mine).
These techniques can bring a fresh energy to your communications and leave your employees feeling much more engaged.
5. Turn your employees into your biggest advocates
Looking to grow your business, or attract new customers? Or maybe you’re keen to attract new people to apply for jobs at your company?
Your employees are the biggest advocates of your business and brand, so inspire them to spread the word and speak positively about your workplace at all times.
One way to do this is to run a competition themed around social media participation: you share a post on your business account on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and ask your employees to re-share on their own channels. You can run a prize draw and all entrants will have a chance to win something.
A really simple idea but one that is a great way to help promote your brand, products or services without a large investment. Consider creating a social media campaign with your own hashtags for employees to use.
6. Don’t forget about having fun
No matter how hectic it gets at work, we should never be too busy to have fun!
Sometimes, a really simple way to boost morale and keep colleagues engaged is to give employees perks and rewards for their hard work throughout the year.
This is another great way to put your employees in the driving seat: get them to decide how to spend your ‘fun budget’.
You could set up an employee-led group to organise fun activities throughout the year.
Looking for some tried and tested ideas? You could throw a random pizza party, or host a screening of a movie at work. You could send your employees off on a treasure hunt near to your workplace in search of clues as part of a campaign.
There are endless possibilities and it’s these unexpected moments of joy that will really make your message resonate with your audience of employees.
Conclusion on fuelling employee engagement
Putting your employees in charge of their own engagement doesn’t have to be difficult and the great thing about it is you can control just how much input they can have.
A happy workplace often is centred around two-way communications, so focus on giving your employees a voice and be sure to really listen to what they have to say.