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The Joychiever Guide to Employee Engagement Strategies
Disengaged employees cost the U.S. economy between $483 and $605 billion yearly. If that sounds much too high, you’re right on point! The profit lost due to disengagement is hard to swallow, especially since simple employee engagement strategies can counteract those feelings of disengagement.
Employee engagement is the degree to which employees feel motivated, satisfied, and committed to their work. Employee engagement strategies help create a culture where people want to work and achieve results, thus leading to higher employee engagement and lower turnover and resignation.
Most companies view employee engagement as a critical driver of performance, but many companies struggle to understand how to improve their employees’ engagement levels. If this sounds like you, we’ve gathered our top advice on employee engagement programs to elevate your team’s productivity.
What is Employee Engagement in HR?
Employee engagement measures the level of an employee’s commitment to their organization, team, and overall job responsibilities. Engaged employees are more likely to stay with their organization longer, perform at a higher level, and be more productive than their disengaged counterparts. Engaged teams can better manage emotions and foster impactful positive communication.
Benefits of Employee Engagement Strategies
There are no disadvantages to introducing employment engagement programs. In fact, companies that focus on positive employee engagement strategies experience many benefits related to profitability and employee retention.
When your employees are engaged, you’ll see benefits in the following areas of your business:
- Improved employee retention
- Increased productivity
- Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Reduced absenteeism and turnover rates (the cost of losing an employee can be between six to nine months’ salary!)
- Reduced health care costs (a Gallup study found a 10% improvement in employee engagement lowers health care spending by 7%!)
Organizations often use employee engagement surveys to identify an employee’s engagement level over time to improve the employee’s experience, attitude, and engagement at work because the correlation between engagement level and performance is highly connected.
Employment Engagement Level & Performance: What’s the Correlation?
Employee engagement and performance are directly linked to each other. The more engaged employees are, the better their performance is. This correlation should convince you of the need for an engagement plan for employees, and here’s how you identify which employee engagement types you have on your team.
An “engaged” employee is committed to their work and organization, consciously aligning their goals with the company’s. Engaged employees have internalized what matters most to the organization and have made it their responsibility to achieve this. This alignment leads to greater productivity and better results for employees and companies. You want engaged employees!
Unfortunately, not all of your employees will be engaged. Three employee engagement types separate employees based on their level of commitment and common characteristics.
- Actively Engaged
Actively engaged employees are passionate and committed to their role and the company’s overall mission. They have an upbeat demeanor, a collaborative spirit, and a proactive attitude. These employees typically go above and beyond expectations because they believe in the company and have strong, meaningful bonds with their team members.
- Not Engaged
Not engaged employees ensure that they complete their tasks and fulfill all responsibilities of their role. However, they harbor neutral feelings towards the company overall. There are several reasons why they don’t feel motivated to go above and beyond, such as feeling unsupported, overworked, or unhappy with the company’s communication style. Gallup reports that roughly 65% of the U.S. workforce is not engaged as of a 2022 report. These employees can be motivated to engage actively with the right employee engagement strategies.
- Actively Disengaged
Actively disengaged are typically under-performers with a negative attitude toward the company, team members, and job responsibilities. They may have one foot out of the door while they search for another job, which can impact overall team morale and disengagement if they actively engage in negative talk at work.
Engagement is also crucial when it comes to retaining talent. Research shows that engaged employees are less likely than “not engaged” or “disengaged” workers to leave their jobs. They’re also more likely to be promoted within their organizations.
Because engaged workers tend not only to stay longer but also perform better than others, organizations that foster engagement among their staff members significantly improve their chances of outperforming competitors in customer satisfaction and profitability. According to Gallup, “highly engaged business units have a 23% difference in profitability.”
So, the golden question becomes, “How do I improve employee engagement?”
Employee Engagement Strategies
Employee engagement strategies are action plans for improving employee satisfaction by connecting employees with the business goals and mission. Employment engagement programs and surveys are a great way to gain insight into how employees feel about their job, coworkers, and the organization.
Any employment engagement program should focus on balancing these five drivers of employee engagement.
- Interpersonal relationships
- Opportunities for growth
- Aligned values
- Honest feedback
Employee engagement strategies can be implemented in many different ways. Some companies use yearly employee surveys to measure employee engagement and attitude, analyzing the annual results to track and compare to previous periods.
Others use more informal methods, such as town hall meetings or one-on-one interviews with top executives. Weekly one-on-one check-ins with your team members are a great way to make colleagues feel valued and trusted. Scheduling time for honest conversations, brainstorming sessions, and feedback promotes honesty, innovation, initiative, and productivity.
Employee engagement strategies can also be fun! Happy hours, barbecues, and team-building activities improve spirits and facilitate a collaborative environment. Likewise, regular recognition and appreciation (especially at the individual level) can boost morale. If you’re in a leadership position, try being intentional with praise and positive feedback, such as regularly celebrating individual and team wins.
Regardless of how you choose to do it, employee engagement is important in managing your workforce (especially with the increase in remote workers). You must take steps toward improving this area of your company culture before disengagement harms your business.
Measuring and Tracking Employee Engagement
Measuring employee engagement levels regularly is important because it helps you understand how your employees feel about their jobs. Not only is it an opportunity to hear firsthand from your employees, but it also serves as a way to benchmark employee engagement levels over time when repeated.
There are three ways of measuring employee engagement: surveys, interviews, and observations. It’s important to mix these three activities to get a cohesive view of how your team members think.
An employee engagement survey should include questions that make your employees feel valued, seen, and heard.
Interviews should be one-on-one to help your team members feel comfortable expressing concerns and allow them to provide honest feedback.
Use first-hand observation to consider how team members act at work. Are they participating in team meetings? What does their body language tell you?
Employee Engagement FAQs
What are employee engagement strategies?
Employee engagement strategies are plans for improving employee satisfaction by connecting employees with the business goals and mission. Leadership can do this through regularly scheduled employee surveys, one-on-one check-ins, team-building activities, happy hour celebrations, team outings, and other techniques.
What are the three C’s of employee engagement?
The three C’s of employee engagement are career, competence, and care.
- Career: The role provides a positive career path with room to grow.
- Competence: Employees have the tools and skills to complete their jobs well.
- Care: Employees feel that management cares about them as humans and team members.
What are the top 5 drivers of employee engagement?
The top 5 drivers of employee engagement are trust, interpersonal relationships, opportunities for growth, aligned values, and honest feedback. To ensure your employees feel engaged, focus on providing a balanced environment with these five ideas.
What are the 5 strategies for building a culture of employee engagement?
The five strategies for building a culture of employee engagement rely on the top 5 drivers of employee engagement (see above). These five strategies in action include:
- Build trust among all team members.
- Support interpersonal relationship building among teams.
- Communicate and provide ample opportunities for growth and learning.
- Reiterate company values to re-align with team member expectations.
- Provide open and honest feedback.
We hope this guide has helped you understand the importance of employee engagement. Remember that there is no one size fits all approach to engaging employees and keeping them happy. There are many strategies to choose from, so we encourage you to try out a few and see what works best in your workplace.
Need extra, one-on-one guidance to improve employee engagement? The Joychiever program can help. Outsource your strategy to combat burnout and improve engagement with e-Learning, tools, and conversations you need to launch your customized employment engagement program.