Employee Engagement: Strategies for a Motivated Workforce
Engaged employees who feel connected to an organization’s mission and culture are more productive, provide better customer experiences, and are less likely to leave. Below we explore strategies human resources can use to cultivate high employee engagement across the workforce.
Foster Open Communication at All Levels
Communication breakdowns often negatively impact engagement. Employees get frustrated when they feel out of the loop or cannot get answers to questions in a timely manner. Ensure communication flows freely both bottom-up and top-down.
Train managers to have open door policies welcoming input. Host regular team meetings allowing discussion of issues. Use enterprise communication platforms like Slack for easy peer-to-peer collaboration. Send out company newsletters and hold all-hands meetings led by executives.
Provide Cross-Department Exposure
When employees only interact with their immediate team, they can lose sight of the big picture. Broaden perspectives by providing cross-department exposure. Start job shadowing and rotation programs. Foster mentorships between experienced department leaders and newer hires.
Develop Robust Onboarding Programs
The initial onboarding process greatly affects long-term engagement by setting first impressions. Onboarding is not just filling out paperwork. Make new hires feel welcome through enthusiastic introductions to managers and teammates. Give office tours highlighting amenities and culture. Provide setup assistance with technology tools and systems access.
Encourage Community Service and Volunteerism
Employees want to work for organizations that care about more than just profits. That is why community service initiatives build engagement and pride. Employees feel good giving back together outside the office.
Show Appreciation and Recognition
Every employee wants to feel genuinely appreciated by their organization. Personal recognition nurtures engagement. Ensure managers understand the importance of saying “thank you” and giving praise when deserved. Have peer-to-peer programs allowing employees to recognize each other’s achievements.
Provide Professional Growth Opportunities
Employees disengage when they feel stuck in their career paths with no room for advancement. Every worker should have a personalized professional development plan identifying growth opportunities. This shows the organization is invested in employees’ futures.
Prioritize Competitive Benefits Administration
An organization’s benefits package impacts engagement dramatically. Employees pay close attention to health insurance, retirement savings plans, paid time off, family leave, and other offerings that directly affect their lives.
Smooth benefits administration also prevents frustration, say the experts at VertiSource HR. Choose user-friendly technology platforms for open enrollment, life event changes, provider searches, and accessing resources. Communicate clearly on coverages and policies. Streamline claims processes so accessing benefits is hassle-free.
Support Work-Life Balance
Burned-out employees struggling with work-life balance usually withdraw and disengage over time. Discourage overwork and remind managers that productivity suffers without recharging.
Offer flexible schedules, remote work options, and generous paid time off. Discourage emailing or calling staff after normal business hours or during vacations. Institute family-friendly policies like onsite childcare facilities and free meals to ease daily stresses.
If employees know the organization cares about their personal well-being, they will reciprocate with higher engagement. Little perks that support work-life balance go a long way.
Check Engagement Levels Regularly
Conduct periodic engagement surveys using simple standardized questions across segments of the workforce. This benchmarks where things stand while identifying problem areas needing attention.
Pulse surveys with just a few questions take little time to complete. Ask about satisfaction, feelings of appreciation, advocacy, pride in the organization, and the likelihood to stay versus leave.
Analysis of results may reveal divisions with especially high or low engagement. Follow up with focus groups or additional questions to dig into root causes.
Actively listening and responding to employees means organizations can nurture a culture where people feel motivated to contribute to something larger than themselves. That is the foundation for an engaged, thriving workforce.