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Raising the bar – tips for raising employee engagement

On our last blog, How do you really know? Measuring employee engagement, we shared ways to measure your employees’ engagement levels. Once you know and understand your engagement levels, the next goal is to raise those engagement levels. What is your benefit of more engaged employees?

Engaged employees mean benefits to the organization

In Gallup’s State of the American workplace, Gallup noted that:

  • 51% of workers are actively seeking another job.

  • Engaged employees are 17% more productive in their jobs.

  • Engaged employees create increased profitability.

  • Highly engaged businesses realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism.

I see you nodding your head. You WANT this engagement increase! We get it – boy do we get it. What HR leader wouldn’t want more engaged employees?

Back to basics – what your employees want

We revealed in the last blog the three things your employees want:

  • They want to feel valued as an employee.

  • They want satisfaction with their work and life.

  • They want to feel secure in their future with the company.

Every action and response to employee engagement should serve one of these three employee wishes. The most engaged employees have affirmative feelings on each of these topics.

Tips for engaging your employees

I will warn you now that this is no quick fix. It is also not a topic that is fixed and forgotten. An engaged workplace is a living and breathing force that can turn in either direction when things change. This delicate force is in a constant state of maintenance and improvement. An engaged workforce is the result of rich employee-centered culture and not one or two items, although we still consider that a fantastic start.

Start at the beginning with onboarding

Structured onboarding programs boast a 58% retention rate over three years. Onboarding demonstrates the value in what they bring to the organization. At the team or job level, that structured onboarding also creates a feeling of security to the new employee when it comes to their knowledge and ability to do the job they came on board to perform.

Despite these positive attributes of a structured onboarding, 22% of employers still lack a formal process.

Offer feedback regularly

Employees want to know they are doing a good job. They wish to improve where it’s warranted, and they would prefer to improve immediately instead of at their quarterly or annual review. Millennials, especially crave regular feedback to keep working toward their (and your) goals. Monthly one-on-ones and checking in frequently is just what your team needs to keep them interested, engaged, and motivated.

Embrace the power of recognition

When employees are recognized for their hard work, they feel valued and appreciated. This message goes not only to the recipient but radiates through the entire team and starts to breed a recognition culture between team members and is no longer reserved between employee and supervisor.

With that in mind, always take a moment to recognize anyone who goes above and beyond expectations. Also, use recognition as a tool for any behavior you wish to see repeated. Work2Live’s program for experiential rewards through their lifestyle spending account (LSA) is a fantastic tool for meaningful rewards.

Personal and professional growth opportunities

One wish for employees is to know their future is secure within the company. One way to show that is by way of enabling their professional growth. Investing the time and funds for their growth encourages them to feel that there is room for them to grow within the organization.

Encourage your employees to take advantage of training opportunities by delegating their duties to another team member, so they don’t feel the stress of falling behind by attending the training. Work2Live provides enrichment experiences to enhance personal growth.

Another way an employee may realize their growth potential is by way of career paths.

Document required training and experience for each position and help to guide your employees through these paths to reach their professional goals. I like to use the analogy that the road to Vice President is not usually a ladder when it comes to those grown within the organization. It, instead, takes the path of a rose on a trellis, going in many directions and gaining a multitude of experiences and building a network of support when one finally lands that role. A leader can set the employees up with new challenge and opportunities for new experiences with special projects or tasks to help them grow professionally.

Even the immediate supervisor may lose a star performer, but helping that employee grow with the company speaks volumes about that supervisor’s leadership, and his team will be even more engaged knowing that he is interested in their growth beyond their immediate position.

Have great perks and benefits

To retain engaged employees and star performers, we do so by a fair exchange. The engaged employee goes above and beyond their job expectations. As an employer, we can go above and beyond the standard expectations to set the bar high for any other organization that may try to snatch away our prize employees. This lets your employees know that the organization appreciates their hard work and contributions to the company, thus keeping them engaged.

Above and beyond the standard health insurance and 401k, let’s talk about some fun perks that will set your company above the others:

  1. More paid time off – promotes work-life satisfaction

  2. Remote work opportunities – promotes trust in their work ethic and improves work-life satisfaction

  3. Lunches – healthy lunch perks help maintain their focus and improve healthy eating

  4. Transportation – If pubic transportation is popular in your location, help employees pay for that transportation or parking passes in downtown offices.

  5. Lifestyle spending accounts – these accounts may be used as a company perk toward increasing work-life satisfaction or be used a reward for above and beyond work accomplishments

  6. A cool espresso machine – I just had to add that because it’s cool

Yeah, these last things cost money, but your organization makes up for it in tenfold with increased engagement. Engaged employees are more productive and have fewer unscheduled absences. Engaged employees elevate customer experiences and increase sales.

Work2Live is a proud supporter of the concept of engaged employees. Schedule a demo today and see what we’re all about!

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