If you’re working in Human Resources or are a manager in a small to medium-sized business and you’re struggling with that eternal question “How do I increase employee engagement?” then you might just have stumbled upon the right blog!
Making sure your company culture is one that creates engagement with everyone from interviewees to stalwarts of the organisation, and from the intern to managers and everybody else in between is a must if you want to point your business in the direction of success.
You know why you want your people to be more engaged: it makes them happier, more productive, creates all-round good vibes in the office, and therefore increases efficiency and employee retention.
The million dollar question is, how do you encourage better engagement if you’re currently suffering from a distinct lack of it from the majority of your workforce?
If you’ve read our first blog post on this topic, 13 Surefire Ways to Increase Employee Engagement, we hope you found it useful and maybe even implemented some of the ideas we suggested.
But if you’re looking for different, or even more, employee engagement ideas, carry on reading as we’ve got eleven - count ‘em! - more for you right here.
11 More surefire ways to increase employee engagement
- 1. Harness the power of eNPS surveys
You may well know about NPS surveys - AKA Net Promoter Score surveys. These allow you to gauge your customer satisfaction rates and see how likely the people that use your services or buy your products are to recommend them.
Meanwhile, eNPS surveys (Employee Net Promoter Score surveys) use the same principle to see how happy (and thus engaged) your employees are. If you’re consistently scoring below a nine or ten, this suggests you may want to take a good look at your employees’ responses and see what you can do to improve.
- 2. Streamline your processes
Are your systems or software slowing you down? If so, you may well find you have disgruntled (and therefore unengaged) people on your hands. Your employees - especially younger employees - expect you to be simplifying their workflows, not making them more unwieldy. And this often means implementing technology.
We know it can feel like a big financial investment, but if it makes your employees more efficient and engaged this will have a knock-on effect on customer satisfaction (and eventually, your bottom line) too.
It’s also crucial to make things as easy as possible if you have remote workers, as creating engagement with your people who work from home can be even harder. Smoothly run tech, systems and platforms will go a long way to helping keep all of your people productive whilst killing any frustrations that arise from dealing with clunky processes.
- 3. Wish employees a happy birthday!
We know you have a lot of plates to juggle but sometimes it really is the little things in life that matter. Saying “happy birthday” and congratulating employees on professional or personal (providing they’re common knowledge...) achievements is a great way of showing your teams that you see them as people, not just worker bees!
Best of all, this is easy and free to implement. Create a calendar, set reminders and you’re good to go.
- 4. Check in with remote employees
As we mentioned above, creating engagement with remote employees who work from home or elsewhere can present particular challenges and you need to make sure that these guys don’t feel isolated. Especially if they’re new.
This is something that you need to do right from the point of hiring a remote employee as the longer you leave someone sitting in their home office without any visible signs of engagement, the quicker they’ll be back scrolling through the job ads again.
Make sure your lines of communication are open and that employees have all the resources they need to be able to do their jobs. And then make sure that you communicate with them to ensure they feel like part of the team - even if they’re miles away!
- 5. Celebrate your team
If it’s at all financially and logistically viable, why not throw an annual Employee Appreciation Event? This is all about showing your people how much you value their contribution to the company and is a great way to, not only boost employee happiness and engagement, but also bolster team building.
How you go about this is entirely up to you: give everyone a day’s holiday on a certain date, throw a party, book a daytrip, arrange a picnic. The only limit is your imagination (and your budget.)
And if shutting down the entire company for a day isn’t possible, you could always do this by department or team instead.
- 6. Implement a buddy programme
Buddy programmes are an excellent way of helping new employees find their feet within your organisation as quickly as possible. The first 3-6 months of employment are the danger period and you need to meaningfully engage with your newbie right from the outset if you want to retain them.
Using a buddy, or mentor, is a great way to do this because not only does it make your new hire feel part of the team straight away, but it also lets you as a manager or HR person, delegate some of the ‘settling in’ tasks.
For example, assign your new person a colleague who is positive, knowledgeable and a good company advocate. This person can show them around the office, introduce them to people, take them to lunch on their first day, tell them where the best local coffee or sandwich bar is and generally answer any of the myriad of questions new starters usually have.
- 7. Knock down walls
Well, okay, we don’t mean this quite as literally as it sounds, but if your office is still utilising cubicles as work spaces, consider removing them and creating a more modern, open plan approach.
How does this create employee engagement? Because people can see each other, talk to each other, collaborate more easily, reduce miscommunications caused by emails by resolving issues in person and just generally be more connected.
- 8. Start from the top down
To increase engagement with your employees, whichever method(s) you’re using, it needs to be genuine and it needs to be a part of your company culture. It’s no mean feat building a company culture that motivates and engages people, especially if it’s something new that you’re implementing.
You might find that you have a hard time getting your management to accept your new ideas and initiatives in which case try documenting all the things your organisation values and strives for, including employee engagement. That way you will have an actual written resource - available for all management to look at - that you can use to legitimise your policy of engagement.
- 9. Encourage brainstorming
A great way to get employees to be more engaged is to give them a say in how your company operates. We’re not suggesting you hold regular brainstorming sessions in the conference room with absolutely everyone on staff, but setting up an online forum where employees can share ideas about all things company related can work well.
To filter out unviable (or let’s face it, downright daft) suggestions you could implement a voting system whereby colleagues upvote or comment on others’ suggestions. That will enable you as a manager or HR person to check out the popular ideas and ignore those that are obviously nonsensical, such as 54 days paid holiday days a year, or Mondays and Fridays off! (Although to be fair, these actually might get a few votes...)
Another bonus is that this can provide you with valuable feedback and genuinely useful ideas to implement.
- 10. Introduce weekly team meetings
Your engagement initiatives aren’t just about your employees - they need to include management too. Let’s face it, just because someone has the word ‘manager’ in their title it doesn’t automatically make them a super-engaged employee.
And as discussed above, your company culture needs to embrace engagement. One way of addressing this is to ask managers to hold weekly meetings with their teams or departments. These don’t have to be lengthy time sucks: 30 minutes should be ample.
Not only is this an opportunity for managers and staff to engage with one another, it also gives leaders a better idea of what’s going on in their teams and amongst their people. And it allows them to nip potential issues in the bud. It also encourages people to speak up, therefore creating a better team bond while making sure everyone is rowing in the same direction.
- 11. Encourage colleague volunteering
Make sure your managers and team leaders know the power of asking for help. Learning how to let go and start delegating can be hard if it doesn’t come naturally, but it’s a great way of increasing engagement amongst staff.
Asking for help with a certain task or project creates an opportunity for employees to offer their assistance and therefore become more engaged. It just needs to be made clear that this isn’t about palming off work onto subordinates; it’s about working together as a team, and even giving someone a chance to shine.
Needless to say, showing appreciation and thanking people for their help is a must.
Surefire ways to increase employee engagement: conclusion
From the moment you interact with a candidate and potential hire, to a new employee’s onboarding, to the way you manage your existing people, creating engagement is crucial.
Employees that are engaged are more likely to be happy, productive and positive members of the team - and they’re more likely to stick around. That can only be good for your business, good for your bottom line and good for your company’s reputation as a top employer to work for.
And what could be more engaging than that?