Employee engagement is extremely important to the health of any growing organization. Employees who are fully committed to their roles have greater productivity, making a major difference in a company’s ability to adapt to market demands and please clients on a consistent basis. Encouraging and maintaining employee engagement, however, can be challenging.
Maintaining optimal engagement among employees goes beyond simply offering incentives or addressing poor performance as it occurs. A unified approach to improvement and monitoring must be adopted to cultivate a resilient culture of high engagement on the job, especially amid pandemic crises and similarly unprecedented market stressors.
Below, we’ve gathered 50 expert tips to improve employee engagement across the board throughout your organization. Read on to learn the different ways you can cultivate engagement to build employees’ collective confidence, trust and more.
- Employee Engagement Tips for Building Confidence
- Employee Engagement Tips for Cultivating Trust
- Tips for Creating an Engaging Company Culture
- Tips for Improving Cooperation & Collaboration
Employee Engagement Tips for Building Confidence
1. Provide the proper tools for the job.
“One of the most important drivers of employee engagement may also be one of the most overlooked: making sure employees have all the tools they need to succeed in their roles. Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016 report refers to it as providing an ‘enabling infrastructure’ and lists it as the top driver of engagement globally.” – Tamara Lytle, 7 Tips to Increase Employee Engagement Without Spending a Dime, SHRM; Twitter: @SHRM
2. Emphasize feedback and keep it consistent.
“Employees need feedback to know where they stand and how they’re doing. What that means for you is, because organizations are moving at such a fast pace, you need to be giving feedback at an even faster pace. You can’t wait for an annual review or a monthly one-on-one.”
3. Embrace and communicate company ethics and values.
“Actively promote organizational effectiveness, reputation, values and ethics. Employees want to feel good about their leaders, where they work, the products they sell and the reputation of their company.” – Torben Rick, 20 tips to improve employee engagement and performance, TorbenRick.eu
4. Incorporate engagement training from the start.
“It helps to engage employees from the start. When you hire someone, you should make an effort during their training to involve and interest them. You should also consider including engagement tips and tricks as part of the training process.” – Caleb Danziger, 10 Tips For Managing Employee Engagement From Quarantine, Careermetis; Twitter: @careermetis
5. Start measuring engagement ASAP.
“You’re going to have a hard time improving your employee engagement levels if you don’t know what your levels are in the first place! It’s important to collect data around employee engagement to understand where your team is at, understand what areas need to improve the most, and have a benchmark for future efforts.” – 10 Data-Driven Ways to Improve Employee Engagement, Bonusly; Twitter: @bonusly
6. Implement a growth roadmap for clarity.
“For super-speedy company growth in significant areas by the end of the year, a growth roadmap is an ideal toolkit. It highlights the essential tasks that contribute to the rapid growth of the company. In a nutshell, it is a reference point for the daily activities of employees.” – Amoni Bachola, 9 Tips to Better Implement Employee Engagement in Companies, Happierco;
7. Manage projects more efficiently by leveraging appropriate solutions.
“It can be easy to lose track of tasks in a non-office environment. The presence of numerous distractions at home can steer employees away from a productive work routine. In order to keep your employees on track, leverage numerous software solutions available in the market to schedule meetings, manage employee timesheets and assign project tasks.” – Patrick Hogan, Maintaining Employee Engagement During COVID-19: 4 Tips for Employers, Connecteam; Twitter: @ConnecteamApp
8. Encourage improvement at a team and division level.
“Real change occurs at the local workgroup level, but it happens only when company leaders set the tone from the top. Companies realize the most benefit from engagement initiatives when leaders weave employee engagement into performance expectations for managers and enable them to execute on those expectations. Managers and employees must feel empowered to make a significant difference in their immediate environment.” – Robyn Reilly, 5 Ways to Improve Employee Engagement Now, Gallup; Twitter: @GallupWorkplace
9. Make your employees feel empowered and integral to the company’s success.
“We know if a worker is engaged by the way that he feels about his job and the way that he acts at work. The engaged often report that they are very involved in their jobs, and they feel entirely focused on them. They can only be described as ‘enthusiastic,’ and they feel as if the company would not survive if they failed to do their jobs.” – Ty Collins, Defining Employee Engagement and Making a Case for Nurturing It, VIKTOR; Twitter: @VIKTORIncentive
10. Break up boring routines with special projects and tasks.
“Retail work can get very monotonous, and employees can become so bored that they go into autopilot. To avoid this, you should find a way to add variety to their workloads. What else could they do for you? What other projects could they work on? Playing into the creativity we just looked at, you could find some hours for them to work on store decoration for special occasions.” – 5 Tips For Boosting Retail Employee Engagement, RetailNext; Twitter: @retailnext
11. Highlight and build on individuals’ strengths.
“Focus on what an employee does well and encourage them to build on their skills. This not only gives the employee a greater sense of self-worth but enhances the value of their ability to deliver on wider organizational objectives.” – 18 Employee Engagement Ideas [Practical Tips on Engagement], Poppulo; Twitter: @PoppuloSays
12. Clarify individual expectations and role requirements.
“Role ambiguity is often cited as a common cause of workplace stress. Failure to address this issue also leads to task duplication and wasted resources. It’s bad news for both employee engagement and business success! If you want to avoid staff burnout and engage employees, you need to set clear expectations! Research agrees, with a recent Gallup study revealing ‘clear expectations’ as the most ‘foundational’ factor for employee engagement.” – Harry Cloke, 10 Tips To Create Employee Engagement In The Workplace, eLearning Industry;
Employee Engagement Tips for Cultivating Trust
13. Growth opportunities convey appreciation for talent.
“94% of employees say they’d stay at their job longer if they felt the organization truly invested in their career. Providing employees opportunities to grow their skill set keeps them engaged, and having something to work toward keeps them motivated.” – Kate Heinz, 8 Employee Engagement Strategies That Actually Work, Built In; Twitter: @BuiltIn
14. Recognize talent and commitment.
“Nearly 1/5 of employees at the least engaged organizations said leaders don’t value people as their most important resource. […] If you want to impact engagement, treat your employees as your most important resource.” – Jocelyn Stange, 10 Practical Tips for Driving Employee Engagement, Quantum Workplace; Twitter: @QuantumWork
15. Keep lines of communication open.
“The need for effective and open communication at work can’t be underestimated. […] Open, transparent communication is also essential at the institutional level—employees need to be connected and informed. Offering opportunities for employees to voice and exchange ideas, concerns, and comments helps keep the lines of communication open and fluid.” – Cynthia Clark, 10 tips to boost employee engagement, My American Nurse; Twitter: @MyAmericanNurse
16. Avoid micromanaging and allow for autonomy on the job.
“Engage employees by empowering them to take responsibility for their work and new challenges. Give people the autonomy to get the job done in their own unique way. All this trying and doing it for themselves develops employees’ skills through experiential learning. Remember that empowering employees means steering clear of micromanaging!” – Juliette, How to Engage Employees – Tips from the Masters!, Growth Engineering; Twitter: @GrowthEngineer
17. Keep employees informed about goals, direction and milestones.
“We shouldn’t feel surprised employees want to feel like the work they do is making a meaningful impact on their company, but it can be easy to forget that not all employees have a holistic view of how all departments contribute to a company’s overall success. Being part of a team is challenging when you can’t see the scoreboard.” – Robert Roley, Five Tips To Boost Employee Engagement In The Finance Industry, Forbes; Twitter: @forbes
18. Prioritize work-life balance.
“Work-life balance is going to mean something different for each employee, so speak with your team to see what you can be doing better as an organization to enhance it. Often times you’ll find that a flexible work schedule will be the easiest way to help people feel more balanced between work and leisure.” – Emil Shour, 59 Awesome Employee Engagement Ideas & Activities for 2020 (Plus 11 New Bonus Ideas), SnackNation; Twitter: @snacknation
19. Leverage a centralized feedback platform for employee use.
“Make the workplace better by enhancing current experiences, building better teams and improving communication systems. Using a central employee engagement survey system with a built-in communication platform where employees can safely share ideas and feedback is one route to try.” – Tess Taylor, Employee-Engagement Tips: The 4 Es of Employee Engagement, United Concordia; Twitter: @UnitedConcordia
20. Demystify your engagement action plan for your staff.
“Long-term employee engagement action plans – those that will take longer than 12 months will require detailed communication. Organizations are generally good at communicating to the employees about other long-term strategies that align with their growth, but when it comes to employee engagement, leadership tends to go mute on it. Make sure to integrate an employee engagement action plan with your organization’s other plans and strategies and effectively communicate it to your employees.” – Employee Engagement Action Plan: Definition, Identifying a Plan, Tips and Benefits, QuestionPro; Twitter: @questionpro
21. Go mobile for tech-enhanced engagement.
“You can take employee experience one step further and also allow them access to a discounts portal that offers hundreds of high-street offers, an online 24/7 access GP to reduce absenteeism as well as a content-rich wellbeing centre to ensure employees feel supported at all times.” – Employee Engagement – Our Top Tips, Hive360; Twitter: @Hive360PLC
Tips for Creating an Engaging Company Culture
22. Make flexibility a fixture in attendance policies.
“It’s crucial to help team members who work on an hourly and salaried basis feel equally supported. One of the best ways to do this is to create a more flexible attendance and leave policy for hourly workers.” – Satta Sarmah Hightower, Four Employee Engagement Tips for Keeping Your Team Connected During the COVID-19 Pandemic, GAF; Twitter: @gafroofing
23. Show support for employees having a tough time or adapting to major changes.
“Work looks and feels different now; some have never worked remotely, others are part of a skeleton crew at a once bustling facility. Recognize their possible feelings of ‘survivor guilt.’
Stay in touch with these hardworking individuals. Share weekly updates that are honest and future-focused. Ensure communications are succinct and offer a way to reply.” – Employee Engagement Tips, Power Wellness; Facebook: @PowerWellness2018
24. Embrace involvement programs for your employees.
“Executing laborer inclusion projects to encourage engagement, for instance, contribution in wellbeing and security to guarantee employees become occupied with the security parts of their work, along these lines encouraging upgrades, and advancing the organization’s security program.” – Tips To Improve Your Employee Engagement, Evalground; Twitter: @code_ground
25. Lead by example.
“Executives who understand the connection between business success and engagement know to set an example for the company. If employees see leaders aren’t engaged, it will trickle down and affect nearly every department.” – Sharon Florentine, Employee engagement: 10 best practices for improving your culture, CIO; Twitter: @CIOonline
26. Ask employees about their needs.
“Employees usually respond best when asked! This is a really powerful tool and usually hides in plain sight! Employees love being made to feel valued and asking them for opinions, suggestions or feedback makes them feel important and heard.” – Tips on How HR Can Help Improve Employee Engagement, Buzzz; Twitter: @letsbuzzz
27. Practice understanding with employees working remotely.
“Each employee has a different home lifestyle, unique to their situation, while working remote. Some are parents with children who have been home from school performing online learning. Others may be caregivers for family members who need appropriate care at this time. Employees want to know they can adequately fulfill those other needs at home while still meeting the responsibilities of their job. Technology in itself can also pose unexpected issues and delay turn-around when there is no immediate support from an at-home IT team.” – Tips to Improve Employee Engagement During COVID-19, Outback Team Building; Twitter: @outbackteams
28. Adopt social and environmentally friendly initiatives.
“The key to retaining Millennials may be rooted in their two strongest engagement drivers: purpose and shared values. One study found that 75% would take a pay cut to work for a socially and environmentally responsible company. They prioritize making a visible difference in the world, so providing corporate philanthropy opportunities and career-pathing activities will be important to keep Millennials excited about their work.” – What Drives Employee Engagement, By Generation, Emplify; Twitter: @emplify
29. Prioritize physical, mental and emotional health for your workforce.
“Motivate employees to spend time on their emotional, mental and physical wellness by spending productive time reflecting on the gaps and filling them with help virtually.” – COVID-19: Tips to keep your employees productive, People Matters; Twitter: @PeopleMatters2
30. Understand all engagement is bolstered by fostering positive emotions.
“Back in 1990, Professor William Kahn held in-depth interviews with employees. He found that for an employee to feel engaged, they had to:
- Feel that their work was meaningful and made a difference.
- Feel valued, trusted and respected.
- Feel secure and self-confident.”
– Nikos Andriotis, The 6 most effective employee engagement strategies, eFront; Twitter: @efrontlearning
31. Offer incentives to boost performance.
“Studies after studies prove employee benefits and incentive programs drive better performance. Let’s refer to some survey data. Last year, the Gallup Poll found nearly 70% of employees are disengaged because of lack of incentives. The disengagement results in $350 billion every year in lost production.” – William Johnson, 5 Employee Engagement Tips for Small Businesses, Small Business Trends; Twitter: @smallbiztrends
32. Put employee feedback to use transparently.
“Remember that employee feedback is extremely valuable. Not only are you investing money to administer the process, but employees put a lot of thought, effort, and time into their responses. It is important to show your employees that you value their feedback and that their opinions will be used to make improvements in the organization. If you are not careful on how you administer your employee engagement survey, you can lose the support from your employees the next time you try to solicit their feedback.” – Charles Rogel, 12 Tips to Turn Employee Engagement Survey Results into Increased Organization Performance, DecisionWise;
33. Don’t disregard opportunities for fun on the job.
“Might sound odd, however, having fun at work breeds excitement and energy and these are some of the key signals of engaged employees. Imagine an excited employee talking to a customer versus a disheartened employee talking to one, which customer do you think would come back again?” – Hayley Oats, Top Tips for Employee Engagement, CallCentreHelper.com; Twitter: @callcentrehelp
34. Give employees opportunities to meet with company leaders.
“In a 2018 benchmark research, Culture AMP found that learning and development, leadership, and service & quality focus were top drivers of engagement. By taking action on those drivers, like setting up lunches with leaders if leadership is a driver, you can start improving employee engagement.” – 15 Employee Engagement Survey Questions, Bamboo HR; Twitter: @bamboohr
35. Shift your mindset on ‘human resources.’
“Humans are not resources. No manager talks about having coffee with one of her ‘humans.’ No father holds his young son and hopes he will one day grow up to be a great ‘resource.’ It is difficult to have the right relationship between a company and its people when the corporate function responsible for doing so goes by a euphemism.” – David Zinger, Employee Engagement Tips: 7 Ways to Show Employees They Matter, Saba; Twitter: @SabaSoftware
Tips for Improving Cooperation & Collaboration
36. Clarify company culture and its benefits.
“Make your employees clear about company culture which includes goals, mission, and values. Encourage them to fit into the system by listing down the benefits.” – 10 Tips to Grow Your Employee Engagement, Undercover Recruiter; Twitter: @UndercoverRec
37. Invest in team-building activities.
“Just like in the workplace you can also hold virtual team building activities for all your remote employees. Team building activities are a quintessential part of every employee engagement program.” – Angshuman Dev Talukdar, 5 Tips for Practicing Employee Engagement Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, Business2Community; Twitter: @b2community
38. Make sure HR is involved in building engagement.
“Employee engagement should be a key responsibility of every stakeholder, leader and manager within the business. However, HR has oversight of multiple areas that directly impact employee engagement and so has a pivotal role to play in ensuring the key drivers are addressed. Its people focus and mediating role make HR the mainspring for employee engagement in all the top-performing companies.” – HR’s Role In Employee Engagement: The Essential Guide!, MyHub Intranet; Twitter: @myhubintranet
39. Encourage teams to define their own values.
“Designing your own game rules makes playing a lot more fun. Team synergy is not an easy objective to attain, and it’s definitely not a rapid one. But it is essential to the end-game objective and to the overall performance of the project. Having teams create a team culture, based on 2-3 commonly agreed values or ground rules can help nurture and speed up that process.” – Paula Clapon, 25 Employee Engagement Ideas, Hppy; Twitter: @gethppy
40. Meet with your managers.
“It’s important for staff to feel that they have a voice and are able to see that their role is making a difference and contributing towards the overall goals of the organisation. This requires effective management and healthy working relationships. Regular meetings with line managers are a great way to support employees by discussing progress, personal development and celebrating success.” – Richard Holmes, Top 10 tips to boost employee engagement, HRD Connect; Twitter: @HRDCommunity
41. Construct tightly knit teams.
“Where possible the concept of working in teams to enhance engagement should be piloted as the research findings highlight the benefits of strong attachment to co-workers. It is believed that this could lead to improved productivity.” – 9 ways to improve employee engagement, Service Futures; Twitter: @issworld
42. Start up interest groups for employees to collaborate in.
“Employees across departments may share similar interests and values, and empowering them to explore those interests together could yield stronger relationships. Ultimately, these committees exist not only to help us live out our cultural values, but also to build relationships with other employees who identify these values as important to them.” – Derek Smith, Creative Employee Engagement Ideas That Actually Work, BIZ Library; Twitter: @bizlibrary
43. Optimize office space to promote teamwork.
“Your company’s office environment plays a key role in employee engagement. This is an area where your staff will spend the bulk of their working day. As such, your office space should encourage creativity and cross-communication. Open-plan spaces with lots of natural light have shown to improve creativity and promote collaboration. However, it is also important to provide private spaces where employees can focus on projects or have meetings.” – Employee Engagement Strategies, Betterteam; Twitter: @betterteamapp
44. Implement an internal, employee-focused newsletter.
“Start and circulate an employee-focused magazine or newsletter with news, featured opportunities, stories and other fun columns. It could include different learning courses up and running, quiz, wishes to employees on occasions, etc. To make it more engaging, feature the employee of the month in each edition.” – 5 Essential Managerial Tips to Create Employee Engagement, Engagedly; Twitter: @engagedlyInc
45. Embrace and encourage ‘water-cooler’ chit-chat.
“Water cooler chat, drop-by get-together—whatever you want to call a break from tasks for idle talk—is important to all of your workers, regardless of whether they’re co-located or not. According to one study by Slack, 85% of workers want to feel closer to their remote colleagues.
Not every communication with your remote employees needs to be work-focused. Don’t be afraid to drop the occasional off-topic email, instant message or funny GIF.” – Kristin Brandenburgh, 5 Remote Employee Engagement Secrets That Work, ITA Group;
46. Stay informed of team progress and setbacks.
“Are you up to date on what your team is doing: roadblocks they’ve stumbled across, resources they need access to and successes they have achieved? Your team wants to feel connected and part of that connection is having a leader who is aware of project peaks and valleys, supports them as they work towards their goals, and can represent them to those outside of the team.” – Cindy Ventrice, 7 Employee Engagement Tips for Team Leaders, HR Exchange;
47. Encourage timely communication.
“In our fast-paced world, timeliness has never been more important. This applies to everything from providing feedback and giving recognition, to taking action on changes that need to be made. If you’re a leader or a manager, don’t wait until your annual 360-review to take any necessary action. And encourage your staff to take on this mentality too. If they have an issue, they should come to you as soon as possible.” – Hannah Price, 9 simple employee engagement ideas, Jostle; Twitter: @JostleMe
48. Ask the right questions to discover what your team is feeling and thinking.
“When organizations do run traditional surveys, the problem is that managers across the enterprise and at all levels — from senior executives to regional product managers — have grown so accustomed to the status quo that they don’t question whether or not the survey data provides insight into business outcomes. The key is to ask the right questions.” – Jackie Wiles, 9 Questions That Should Be in Every Employee Engagement Survey, Gartner; Twitter: @Gartner_inc
49. Ask employees to rate one another’s abilities.
“The employee’s colleagues should have a voice in rating this person’s skills and providing input on how he or she can improve and set a plan for long-term career development with the organization. Employees being reviewed will themselves be engaged, by participating in setting a plan that shows potential for growth.” – Andre Lavoie, 4 Ways Managers Can Commit to Improving Employee Engagement, Entrepreneur; Twitter: @entrepreneur
50. Lighten the mood in meetings and correspondence.
“Before meetings, take a minute to let everyone get to know each other through an icebreaker. This will give employees a chance to share more about themselves as well as better understand other employees.” – Employee Engagement Tips, Optimum Employer Solutions; Twitter: @OptimumHR
Improving employee engagement involves optimizing the entire employee experience from the ground up. Although a great many factors need to be carefully considered in executing a successful engagement strategy within a growing organization, the results – effective, enthusiastic talent – are well worth the expense.