- Employee engagement initiatives are essential for businesses to have better work culture, decrease employee turnover, boost productivity, improve customer relationships, and grow company profit.
- While there are many employee engagement programs, most of them are based on recognition, training and development, company culture, and employee well-being.
- However, it is also important for companies to measure employee engagement the right way to ensure better results.
Employees are a key component of the business equation, driving growth and customer satisfaction based on business strategies and priorities. Since they are the ones directly connected with customers, they are better equipped to boost your business sales and earn profit. Hence, it is essential to have better programs and initiatives to keep them engaged and satisfied and that, in turn, can benefit the business in the long run.
In a candidate-driven market, having an effective employee engagement strategy is necessary to ensure better results and better productivity. So how does a company go about doing that?
What are Employee Engagement Programs or Initiatives?
Engaging employees is an excellent business strategy. While various benefits can keep your employees happy, you need to come up with better initiatives that would keep them engaged. Employee engagement initiatives are initiatives where companies would provide opportunities for development, growth, and succession. Hence, employee engagement programs would have various programs that include mentoring, career development, feedback, and coaching. Most of these programs and initiatives are designed keeping in mind the company’s core values and professional goals of the employees in the organization.
Hence, most HR teams and recruitment professionals have to evaluate and compare various ideas to evaluate value prior to rolling out various engagement initiatives for their organization.
11 Ideas for Initiatives to Increase Employee Engagement
#1 Create Mentorship Programs
Creating mentoring programs can engage employees in better ways than you can imagine. This is one of the best ways to improve employee engagement and create a sense of community. However, apart from this, mentorship programs can promote effective knowledge sharing allowing employees to learn from their seniors and advance their careers. Furthermore, it cultivates a culture of trust and bonding, strengthening interpersonal connections and relations at work. This leads to optimal workplace collaboration and effective feedback sharing.
#2 Create a Buddy System
While this system is almost similar to the mentoring program, this one is all about allowing two employees of the same level to work together. This is a great way to let new hires work effectively as a team and provide results. In most cases, companies prefer to buddy one senior employee with a new hire and help them learn more about the company culture and company mission. This also saves time as new hires can ask their buddies questions and find out more about the organization.
#3 Team Lunch Outings
Going out for casual office lunches would be another great way to engage your employees the right way. This can be done on any working day, and you don’t have to organize a team lunch outing on the weekend. Having casual conversations over food is a great way to bring your employees together and invoke a sense of team and partnership. You can also plan a casual event lunch outing where you can pick a place that is much more than just a regular restaurant.
#4 Bring Your Family to Work Day
Work life today can be hectic and chaotic for most employees. Most people today end up spending more time with their colleagues than with their family members. Hence, organizing a bring-your-family-to-work day would be a great idea where employees can bring their family members and loved ones to their office and show them certain areas of their office and host a small get-together. This is a great way for employees to showcase their work desk and space to their family members and feel proud about what they do.
#5 Host Hackathons
Lately, many technology companies have been hosting hackathons and brainstorming events that allow them to provide opportunities for their employees to showcase their talent and skills. These hackathons and brainstorming events allow employees to share their creativity and, in return, allow companies to use their ideas as major inspirations to make changes around their office. Various events also have prizes and recognition attached to them, which allows the employees to participate in them.
#6 Introduce a Suggestion Box
Employees often have a lot to say and share. Hence, it is always a good idea to introduce a suggestion box where they can submit their ideas, feedback, and recommendations. Although the idea sounds very old school, it still works as employees can anonymously share their feedback and ideas for the betterment of the organization or team function.
#7 Celebrate Milestones
Recognizing employee achievements and celebrating work and personal accomplishments can make a huge difference. Hence, you must celebrate when an employee achieves a work milestone or personal milestone. When it comes to work accomplishments, you can achieve both personal and group achievements. On the other hand, for personal milestones like celebrating birthdays, promotions, and work anniversaries, you can organize a team outing.
#8 Host an Award Night
Hosting an award night is a great way to tell your employees that you see their hard work and recognize it as well. This inspires other employees to strive and perform better and claim their awards. While most companies do organize awards for senior management employees, it is also important that you host an award night to shine a light on employees working down the management ranks.
#9 Encourage Remote Work
In a world where technology dominates all aspects of our personal and work life, many people prefer to work from home. During the pandemic, most companies allowed their employees to work from home. While the pandemic situation is over, many companies still encourage their employees to work remotely. This increases employee productivity as they can save commute time and manage the work-life balance in a better way.
#10 Engage Remote Employees
Remote employees often feel that they are left out of the loop. Hence, you must encourage constant communication and demonstrate collaborative culture. However, you would also want to send them virtual gift cards or send them cool office supplies that would encourage them to work collectively.
#11 Support Flexible Work Hours
Supporting flexible work hours is a great employee appreciation idea. Most employees today have to manage their work-life balance. Having strict work-hour policies can sometimes make it hard for employees to pay attention to their personal goals. With flexible work hours, you can let employees manage their work-life balance the way they see fit. This allows them to attend personal social events while managing career goals as well.
How to Measure Employee Engagement in an Effective Way?
While many enterprise companies come up with employee engagement initiatives, it is also important that you know how to measure them the right way.
#1 Measure Engagement Across the Organization
When you are planning to send out surveys, you need to ensure that you don’t limit your surveys to a certain percentage. This would defeat the purpose of the survey and would not provide you with the right details. Hence, you need to focus on sending surveys to various groups and teams, and this would provide you with a clear and big picture.
#2 Use the Right Metrics to Measure Engagement
Employee satisfaction is one way to ensure that your employees are engaged. However, you need to use the right metrics that would allow you to measure employee engagement the right way. Hence, you need to focus on factors like quality of work, productivity levels, and absenteeism.
#3 Create an Employee Engagement Scorecard
When you are sending surveys to different employees across the organization, there will be no clear and specific answers. Hence, you must create a scorecard that aligns with your company’s core values and goals. You need to create a scorecard that is easier for you to use and understand because you will be evaluating and noting down points of multiple employees. The scorecard you create must also provide actionable insights.
#4 Know What’s Important to Your Employees
While many companies come up with surveys that would allow them to find out more about employee satisfaction, however, companies need to identify what’s important to their employees. This would include factors like career goals and development, trust in leadership, value and recognition, salary increments, and change in management.
#5 Use Email for Faster Communication
The best way to send surveys and other employee engagement communications is via email. This would ensure that you can reach out to all the employees within the organization. You can also use other tools that would allow you to monitor engagement, and this would ensure that you can get a response from most of the employees in the organization.
Businesses today work hard to ensure that they provide the right work environment to their employees to improve productivity and performance. However, those conditions and work environments do not reflect how engaged an employee is with their work. Employee engagement initiatives are critical to making employees feel satisfied and enthusiastic about their work environment and feel connected to their colleagues and coworkers. While there is a variety of employee engagement activities, you need to decide what’s best for your organization and how you can effectively measure employee engagement.
FAQs on Employee Engagement
Are employee engagement initiatives necessary for all businesses?
While not all companies implement these initiatives, these programs are aligned with the company’s mission and goals. This directly affects customer loyalty and experiences and helps companies retain the best employees.
What if there is no employee engagement?
Employees today need more than just salary increments. Hence, if you don’t have employee engagement in your organization, it can lead to an increase in employee turnover, a lack of passion towards work and the brand, and create a toxic culture that would lack inspiration.
Can employees be satisfied with their job without being engaged?
Yes. An employee can be satisfied with their job without being engaged in their job. However, employee satisfaction can only help companies to retain their workforce, but not improve productivity which only comes through proper employee engagement.
Can employee engagement lead to happier employees?
Yes, employees with better engagement are happy because they have a sense of teamwork, and they feel proud about working with the brand they associate with and the ones who understand their issues.
Do you engage employees to stay longer with the organization?
Yes. Employees who are satisfied and happier, and engaged with their organization prefer to work longer than their unengaged colleagues. With the right engagement initiatives, they are more likely to feel a strong connection with the company and colleagues they work with.