Employee engagement is one of the most important factors of any organization. Employees who are engaged with their work produce better results and remain with their organizations longer, which helps to improve revenues and reduce costs. And while you might think your employees are engaged in their work, this may not be the case. In fact, according to a recent poll by Gallup, only 36% of employees in the United States are engaged at their jobs. Worse, the percentage of employees who are actively disengaged with their work is slightly up and now rests at 15%.
To keep employees in your organization engaged, you need to develop an employee engagement strategy. An employee engagement strategy consists of all the steps you’ll take to improve engagement, such as providing new incentives, managing workloads, adding new technologies or creating new processes. There’s a lot that goes into a good employee engagement strategy. To help you create the best possible strategy, below are five things you’ll want to keep in mind as you’re developing your strategy to give it the best chance at success.
The Goals of Your Strategy
When you’re building your employee engagement strategy, one of the most important things to keep in mind are your goals. Think about why you are building this strategy and what you’re hoping to achieve from it. For example, you might believe that poor employee engagement is leading to a higher turnover within your organization and you’d like to improve your employee retention numbers. Other possible reasons for wanting to improve employee engagement could include wanting to reduce the amount of absenteeism, wanting to better empower your employees, or wanting to improve workplace productivity.
Once you know your motives, pick a metric that will help you analyze whether you are meeting your goal. For instance, if you’re trying to improve employee retention, you might measure how many new hires stay beyond six months. Having a metric and collecting data will help you better analyze whether your employee engagement strategy works or whether you need to make changes to it as you go along. While it can take some time to see results from an employee engagement strategy, it’s important that you decide on a metric to track from the start in order to gather as much data as possible.
The People Responsible for Overseeing Employee Engagement
The next thing to keep in mind is which team member will oversee implementing your employee engagement strategy. This is more likely to come up if you have a larger organization and are not overseeing the implementation yourself. However, even in a small business, you may want to delegate this responsibility to someone else or create a small committee to oversee the project.
When choosing people for this task, there are a few things to keep in mind. For starters, you should think about their engagement level. It’s probably not a good idea to put someone who is disengaged with their job in charge of engaging others (unless you feel this added responsibility will re-engage that employee). If you’re forming a committee to handle your employee engagement strategies, look to assemble a diverse group. Mixing people of different genders, ages and backgrounds helps to ensure a wider range of opinions, as well as solidify the development of engagement strategies effective for your entire team.
Where Your Employees Work
An important consideration to keep in mind when developing your employee engagement strategy is where your employees work. There are typically two primary locations your employees work – on location or remotely. If your employees work on location, such as in an office, then you’ll want to think about their physical workspace. Sometimes making changes to their environment can help to reengage employees, such as creating a more open atmosphere or redecorating for a more exciting environment.
If you have remote employees, you’ll want to think about how you need to adjust your engagement strategies for these workers. For example, if you want to institute a group lunch on Fridays in your office, ensure that your remote employees can join in at that time via video conferencing. If one of your strategies is to provide employees with better technology, make sure this technology works remotely so those employees can benefit as well.
Whether you have entirely in-house employees, an all-remote team, or some combination of the two, location is a major factor when creating your employee engagement strategy. If you don’t take location into account during your strategy development, you may find that your strategies are less effective on one group compared to the other.
Maintaining a Strong Work-Life Balance
A common mistake when trying to improve employee engagement is thinking it’s all about improving their work experience. Yes, you want to make work more enjoyable for your employees, as they are more likely to produce their best work when you do. However, no matter how much you may improve the conditions of your organization, your employees won’t want to work for you 24 hours per day. They have other things going on in their lives and work is only a part of it.
This is why you need to keep your employees’ work/life balance in mind when developing your strategies. Ask yourself if you’re giving your employees enough time off, if everyone has a suitable workload, and whether your new strategies will improve their work/life balance. Your goal should be to keep your employees engaged during their work hours while still respecting that they have a life beyond work.
Making Your Employee Engagement Strategies Fun
Finally, when creating your employee engagement strategies, you should try to make them as fun as you can. Employees are much more likely to engage with your new strategies if they are enjoyable, and there are many ways you can go about doing this. For example, rather than conducting a slideshow about the new productivity policies you’re putting into place, you could create a game out of it.
Another great way to make your new strategies fun is by offering some incentives. A simple example is offering your salespeople a reward for whoever makes the most sales in a month. If you make the incentive strong enough, this will likely encourage your staff to engage a little harder in their work for that month.
Think about the things that motivate you to work and keep them in mind when developing your employee engagement strategies. Whether it’s a feeling of accomplishment, getting some recognition, a prize, or a fun activity, incorporate these ideas into your strategies for better success.
Building an Employee Engagement Strategy that Works
Developing a successful employee engagement strategy takes time and effort. However, the more thought you put into it, the more you’re likely to get from it. Typically, improving employee engagement isn’t about seeing drastic results overnight. Instead, you’re trying to develop organization-wide habits that will lead towards long-term growth and success. By keeping the above ideas in mind when creating your engagement strategy, you should be able to do just that.