When it comes to creating and maintaining a thriving workplace, we should never underestimate the power of employee engagement. Having an engaged workforce truly is the backbone of business success, so it's imperative to connect with employees and make sure they enjoy what they do, feel seen and heard, and recognize their value within the company.
In essence, engaged employees are ones who find more satisfaction in their daily tasks and work with authentic energy. Disengaged employees tend to feel unhappy and more stressed at work, which unsurprisingly has a direct impact on their performance.
To keep employees engaged and foster a positive environment, managers need to keep a pulse on their team’s employee engagement levels by applying several best practices on a daily basis.
To help guide you through ways to improve employee engagement, we've put together our top 10 employee engagement best practices.
10 employee engagement best practices
While there are many things managers can do to track and encourage employees' engagement, there are some fundamental employee engagement best practices that we recommend most. No matter the field or industry, these are effective across the board when building an employee engagement strategy:
1. Create a feedback culture
A little feedback can go a long way when it comes to employee engagement. So much so that creating a feedback loop is at the top of our list of employee engagement best practices for a reason. Regularly gathering employee feedback and acting upon it is one of the very best ways to boost employee engagement.
In fact, Officevibe Pulse Survey data shows that 83% of employees appreciate feedback. On the flip side, holding back honest feedback can cause low employee engagement rates and reduced productivity.
Tools like employee engagement surveys and pulse surveys are key when it comes to helping employees feel heard. By frequently conducting surveys, you gather valuable information on how your coworkers feel about their work and which aspects of their work life could use improvement.
Taking action as a result of the feedback makes them feel valued. Feeling valued makes for an engaged workforce that's more satisfied at work. It's a virtuous cycle.
Psst: What's the secret to enhancing your team's employee engagement? Implement an employee feedback loop to help eliminate issues and frustrations at the source.
2. Have transparent communication
Building a feedback culture and encouraging transparent communication go hand-in-hand. When employees feel comfortable enough to open up and share their honest thoughts, you get more valuable feedback and better employee engagement.
While some employees may shy away from expressing themselves in an open setting, offering them the option to share their feedback anonymously is a great way to promote honest communication in a way that suits them.
Officevibe data shows that 23% of employees are unsatisfied with the frequency of feedback coming from their direct manager, so be sure to implement this in your employee engagement program.
Good communication is essential to ensuring mutual understanding and cooperation within the workplace. Fostering transparent communication is built on trust, which we will get to next.
Discover 5 ways to collect honest feedback from your employees so you can improve your team’s workplace experience.
3. Build trust
Trust is at the very core of employee engagement. To have open communication with your team members, your organization must build and foster trust at every level. This starts with being approachable and human so that employees feel supported and connected on a more personal level.
Trust in the workplace also helps employees feel more secure in their jobs and ultimately reduces turnover. When you lack trust, you feel less connected to your organization and peers, and in turn feel less engaged in your role.
4. Develop wellness programs
Allowing for a good work-life balance, encouraging physical fitness, and paying attention to mental health are all important employee engagement best practices. Now more than ever, focusing on these work elements is truly non-negotiable when it comes to creating an effective employee engagement program.
When employees can balance their time and take care of their minds and bodies, they feel happier and more fulfilled both at work and in their personal lives. Implementing a health and wellness program at work benefits both the employees and the company.
When employees feel healthy, they usually also feel more engaged and productive at work. We recommend implementing employee wellness surveys to gather valuable insights into how you can improve engagement and connect with your team on a genuine person-to-person level.
5. Conduct stay interviews
Most people are familiar with the exit interview when an employee decides to leave the organization. They're conducted to help managers, leaders, and HR professionals better understand the reasons for their departure. But what's equally important (and sometimes overlooked) is the stay interview. These discussions should take place with current employees to understand what’s keeping them on your team and at your company.
It's important to note that not every employee who stays is satisfied with their role in the organization. During these conversations, you may uncover areas of improvement that can make your employees happier and more engaged.
The information you gather from a stay interview helps you better understand employee needs and implement a retention strategy that meets them. When employees needs are recognized, they feel more engaged.
6. Ensure your team is aligned
From understanding the company's values to working towards shared goals, alignment is key. When employees move in the same direction with clear expectations and objectives, they are far more likely to succeed and feel like they are making a significant contribution to the organization.
When your team is aligned, each employee understands the importance of their role and believes in the team vision. This increases employee engagement and creates a sense of camaraderie and belonging.
There are several ways to encourage alignment, including clearly communicating company core values and setting clear goals for your team. To dive deeper, check out our 5 ways to ensure team alignment.
7. Allow flexibility
The past couple of years have really shifted the way we work. Navigating the new normal is different for every organization and every employee, so we all have to adapt to the times. This is especially true for a leadership team and human resources when it comes to keeping employee engagement high in a remote or hybrid model.
Allowing for greater flexibility shows employees you trust them to manage their time and stay engaged. It also makes management more responsible for ensuring that teams and employees don't feel disconnected. This best practice is a must for keeping up with today's ever-changing work environment.
Managing teams has always presented challenges and this is no different in the new distributed work environment. Make things easier on yourself by learning how to effectively manage and engage remote teams.
8. Encourage career development
Without growth, we stagnate and tend to lose our motivation. That's why it's so important to support employees' professional development. If employees don't have clear career paths, they tend to start feeling unattached to their work. Recognize their potential, encourage their development, and give them opportunities to grow.
Encouraging them to take on new challenges and more responsibilities or learn new skills helps employees feel engaged and valued at work. One-on-one meetings are a great way to establish employee goals and steps needed to achieve them.
9. Acknowledge successes with employee recognition
The best managers know that gratitude is the best attitude, so acknowledging employees' accomplishments and successes can have a truly positive impact on employee engagement. Recognizing different teams for their efforts plays a pivotal role in building trust and increasing employee engagement.
From giving private kudos, to celebrating milestones, to sharing peer-to-peer recognition, there are many ways to acknowledge everyone's achievements – not just the "star employees".
While many employees don't mind if managers publicly acknowledge them, others prefer not to be in the spotlight. That's why tools like Good Vibes are a great way to send meaningful, personalized messages to employees. Want some employee recognition message examples to get inspired? We've got you.
10. Lead by example
The saying "do as I say and not as I do" has no business in business! Leading by example is a powerful way for managers to remain genuine and connected to their employees. Teams look to their leaders for inspiration and motivation, so walking the walk shows that they believe in the company goals you are all striving for together.
Employee engagement is heightened when employees feel a human connection and relatability to their managers. This best practice is something to keep in mind when putting together an effective employee recognition program.
Use the right tools to measure and increase employee engagement
Engaged employees are happy employees, so putting these employee engagement best practices into play is an effective way to achieve happiness, boost satisfaction, and maintain motivation. Improving employee engagement efforts starts at the top, so putting together the right employee engagement strategy is key.
Officevibe's employee engagement solution has all the tools managers need to keep employees engaged. From measuring engagement through employee engagement surveys, to growing a healthy company culture, to supporting employee retention, our platform helps promote open communication and propel business forward in a positive direction.