Different companies may have different goals, but all successful teams have one thing in common: high employee engagement. Highly engaged employees perform better and bring dedication, maximum effort, effective communication, and efficient contributions to every project. They know the work they must do and how to do it. 

Experts in the business world talk a lot about employee engagement but not always how to improve it. It's not enough to just say that employee engagement is important and expect everyone else to figure out the rest. That's why we crafted this helpful guide on ways to improve employee engagement and how to measure it to keep the momentum going.

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11 Tips to increase employee engagement

Every company wants to improve employee engagement and increase all-around productivity, but many managers just don't know where to start. With these 11 tips, you'll be better equipped to support your team and foster a happier, more positive company culture.

1. Implement recognition programs

Everyone deserves recognition for their hard work and dedication. It's easy for employees to feel like they're just spinning their wheels when management seems to overlook their work. By implementing recognition programs to improve employee engagement, you can generate intrinsic motivation for an already engaged workforce.

Recognition programs don't need to be complicated or costly; employees want to feel like their work has meaning, contributes to broader goals, and aligns with their personal values. It's important to remember not only to highlight successes but to recognize effort and resilience.

Officevibe data shows that 91% of employees appreciate the acknowledgment, even if it's a simple recognition message like "I appreciate the thought you put into this project."

Your company is unique, so make sure you implement employee recognition initiatives that best suit your team. Some ways to increase recognition in the workplace include:

  • Advocating for regular virtual recognition
  • Acknowledging work anniversaries and other milestones
  • Recognizing employees’ personal accomplishments

Peer-to-peer recognition is one of the most meaningful ways your employees can acknowledge each other's contributions. Start promoting recognition among colleagues with Officevibe's latest feature, Good Vibes.

2. Ask for employee feedback

One of the best ways to improve employee engagement is by asking your team members how they feel. By collecting employee feedback, you're showing that you're honestly interested in their thoughts and opinions. Asking for feedback help both in-person and remote employees feel valued and more in charge of the overall employee experience.

Asking for feedback through employee engagement surveys will help you take the company's pulse and hear what people have to say. You can check in regularly with employees worldwide to keep the communication lines open. In these engagement surveys, You can also ask for feedback on specific events or operations to evaluate processes, figuring out what went well, what didn't, and what you could do better.  

Don't just ask for feedback, though – respond to it. Let your employees know you're listening and care about their suggestions, questions, compliments, and concerns. Feedback helps employees grow and they'll be much more likely to communicate if they know their voice makes a difference.

Giving and receiving feedback is a key way to boost employee engagement. Check out these 10 tried and true tips for creating a feedback culture in the workplace.

3. Conduct regular one-on-one meetings

One of the best ways to drive employee engagement is by scheduling regular one-on-one meetings with your team members. Make a habit of building time into your schedule to interact with your people and give them your undivided attention.

Keep the meetings short but plan them intentionally. Use them to discuss performance and employee experience, ask questions, nudge for suggestions, and create an opportunity to develop relationships through non-work-related conversations. A time-efficient meeting can go a long way toward improving employee engagement and productivity in the workplace. 

Not sure how to go about scheduling and leading a one-on-0ne meeting? Use one of three Officevibe meeting templates so you can be on the same page.

4. Offer professional development opportunities

If you struggle with actively disengaged employees, consider offering training to help them stay on top of industry trends and sharpen their skills. Some employees may feel like they've plateaued in their positions or daily tasks, so creating opportunities for development that align with your team and organization can help employee engagement levels rise.

Here are some ways to keep the training interesting:

Keep it specific: Tailor the training to your particular industry and even a specific department within your company. Provide learning materials or access to external resources on specific areas instead of broad concepts.

Mix up the format: You don't need to stick to a 500-page textbook and chapter-end quizzes. Mix up the material to keep it engaging. You can incorporate things like online games and team competitions to help people learn and absorb key concepts.

5. Empower your employees with the right tools

You need the right tools to succeed at and complete any task and the workplace is no different. Without the right physical equipment (at home or in the office), employees may experience discomfort and have a harder time focusing on their work. Without the proper resources and software, your team will be ill-equipped to reach their goals, resulting in frustration and eventually maybe even apathy toward their work.

As a manager, you can empower your team and increase productivity by providing the tools they need to succeed, such as:

  • Relevant and up-to-date software
  • A proper office setup (desk, chair, keyboard, etc.)
  • Workshops and training sessions

6. Organize interactive activities

One of the best employee engagement strategies (and arguably the most fun) is to organize interactive in-person activities. This will obviously depend on whether you're managing a distributed team, but if you have the opportunity to meet as a group, you can improve engagement by incorporating entertaining activities into the schedule.

It's a great way to build team chemistry and overall productivity.

When we talk about fun activities, we don't mean creative ways to tackle business projects. We're referring to opportunities for coworkers to spend time together outside of business hours – activities like:

  • Hiking
  • A book club
  • Bowling
  • Volunteering

Keep in mind that different employees may have different definitions of fun. You should organize activities that have something for everyone and will give them a chance to relax and relieve stress. Even an hour or two away from the office can encourage employees to recharge their batteries and feel energized for the next workday.

Looking for more ways to build team chemistry? Check out this list of 40+ fun employee engagement activities.

7. Set clear goals

By setting clear goals, you can help support your employees in their day-to-day tasks and long-term objectives, but you can also improve team alignment. People will rally together if they share a common goal and know how to achieve it. On the flip side, a lack of clearly defined goals can lead to disengagement, apathy, and poor personal commitments.

While there are several methodologies you can use to set objectives like the SMART system, the OKRs framework is an excellent method for creating goals and bringing clarity to your organization. OKRs ask, "what is the goal?" (objective) and then expand by defining "how do we get there?" (key results).

With OKRs, you can set a clear and meaningful objective for the future, like "increase our social media presence by next quarter."

Then, set three to five metrics that will help you know when you've reached your goal like:

  • Increased LinkedIn following by 35%
  • Increased engagement on social posts
  • Publish 15 thought leadership articles

One of our favorite thing about the OKRs framework is that it helps teams realign their focus from individual tasks to the overall impact.

A great employee goal-setting framework can help you and your team go the distance together. Read more about how you can set and meet your objectives.

8. Build trust through transparency

As a manager, one of your priorities should be creating an environment where employees can trust you and freely share their ideas and concerns. Building trust takes time and intentionality. However, it will pay off in the long run as employees engage more effectively throughout the week.

Establishing trust begins with openness on your end. You need to model transparency by speaking openly with employees about your vision, goals, and even your concerns. This will encourage team members (especially new hires) to do the same, helping maintain accountability within the department.

9. Encourage teamwork

Do you worry about the collaboration levels on your team? If you're sensing a disconnect between employees, have an honest conversation with your team to get to the root of the problem.

Encouraging teamwork is a great way to increase employee engagement. You can create projects for employees to work on together or find ways to help individuals with their specific tasks. Collaboration in the workplace plays a crucial role in establishing a great company culture.

10. Focus on employee well-being

Sleepy, stressed-out employees don't have the time or energy to engage with their peers. They also don't perform at their best throughout the day and can easily lose focus on their goals. Physical and mental health are critical components of a vibrant, productive company.

By encouraging company-wide wellness initiatives, you'll automatically promote involvement and have more highly engaged employees. You can do this by:

  • Providing healthy food options at lunchtime instead of sugary, artificial snacks.
  • Setting up a breakroom where employees can exercise.
  • Organizing walk-a-thons, 5K races, and other activities that promote physical well-being.
  • Checking in with team members to ensure they're doing well.
  • Offering free counseling services to those struggling with stress, burnout, or mental health issues.

Your employees might not always feel comfortable reaching out for help when they need it. Send your team an employee wellness survey to see how you can help their well-being.

11. Revisit the company's core values and mission

Your company's mission and values drive short-term operations and long-term goals. However, they're not always obvious. Defining company values and reminding your employees of them will help communicate what your company stands for and build camaraderie. 

Everyone wants to feel part of something bigger than themselves. People want to know if their individual work is contributing to a larger purpose. By revisiting the organization's mission and values, you can avoid corporate apathy and increase employee engagement.

Tools to help you measure employee engagement

Remember the OKRs framework for setting clear goals? A vital piece of creating an objective is being able to measure it. You must measure your goals to ensure you're on the right track. Improving employee engagement is a worthy goal, but measuring it can be challenging. Fortunately, at Officevibe, we have the tools your company needs to succeed – and to know when you've done so.

Our full suite of tools includes a robust employee feedback tool where your employees can anonymously submit regular feedback quickly and easily online. You can routinely check in with your crew and hear what they have to say, encouraging them to engage more with their work as well as company management. 

We've created Pulse Surveys that use science-backed data to measure employee engagement in your workplace. An employee engagement survey enables you to do a health check on your company weekly with five straightforward questions. Employees can submit the survey anonymously and provide you with real-time insights via direct reports to help track workforce engagement trends.

If you want to have a private chat with one of your employees, the one-on-one meetings tool is the perfect solution for collaborating with team members. This tool can help you organize your meetings to make the most of your time and have meaningful conversations.

With state-of-the-art tools from Officevibe, you can measure your employee engagement levels accurately and quickly. We’ll provide the data and insights you need to keep everyone on your team involved and actively contributing to your business goals. 

Improving employee engagement is an ongoing effort

Building employee engagement doesn't happen overnight. It's an ongoing initiative that will take time and continual intentionality.

If you want to boost employee engagement, you must be willing to collaborate with your team. Here are some excellent ways to do this:

Share survey feedback results. Once you collect anonymous feedback from a survey, feel free to share the results. Let people know what's going on, general attitudes and opinions, and ways to improve certain areas.

Conduct follow-up meetings. Meetings help connect employees and encourage managers to interact – but that's just the beginning. You'll want to conduct follow-up meetings to continue the conversation, increase employee engagement, and encourage middle management to get involved. Asking the right one-on-one meeting questions can help you dive deeper into what matters most to your people.

Set goals on aspects that need improvement. Don't just point out the failures and demand that team members do better. Set goals to help people know what they can do to improve engagement and where. Clear action steps will build a sense of ownership and a team-player mindset moving forward.

Communicate progress. Many employees feel disconnected simply because they're out of the loop. You can fix this easily by communicating progress and keeping everyone in the know. Company goals shouldn't be for your eyes only – let others know about them, too, so you can work together and celebrate milestones.

Establish regular review sessions. Asking for feedback and sending out surveys isn't a one-and-done activity. You must continue monitoring and reviewing to make sure you're on the right track as a business.

If you don't know where to begin, consider these 25 pulse survey questions to boost every employee engagement metric.

This may seem like a tall task at first, but it gets easier once you get into it. After a while, scheduling one-on-one meetings and sending out regular progress reports will become a habit. You'll also start to see the fruits of your labor.

Improve employee engagement with a software solution

In today's competitive business environment, encouraging employee engagement is more important than ever. You'll want to create a company culture that focuses on things like collaboration, rewards for hard work, and an emphasis on long-term goals. It will take time and effort, but with the right tools, you can connect with new employees and maintain a healthy, productive work environment.

Do you want to know how to improve employee engagement and practical, effective ways to do it? Learn more about Officevibe's employee engagement solution that has the tools and knowledge to equip managers and help them engage employees.

Equip HR and managers with tools to engage, recognize, and drive performance.