Employers who invest in employee engagement often fail to understand that it is not something you should indulge in without a defined strategy.

Successful companies that implement strategic engagement plans and reap the benefits have well-defined goals and action plans. That’s the mantra to achieving a focused and highly productive workforce.

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Reportedly, as high as 61% of employees are willing to quit companies if they feel that the management does not adequately engage them.

While some companies know and understand the difference employee engagement can make, very few apply the right tricks of the game.

How to improve employee engagement in the workplace?

Below are the top 10 tips that help to improve employee engagement and achieve the desired results.

1. Be quick with feedback, rewards, and appreciation.

A crucial thing about improving performance is to reinforce positive behavior. This can be done when the individual gets a timely appreciation or is rewarded for his good performance.

Giving honest and constructive feedback about a person’s work is also helpful. The trick is that it has to happen at the right time, not weeks or months later. The timing of the reward has a role to play in strengthening a behavior.

By feedback, we don’t just mean an exchange of opinion. As issues surface, there should be a process to tackle them. Holding meetings and discussion sessions to get more insights into each team member’s problems can be very effective.

Among the many successful companies that invest highly, in terms of time and money, in employee engagement, Google has been very innovative.

The company used to hold an Anxiety Party, a discussion session to address stressful areas for each team member in a department. The meetings would be very productive in bringing forth personal blocks in achieving the desired goals.

2. Let your employees be aware of the changing company goals.

Organizations do go through various changes in long-term and short-term goals. As your employees are the first ambassadors of your company brand, make sure they are updated with goals and values.

It’s essential to keep each individual in the organization well informed with the updates to help them keep up with the changing phases of the company.

The management should make timely efforts to help employees at various layers feel connected and actively contribute to the larger results of the organization.

Having regular and a lot of internal communication is the key to having integration in the workplace. It also helps instill the feeling that each employee in the organization is working towards one higher goal.

3. Encourage learning and personal growth.

Understand your team members better by knowing their career aspirations. It’s a great idea to encourage and help your team members to work towards their higher aspirations by offering them time to learn courses or even skills to advance in their career.

It’s important for the employee to feel that his job in your company helps him get closer to his goals and get better each day. This goal lies in working on an innovative project for the company itself.

You can also encourage your employees to develop personal projects and creative ideas. Apple’s Blue Sky Program is an inspiration in employee engagement strategies. The project empowers the employee to invest time in personal projects.

For the project, the employee has to earn the incentive of 20% time within his work schedule to indulge in his independent/personal work projects.

4. Have tailor-made engagement plans

An effective way to bring out the best in your team members is to identify and acknowledge that each individual has unique motivational needs. In studies related to unique motivational levels of individuals, different types of motivation have been listed.

For example, intrinsically motivated people find their drive from within themselves, while extrinsically motivated ones are looking for external rewards in their workforce. What serves as a driver for one person may not work for another.

Know your employees closely to understand each individual’s motivational levels and incentives. Chart out a plan to provide the suitable reward for each employee to improve his work.

Consider offering a middle-aged employee work from home to spend more time with his family or giving another individual a bonus for extra working hours. Gaining an insight into their life helps in creating an effective engagement strategy.

5. Encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Recent research shows that the present generation is the most unhealthy one. Because of the sedentary lifestyle, many of us are risking our physical well-being for work.

While work-life balance is always a concern, activity and sedentary life also need to be balanced. Companies must extend their support by encouraging them to follow ways to maintain sound mental and physical health.

This can be done by offering benefits to health clubs, gyms, etc. Initiatives like sessions by dieticians to manage diet and work hours is also a good way to do it.

Many workplaces create play zones for table tennis, foosball, board games, etc. This imparts the fun quotient to the workplace and encourages that play is as important as work. After all, no one wants to be “All Work And No Play” zone for a long time.

6. Get employees connected to the core values of the company.

Let more and more sense of belongingness to the company prevail among the employees. Belongingness is a feeling of security and support from acceptance, inclusion, and identity for a certain group or place.

This happens when the employees know and align themselves with the company's core values. Have the values explained, presented, communicated, and imbibed in the work culture.

The more interaction with these employees' values, the stronger their sense of belonging will be. This, in turn, helps them better understand their role and contribution to the larger picture.

Just like how employees have a shared vision of growth and progress, they also have a shared set of values.

Since there is a lot of diversity among them in terms of work, background, and lifestyles, it’s the vision and the values that create a sense of bonding and belongingness.

7. Make use of exit meetings.

Although exit meetings are not something we like to be in, they are a wonderful opportunity to know your employee closely.

You can’t help the entry and exit of employees, but you can make the best use of exit interviews to know the pros and cons of your company.

In addition, working on the cons and fixing the problem areas will greatly benefit. Usually, the cons pointed out by one employee also affect others, and the same is commonly known amongst employees.

When employees observe that pointing things out in the exit interviews is not valued, the existing ones lose faith in the company. Instead, if the management makes timely corrections, employees feel that their feedback is taken seriously.

Encourage the employee to provide honest feedback and opinions regarding various aspects of the company. Take the feedback points into consideration to strategize employee engagement plans.

8. Appoint an employee engagement officer

We have an in-charge to look after all aspects of the company that we consider of utmost importance. In the same way, having an in-charge for improving employee engagement to acquire first-hand reports of engagement levels is great help.

The officer's role is to keep track of the level of motivation and engagement at the individual level. He will also help in gaining insight into individual needs.

The employee Engagement officer’s feedback will serve as a report or measurement of the efforts in engagement. His responsibility also includes researching and coming up with innovative ideas.

He initiates and contributes to strategies for engagement that are customized according to the organization's needs.

9. Address performance blocks immediately.

An employee in his work cycle experiences performance blocks at many stages. It’s important to address them and help the employee cope with them. Often, the problems in personal life affect one’s productivity at the workplace.

The team leader should quickly identify the low performer and offer his assistance in fixing his problem. Even when it appears that the cause is personal, the manager/leader can show empathy and suggest counseling.

Establishing a rapport with one’s subordinates and having transparent communication is very important so that your teammates open up to you about their issues.

Often leaders give negative feedback but avoid discussing the reason behind the bad performance, fearing it will spoil the rapport. But not addressing the cause of bad performance is often more disastrous.

Frequently, issues like mismanagement of time for multiple tasks or imbalance in work and life can come up in these discussions. Managers can offer suggestions to tackle these issues and follow up to check the improvement.

10. Use an internal communication tool.

Employee communication portal helps you get connected with your employees exclusively and achieve effective communication with them. It adds to your team's transparency of work and functioning and track performances.

This, in turn, gives you an effective way to track the level of engagement of your employees. With the data and insights, you can implement better strategies for specific teams or individuals.

Having a common platform for communication and collaboration of the entire workforce serves various purposes. It bridges the gap between an employee working from home or another location.

It helps in strengthening bonds and feelings of oneness among the employees. The best way to leverage such a platform is to appreciate and recognize the initiatives and good performances of the employees.

Conclusion

Check out how Empuls, a holistic employee engagement platform helps to engage disengaged & demotivated employees and create a sense of belonging across your company, even when people are working remotely.

Empuls is a Saas-based platform that helps teams attain high levels of engagement and achieve the desired productivity. We help create happy teams that are not just engaged but actively participating in the company's success.

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Suryalaxmi Radhakrishnan

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Suryalaxmi Radhakrishnan is a Content Developer and Digital Marketer from Bengaluru, Karnataka.