24 Employment Engagement Ideas That Actually Work
Don’t lose your valued employees! Put these employment engagement ideas into practice.
Concern about employee resignations and high turnover rates seems to be everywhere you look. “The Great Resignation” is a concept that every CEO and company leader is worried about — and if they’re not, they should be. How can leadership encourage talent to stick around for the long term?
Between remote work and higher expectations from employees, keeping your team members engaged is more of a challenge than ever, but it’s far from impossible. Learning about and putting employee engagement ideas into practice can make all the difference in retaining your most talented workers.
Read on for our top suggestions for employment engagement strategies to keep your valued team emotionally invested in the company and dedicated to their jobs.
What Is Employee Engagement and Why Does It Matter?
Engagement is more than satisfaction or happiness. When employees engage with their work, they feel actively invested in the company and that their contributions matter. Engaged employees are more productive, communicate well, and are less likely to be absent from work. They’re enthusiastic about and committed to their organization and understand the value of their day-to-day tasks, buying into the greater mission of the business.
Unfortunately, only 36% of employees report feeling engaged in their current positions. The result is dissatisfaction with their jobs, leading to burnout and even resignations as employees seek more engaging employment opportunities elsewhere.
Engaged employees go the extra mile, doing more than the minimum work needed to get by. When individuals feel connected to their jobs and work, they’re less likely to leave, reducing a company’s turnover rate, saving time and money spent on training new hires.
Investing in employment engagement strategies is an investment in your company. In fact, organizations with engaged employees perform up to 202% better than those with disengaged workers. You can’t beat that stat.
of employees report feeling engaged in their current positions
Employment Engagement Ideas
Now that you know just how important employee engagement is, let’s dive into the best strategies for encouraging engagement and helping employees feel valued.
1. Offer Unique Discounts
A critical part of employee engagement is providing a work-life balance, and one of the best ways to do that is to encourage employees to enjoy their free time and use their paid time off. Discounts on sports game or concert tickets, travel vouchers, or even special employee pricing for the products your company sells can help workers feel supported and genuinely appreciated.
2. Make Work Fun
Go beyond the standard company pizza party (although pizza is never a bad idea) and organize unique events that allow employees to get to know one another and have a good time at work. Consider a company outing to a seasonal event or a new restaurant, team-building activities like bowling or escape rooms, or even hosting a lunch-and-learn with a thought leader in your industry. These events break up the monotony of the work week and give your team members something interesting to excite them.
3. Ask Employees What They Want — and Listen
You may hear in an exit interview that the employee didn’t feel heard during their time with the company. How do you combat this seemingly vague complaint? Surveys. Routine anonymous employee surveys provide crucial feedback about what your company can do to improve the culture or day-to-day management. Just be sure to put these suggestions into action. This lets your workforce know that you’re listening to and valuing their needs.
4. Know Your Employees
This employment engagement idea may sound basic, but leaders often don’t take the time to get to know their team. What are their kids’ and pets’ names? What are their interests and hobbies? Where did they go to college or grow up? Building individual relationships with employees is critical to keeping them engaged. The bottom line: People like being asked about themselves, so they try to start a conversation.
5. Encourage Cross-Department Collaboration
Establishing coworker relationships can help employees feel more engaged and committed to their organizations. Find ways for team members to work together across departments, to better understand what other teams do and how it affects their work. Plus, they can get to know colleagues they might not interact with regularly.
6. Make Work-Life Balance a Priority
Employees should feel that their company values them outside of the work they provide. That means offering generous paid time off, encouraging a flexible work schedule, and not expecting anyone to work beyond 40 hours a week.
7. Follow Through With Company Values
It’s one thing to say that your organization gives back to the community, but you should show employees that you value volunteer work. Many workers from younger generations gravitate toward companies that give back and live out their mission and values. Don’t just pay lip service; give employees time off to volunteer and support their communities.
8. Provide Perks That Matter
Complimentary snacks and ping-pong tables in the break room are showy perks that don’t impact employees’ lives (well, beyond the lunch hour, that is). Focus on perks that will make a difference, like flexible work schedules, retirement matching, parental leave, catered lunches once a month, or even free fitness classes.
9. Encourage Coaching and Mentoring
Senior team members have plenty of knowledge to pass on to younger staff. Connect employees throughout the company and create learning pathways to help all staff members expand their skills and grow.
10. Celebrate Milestones
Birthdays and company anniversaries should never go unacknowledged, but there are other milestones, both personal and professional, that you should celebrate, too. For example, when an employee welcomes a new baby into their family or buys a new home, give them a gift (flowers, a house plant, you get the idea) to acknowledge this big step or life change. And take time to celebrate significant professional achievements, like winning a new client.
11. Think Outside the Office
Meetings don’t have to be in a stuffy conference room. Consider adding walking meetings to the schedule to get some fresh air or have your next one-on-one in a coffee shop. Assess the individual needs of your team members so that they feel comfortable in the meeting space.
12. Perform a Strengths Assessment
Help your employees grow by finding paths to increase their knowledge and expand their skill sets. A strengths assessment can help each team member pinpoint what they’re good at, learn about themselves, and plan for future professional growth at your company.
13. Ask Employees To Write Their Own Job Descriptions
A great employee engagement strategy is to give them full ownership of their roles. Let each employee write their job description, clearly defining their responsibilities. This helps them take ownership of what they do daily and allows them to raise questions about specific tasks.
14. Look to Staff for Advice
When you ask an employee for advice, you acknowledge their strengths and show that you value their opinions. From a new perspective on a presentation to feedback on larger issues, turn to employees for help whenever it’s appropriate.
15. Be Anti-Overworking
It’s not enough to talk about burnout — you need to work to prevent it. Encourage employees to leave the office or sign off at a reasonable time and put away work when they’re off the clock.
16. Embrace Remote Work
Chances are that you’re hiring employees who are hardworking and dedicated. So, trust them to get their work done, regardless of location. Remote work can increase engagement and even boost productivity, providing employees with the flexibility to work from home, their favorite coffee shop, or a coworking space.
17. Throw Parties for Exiting Employees
Take time to celebrate workers moving up to a new position elsewhere. Doing so shows how much you appreciate your employees and celebrate their talents.
18. Ask About Recognition Preferences
Everyone wants to be recognized for their hard work, but only some employees want a public announcement. Understand how each member of your team best receives recognition so you can celebrate their wins in a way that makes them comfortable.
19. Ensure That Information Is Easily Accessible
Employees should always be able to find the information they need, from benefits to career development opportunities. Set up a way for employees to quickly ask questions and schedule time to talk if they need clarification on a topic.
20. Establish Clear Paths for Growth
Employees are more engaged if they know their work can lead them to a promotion. Develop clear paths for development and help employees understand what steps they need to take to bring their careers to the next level. This employment engagement idea is one you don’t want to overlook.
21. Hire the Right Managers
Leadership plays a huge role in employee engagement and retention. Hire managers and leaders with the right skills to coach and invest in employees.
22. Shake Up the Office
Reorganize the office space to allow for more encounters with coworkers and encourage conversation between employees. For remote workers, consider creating a virtual space where employees can hang out and chat.
23. Create Traditions
Awards ceremonies, company lunches, game days — there are various ways you can establish traditions within your organization to keep employees engaged and give them events to look forward to as they work.
24. Have Stay Meetings
In addition to exit interviews, take time to interview employees and find out why they choose to stay with your company. The results can be enlightening and provide insight into what your organization can do better.
Employee engagement is more than a corporate buzzword — it’s essential to any organization’s talent attraction and retention strategy. Engaged employees:
- Are more satisfied with their jobs.
- Tend to be more productive.
- Produce higher-quality work.
- Are less likely to leave their position for another.
- Usually are more loyal and committed.
In short, the best employment engagement ideas can help you retain your top talent, keeping your best people from seeking positions elsewhere and saving your organization time and money. Invest in your people, and you’re investing in the growth and future of your business.