#1 Guide to Employee Engagement [2021]

Dixita
July 7, 2021
8 Min Read
Photo by
Jessica Flores

Table of Contents:

What is employee engagement?

At the core of it, employee engagement is what keeps an organization alive. It’s a workplace approach that provides the best conditions in an organization. When professionals feel engaged at work, committed to the organization’s goals and values, and motivated to contribute to the collective success.

Not to mention, when you take time to invest in the people that make up your team, you’ll see an increase in productivity, engagement, and company culture.

Why is employee engagement important?

In a nutshell, there are several proven employee engagement benefits including reduce staff turnover, improve productivity and efficiency, improve customer service and retention, and deliver higher profits. Ultimately, having an engaged team makes a business easier to run, and enables it to focus on activities that deliver higher value, such as innovation, process improvement, and development.

According to a 2018 Gallup survey, researchers found that highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability. Another report from Salesforce ensured that employees who felt their voices were being heard were 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.

On the other hand, the Engagement Institute — a joint study by The Conference Board, Sirota-Mercer, Deloitte, ROI, The Culture Works, and Consulting LLP organizations — found that organizations that didn’t prioritize employee engagement cost U.S. companies up to $550 billion a year. Not to mention, a CareerBuilder’s survey on stress in the workplace found that 31% of employees were extremely stressed.

Benefits and statistics of employee engagement

  • Empathy at workplace: 96% of employees believe showing empathy is an important way to advance employee retention
  • The American Psychological Association report: 89% of workers at companies that support well-being initiatives are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work
  • Willis Towers Watson research: 70% of employers have improved their physical environments to encourage healthy behaviors
  • Aflac report: 61% of employees agree that they have made healthier lifestyle choices because of their company’s wellness program
  • Glassdoor survey: 87% of employees expect their employer to support them in balancing work and personal commitments

Check out more employee engagement statistics that can benefit your company culture.

Factors of successful employee engagement

  1. Company culture. Ask yourself: What’s the climate of your organization, and how do people feel in general? Company culture is the most important factor when considering employee engagement. Do your peers feel empowered to speak their minds? Or do people tend to be more tensed and reserved?
  1. Supportive leadership. How leadership and teams interact with each other can also determine a successful employee engagement initiative. Middle managers play a key role in employee engagement, so creating a respectful and trusting relationship with their direct reports is vital for a sustainable workplace connection. 
  1. Appreciation and recognition. Without the hard work of the employees, an organization would not be able to thrive. That’s why it’s important for leadership to recognize, reward, and appreciate the work their teams do. And recognition should be frequent for people to feel confident and satisfied in their roles.

Remote teams and employee engagement

Before we discuss the specific employee engagement ideas for remote workers, we recommend that you implement certain team collaboration tools to keep communication flowing and teammates feel supported.

Consider implementing these tools to your day-to-day task:

Employee engagement ideas for remote teams

Employee engagement is essential for every workplace. Here are some opportunities and ideas to enhance your company culture and celebrate the team members who make your company successful. 

1. Build an exciting onboarding experience

2. Celebrate your team

3. Seek advice from your peers

4. Encourage your team to bring their true selves to work

5. Encourage breaks throughout the workday

6. Plan company events

7. Throw going-away parties

8. Support volunteer programs or mental health days

9. Create unique feedback rituals

10. Make time for wellness checks

Why are employee engagement surveys important?

Employee engagement surveys are crucial to any professional ecosystem. For starters, it’s an open venue for team members to give because they give employees a venue for open feedback. 

It’s an opportunity to establish two-way communication between leadership, team members, and anyone else in the organization. Remember when people are engaged, they’re more likely to invest in their day-to-day tasks and churn out higher quality.

4 Top employee engagement strategies 

Here are four steps you should take when developing your employee engagement strategies:

  1. Focus on a few areas. Use the employee engagement surveys to pinpoint the areas of improvement. If you’re focused on using surveys to develop employee engagement strategies, this probably isn’t the best approach. When you hone in on a specific topic from the beginning, you may miss out on other areas for improvement.
  1. Identify the blind spots. Try to find a few key drivers of your employee engagement and focus solely on those. We completely understand that prioritizing only a few can be tough. To help narrow it down, ask yourself these questions: What kind of resources do we have? Where can we allocate them for the most impact on employee engagement?
  1. Create an action plan. Whichever action you choose, you must communicate your plan to your employees and make sure they understand how and when you’ll carry it out. The first step to creating an action plan is creating SMART goals.
  1. Track your progress. How can you tell if your plan is making an impact? The key to continuing to improve your employee engagement is to measure it consistently and measure it often.

Employee engagement software

When picking an employee engagement software, it's important to find a platform that has features and benefits that boost engagement overall. Here are some recommendations when choosing a platform that will help improve your work culture.

  • Leapsome is a flexible tool that allows team members to add custom surveys and questionnaires to existing psychologists-backed templates.
  • Reward Gateway is an employee recognition tool that provides public praise, positive feedback, and automated rewards.
  • Kazoo, a performance management platform paired with a reward system, gives all team members the ability to share data across both modules.
  • Matter (shameless plug) is a feedback tool that allows professionals to create a feedback-focused team culture while honing their superpowers.
  • Workvivo is another employee engagement software that lets professionals harness the power of your enterprise social network to make recognition and rewards more visible.
  • The Evolved Group is a customer and employee experience solutions that engages humans to create better product and service experiences.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Employee engagement is a workplace approach that provides the best conditions in an organization. 
  • Employee engagement ideas include events and activities that incorporate company values.
  • When developing your employee engagement strategies here are four tips to identify blind spots, create action plans, and track progress.
  • Engagement surveys are crucial to any professional ecosystem. For starters, it’s an open venue for team members to give because they give employees a venue for open feedback.
  • See more stories on Matter's blog.
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