What Does Employee Engagement Look Like in 2021?

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P.S. To get inspired, check out our complete employee engagement guide to get the rundown of things employee engagement ideas, software, surveys, and more!

What is employee engagement?

To keep it simple, employee engagement is what keeps an organization alive. It’s a workplace approach that provides the best conditions in an organization. Employee engagement is how passionate and engaged employees are in their craft, how committed they are to the organization’s goals and values, and motivated they are to contribute to the collective success.

When organizations take the time to invest in the people that make up their team, you’ll see an increase in productivity, engagement, and company culture. Just to be clear, this is what employee engagement is not:

  • Employee engagement is not employee satisfaction
  • Employee engagement is not motivation
  • Employee engagement is not happiness
  • Employee engagement is not empowerment

That being said, employee engagement is the exact state of how team members feel determined and attached they are to their work. While your job isn’t the main component of your life, it sure does take up a big portion of it. So, it’s vital to find an organization that gives employees meaning, autonomy, and professional and personal growth.

Employee engagement best practices

Sending out employee engagement surveys is no longer the only line of defense when improving the culture in modern workplaces. To truly maximize your company’s efforts, here are some best practices to implement in your organization.

  1. Encourage employees to find their superpowers and explore new skills. Part of working in an organization is knowing there is a level of investment in your team’s professional and personal growth. That means offering support and guidance as your peers try to find the best versions of themselves, all while uncovering their blind spots. 
  1. Show employees tangible results from their long-term projects. Oftentimes, we don’t always see how the impact we’ve made from our long-term projects. When we see our hard work and dedication pay off in the end, it makes many of us feel values and eager to continue onto our next goal. 
  1. Keep engagement on autopilot as opposed to a one-and-done approach. One of the most important employee engagement strategies to adopt is ensuring a continuous loop of engagement. Whether that’s bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly, ensure that you’re constantly checking on people.

Factors that drive employee engagement

According to a 2020 employee engagement survey by Quantum Workplace, here are some themes and factors that highly-engaged organizations had when retaining top talent:  

  • The role allowed employees to utilize their strengths
  • Trust and transparency with the company’s leadership
  • Strong belief organization’s future success
  • The role is interesting and challenging
  • All voices are heard and accounted for
  • Recognization and reward is guaranteed
  • There are professional growth opportunities

Employee engagement tools and software

When deciding on how to take the first into employee engagement, it’s important to invest in a platform that will the process easier. We’ve compiled some of our favorite tools and platforms to help you boost employee engagement

  • Culture Amp. This employee engagement platform lets human resources and leaders conduct pulse surveys to employees, analyze results through analytics, and allows peers to give 360-degree feedback.
  • 15Five. A continuous performance management solution, 15Five helps professionals grow and develop their soft and technical skills in just 15 minutes every week.
  • Kudos. Known for their employee recognition rituals, Kudos empowers people of all levels to give meaningful recognition and rewards in real-time.
  • Matter. Shameless plug! It’s no secret we’re big fans of feedback. If you’re looking to build a stronger, happier remote culture, we’ve got you covered. With Matter, you can recognize your team members with Kudos, gather continuous feedback, and so much more.
  • TINYpulse. To help leadership understand how inspired and committed their team feel, TINYpulse incorporates a communication feature where employees can share anonymous feedback.
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‌Cover Photo by
Olenka Malarecka
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