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Strategies for increasing employee engagement in the modern biz world

4th February 2021 Print

If you want to get maximum value out of your employees, you need to get serious about increasing engagement. This requires an in-depth probe of where things currently stand, where you’d like things to be in six months, and how you can quickly move from here to there with minimal cost and friction. 

Why Employee Engagement Matters

Employee engagement has become a little bit of a buzzword over the past decade, but it’s important nonetheless. And if you aren’t prioritizing it in your business, now’s a good time to start. Here’s why it matters:

- Boosts productivity. Research shows that employees who are actively invested in their roles at work are more productive than employees who are not – to the tune of a 21 percent increase in productivity.

- Enhances customer satisfaction. When employees are engaged, they’re more likely to be passionate about the work they do. This passion often translates into how they interact with customers. The result is a significant increase in customer satisfaction.

- Reduces turnover. It’s hard to retain good employees. With so many options to choose from, they often bolt for greener pastures after a couple of years. And while money is always going to play a role, a company culture that makes people feel engaged is going to lower turnover and increase employee retention. That creates continuity and simultaneously saves the organization money. 

If you cut through all of the fluff, you’ll discover that employee engagement isn’t just a driving factor in success – it’s actually the symptom of success. As your business becomes more successful, the hope is that your employees will feel more engaged and fulfilled. 

5 Tips for Increasing Employee Engagement

Increasing employee engagement can only happen with intentionality. In other words, it’s not something you’ll just stumble on. There has to be forethought, planning, and precise execution. And the following tips will serve you well in this regard:

1. Enhance Internal Communication

Poor internal communication creates massive issues that often can’t be overcome. But the good news is that there are plenty of simple ways to streamline internal communication for better employee engagement.

One of the best suggestions is to cut back on emails and meetings and replace them with quick methods of communication that deliver the meat without all the filler. Texting is a great example. SMS has open rates of 98 percent (compared to just 15 to 20 percent for emails). By using SMS for internal communications – including notifications, reminders, surveys, and HR updates – you can be more efficient with your resources and respect your employees’ time. 

2. Be Clear About Expectations

An employee who is stressed out and confused lacks the mental and emotional energy to feel fully engaged in their role. By setting better goals and making expectations crystal clear, you can eliminate much of this confusion and restore a sense of balance.

3. Rethink the Little Things

There are so many little things that you can do to increase engagement without costing your business much (if anything). Examples include:

- Flexible scheduling (letting employees pick when they come and go).

- Casual dress 

- Small stipends to personalize offices/cubicles

When it comes to little things that don’t cost you much money or time, try rethinking them. Small tweaks can make a significant difference in an employee’s overall level of engagement.

4. Offer Incentives

Tactful incentives can go a long way in encouraging employees to feel more engaged and better supported. And contrary to popular belief, monetary incentives are not always the best option. Recognition, positive feedback, awards, and perks (like time off) may yield better results

5. Facilitate Team Bonding

An employee can’t be fully engaged if they feel like they’re on their own. One of the keys to a successful business is camaraderie. Facilitate team bonding and help your people feel connected to one another. This added sense of togetherness will motivate people to show up to work each morning fully engaged. 

Strengthen Your Company Culture

It’s not enough to have a high-value product offering or compelling marketing message. In order to build a successful and sustainable business that grows over time, you must pay attention to your company culture. 

Are you cultivating an environment that people want to be a part of, or is there something missing? Focusing on the answer to this question over the next several months will arm you with the insights you need to continue improving and iterating.