Quick Look: Employee engagement is essential to maintaining a competitive workplace. Numerous studies show employees who are engaged are more productive and invested in their time at the company. However, too often employers wait until workers leave to activate strategies which could’ve made the difference in them staying longer. Therefore, an ongoing solution is necessary to maintain high employee retention, achieve company growth, and create an overall happier place to work.
Positive employee engagement creates a valuable domino effect. It strengthens the workplace culture and benefits the work being performed for clients and customers. Although you’ll also want to hear directly from the employees themselves regarding their job satisfaction, there are several best practices to help build employee engagement. Though, keep in mind, the strategy must leave room to grow and evolve as employees come and go and needs and wants change over time.
Here are seven key areas of employee benefit services which can help you build better employee engagement.
1. Review the hiring and onboarding process
When restructuring an employee engagement strategy, it’s important to look at where the company-employee relationship begins. The hiring and onboarding process sets the tone for a new candidate and/or employee’s place in the company.
A drawn-out hiring process may discourage potential applicants and entice them to look elsewhere for employment. Share a general timeline with candidates regarding the interview-to-offer-letter process and maintain consistent communication regardless of the hiring decision.
Continue with an effective onboarding process allowing new employees to feel welcome and equipped to perform their job functions well. Prepare welcome packets, helpful orientations, and colleague meet-and-greets to make them feel part of the team from day one. Being prepared and present during both the hiring and onboarding process will make anyone who works with your company feel like a priority and automatically create a positive connection.
2. Conduct employee satisfaction surveys
On the other end of the work spectrum is employee satisfaction surveys. These can be conducted at the end of the year or in some cases, a survey is provided to employees during an exit interview. Include questions around topics, such as career development, leadership capabilities, and other areas to gauge employee satisfaction as well as engagement.
Though most surveys have a ranking feature, another option is to choose select questions where employees can provide more context. After conducting the surveys, gather the data and meet as a leadership team to discuss an action plan. Employees who are subject to an employee satisfaction survey without seeing any real change will only become increasingly frustrated and even less engaged. Once you’ve prioritized key action items of how to improve employee engagement, communicate them with your team with set deadlines to foster trust and promote accountability.
3. Invite feedback on all levels
Anonymous surveys are one way to invite feedback on a large scale. However, every employee has their own preferred communication style. By providing multiple opportunities for employees to communicate their concerns or ideas, it can spark meaningful conversations and lead to significant change.
Encourage employee feedback through a group setting, one-to-one manager meetings, or formal meetings with HR. Conversely, provide feedback to employees to help them learn and grow in their roles. Statistics show 83% of employees appreciate receiving feedback, positive or negative. However communication is handled, it helps build a culture where all employees feel like their voice is heard and their feedback and contribution matter.
4. Practice company values
Few things cause disengaged employees faster than when what’s being preached is not being practiced. Review company core values and confirm leadership actions line up with what they entail. For example, if one of the company values is autonomy and there are recurring problems with micromanagement, it doesn’t instill confidence in employees to invest their time or effort fully.
5. Recognize employee achievements
Research shows organizations providing regular recognition have a 31% lower voluntary turnover rate. As with communicating feedback, there are various ways to provide recognition. Some enjoy a private verbal acknowledgment from their manager, while others appreciate some type of set reward structure. Getting to know what drives employees most is helpful in creating a recognition and reward program which resonates. Sometimes a genuine appreciation for a job well done can make the biggest difference.
6. Focus on employee health and well-being
Creating a safe environment is an essential part of creating better employee engagement. Identifying and eliminating toxic behaviors can help prevent employee burnout and consequently, voluntary resignations. Certain benefits like flexible scheduling and remote work opportunities put employees in charge of taking the time they need to perform at their best without fear.
7. Encourage employee growth
Employee engagement doesn’t always mean employees are unhappy. They may be perfectly content… yet not engaged. Give employees a reason to be company loyal by investing in their professional growth. This can be achieved by providing access to educational software, onsite and offsite training, education stipends, and other perks which promote engagement opportunities. By feeling they have a pathway forward, it can help put the purpose back into their work and keep them committed and actively involved.
As a small- and medium-sized business (SMB) leader, you’re responsible for wearing multiple hats, which makes it challenging to simultaneously focus on business growth and employee retention. To give employee engagement strategies the proper time and attention, it’s helpful to implement a professional employer organization (PEO) solution through ExtensisHR.
Our HR experts tailor our suite of employee benefit services to drive employee engagement and performance and support company growth. We provide comprehensive HR solutions to help SMBs grow faster and lower turnover rates.
To learn more about how we can help improve employee engagement within your company, contact us today. Our HR experts are here to help.