True employee engagement: 7 proven ways to achieve it
Employee engagement is a term that has been bandied around over the past couple of years. As the employer/employee relationship has changed, workers actively seek new opportunities to excel at their careers and feel valued, satisfied, and understood.
Since 85% of employees said they needed to be fully engaged or actively disengaged, there is ample room for improvement.
But what does authentic employee engagement mean to you, your workforce, and business leaders?
This article will cover the real meaning of employee engagement and seven benefits that can help you attract and retain top talent. Learn how to implement the best practices here–improve productivity and stay competitive.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is somewhat challenging to define. While some businesses believe employee engagement is about a state of mind and showing behaviours like enthusiasm, effort, and participation, others think it’s more about job satisfaction and having access to resources and other opportunities, such as personal development.
Why should employee engagement be a top priority?
Business leaders often have many conflicting priorities. Dealing with HR issues, monitoring employee training uptake, and improving brand awareness are some of the demands on organisations. On top of dealing with a 4-day week, managing remote and hybrid workers, and retaining talent, authentic employee engagement can be overlooked.
Plus, disengaged employees lead to stagnant growth and reduced profits. Efforts to increase engagement create opportunities for workers to share their suggestions for improvement. For example, an idea about automating a process will improve team efficiency and productivity, resulting in business growth.
The benefits of true employee engagement when done right
Employee engagement shouldn’t be seen as a stand-alone strategy. It should be multi-layered–aligning employees, teams, HR policies and systems, and other business functions, such as learning and development.
Let’s look at seven of the most crucial employee engagement benefits and how to align them with your organisation.
1. New hires show up ready to be productive from day one
Authentic employee engagement doesn’t start when new hires join your company. An employee journey begins well before that, making pre-boarding as crucial as those initial weeks.
A poor onboarding experience can set the scene for disengagement in the workplace and doubles the chances of an employee seeking an alternative role.
An online onboarding portal from Appogee HR Success can send new starters essential information before they join. Send them welcome messages and information about the team they’ll be joining.
Find out what motivates staff, and make sure you’re offering the right incentives to stick around. Providing staff benefits, like free lunches or team outings, may be great for some new starters but not others. Ask what incentives are essential for their individual needs.
2. Improved staff retention
Employee retention has become an increasing problem for many businesses. With almost half of companies seeing higher turnover dates post-pandemic, managers need to work hard at engaging employees to encourage them to stay.
Low staff morale can result in workers voting with their feet and finding alternative employment–saving you around £3000 in recruitment costs for every new hire and losing top talent to competitors. It’s hardly surprising that employee retention is identified as one of the leading HR trends for 2023.
That said, true employee engagement isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Improve staff retention by setting individual and collective goals. Make sure everyone is on the same page and working towards shared targets by:
- Employees who feel heard are empowered to offer their best ideas. Engage staff by asking for suggestions on new processes or thoughts on new software. Listen to their opinions and provide feedback.
- Including staff in discussions. Explain how work tasks contribute to your company vision. Create opportunities for discussion. Give employees time and space to ask questions about future business targets and how they contribute.
- Giving valuable feedback. Two-thirds of employees want to receive valuable feedback. Foster a culture of transparency and openness by engaging employees with 360-degree feedback.
3. Higher levels of productivity
Did you know businesses with engaged employees are up to 22% more profitable than their competitors? Also, poor global employee engagement is estimated to cost approx £6 trillion in lost productivity.
The first step to understanding productivity and business growth is knowing where it comes from–that’s where genuine employee engagement comes into play.
Increase productivity by keeping engaged workers enthusiastic and absorbed by eliminating repetitive tasks. Appogee HR’s online leave management software makes leave planning and approval simple and accessible–great for remote and hybrid workers.
Employees can send annual leave requests and get a fast response, eliminating the frustration of waiting for approval.
Engage team members with simple and intelligent time-tracking solutions. Improve employee productivity by making recording time easy with clocking in and out software. Staff can start and finish their working hours at the click of a button, and you can monitor individual performance.
4. Employees feel valued
According to Gallup, 95% of employees thriving at work report being treated all day respectfully. Quite often, the little things make employees feel valued and respected.
Engage your people by creating a positive work environment that employees enjoy. Flora Oram, former Head of People and Culture at Computeam, wanted to build a happy workplace. She wanted an HR system that was easy to manage and quick for their people to learn how to use.
Appogee HR Success helped Flora increase employee engagement by simplifying tasks with goal-setting software and performance management features.
Keep employees engaged by providing access to what they need. Offer a simple and intuitive employee self-service portal that shows your workforce you value their time. Give everyone access to precise and up-to-date information about employee ratings, self-assessment, and manager feedback. With interactive software, employees can use pre-built review templates to prepare for appraisals–improving efficiency and reducing duplication.
Genuine employee engagement empowers them to offer views and opinions–giving them a voice. Encourage staff to share ideas about a change in management structure and make them feel heard and understood.
Engage your whole workforce by embracing employee differences. Treat them as individuals by acknowledging they are their unique person. Recognise diversity across your workforce by asking for employee contributions to improving your equality and inclusion policy. Demonstrate how your organisation recognises employee differences by celebrating religious and cultural festivals and making individuals feel valued and accepted.
Improve employee experience by taking time to get to know team members–show interest in their life in and out of work. Humanise interactions by sharing a little about yourself and your hobbies.
5. Improved job satisfaction
Employees who enjoy their jobs are less likely to take time off work. Disengaged employees take more sick days than those who are actively involved in their roles.
Increase employee engagement across your organisation by keeping people happy and satisfied. Plus, engaged employees perform better–outperforming others up to a whopping 202%.
However, keeping employees happy is more than just pay and other benefits, like free lunches or discounts. People look for meaningful work experiences and managers that care about their health and well-being. Improve job satisfaction for your employees by;
- Offering consistent career development opportunities. Use informal and formal discussions, like one-one-meetings, to discuss career goals and put plans in place.
- Encouraging creativity and innovation. Invite employees to co-create new policies or develop a new product.
- Paying fairly and equitably. Conduct regular pay audits and share the results with robust analytics. Use Appogee HR’s reporting and analytics functions to get valuable pay data.
- Making sure employees take time off and use their leave quota. Role model good practice by ensuring you take your full leave entitlement too.
- Showing your appreciation. Promote a sense of self-satisfaction by using shoutout features. Recognise their hard work and praise their efforts with everyone.
6. Positive influence on co-workers
Nobody wants to work in an environment with hostility and poor management. Since 79% of employees believe the people they work with are a significant part of their life, building trust among coworkers is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. Also, organisations without trust can lead to toxic behaviours, such as office gossip, negativity, and sometimes bullying and harassment.
Employees who are engaged at work can positively influence their counterparts. Let’s put this into practice and say a new hire is starting employment soon. Why not ask one of your workers to contact your new hire to share information about company culture and what makes your organisation a great workplace?
Provide opportunities to improve co-workers' trust by encouraging disengaged employees to learn from others and make the right choices in difficult situations.
Take advantage of workers who quickly admit and solve problems. Our checklist feature can eliminate the potential for sending the wrong email or forgetting a deadline with a customisable.
7. Healthier workforce
Some 91% of organisations agreed that there is a link between work and the health and well-being of workers.
Although the effects of the pandemic have somewhat eased, there are continued levels of stress and burnout. As 55% of employees say flexibility and work-life balance are essential to their overall job satisfaction, people who work from home often work longer hours.
Promote a healthier workforce with engagement strategies such as an increased focus on physical and mental health support. An absence management solution from Appogee HR can identify employees' needs by discussing support in one-to-one meetings, performance reviews, or ad-hoc conversations. Consult with team members to identify any gaps in support and address them.
Ensure new hires and existing employees know the support available by posting updated information on slack channels or sending regular emails.
The tools needed for successful employee engagement
Alongside the many features we have listed here, Appogee HR Essentials can provide everything you need for successful employee engagement. Our most popular solution can provide the following:
- Company document management. Store all your policies and procedures, for example, how to access mental health support or other benefits like counselling or private health care.
- Employee timesheets. Get rid of old-fashioned paper-based timesheets. Customise how employees view their timesheets and make them easier to understand.
- Learning records. Make upskilling and reskilling simple. Give people easy access to their training profile–allowing them to decide about future learning programmes.
Our most advanced solution, Appogee HR Success, provides you with all the features of Appogee HR Essentials and much more. Get access to:
- Your company newsfeed. Keep employees engaged and reduce missing out on the latest company news and developments. Improve internal communications by connecting your employees with up-to-date information.
- Integrated applicant tracking systems, such as Greenhouse, Teamtailor and LinkedIN Talent Hub. Maximise productivity, security, and data consistency by reducing repetitive tasks. Reduce human error by automating data.
- Goal timelines. Keep employees motivated and on track with business goals. Give employees a visual representation of their progress with clear goal timelines.
Step up your employee engagement strategy with Appogee HR
Engaged employees offer a lot of benefits to your business. Investing time and effort to attract new talent and retain your existing employee skill set is critical to growth and success.
Create a workplace where your people feel motivated, valued, and appreciated. With engaged employees going the extra mile, feel assured they'll be less likely to look for another job.
Want to learn how Appogee HR can help your business improve genuine employee engagement? Start your 14-day free trial or book a demo with a member of our team HR Transformation team.