Employee engagement is crucial in today’s workplace. It reflects the extent to which employees are invested in their roles, committed to your company’s mission, and actively contributing to its success.
However, recent research from Gallup shows that only 32% of employees are truly engaged, while 18% are actively disengaged. These statistics underscore the critical importance of understanding and improving employee engagement. Engaged employees are productive and loyal advocates who drive a company’s success.
In this article, we explore the significance of employee engagement and list actionable strategies to boost it within your organization.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement measures how invested, motivated, and satisfied employees are about their work and your organization as a whole. It reflects the extent to which employees are willing to go above and beyond in their roles, actively contribute to the company's success, and consistently strive for personal and organizational growth.
Why are employee engagement objectives important?
The term “employee engagement” isn’t just a buzzword — high engagement is crucial to your company’s success. When your employees are fully invested and committed to their work, it can trickle down and have a positive effect on many areas of your business, including productivity, retention, well-being, and more.
Top 10 employee engagement objectives for your organization
In the pursuit of a thriving and successful organization, setting clear employee engagement objectives is key. These objectives are the guiding principles that align your workforce with the organization’s mission, strategy, and goals.
1. Boost job satisfaction
Companies that prioritize employee satisfaction often see higher engagement levels. When your team finds fulfillment and enjoyment in their roles, it boosts employee morale and motivation and contributes to a more engaged and productive workforce.
There are many ways to increase job satisfaction, including:
- Open communication policies: Create an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Encourage regular feedback sessions and open dialogue.
- Trust and empower employees: Give employees more control over their work, enabling them to make decisions and take ownership of their tasks.
- Inclusive decision-making: Foster a sense of belonging and empowerment among employees so they feel their voices are heard and valued.
2. Improve productivity
Companies can improve efficiency and output by engaging employees in their tasks, reducing distractions, and boosting focus. Engaged employees are often more motivated, committed, and enthusiastic about their roles.
To enhance productivity, remove any bottlenecks from your employees’ workflows. This includes ensuring they can access the necessary resources and updated technology to do their work effectively. For example, if your employees rely on software that constantly glitches, that could affect their ability to complete tasks and meet deadlines. Upgrading the technology can remove this bottleneck and improve their productivity.
3. Reduce turnover rate
Happy, engaged employees are less likely to seek employment opportunities elsewhere because they find fulfillment and growth within their current roles. This emotional connection an employee feels when they’re highly engaged can lead to a reduction in turnover rates.
Reduced employee turnover rates benefit your whole organization by lowering recruitment and training costs while maintaining a more experienced and motivated workforce, ultimately contributing to its long-term success.
To increase employee retention, start with establishing a strong onboarding program. Employee engagement or disengagement can start before your employees are even settled in — 40% of employees quit their jobs within the first six months. So, getting them engaged immediately and keeping them engaged with your onboarding program is important.
4. Strengthen organizational culture
Engaged employees often act as ambassadors of your organizational culture. They embrace and embody the core values, norms, and behaviors that define the culture. By consistently demonstrating these cultural elements, they set an example for their peers and new hires, encouraging others to do the same.
To build a strong organizational culture that employees feel proud to be part of, there are two key aspects to focus on:
- Diversity and inclusion initiatives: Diversity and inclusion initiatives show your employees that their unique perspectives and backgrounds are valued and celebrated, fostering a sense of belonging and equity within the organization.
- Fair compensation and benefits: Competitive salaries and comprehensive benefits packages show that your company recognizes employees for their hard work, dedication, and contributions.
5. Develop leadership skills
One of the key drivers of high employee engagement is career development. When your employees feel like they have opportunities to grow and expand their skills within your organization, they’re more apt to feel engaged with their work. Training and mentorship programs are two effective ways to show your employees you’re invested in their growth and development.
Training programs are typically designed to address specific learning objectives. They tend to focus on learning a new skill or a specific topic related to their job. These programs are often taught by another employee or an instructor and are curriculum-based.
Mentorship programs foster relationships between experienced individuals (mentors) and individuals who want to grow and develop their leadership skills (mentees). These relationships are typically more personal than the ones in a training program. Mentorship programs focus on the mentee’s overall personal and professional development. Mentors provide guidance, advice, and support, helping mentees navigate their career paths, set goals, and develop skills.
6. Prioritize employee wellbeing
When employees are happy and healthy, they’re more likely to feel engaged with their work and your company. Engaged employees tend to feel a deeper sense of satisfaction in their roles, which often reduces stress and anxiety related to their jobs. Leading companies prioritize their employees’ physical and mental wellbeing through wellness programs and stress-reduction initiatives.
There are a few ways you can foster employee wellbeing:
- Share mental health resources: Offer your employees information on mental health, including articles, videos, and links to reputable mental health organizations. You can store these resources on your company’s intranet, Wiki page, or website. Or make it an ongoing email series that they can easily refer back to.
- Encourage physical exercise: Provide options like on-site fitness facilities, walking challenges, or fitness classes while emphasizing the positive impact of physical activity on overall well-being. Try to frame these options as opportunities rather than obligations.
- Promote a healthy work-life balance: Promote boundaries around work hours and encourage employees to take their earned time off. Consider offering flexible scheduling (like remote work options or compressed workweeks) to give employees greater control over their work-life balance.
7. Enhance collaboration
Collaboration encourages a sense of shared purpose and common goals among team members. When employees see the direct impact of their efforts on the team’s success, they are often more motivated to actively contribute and, thus, become more engaged.
For team members to collaborate effectively, they have to feel comfortable sharing their opinions and ideas with each other. Team building exercises foster trust and camaraderie, which can strengthen their working relationships and improve collaboration efforts.
It’s also essential to equip your team with tools that help them collaborate effectively with one another, including project management software, file-sharing platforms, and a messaging app. This is especially true if you’re in a remote or hybrid working environment where team members aren’t physically in the same location.
8. Build an effective system for reward and recognition
When you consistently recognize and reward employees for their hard work, it motivates them to keep performing at their best. They feel valued and appreciated, which often boosts their enthusiasm for their work.
Recognition and rewards also provide employees with a sense of accomplishment. This recognition validates their efforts and nurtures a sense of belonging and commitment to the company’s mission, vision, and values. This type of acknowledgment can also improve job satisfaction and overall well-being.
9. Earn employee loyalty
When employees feel a deep sense of loyalty, they are more likely to commit wholeheartedly to the organization's mission and vision and work more effectively toward overall company goals.
Loyal, engaged employees are often more dedicated to your organization than disengaged employees, as they perceive their work as an integral part of something greater. They work hard to embody the organization’s mission, pouring their energy, creativity, and effort into aligning their actions with the broader vision.
Companies can foster loyalty by supporting professional development, recognizing and rewarding exceptional performance, and creating a culture that values and appreciates its employees’ contributions.
Mentorship is a proven engagement strategy
High employee engagement is possible, especially when you focus on these nine initiatives. If you’re not sure where to start, consider a mentorship program. Pairing your employees with mentors is a proven strategy that increases their engagement and builds social ties.
Mentoring programs help nurture growth mindsets and accelerate employee development. They can transform your organization into a hub of professional growth, collaboration, and employee well-being, driving long-term success.