Last updated December 23, 2020

Employee engagement strategies that have a long-lasting impact

We know that employee engagement is more than just adding a ping pong table to your office space. Let’s say you’ve done the employee engagement survey and the results weren’t quite what you expected. Where do you start? What strategies will actually make your employees passionate and excited to work for your organisation?

Employee engagement strategies

In this article, we cover:

  • How to develop an employee engagement strategy
  • Drivers of employee engagement
  • What to include in your employee engagement strategy
  • Employee engagement best practices
  • FAQ

Let’s dive in!

How to develop an employee engagement strategy

A well-strategised organisational culture creates a happy and engaged workforce. But don’t just choose a strategy at random—it’s important to consider your strategies carefully based on your organisational goals.

Your strategic choice will depend on where your organisation currently stands. To assess that, you’ll have to understand the drivers of employee engagement.

Drivers of employee engagement

There are several drivers of employee engagement, and the strategy you choose will be based on what your employees need the most. These drivers include:

  • Meaning & a sense of purpose
  • Psychological safety
  • Goal support
  • Workplace culture
  • Autonomy
  • Shared values
  • Relationship with supervisors
  • Trust and integrity
  • Relationship with co-workers
  • Pride about company
  • Career growth opportunities

There are more, but these are enough to get you started. 

Your next step, after deciding which driver you’re going for, will be to design an action plan. These strategies, if effective, will require a budget, work, and usually a third-party platform or consultant to help.

What to include in your employee engagement strategy

There’s no one right employee engagement strategy. It’ll vary depending on your company values and culture. It also depends on the current state of employee engagement. If you’re starting from total disengagement, you may need to go the extra mile to build up morale.

While the ultimate strategy may vary, it’s important that you have an action plan to get engaged employees. 

It’s about more than just perks and employee recognition. Today’s employees need an emotional connection with their work. 

Let’s look at a few employee engagement ideas to get you started:

Conduct employee pulse surveys

Pulse surveys are like employee engagement surveys, but more frequent. Rather than every 6 months, these get sent out on a weekly or monthly basis. They’re a continuous psychological and satisfaction check-in with your team members.

As the name suggests, these surveys let you keep your finger on the pulse of your organisation.

Promote and uphold your company core values

Have documented company values and a clear brand narrative. Everyone, from the executives to the janitor, should know what your company holds close to your heart. And your actions should demonstrate it. 

Bring in employee purpose and involve them in your CSR activities

Speaking of values, CSR activities are important. Today’s workforce (particularly millennials and Gen Z), want to work with companies with a triple bottom line. Corporate social responsibility alone can reduce employee turnover by 50%. You can take this even further by empowering them to participate through employee volunteering or other initiatives to promote more eco-conscious behaviour.

A study by Deloitte showed that company-powered volunteering has a direct, positive impact on how employees see their company. You can use platforms like Alaya to streamline and manage these initiatives.

Be transparent

When transparency exists at all levels: from employee salaries to business strategies, it helps build trust in the company. This works because it helps employees understand the why of what they’re doing. They understand the company’s vision as well as how it plans to get there.

Workplace transparency has been proven to lower stress, increase employee engagement, and even improve employees’ opinions about their bosses (which reduces turnover).

Organise team-building activities

Transparency is good to get a full view of what’s happening in the business. To trust management and the company. But employees still need to build trust among one another. That’s where team building engagement activities come in.

Team building can be anything from fun icebreaker games to working on a volunteer project as a team. Team building helps build communication, leadership and bonding, among other things. These all contribute to reduced absenteeism and a better employee experience.

Employee engagement strategies

Employee engagement best practices

Starting an employee engagement strategy may take some trial and error at first. But there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re always heading in the right direction.

Here are some best practices we recommend you bear in mind while designing your employee engagement strategy:

  1. Keep measuring engagement: perform pulse surveys—weekly or monthly employee engagement surveys to see how your initiatives are performing.
  2. Set the example: engagement starts from the top. Executives should participate and demonstrate their dedication to transparency and company values.
  3. Recognise engaged employees: Set up a recognition program to help systematically recognise the most engaged employees.
  4. Establish a feedback loop: create a non-judgmental space where employees feel comfortable enough to give and receive feedback.
  5. Promote a healthy work-life balance: respect your employees as people with lives. Provide incentives whether for volunteering, flexible schedules, or more paid time off.
  6. Provide opportunities for growth and career development: for most of your employees, your company will be just another step in their career path. Give them opportunities for growth, and they’ll be more engaged.

Employee engagement strategies FAQ

We get asked these questions frequently. If others ask them, we figured you might be wondering the same, too.

What is meant by employee engagement?

Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to an organisation. It’s their pride and enthusiasm about the company and its mission. If you want to learn more about what employee engagement is, you can check out our article here.

Why is employee engagement important?

Employee engagement is key for getting talented new hires, retention and company culture. Plus, according to a Gallup study, more engagement means more profit.

How do you measure employee engagement?

You can use pulse surveys to regularly measure employee engagement, or send out less frequent employee engagement surveys. We recommend the latter to avoid surprises.

Which strategy speaks out to you most?