Not all employment engagement strategies are created equal. The approach that unifies and mobilizes one team may not work as well in a different workplace context. With that said, I truly believe there are some fundamentals, some ingredients that pretty much all employment engagement strategies have in common.
Today, I’m going to run you through my top 10 list. If you’re trying to ramp up your employment engagement efforts, I’d say these are 10 components you don’t want to overlook.
10 Hallmarks of Effective Employment Engagement Strategies
- The right tools for the job. The first thing I’d recommend is ensuring your employees feel properly equipped to do their job, and to do it well. Make sure you’ve invested in the technologies and other resources your team members need to be highly productive. Employees who feel like they lack the right tools to do their job are never going to be fully engaged.
- Training opportunities. Effective employment engagement strategies require you to show your team members that you’re invested in them over the long haul… not just that you want them to be good employees now, but that you want to see them thrive over the long term. One of the clearest ways to do that is to provide continuing education and in-house training opportunities for the members of your team.
- Onboarding. I’m always telling business owners and HR professionals that engagement starts early; really, it starts when you’re interviewing and hiring, articulating your company culture and mission to new recruits. And it definitely carries over into the onboarding process. Make sure you have an onboarding process that allows new team members to understand the big picture, and their place within it, from the get-go. A particular recommendation is to pair each new employee with a mentor or workplace “buddy” right from the beginning.
- Recognition for achievements. Another key element of employee engagement strategies? A little bit of praise. People like to be told when they’re doing a good job, and to be acknowledged for their accomplishments. Get into a habit of providing praise and affirmation for team members who achieve at a high level. This praise can just be verbal, but I’d also point to the very real benefits of gift cards and other little “perks” for employees who truly rise to the occasion.
- Feedback and constructive criticism. As you make an effort to provide employee praise and affirmation, also remember to be clear, consistent, and forthcoming in the feedback you provide. Employees deserve to know if they are not meeting expectations, or if there is an area where they could be doing things differently. In fact, feedback is a crucial element of effective employment engagement strategies: It’s another important way for you to show team members that you’re making an investment in them.
- Open lines of communication. I’m constantly talking about the importance of open communication in the workplace. There are a number of forms this can take, including town hall meetings, suggestion boxes, employee engagement surveys, and beyond. Simply having an open-door policy, or regular office hours, can also work wonders. The important thing is just to keep channels of communication open.
- Numbers and metrics. Do your employees really know how well the company is doing? Do they have a good sense of whether the team if succeeding, or faltering? If you really want your team members to feel like they have some ownership in the company, you should be sharing regular updates with them. This doesn’t mean you have to share every last metric and analytic but do be open about the general state of affairs at your business.
- Culture. It’s hard to talk about employment engagement strategies without discussing company culture. In this instance, when I say culture, I’m referencing the sense of belonging, of fitting within the big picture. Specifically, I’d encourage you to have a clearly articulated sense of mission or statement of values. Promote culture to your team members and help them to see how their role aligns with the broader objectives of the company.
- Opportunities to destress. Workplace stress and burnout are very real problems, and if you let them fester, it could really eat into your employee engagement numbers. I think there is some merit to planning fun activities, parties, and group outings to help relieve stress. But there are also plenty of other ways you can mitigate stress in your workplace, such as offering wellness offerings and more flexible work hours.
- A sense of balance. Finally, let’s talk work-life balance. This has been a hot topic in recent years, and I certainly think it warrants discussion within the context of employment engagement strategies. There are a number of ways you can provide your employees with a greater sense of balance, e.g., remote work options, flexibility to leave a little early to handle family matters, etc. Also make sure you’re modeling balance for your employees; there’s no reason why you should be sending them emails at 2 in the morning, or still sitting in your office come midnight!
As you can see, developing effective employee engagement strategies is a big and complicated undertaking. While you think about employment engagement at your company, I invite you to give me a call. I’d love to chat with you about ways you can promote engagement among your team members. Contact me at www.rickgoodman.com or call 888-267-6098.