18 Employee Engagement Best Practices for a Healthy Workforce
Businesses are changing across the globe. The fast-paced work culture adopted by enterprises is demanding more engagement than ever before. Every employer now wants to harness the maximum output from their employees. And the only magic potion for this that is both feasible and, to an extent, very cost-effective came in the form of employee engagement. But here's the catch, adhering to employee engagement best practices isn't like a hot knife through butter.
It is a proven fact that engaged employees have higher productivity. But employers often make a huge mistake by gauging an employee’s increased productivity with a handsome paycheck.
Though money might be a factor for motivating the employees to do more, it's not everything. Everyone looks forward to having a nice employee experience complemented by a positive work environment and opportunities for professional development. And all of these depend on the level of engagement employers practice at their workplaces.
As such, business leaders have now shifted their focus to driving higher productivity towards improving employee engagement. However, like everything, to get the best results out of something in the long term, you need to follow its best practices.
In this article, I'll discuss some of the notable employee engagement best practices as adopted by organizations
1. Begin with Yourself
Practice what you preach.
The starting point for increasing employee engagement in your organization begins with you and all the top executives responsible for running the show.
Lead and motivate your employees from the front to ensure they are well motivated. Employees look up to their bosses for inspiration almost every time. Until the top brasses adopt healthy work ethics expecting the same from your subordinates is absurd.
2. Extend the Helping Hand
No one is perfect, and every one of us needs some external help in one way or another at some point in time.
Being a manager, don't confine yourselves to your desk or your cabin. Always reach out to the employees by yourself from time to time. This will give you an accurate idea of your employees' issues at the workplace or their personal lives that adversely affect their productivity.
Accordingly, you should help out your employees and assist them with your guidance for mitigating whatever issues they are facing.
3. Exercise On-Spot Recognition
Don’t delay in recognizing your employees.
Employees like it when their work is acknowledged, and their efforts are appreciated. However, keeping your employees on long hold until a particular day for appreciation might be the best idea.
The effect of recognition is the most when it’s done immediately after the successful completion of the work. Furthermore, with nearly half of today’s workforce comprising of millennial employees who demand instant gratification, the need to exercise on-spot recognition has risen even more. So, you must always make it a point to acknowledge your employees instantly for their great work, even if you do it verbally.
4. Maintain Transparency
Many employers make the mistake of hiding the vital affairs going inside the company from the employees. Such ill practices are enough to put your engagement efforts on the backfoot.
It is the trust between the employer and the employees that keep things running smoothly within the organization. Not disclosing certain things which are important for the employees to know is enough to them feel demotivated. Also, it badly affects both the employer-employee relationship and the work environment in an organization.
Hence, it is always advisable to articulate all the happenings and situations arising within the company to your employees. Doing so will gain your employees' trust and reflect as increased employee morale and satisfaction.
5. Freedom to Make Choices
There's no growth where there's no space.
Like I said in the line above, the growth of an organization is directly related to the amount of freedom enjoyed by the employees at work. Here, I don't mean that you must leave your employees to do whatever they want as an employer.
Letting your employees curate their own plan for getting the work is much appreciable rather than imposing them with orders from the top. As a manager, you are also putting the employees in a responsible position when you do this. Also, it'll help the employees explore their capabilities and aid them in their growth as a professional.
6. Make Recognition a Daily Affair
Every day comes with its own lessons and set of challenges that even your employees to learn and solve.
Even being an employer or a manager, you'll agree with this fact. Though the tasks may vary based on the nature of work different teams do within an organization, it shouldn't be treated as a reason for not putting out the ** "GOOD WORD"** daily.
Saying so, keep a close vigil on the progress made by your employees every day and acknowledge them for their efforts “DAILY.”
7. Good Internal Communication is the Key
The success of an organization depends upon the level of engagement maintained by those working there. And the same culture of engagement is directly proportional to the quality of internal communication in the organization.
Internal communication plays a pivotal role in ensuring a good mutual understanding and cooperation within the workforce. It clearly depicts the graph of employee satisfaction that depends on an employee's ability to express themselves. Thus, you must always ensure a good flow of internal communication amongst the employees.
8. Practice Engagement from Day One
Engagement should begin right from the moment an employee joins your organization. It is one of the most important employee engagement best practices.
Incorporating employee engagement activities right from the initial days involving orientation and onboarding gives employers an edge for keeping the workers accustomed to their engagement best practices.
It also makes the new employees feel less stressed when they join at work and adds more to their motivation level.
9. One Size Doesn’t Fit All
When designing your employee engagement program, refrain from adopting the “One Size Fits All” policy.
Corporations often make the mistake of creating an engagement program without knowing much about the needs and aspirations of their employees. Employee engagement programs work the best when they are created based on the requirements of the organization. These requirements may vary based on the size of the workforce, work environment, and other such factors.
A murky employee engagement program would rather make the employees feel demotivated. So, the best practice to avoid this would be first to understand what your employees desire from their workplace. After that, you can subsequently plan and create a better engagement program that would suit your workforce.
10. Emphasize Employee Health and Wellness
Healthy employees are the actual assets of an organization. The reason that makes them unique is these employees have higher productivity compared to others.
Employee health and wellness is one of the forefronts of an employee engagement program. In today's work environment, many employees fall prey to chronic health diseases due to the sedentary lifestyle. Employees now stay bonded to their work desk without much physical movement, leading to the rise of these diseases.
However, this can be dealt with very efficiently by creating a good workplace health and wellness program. Such a program will have two benefits:
First, it'll encourage the employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle and change their existing work habits.
Secondly, employers will enjoy the benefits of a healthier workforce in the form of lower absenteeism and highly engaged employees.
11. Define Goals and Acknowledge Achievements
The best way to keep your employees engaged at work is to let them know what they are working for. Until the employees are clear about the purpose of their work, they may not give their best. So, setting goals and letting the employees know the purpose of their work is one of the engagement best practices that employers need to follow.
Similarly, make announcements about the achievements of your organization to your employees. It lets them know that their work is worth their organization and inspires them to give their best to whatever work they do next time.
12. Thrive for a Healthy Work environment
All your employee engagement best practices will go in vain if you don’t instill a healthy work environment in your organization.
The design of the work environment matters a lot for the efficient implementation of employee engagement best practices. It is what one can say is the core requirement for an engaged workforce. Having a positive work environment gets 80% of the work done that ensures an engaged workforce. Further, it also helps employers to measure engagement levels at the workplace.
In simple terms, the better the work environment within the organization, the better your employees are engaged.
13. Strengthen the Workforce with Team Building Activities
Organizations thrive on the collective efforts put in by all their employees as a team. Thus, team-building activities should be an essential part of your engagement practices in the workplace.
These activities help employers to foster strong workplace relationships. It also contributes to the professional development of an employee. Thus, ensuring your employees stay well-motivated and develop the skills required to work together as a team all at the same time.
14. Diversify Your Rewards Scheme
Don't consider giving your employees the same perks and rewards over and over again. It is one of the leading causes behind the failure of an employee engagement program.
Giving your employees the freedom to choose their own rewards from various items here will be like hitting the bullseye. However, you may be thinking now if it's even possible?
The answer to this is “YES!”. Today’s cloud-based employee engagement platform lets your employees decide on what they want to get for themselves. This way they would also gain access to various corporate privileges offered by top brands on various things. Now, what could be a better reward for your employees than this?
15. Amplify Engagement Efforts through Social Media
If you’re truly appreciating someone then don’t let your words of appreciation stay confined between you and the receiver.
We, humans, like it the most when we are applauded amidst the mass. It gives us a sense of gratification and fills us with pride for doing the right thing. Similarly, recognizing your employees for the good work done and acknowledging their efforts is nothing different here. In fact, employee recognition is the root of all employee engagement best practices.
And like I said above, maximize the effect of your employee engagement program using social media. Social media is a potent tool to get your word out to a vast set of relevant audiences. And taking your employee recognition to everyone over social media will make the employees feel good and add plus points to their overall employee experience.
16. Support Career Growth and Personal Development
Employee engagement is not only about making your employees love their job in the workplace. It's also about supporting them on the grounds of their own career growth and development.
The present-day job seekers look forward to having the avenue for their career growth when joining an organization. It's one of the employee engagement best practices employers can commit to without any hassle. And for the same, you can support your employees by providing them with study materials and access to professional counselors.
You can see one of the long-term benefits of supporting your employees in their career growth in the form of employee retention.
17. Conduct Timely Surveys
It is essential to keep a check on where your employee engagement practices are heading.
Conducting surveys from time to time gives you a clear picture of the pros and cons that might be present in your existing engagement practices. Moreover, it enables you to take swift action against anything that may lower the organization's level of engagement. Overall, these employee engagement surveys ensure that the culture of engagement remains robust and improves over time.
18. Celebrate Special Occasions
To keep employees engaged at work, it's very important to create lively atmosphere all around. Celebrating special occasions like your employees' birthday, or corporate events like employee appreciation day and others, would give your workforce some pure moments of joy while at work.
These were a few employee engagement best practices that you need to keep in mind whenever you are implementing one at your workplace.