It is no secret that the key to great employee experience is closely linked to employee engagement. Engaged employees are passionate and dedicated to their work and company. Thereby, they can be more creative, innovative, and productive. However, ensuring that engagement is high is no easy feet. Therefore, we have compiled a list of employee engagement initiatives that will get you on the right track.
(1) Establishing a feedback strategy
Feedback is the first step to establish a company culture founded on trust and willingness to improve. The best way to show that and gauge your employees’ feelings and needs is by asking them. If you directly to the source, you are showing your dedication to your employees and building trust. This will also enable you to gain valuable data to turn into action plans. Feedback only works when you put the work in to make improvements, so your employees know you are actually listening to them.
Another important factor to improve employee engagement is to have a comprehensive feedback strategy in place. Employee engagement is only a part of larger employee experience, which also encompasses satisfaction and loyalty. Therefore, you should incorporate your strategies into an overall programme by using an engagement EX platform, such as Netigate EX.
Check out our guide on how to write employee engagement survey questions — to get your feedback journey started!
(2) Providing learning, development, and mentorship opportunities
Feedback goes a long way in establishing trust and confidence, but there is another important factor to show you trust and value your employees. That is: providing up-skilling opportunities for your employees to take on new responsibilities and grow. If you provide learning and development opportunities, not only do your employees gain new skills which they bring to your business. It is also valuable for them as a person, because they can explore new areas of interest or expand upon already existing strengths and skills.
If you always do the same thing, it is easy to get bored. Therefore, being able to try new things is a good employee engagement initiative. However, make sure that you are not overwhelming them with a constant flow of new information, obligatory seminars, or similar. It is more important to have the groundwork in place, which allows employees to take on as many opportunities as they feel comfortable with or interested in. Another good strategy is having a mentorship programme in place. This nurtures learning and also allows the mentors to take on the responsibility of coaching!
(3) Implementing a mental health and wellbeing officer / programme
Employee engagement is very closely linked to your employees’ wellbeing and mental health. Modern work culture with its strict focus on productivity is a threat to most people’s mental health. For a healthy work environment, make sure to prioritise your employee’s mental health and work-life balance. This should be at the centre of any employee engagement initiative. Employees who are constantly exhausted and overwhelmed are not only impacted mentally – but it poses a risk to physical health as well. Consider some of the impacts on mental health and what you can do to prevent them in our article on loneliness at work.
A good way to ensure your mental health strategy is not just hot air, it can be a good idea to have a dedicated mental health officer or programme. The best way is to design this with your employees in mind. Therefore, go back to step one and make sure to include mental health as a key factor in your feedback strategy. Find out, which priorities your employees have, which aspects of work affect them negatively, and which aspects make them happy, fuelled, and engaged.
(4) Planning team socials and activities
Now, this is perhaps an obvious one, but it is worth mentioning. Employee engagement initiatives are not limited to work, but can happen outside of it. The best way to ensure your employees get to know one another and can work as a team, is for them to have opportunities to get to know each other outside of work. Team socials and activities are a fun way to get the team together, outside of the office or the zoom screen. They allow for a relaxed environment to chat, debrief, and have some easygoing team-building. Whether it is just having a few drinks after work, or a proper day with a fun activity – think anything from bowling to escape room – and a meal. These get-togethers can do wonders for the team spirit!
As per the advice above, however, these things should never be obligatory and spread out over time. You do not want to give employees the impression that they have to show up for even more hours outside of work! Team building is a fun way to increase engagement, which will positively benefit your employee relations and collaboration in the future.
(5) Giving back: feedback, valuing, and recognition
To bring this list full circle, let’s talk about feedback again. This time, however, not asking your employees for feedback, but providing it. Feedback needs to go both ways. One of the most important factors to ensure engagement is not only for your employees to feel heard, but also seen. We are more engaged if we feel like the work we put in is actually noticed. It is so significant to make sure to show your employees that you value them and their contribution. Provide personalised feedback, which helps employees grow, and make sure to voice your recognition.
However, by this we do not mean to establish a competitive culture based on productivity and rewarded with a bonus. We mean creating a healthy work culture, where people show gratitude and that they value each other.