13 Ways to Improve Employee Engagement



Shawn Siegel
07/23/2013

An engaged employee is a productive employee. Here are 13 Ways to help in the never-ending quest to fully engage your workforce:

1. Understand your current culture

If you want to improve employee engagement levels, first you need to develop a measure of where you currently stand. Engage in staff surveys and do focus groups. You might not like the answer, but if you want to improve you need a benchmark.

2. Don’t focus on the money

Money is a hygiene factor. If you don’t pay enough, it can demotivate staff; but paying more than necessary does not necessarily equal increased performance levels. If you are looking for a tool for incentivising performance, you need to look elsewhere.

3. Borrow ideas

There are hundreds of other communications managers across the country with exactly the same challenges as you; why reinvent the wheel? It is a commonly known fact that incentives quickly lose their value if repeated, so why not pool your ideas with your peers to share the workload? Send a message to your contacts, download whitepapers and go to conferences.

4. Understand your staff

No two people are the same and every individual will be motivated by different things. Staff are often from different demographics, age ranges and a mix of casual and permanent staff. In order to truly motivate someone, it is critical to know what they personally value – and the best way to do that is to ask them.

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5. Provide a career path

The most engaged staff are often those who act as a springboard for the rest of the department or council. When employers provide quality career development, it delivers a win-win for both employers and employees. Not only will it mean your staff are more engaged, but you will often be held in higher regard by the rest of the company.

6. Get your recruitment right

Taking shortcuts in the recruitment process often results in spending the majority of your time fighting the subsequent fires. If you want to lessen your workload, hire the right people for the organisational culture you are looking to build and the rest will (largely) take care of itself.

7. Create a common purpose

Take steps to fulfil employees’ natural desire to contribute to a greater cause. This means not only do you need to communicate the goals and purpose of the organisation as a whole, but also the roles of each of your staff in achieving these goals.

8. Apply for an award

Want a cost free way to get recognition for your staff’s efforts? Then submit an entry for an awards programme. There is nothing like recognition from the wider industry for galvanising a workforce and reinforcing a culture of excellence.

9. Recognize achievements

Often all it takes to energise your staff is to say thank you for a job well done. Have too many staff to keep track of what all of them are up to? Have your team leaders email you with noteworthy achievements so that when you are doing the rounds you can congratulate people personally.

10. Say hello

It seems so simple, but do you acknowledge your staff at the beginning and end of every day? This single gesture can set the tone for the entire working day, and ensure that staff feel like an important part of the organisation that they work for.

11. Help your staff excel at their jobs

In the current climate, training can often fall off the map in the face of competing priorities, but this is a sure fire route to a loss of motivation. Mastery is critical to staff engagement, so make sure you are up-skilling your staff and giving them tasks that challenge them.

12. Be flexible

There is no longer any excuse for maintaining the inflexible 9-5 work arrangements of the past. Instead, allow staff to alter their working hours according to their needs, and watch their performance improve.

13. Take action NOW

Talk to most people and they would be able to compile a list of strategies for staff engagement. But the most important factor is not how many of these strategies you know, but how many you implement on a day to day basis. If you want to change your engagement levels, take the theory and make it practical.

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