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Low-cost ways to boost employee engagement [Free eBook]

Published 4 Apr 2023

The key to a successful business lies with its people. If you’re the proud owner of a business, or in charge of leading a team, you’ll understand the importance of supporting employees to work at their best.

Our employee engagement guide is here to help you with easy ideas to improve employee experience and enable a happy, productive team at work. Best of all, these ideas don’t have to burst your budget.

What’s covered in this guide?

This guide takes you through the fundamentals of employee engagement, as well as some clear initiatives that you can bring to your business. It includes:

  • Why employee engagement matters in a business
  • How to assess your current employee engagement levels
  • Three key initiatives to try:
    • Build a culture of learning and development
    • Enable effective feedback loops and recognition programs
    • Support your team (with wellbeing at the fore)
  • How to use digital tools to streamline these initiatives

We’ve also included some bonus templates in there for you, that you can easily distribute across your teams. Happy reading!

Download the guide to improving employee engagement on a budget by filling in the form on the right.

Why should companies try to improve employee engagement?

Engaged employees feel invested in and connected to their work. As much as all business leaders feel they offer a great workplace, there’s always space to improve. Investing in employee engagement through some simple initiatives can significantly benefit the business as a whole, not just the team.

What are the benefits? For one, engaged employees are far less likely to move roles to another company. Having high turnover rates is expensive – with every employee a business loses, they spend 20% of that employee’s annual salary replacing them. Investing in your employee’s happiness can also play a large part in building a healthy workplace culture, where everyone feels supported.

Are engaged employees more productive?

Here’s the big sell for many business leaders — employee engagement has been shown to have a real impact on productivity. A study has shown that happy employees are 12% more productive than their peers, and take 10x fewer sick days.

If you want your business to thrive and stay ahead of the competition, employee engagement should be on your list of priorities.

What are the important factors that influence employee engagement?

There are a few key factors that have an effect on employee engagement. It’s something of a melting pot — each employee will value these factors differently. For example, some may be more interested in team-building activities, while others are focused on career development opportunities.

For employers, they should aim to support and improve as many of these workplace factors as possible:

  • Learning and development opportunities
  • Workplace culture
  • A company ‘purpose’ or meaning
  • Challenging tasks and projects
  • Job satisfaction
  • Team wellbeing
  • Rewards and recognition
  • Effective leadership
  • Clear career paths in the organisation

Are effective employee engagement ideas only achievable with significant investment?

Not necessarily. As our guide explains, lots of the initiatives that can make a difference to employee engagement don’t require a huge amount of financial investment. Much of this can be done with some reflection, time and two-way communication between employees and leadership.

Of course, some businesses may choose to spend big bucks for employee engagement. For example, a large budget could be allocated for certain activities, team restructuring, grand projects or giant rebrands. It doesn’t mean that the results will be any more effective than the simpler, lower-cost investments.

The fundamental way to improve employee engagement is by listening to the employees themselves. What do employees feel will make them happy at work? If you start work without knowing this information, chances are, a lot of your initiatives will go to waste. Something as simple and cheap as a regular survey will allow you to understand where improvements can be made and if they’re even working.

Why should company leaders consider low-cost engagement strategies?

We know it can sometimes be tricky to find space in the budget, especially for employee engagement, which doesn’t always align to clear metrics of success. It makes complete sense if businesses would rather invest the bulk of their budget to key operations and crucial projects.

Luckily, investing in employee engagement doesn’t have to cost much at all. The key is in finding ways to effortlessly integrate initiatives into the day-to-to-day, whether that’s bringing in learning systems so employees have the opportunity to build new skills, or promoting ways to celebrate a job well done.

That’s where HR software can really come in useful. Platforms like Employment Hero have a host of employee engagement features already built in, from easy one-click surveys to an accessible learning platform. By centralising everything related to employment in one digital space, it’s easy to include a focus on happiness and engagement.

What digital employee engagement looks like in practice

It’s hard to imagine the benefits of digital tools if you can’t see what HR software can offer! On Employment Hero, we have several features dedicated to improving employee engagement. Here are just a few of the ones on offer:

Reward and recognition

Each business using Employment Hero has one shared company feed that can be seen by all employees. This feed works similar to a social media feed, where anyone can post a ‘Shout out’, celebrating their colleagues and recognising fantastic work. Better still, leaders have the option to tie posts to financial rewards, so those being get a treat to use as they’d like.

Employee happiness surveys

The Employment Hero employee happiness survey is a popular feature. They’re a great way to get a temperature check on the overall happiness of your workforce, and are a strong indicator of employee engagement.

The survey is designed to be sent out company-wide and is really simple, with a 10-point graph where employees can mark their satisfaction level. There is also a comment box where employees can leave feedback, and employers can respond directly and in confidence. All employee submissions are anonymous from beginning to end.

The Employee Happiness Survey on Employment Hero

A learning management system

Everyone likes to feel valued. If a company is prepared to ensure that their employees can build their skills and learn from each other, they could have a happier team – as well as a more knowledgeable one.

Employment Hero’s learning management system comes with a huge library of courses, covering everything from effective communication to coding. You can create pathways for employees to work through, or you can encourage employees to manage their own learning for continuous development. It’s a great way of ensuring they feel empowered to learn and upskill.

An example list of active courses for one user on Employment Hero

How do you increase employee engagement in a sustainable way?

Employee engagement can transform a business in all sorts of ways, whether it’s through increased productivity, a better reputation or a high employee retention rate. It’s an investment that you are unlikely to regret making, providing you do it wisely and consult your team along the way.

As with all company initiatives, commitment to a new way of working comes from the top down. Business leaders should understand the benefits of improving employee engagement and convey that down the chain of command.

Those introducing new initiatives should also take time to reassess and evaluate. Make sure there’s a clear date to check in with the success of everything introduced so far. It’ll help leaders feel secure that their money is going to the right place. Surveys like the Employment Hero happiness surveys are a quick and easy way to check in with the team over time.

Download the guide now for budget-friendly ways to improve employee engagement

You’re just a few steps away from building an engaged and happy team.

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