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The Ultimate Employee Engagement Guide

engaging employees is a key competitive differentiator

There are many benefits to your organisation when you have engaged employees. Not only do they perform better, but you’ll also have a reasonable employee retention rate, and the workplace will be a much more pleasant spot to be.

Employee engagement is the enthusiasm and connection your staff holds for your business. It is the determining factor of motivation, effort and commitment; three elements all business owners and managers want to see in their staff.

This outcome really depends on the discretionary effort of a company’s leadership. Read on as we take a deep dive into how you can improve employee engagement, what it is made of, and how to ensure adequate levels of it at your organisation.

What is in this employee engagement guide?

Employee engagement drives business outcomes. While employee churn comes with high business costs.

Our whitepaper will show you how an engaged workforce increases productivity and drives profitability.

What you’ll learn:

  • How strong leadership can improve your employee engagement levels
  • How employee engagement is connected with revenue growth
  • How employee engagement can help your business, and a whole lot more

Download now.

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is a measure of motivation and whether or not your team is willing to put in the extra effort to help your business perform and grow. It is also a sign of commitment.

Highly engaged employees offer higher value and contribute to a better company culture, which then improves morale and employee satisfaction for other team members as well.

Want to improve employee engagement? Start with building an EVP.

Related: What is an employee value proposition (EVP)?

Types of employee engagement

There are many ways to maintain employee engagement at work. You may decide to run with a few options or hone in on a specific set and really put effort into making it an area in which your organisation excels.

The main types of employee engagement include:

  1. Clearly defining your organisation’s values
  2. Making a shared purpose
  3. Ensuring a positive and safe work environment
  4. Motivating employees with rewards
  5. Caring for health and wellbeing (physical and mental)
  6. Defining individual employee roles
  7. Nurturing employee relationships
  8. Maintaining clear communication channels
  9. Creating and fostering leaders
  10. Fostering personal development
  11. Psychological Safety: Allowing the employees to be themselves in the work environment

A genuine and dedicated approach to the above actions from higher levels of management will create a company culture primed for positive engagement between employees.

When all employees buy into the core company values, a sense of shared goals and purpose can be a driver to succeed. A company with individual employees that strive to achieve grows as a whole.

Why is employee engagement important?

Engaged employees are energised and passionate about their work and find it much easier to achieve and maintain positive mental health. These high-performing employees are more willing to go the extra mile, often without being asked, and raise the bar of the service offered by your company.

Employee Engagement 1

The benefits of employee engagement work for both employer and employee. Engaged workers will not only be happier and more fulfilled by their job but feel as though time in the workday passes much quicker.

An engaged workforce is focused on their work instead of waiting for the clock to allow them to go home.

Key benefits of implementing employee engagement initiatives

As a business owner or manager, you likely understand that customer satisfaction results in customer loyalty. The same applies to your employees.

According to a study performed by Deloitte, 85% of HR professionals in Australia listed the creation of a positive employee experience as a top priority in the quest for better engagement.

If you take the time to implement successful employee engagement strategies in the workplace, you’ll see a range of benefits, including:

  1. Increased employee performance and higher productivity
  2. Improved relationships between team members and clients
  3. Greater profitability
  4. Higher employee retention
  5. Dynamic teamwork

The chance of achieving a workplace with successful employee engagement directly correlates to the quality of your employee engagement practices. The more time you are willing to spend designing, implementing and managing them, the greater the outcome of your engagement efforts.

What are the key drivers of employee engagement?

The key drivers of employee engagement will differ based on organisation, but there are a few constants that drive employee engagement in almost every sector.

Employee Engagement 2

These include:

  1. Leadership
  2. Learning and development opportunities
  3. A sense of meaning at work

Pay and work benefits are essentially the one basic rule for every employee at work. The next level up features professional development opportunities in your company and the chance of a promotion.

In addition to this, leadership style and whether or not the management team makes employees feel respected in their role and an alignment of values and meaning are paramount in every industry.

The rules as to what drives employee engagement are not set in stone, they will differ based on the dynamic, age and size of your workplace, but leadership, development opportunities and a meaningful shared vision helps inspire employees across the board.

The leader’s role in employee engagement strategies

The actions of senior leaders affect employee engagement. Engagement is dependent on team leaders following through with their promises.

For example, if employee feedback is asked for and received, it should receive actioned, tangible change. To ensure this is done, you need a 360-degree feedback process to not only understand the pain points in your entire organisation but to show how you plan to develop a way to action changes.

Employees will judge managers on what they do in response to their feedback. Asking for feedback but ignoring it is more damaging than not asking in the first instance. Sometimes you won’t even need to ask.

Employee turnover figures are a litmus test for employee engagement, and a churn rate greater than 10% means your internal practices need some work. An employee survey can be the best way to find out where you’re going wrong and how best to improve.

Employee engagement strategy examples

To build and increase employee engagement in your workplace, you’ll need to do more than just offer remuneration and perks.

There is a range of strategies and ideas for how to assist employee engagement, but they all come down to placing a high value on your employees and ensuring they are happy.

Focus on proactively developing the employee experience, and this journey begins before someone even applies for a role in your organisation.

It includes the physical (even if remote) environment and your company culture. Have you set your employees up for success with the right tech tools? Do your workplace policies resonate with today’s workers or just company leaders?

Employee experience is the most direct way to achieve better engagement.

1. Prioritise results over working hours

One option is to move away from monitoring and measuring input or hours worked, as this can add undue stress on staff who genuinely want to engage.

Employee success isn’t always directly correlated with the measurements, which is why focusing instead on measuring outcomes may be more beneficial for all involved. The number of hours your employee is in the office is not as important as the work they deliver.

An outcome-focused workplace culture puts more emphasis on the result, empowering employees with their responsibilities while allowing them to work in a way that is more conducive to their lifestyle.

This is a great way to provide job satisfaction and increase employee engagement. The option of remote work, which we have seen a rise in now more than ever, can be a great way to see more productive work while offering a benefit to staff who can enjoy a more flexible schedule.

2. Engage employees with rewards and recognition

One of the best ways to drive employee engagement is through reward and recognition. For every piece of criticism an employee receives, six pieces of positive reinforcement should counteract it. If your employees do not feel recognised or appreciated, they will be less engaged, less productive and disloyal.

Implementing a reward and recognition plan goes beyond the occasional gift card. It must be part of your company’s culture. To do this, you need a leadership framework for reward and recognition that encourages employees to be part of it.

Both managers and employees should be armed with the tools to reward and recognise each other, as this will actively encourage positive behaviours.

At Employment Hero our version of a gift card is Hero Dollars, an easy way to offer gifts or bonuses for employment anniversaries, new clients or the Christmas bonus. Hero Dollars make it easy to reward or recognise with discounts on something staff will actually want or need.

3. Use personalised communication styles

Another example can be as simple as your communication style.

This is something that should be customised to each employee, which can be difficult for larger companies, which is why every level of management needs to be engaged.

Sit down with each employee and spend the time learning how they like to be communicated with. Changing your style of communication to suit will be more effective than trying to make the employee change their way.

4. Provide regular employee feedback

A great way to do this is by conducting regular one-on-ones. Regular feedback is essential to measuring employee engagement and helping employees reach their full potential and move up in your company structure.

Whether you’re a manager or early on in your career, the need for constant communication is an important part of a well-functioning team.

Measuring engagement with employee engagement surveys

The best way to measure employee engagement is via employee engagement surveys.

Employee surveys give your team a chance to be honest about the culture in your workplace, identify critical areas of improvement that you otherwise may not know about, and see which areas of improvement mean the most to your team.

The specific employee engagement survey questions you ask are crucial, as you’ll want to ensure they will give you the information you need while also being actionable. Remember, you will only get a team of highly engaged employees if you act on employee feedback.

Employee satisfaction and happiness go hand-in-hand with employee engagement. So it’s important to incorporate wellbeing surveys as part of your employee engagement strategy.

Using an employee engagement software

All of this can be made easier with Employment Hero engagement software. Our employee engagement software simplifies your process and offers measurable ways to track the levels of employee engagement in your company all through one website experience.

Some of the advantages of using our employee engagement platform include:

  • An employee self-service portal where employees can request leave, view payslips and update their details easily, building trust and heightening employee engagement.
  • The Employment Hero mobile app through which employees can manage leave and timesheets or find contact details on the go.
  • The Manager Dashboard is a reward and recognition tool where members of your organisation can publicly thank each other and show of appreciation, helping employees feel engaged with the entire organisation.
  • Custom Surveys where you can create and send Custom Surveys to employees to collate, track and analyse feedback, comparing it with your business outcomes.
  • Happiness scores provides insights via an anonymous, monthly score that gauge the vibe of your business
  • Peer to Peer Feedback through which staff can recognise the efforts of one enough to establish greater camaraderie and performance

Learn more about how we can help with employee engagement strategies by booking a demo with our business specialist today.

Engaged employees – the key competitive differentiator

Just remember, achieving great engagement levels cannot be done by one process. It requires a mix of communication styles and channels, defining purpose, collaboration, and learning.

Make use of the tools available to you to help your team communicate openly and collaborate seamlessly in turn creating a positive change in your company culture.

Download our guide now to learn more about creating a team of highly engaged employees.

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