How to Drive Employee Engagement

When employers invest in employee engagement, everyone wins. Learn how to celebrate your team through recognition that will boost morale, retention, and your bottom line.

Whether you’re entering a new day, new week, new month, year or business quarter, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as having a “tabula rasa”. The opportunity to move forward with a blank canvas and reflect on both your business achievements and areas if opportunity only comes as often as you’d like it to, so why not get in a regular habit of reflecting? As technology continues to permeate almost every corner of our lives, it’s increasingly important to remember to put your people first. At the root of any great company are the folks that come in and roll up their sleeves alongside you, so we urge you to retain these folks and develop their careers. One way to do this is through building programming that celebrates wins, acknowledges growth, and shares development. Nurturing employee engagement efforts will help you succeed in myriad ways – discover a few tips to get started. Employee engagement benefits not only the day to

Why employee engagement is critical to business success

When you’re passionate about what you’re doing and the people you’re surrounded by, you’ll be even more motivated to do great work. However, when an employer doesn’t invest enough time in employee satisfaction, the financial implications can be staggering. According to Gallup, only 30% (1:3) of employees are engaged in their workplace. Each year, this results in $550B lost for businesses in the U.S., or $3,400 for every $10,000 of an employee’s annual salary. On the upside of this? According to another recent Gallup pole, companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% and outrank poorly engaged companies in the stock market by 22%.

How recognition and rewards improve employee engagement:

Just 1 in 3 workers in the U.S. agree that they receive recognition or praise in a given week – that means that 66% are getting nothing. Nothing! Not even a pat on the back or a 2-line thank you email from their manager.  And, if this continues, Gallup shares that employees who do not feel adequately recognized are 2X as likely to quit in the next year.  And all of those empty seats can cost you some serious cash (SHRM reports up to 6-9 months of the employee’s salary).

Gallup goes on to share that recognition is “one of the most easily executed strategies,” and also one of the “greatest missed opportunities for leaders and managers”, positioning recognition as the best place to start when looking to improve employee engagement at your office.

Guidelines for building a recognition program

When implementing an employee recognition program for your team, the following criteria will help you design the most valuable experience:

  • Authenticity: Recognition and rewards must reflect your company’s mission, vision, values, and personality
  • Memorable: Recognition and rewards that allow employees to associate fond memories with your company, even after they walk out your door
  • Personal: Recognition and rewards that are personalized to your employees’ hobbies, passions and interests – rewards that feel genuine and authentic
  • Shareable: Recognition and rewards that are comfortable being socialized, allowing employees to bond and that help to improve overall company morale
  • Measurable: A program that allows the administrator to evaluate the impact on key engagement metrics that you collect in your employee engagement survey

Where to get started

As you evaluate pre-existing programming for your team, take a closer look at your onboarding processes. A new hire’s first several days at the company have much to do with their future engagement, so this is a great moment to set the tone for a supportive workplace.

By introducing them to your program early on, your new teammates will understand that leadership places value on positive company culture and retention (Blueboard, 2016 data). For tenured employees, take the opportunity of an all company meeting or all hands to present the initiative with senior leadership to demonstrate support of the program.

Keep it alive

As with any new initiative, creating a lasting, sustainable employee recognition program that works will take nurturing. Host office hours, create info tables and bulletin boards in common areas (your break room, on the refrigerator etc) to answer your employees’ questions.

Want to drive employee engagement from day one? Check out our free Employee Handbook Guide! It has over 20 customizable templates to allow you to onboard and engage your employees quickly and easily.

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