5 Steps to Better Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement – Where does your company stand? 

With so much literature out there today on employee engagement and how your company should be aligning their strategic plans to ensure the optimal culture, how do you know where your organization stands? From role autonomy and purpose alignment to rewards, recognition and benefits, it’s enough to make your head spin. Breaking down what parts and pieces your organization needs to excel doesn’t have to be a complicated or expensive process.


The first step in finding out where you stand from an engagement perspective starts with a simple employee survey. Ask the people who make your company what it is how they feel. This may be something you have never done with your team, or something you do annually. If you are new to the employee survey concept, there are many vendors on the market to help you through the process. They run the gamut from simple and low cost to robust with the matching price tag. Do your research and find the best vendor for your company’s needs. The good news? The employee survey process has not only been streamlined over the years, it has also been developed into an in-depth science to help you analyze your results and determine where your leadership team needs to take action to begin correcting opportunities within your organization. It is now one of the most important analytical tools for your growth toolkit.


Does your organization perform monthly one - on - one sessions with its employees? If not, the addition of these formalized meetings can add depth to employees’ roles and relationships. Each employee should have time each month with their manager to discuss aspects of their role outside of the day to day functions. Career path, training, satisfaction levels, what they need from their manager or team, open feedback, and anything else that may be relevant to ensuring a successful relationship between employee and manager. The relationship building tool is impactful in an employee’s overall satisfaction and helps give them a voice in their career.


Strong engagement starts with a strong purpose. Now, more than ever, employees must be drawn to a purpose. An employee who is inspired by a cause—and whose job centers around furthering that cause—has an intrinsic desire to succeed, and therefore becomes more productive. Conversely, when employees don’t feel that their work contributes to a higher cause, they’ll tend to put less effort into what they do. Ensuring your companies origin story, its purpose, and its plan to live that purpose is heard loud and clear is a crucial factor to long term employee engagement.


Everyone wants to feel some sense of ownership in their career. Ensuring your employees have autonomy over some aspect of their role is another key factor in employee engagement. Autonomy marries with accountability. Allow your employees to have autonomy, but also ensure they have accountability to the final outcome. This accountability increases ownership and builds a stronger sense of responsibility to the results. Successfully achieving the goal and receiving praise from your manager for a job well done also helps build confidence and pride in your work. All strong factors in engagement.


Finally, celebrate your teams’ successes! We all work hard, doing our best day in and day out to ensure we do our jobs well. As a peer or leader, when you recognize work done well, praise it! Give kudos, public praise, or whatever other types of recognition programs your organization utilizes. Getting and giving genuine recognition for work, celebrating successes, and embracing your recognition programs is proven to lower turnover and increase retention. People want to stay where they are recognized and rewarded. Sadly, current publicly shared data shows that nearly half of employees don’t feel satisfied with the level of recognition they receive, and some don’t feel recognized at all. Ensuring you have a successful recognition program in place in your organization is one of the easiest ways to increase your engagement and retention.

Engaged employees are your best recruiters, your best cheerleaders, your best internal coaches to help grow your team, and quite possibly your next leaders. Increasing your employee engagement doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Take a pulse of your current engagement with a survey, work to deeply analyze the results, and dive into building a solution plan with your leadership team. No issue has to be solved overnight but showing a steady progress and drive to continually improve the opportunities your company has can go far with your employees. Your path to a stronger, more engaged team can start today!