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5 simple employee engagement ideas you need to implement

Employee engagement is an element that researchers today realize is essential for creating a positive work culture and a productive workforce. A recent Gallup Poll found that 69% of today’s workforce does not currently feel engaged in their work. Conversely, a separate study showed that employees who were highly engaged were far more productive and had a much lower level of absenteeism.

At SurveyMonkey, we make it our business to understand the research that affects employees and the workplace. By reviewing the 3 million+ daily responses that come in from the SurveyMonkey application in addition to analyzing recent research in the market, we are able to develop a unique perspective on the modern workforce.

Here are some employee engagement ideas that you can try at your company in order to increase the emotional and psychological involvement of your workforce.

Most things start at the top, and employee engagement is no different. Having managers who demonstrate their own engagement is essential. A positive work culture has strong, empathetic managers who act as part of their team. Great managers show consistent engagement themselves and motivate their teams to achieve high levels of performance. They create positive work environments where employees feel a sense of personal responsibility not only for their own productivity, but for their team’s success as well. This builds companies that are far more successful and profitable.

  • Hire strong, motivated managers. Managers are responsible for at least 70% of the differences in employee engagement levels.
  • Set realistic goals in concert with their employees. When employees feel personal involvement in goal setting, they also feel personal responsibility in meeting those goals– for themselves, for their team, and for their company.
  • Provide transparency. When employees feel that their managers are open, honest, and trusting, there is a 94 percent increase in employee happiness. In fact, on a recent survey that we conducted, we found that transparent leadership was ranked as extremely important by 48% of all employees. This makes sense as transparency creates a more open and cooperative team atmosphere.
  • Have visibility. Both management and executives should be visible and accessible to employees, so that they are seen as both available and approachable. This way, employees can get the guidance and assistance they need to complete their work swiftly and effectively.

One of the most important employee engagement ideas is often overlooked. Employees must have all of the tools they need to succeed in their roles in order to feel truly engaged in their work.

  • Have the necessary infrastructure. This includes your company’s processes, the tools your workers use to complete their assignments, as well as the organizational capabilities available to them.
  • Stay current with new technology. With technology advancing at an unprecedented rate, more and more individuals – particularly Millennials– are ready, willing, and able to adapt to the latest innovations, but most companies aren’t keeping up. Many are still stuck in industrial age equipment and practices that are getting more and more outdated., which leads to frustrated employees.

It seems so obvious, but in today’s busy companies, employee appreciation is far too often overlooked. Acknowledgement by management and among peers is the quickest way to build trust, restore strained employee relationships, and energize your workplace.

  • Publicly recognize your employees. Praising them for their achievements and contributions to your company not only motivates those workers to continue doing great work, but it also inspires others.
  • Thank them for their work and show support. Through our research, we’ve found that employees who feel they have supportive supervisors are 67 percent more engaged and are more likely to stay with your company. A simple card or note saying thank you for a job well done goes farther than you may think.

When coming up with your employee engagement ideas, be sure to keep the employee’s happiness top of mind. After all, happiness makes your employees more engaged and 12% more productive at work. When your workers are happy, they are also more effective at working with a team towards shared goals. So, how do you encourage happiness in your workers?

  • Reward them. While for some, simply being recognized for their work is enough, others need more tangible rewards. Of course, pay raises are always welcome, but you may not always have the budget. Other ways to reward employees include a lunch out with their manager, an inexpensive basket filled with snacks, and small gifts such as movie tickets or iTunes cards.
  • Provide time off. This includes offering vacations, sick days, and personal days – all of which lead to less stressed, healthier and happier employees. Comp time is another great way to not only reward your employees for extra work, but give them the time they need to rejuvenate so they come back to work energized and ready to be as productive as possible.

Too many companies overwhelm new employees with paperwork and seemingly pointless presentations. Instead, capitalize on their interest and enthusiasm by getting them right to work, introducing them to co-workers, and giving them a mentor who can show them the ropes. Letting them feel like they are welcome members of your workplace culture instead of simply “the new guy/girl” will help motivate them and provide them with a positive first impression that they will carry with them throughout their career at your company.

A more engaged, happier workforce clearly makes for more productive employees. Successful managers are constantly evaluating how their employees feel about their work environment and whether they are engaged in their work. Companies who don’t make this effort may have difficulty retaining existing employees and attracting the best new workers.

Whatever employee engagement ideas you end up incorporating, you’ll want to be able to evaluate employee engagement and use benchmark data to compare your results to other companies. You’ll find that at SurveyMonkey, we offer helpful information, templates, and products so that you can come up with employee engagement ideas that encourage healthier, happier, and more active employees.

Looking to get a deeper handle on employee satisfaction? Need to improve employee retention and performance? Learn about SurveyMonkey Engage—our custom built solution that allows your team to receive actionable insights directly from your employees.

HR toolkit: Make employee experience your competitive advantage

HR leaders can use this toolkit to help drive exceptional employee experiences.

Enhancing the employee lifecyle: strategies and insights for EX success

Enhance workforce management and engagement through our in-depth guide on the employee lifecycle.

Using eNPS to close the employee experience gap

Discover how to track employee experience and close performance gaps over time with surveys.

Leadership development: what it is and why it’s important

Learn how to build your own leadership development program to enhance employee engagement, build a culture of continuous learning, and drive success.