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Employee Engagement

25 Employee Engagement Best Practices for Building a Highly Motivated Workforce

With remote and hybrid work environments becoming ubiquitous across the globe, organizations are feeling the dearth of employee face-time. This has brought discussions around employee engagement to the forefront. With an ensuing uncertainty about coming back to work, organizations are looking for ways to reduce employee turnover and increase productivity in the current remote and hybrid work models. 

As a result, there is an increasing need for introducing more and more employee engagement activities to keep employees happy and content with their role and the organization. It is time to focus your energies on impactful methods of employee engagement and practices to bring back the energy and enthusiasm level of your employees in 2022.

So, we take you through some employee engagement best practices to help you steer through any kind of employee engagement challenge.

What are the employee engagement best practices?

How you keep your employees engaged can vary with work culture and organizational ethos. But there are some successful employee engagement strategies that you must follow as golden rules for succeeding at the smallest of your efforts.

Spilling the top 25 employee engagement best practices 2022:

  1. Ensure inspiring & aligned leadership
  2. Effective employee communication
  3. Simple and efficient case management
  4. Automated knowledge management
  5. Conversational and well-intended surveys
  6. Targeted employee development
  7. Planned approach for the entire employee lifecycle
  8. Recognition of effort
  9. Team building ideas and activities
  10. Prioritizing health and wellness
  11. Measuring engagement levels
  12. Understand the key engagement drivers
  13. Conduct exit and stay surveys
  14. Be persistent
  15. Identify training needs
  16. Provide internal mobility
  17. Workplace flexibility
  18. Encourage autonomy
  19. Diversify incentives
  20. Utilize the influence of social media
  21. Invest in holidays
  22. Consult employees on significant choices
  23. Give your employees a VOICE
  24. Promote input in a 360-degree format
  25. Advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion

What can HR do to improve employee engagement?

1. Ensure inspiring and aligned leadership

employee engagement best practices 2022

Employee engagement is a trickle down effect – engaged employees motivate their colleagues and foster a positive work environment. If you expect your employees to be engaged and happy, you need to start at the senior personnel level.

If the leaders of the organization strongly believe in the goals and vision, they will convey the same sentiment to their teams, making everyone feel part of a shared purpose, a bigger picture. Engaged leaders are half the battle won. They become brand ambassadors for the organization as well as for their teams.

Aligned and engaged leadership is one of the critical keys to employee engagement. Inspired leaders motivate others to achieve their optimum productivity by acknowledging their contributions and creating more growth opportunities. This results in an increase in employee satisfaction leading to lower attrition.

2. Prioritize regular communication with employees

employee engagement best practices 2022

Employee engagement best practices are incomplete without the right manner and frequency of employee communication. It is one of the must employee engagement initiatives. In fact, you’ll see that most successful companies prioritize employee communication in different ways – from one on one meetings with managers, to weekly catchup calls, or town hall meetings every month. 

You can use your day to day communication channel to hold brainstorming sessions, creating a space for watercooler conversations that you’d typically have while working out of a physical office. 

There are other forms of employee communication as well that you can leverage. Some of the best examples that also add value to the employee’s experience include: 

  • Leadership discussions
  • Goal setting and tracking programs
  • Team lunches/ dinners and outings (virtual ones work as well) 
  • Performance tracking and conversations
  • Employee engagement surveys

3. Make your case management more effective

Be it a new hire or someone who has been working with you for years, there will be times when they have doubts, concerns or issues they’d like to discuss with the leadership, or get resolutions to. 

The efficiency with which you manage cases has a big impact on the impression you form in your employees’ minds. That’s why you need to make better case management a part of your employee engagement best practices

The more they feel taken care of, the more likely they are to remain engaged with you on a deeper level. 

Now case management can take up a lot of human resources and make it overwhelming as the team grows. This is where you can put AI in HR to work and set up automations that make the process more efficient. Leveraging artificial intelligence is one of many employee engagement strategies that works effectively.

From extending the leave to explaining the policies, you can automate the answers to employee queries, addressing issues and requests much faster. 

4. Automate knowledge management

Imagine if employees had to walk up to you for every little question. It not only takes them away from the work they are handling at the moment, but it also feels like an extra effort to them, and they end up stalling the whole act.

But in the longer run, not getting answers to the recurring questions may cause an employee to feel detached from the cause and eventually lose interest in what they do. 

This is where automation technology comes into play. A smart knowledge management tool helps you auto-generate frequently asked questions as you update the information base. Post which, as and when an employee has a query to make, they can use the system to get answers instantly based on different attributes and even languages they’re comfortable communicating in.   

An automation software can help HRs to easily automate their repetitive tasks and answer employee inquiries in real-time enabling efficient knowledge management.

5. Conduct employee surveys frequently 

The only way to ensure your employees are engaged enough or the practices you have put in place are effective, is to collect feedback through interactive surveys. 

Conducting employee surveys frequently helps you connect with your employees better and see their perspective towards organizational policies and practices that are in place. It also helps you identify the opportunities or the loopholes that may be causing friction within the teams or how they interact with one another at work, that eventually impact their overall engagement with the organization. However, conducting surveys frequently and deriving insights from them can be a tough cookie to crack. 

This is where AI in HR comes in to automate the process, letting you run multiple surveys for different teams, focused on different objectives, while simultaneously making it easier for you to derive the information you require.

One of the best practices in employee engagement surveys include conducting AI-backed conversational surveys that gauge themes like well-being, satisfaction with growth opportunities, leadership, team, work, benefits, etc., and also simplifies the results for you to take actions based on the insights. 

6. Ensure employee skill development

employee engagement best practices 2022

Employee engagement is not just about ensuring how involved an employee is with the organization. It also means looking beyond the current job an employee is responsible for, understanding their goals and aspirations and equipping them to reach their goals. Prioritizing your employees’ comprehensive development is one of the best employee engagement practices.

Conduct surveys to understand your employee professional goals better and work towards establishing an employee skill development plan. This could include periodical training or providing them with resources that help them learn more about their industry and grow as a professional. Or you could even set aside yearly budgets for your employees to choose a course that helps them upskill or learn something new – be it something as personal as learning how to meditate or learning more about sales, you can always leave the ball in their court. 

The idea here is to create an environment of continual learning and growth.

7. Hire with engagement in mind

Hiring new employees is one of the most crucial tasks for every HR. The journey of engagement doesn’t begin after someone is hired; it starts as soon as you identify the right talent application because your first impression has a lasting impact on them – in this case, their level of engagement. 

Right from the initial set of conversations whilst evaluating an application to sending updates on the same, your organization should proactively keep the talent engaged. 

As per Leena AI’s State of Employee Onboarding Report 2022, we noticed that 17% of talent or new hires at an organization, slip away even before they actually join the organization. 

Considering it takes more than 30 days to find the right talent for a job role, that churn is sure to set you back by at least a hundred steps. 

This is where using HR automation comes in handy. It helps you create a hiring and employee onboarding process that is focused on proactive engagement and communication at every stage. From sending out an offer letter to signing a contract and eventually lining up the next steps until the day of joining, employee onboarding software can help you implement employee engagement best practices from the start! 

8. Ensure recognition of effort

employee engagement best practices 2022

If you really want to keep an employee engaged and motivated to do better, ensure that you recognize and acknowledge the smallest of efforts they make at work. It’s like a subtle pat on the back, letting them know they are moving in the right direction and the organization is proud of them. 

For instance, if you have brought in a new tool to your technology stack and see an employee making the effort to document the different ways of using it, appreciate the effort! More often than not, the leadership tends to move forward with the work done assuming it’s part of the employee’s day to day role, not realizing how little words of encouragement could nudge them to continue with the work instead of feeling taken for granted! 

Employee recognition is one the most effective methods of employee engagement. You could drop them an email or a message directly if they report to you with the progress or you could bring it up in the team meeting, bringing their hard work into the limelight. 

Remember, a person who feels appreciated, will always do more than what is expected and feel more involved while doing so. Constant recognition and rewards are one of the most important employee engagement best practices.

9. Strengthen the workforce with team-building activities

Employee engagement can’t be done in silos. Employee engagement has a lot to do with how your employees interact with one another on a regular basis, and how they feel towards each other. While there isn’t a need for everyone to be close friends at work, having a bond that is aligned towards accomplishing common goals can boost your employee engagement drastically. 

Conducting team off-sites is one of the employee engagement strategies that works. But if not, you could also host virtual campfires, Friday brunches, group fitness classes and similar activities that nudge interactions beyond work within the teams.

10. Emphasize health and wellness

employee engagement best practices 2022

Work is essential, but health is a priority. This pandemic has impacted people in many different ways – both physically and mentally. Instead of circling around the issue, believing it to be too case-sensitive, take measures that emphasize health and wellness within the organization. 

For example, you could conduct virtual workshops on meditation or invite influencers and experts to come talk about mental health with your employees. If your resources permit, you could also offer health and wellness packages annually to your employees. 

The foremost employee engagement best practice is to reinforce the importance of health and wellness at every opportunity you get – not just normalizing it but also encouraging it. 

An employee remains engaged with organizations when they feel truly cared for.  

11. Measure engagement levels

Measuring existing levels of employee engagement is a crucial part of employee engagement best practices. Gauging employee engagement levels can determine which engagement initiatives worked and which initiatives need improvement. Your firm must constantly be aware of the objectives of its employee engagement strategies. Keeping a track of engagement levels is one of the best practices in employee engagement that should be adopted. 

Employee engagement works wonders, but like any other project, it takes time, forethought, consistent effort, cutting-edge technology, and evaluation of its effectiveness to establish its impact. 

A continuous improvement strategy is required for a solid employee engagement plan. You must determine what is effective and what requires improvement. Organizations can also opt to invest in an AI-powered employee engagement platform to listen to their employees, take real-time actions, predict attrition, and retain the best talent to build a category-defining organizational culture.

12. Understand the key engagement drivers

All of your employee engagement best practices will be ineffective unless you identify the primary engagement drivers that determine engagement or disengagement in the organization.

Engagement drivers are the key indicators that tell you exactly what is motivating your employees and what is not. Primary engagement drivers include leadership, trust, communication, manager performance, work culture, and individual requirements, among others. Measuring engagement levels basis these engagement drivers will help you  to identify areas for enhancement and allow you to take remedial action.

13. Conduct exit and stay surveys

Exit interviews assist organizations in developing a more healthy and productive work environment. Schedule some time to survey departing employees and learn what you’re doing well and where you can improve. Exit interviews is a critical employee engagement initiative that should not be missed. 

Stay interviews on the other hand help managers understand why their employees choose to stay and what might cause them to leave. Typically, stay interviews are held at least once a year, around the time of the employee’s annual performance evaluation. However, some firms do them roughly every six months. This decreases the likelihood that rumored difficulties may become intractable ones. 

Consider doing stay interviews with new hires at the interval of four and eight months. These early measures can aid in preventing unnecessary turnover. 

14. Be persistent

Persistence is what will maintain your employee engagement best practices producing outcomes. Employee engagement initiatives should be an intrinsic part of your organization’s culture. Successful engagement techniques are an ongoing affair and not just an annual thing. Adding a once-a-year meeting, sending a quarterly survey, or requesting generic input does not encourage the regular, honest, and open communication needed to keep employees motivated. 

Be persistent in your approach, even if a few initiatives fail to bring desired results. Keep a track of your progress by comparing each year’s data and keep updating your employee engagement strategies accordingly. 

15. Identify training requirements 

You cannot always expect every employee to work at an extraordinary level. More often than not, there will be a few individuals who might need assistance, especially if they are new to the organization or have had difficulties with a project. Your employees should feel that the organization is willing to help them steer through any kind of challenge. 

Employee feedback surveys can help tremendously here in identifying any kind of training need an employee might be facing. By paying attention to employees’ training and development needs, you will equip your employees with the skills to handle any kind of difficulties efficiently.

16. Provide internal mobility

People are always looking for ways to get better jobs. Even though no worker wants to think of their job as a stepping stone, jobs are always insecure. So, your employees want to know that you care about them and want to help them grow.

If you invest in the careers of your employees, they will invest in your business. Internal mobility is one of the many employee engagement best practices for retaining talented employees. 

In other words, a healthy culture of internal mobility assists in aligning your company’s goals with those of your employees. It also boosts morale and engagement throughout your organization, making your employees feel like they are an important part of the firm rather than just a cog in its machine.

17. Workplace flexibility

The design of a flexible work environment is critical to the successful implementation of employee engagement best practices. Employees who are denied the opportunity to be themselves and work at their speed will experience dissatisfaction. This will have a detrimental effect on staff engagement. It is necessary to incorporate elements of freedom into your business. 

There are several methods to delegate additional authority to employees without surrendering any authority yourself. You may design a strategy to enable workers to work from home, or you can permit them to come and go as they choose, so long as their job is completed. 

18. Encourage autonomy

Where there is no room, there is no growth. 

The growth of a business is directly proportional to the degree of freedom its people experience at work. Indeed, autonomy and trust are at the basis of all best practices in employee engagement.

Allowing your staff to create their strategy for completing the assignment is a much more appreciative approach than issuing directives from the top down. Practicing this places the employees in a position of responsibility. Additionally, it will assist the person in discovering their strengths and their professional development. 

19. Diversify incentives

To make sure your R&R employee engagement initiative works, think about giving your employees different kinds of perks and awards every time you appreciate their work.

It will be like hitting the bullseye if you let your staff select their incentives from the available options. However, you may be wondering if this is even feasible. 

The correct response is “YES!” The cloud-based employee engagement platforms of today allow your workers to choose what they want for themselves. What greater incentive could there be for your workforce than this? 

20. Utilize the influence of social media

If you sincerely appreciate someone, do not restrict your expressions of gratitude to just you and the recipient. 

Rewarding your employees for their excellent job and appreciating their efforts is not unique in this context. Employee appreciation is the foundation of all best practices for employee engagement. 

You can try utilizing social media to optimize the impact of your employee engagement program. Social media is an effective method for reaching a large number of relevant viewers. Broadcasting employee appreciation via social media will make the employees feel good and improve their overall employee experience.

21. Invest in holidays

When businesses urge employees to take vacation or provide unlimited leaves, employees still do not take advantage of the opportunity. It’s one of the most motivating employee engagement best practices for organizations to implement.

If your employees do not take vacations, they will be less productive, overworked, and, in some cases, burned out. What can you do now? Allowing employees to take vacation shows that you care about their mental health and job satisfaction. It also shows a company’s willingness to put money where its mouth is. It is one thing to encourage your employees to take vacation time. It’s another thing entirely to pay them to do it.

22. Consult employees on significant choices 

When employees feel like they are important to the company, they are more likely to work hard. Employees are aware that the management values what they have to say.

When launching a new employee engagement strategy, encourage the usage of polls. Organizations could also hold ideathons to gather employee feedback on a certain product. Organize internal hackathons, on the other hand, to provide employees the opportunity to fix a long-standing software related challenges. These projects also allow employees to work on unusual problems and network with people from various departments. On a regular basis, work could be monotonous, thus unique experiences like this should be a part of your employee engagement best practices.

23. Give your employee a VOICE 

Giving your employees a platform to openly express their ideas and opinions is another foundation of a successful employee engagement strategy. A Voice of the Employee initiative provides chances for employees to communicate their perspectives openly. With business objectives in mind, the firm may then act on the (employee) input to create a better environment for its employees. 

Voice of the Employee (VoE) is a method meant to identify and evaluate employee complaints or issues that influence the overall employer-employee relationship. During this procedure, employees may express their needs, desires, hopes, and preferences without fear of negative repercussions at work. 

Organizations can acquire VoE data via employee surveys, feedback systems, employee engagement tools, and one-on-one dialogues and interactions. Then, they can analyze the data to find problems and areas for improvement.

24. Promote input in a 360-degree format

Without a strong feedback mechanism, organizations cannot expect to foster engagement. This requires both delivering and receiving feedback from your team. 360-degree feedback format is one of the employee engagement best practices that employers need to follow.

360-degree feedback is a strategy that allows employees to obtain confidential, anonymous input from their bosses, colleagues, coworkers, and customers. 

The goal here is to help each employee figure out what they do well and what they need to work on so they can try to get better at their jobs. Firms may also change their business models and look for new business prospects in response to the feedback. 

25. Advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion 

Diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives are an important part of employee engagement best practices. Such initiatives are essential for enhancing business success and increasing employee engagement in a company. When individuals from different nations, cultures, ethnicities, and gender come together, they contribute unique ideas. In addition, they give new ideas and problem-solving strategies and are more involved at the workplace. 

Diversity is when an organization employs employees of varying ages, genders, races, nationalities, and other characteristics. Inclusion is the culture in which diverse individuals collaborate with a sense of belonging, comfort, and psychological safety. Diversity and inclusion go hand in hand; diversity may also occur when an organization promotes employee inclusion.

To Sum up

After the pandemic, every company’s work culture has changed a lot, and with hybrid work models, you don’t have time to think about how important it is to keep your employees interested. 

Getting employees to care about their jobs is a slow and steady process. Consistency in your work and approach is very important. Anyway, that was our list of the best ways to get employees engaged, which can do wonders for your employee engagement strategy and, in turn, make your employees more engaged in their work. 

Just keep track of how far you’ve come, make a plan, and look at it every so often. When you put in a good amount of work, you also get a good result.

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