Employee engagement
Employer, People + Culture

Six ways to boost employee engagement

Research shows that companies with high employee engagement enjoy 21 per cent higher profits. There’s also a host of other benefits.

On the back of The Great Resignation, employee engagement is a hot topic in the market. Here are six ways to boost employee engagement.

Research shows that companies with high employee engagement enjoy 21 per cent higher profits.

There’s also a host of other benefits: greater employee loyalty, productivity, customer service and stock prices. Your employees will also be healthier and happier individuals, and this will translate to their home lives too.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? So, what is employee engagement?

What is employee engagement?

Don’t confuse employee engagement with your employee’s happiness.

An employee can be happy at work, but unproductive. For instance, they might enjoy their colleagues and conversations in the break room but treat their job as a paycheck.

Instead, employee engagement refers to their commitment to the company. This includes shared goals, how much they care about their work and how invested they are in how the company grows.

One obvious sign of high employee engagement is their level of discretionary effort. This refers to an employee’s desire to go the extra mile for the business. For example, they may work a few hours of overtime to complete a project, or clean up around the office so that it’s more well-presented without being asked.

A person thinking about employee engagement

Six ways to boost employee engagement

One of the greatest benefits of employee engagement is that most of the tactics can be implemented on a small budget. Or even, no budget at all.

  1. Praise

    “It costs nothing to be kind.” An adage we’ve all heard, and one that rings true.

    Tell your employees when they have done a great job on something. Some companies fall into the trap of saving communication for when there are problems. This can lead to a negative connotation that communication coming from senior management is bad news.

    Send an email to recognise good work. It could be as simple as, ‘I wanted to let you know that presentation was great!” It’s an easy way to boost morale. More than likely, this employee will continue to do their best to continue to win your praise.

  1. Healthy competition

    There’s nothing like healthy competition among friends (workmates) in the office. Schemes like a high achiever’s incentive, best biller of the year or even most improved is a great way to inspire a friendly contest.

    This is also a good way to show your employees that good work is recognised and rewarded. Even if the reward is non-monetary and something like a company-branded t-shirt.

  1. Show compassion

    As a manager, you will get to know your staff very well. Often, you’ll be thrown curveballs based on what’s happening in the lives of your employees.

    Everyone has their own struggles. Remember to listen to your employees and be willing to be compassionate and support them, whatever they tell you. Human first, employee second.

    Friends discussing employee engagement

  1. Foster friendships

    Involve your company in activities that foster friendships. Think: team lunch or using an out-of-office strategy planning day as an alternative to boardroom meetings.

    When employees are affiliated with their staff members, they are more likely to be invested in the business. This also points to an employee putting in more discretionary effort to support business-wide goals.

  1. Celebrate them

    Each of your employees will have unique career goals that they are slowly working towards. Although sometimes these can take months or even years to achieve.

    In your one-on-one check-ins, look to break these goals down into smaller milestones. This will ensure they will be checking off a few smaller goals at more regular intervals. It’s also a great excuse to praise your employees and shows that you are investing in their individual careers, not just what they do for the company.

  1. Ask how they want to work, and facilitate

    Some employees value structure, while others prefer autonomy. Ask your employee what works for them and be open to their feedback. It might also be worthwhile having them complete a DISC profile to offer you more pointers on how they like to work.


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