8 ways to improve employee engagement

By Gabe Scorgie

6 min read

8 ways to improve employee engagement
Image by Kevin Yu

Employee engagement is an essential component of establishing meaningful and worthwhile work environments. It fosters healthy interpersonal relationships and creates an atmosphere where employees feel valued and committed to their team and organization. Improved employee engagement results in increased productivity, higher staff retention rates, better organizational morale, and more successful project outcomes. 

Identifying creative ways to improve employee engagement is key to cultivating healthier workplace relationships and increasing job satisfaction across the board. These 8 strategies provide a comprehensive guide to achieving that goal. 

From providing tangible rewards for success to encouraging a strong sense of teamwork within the office, these ideas will inspire meaningful engagement!

1. Define your organization's purpose

Defining your organization’s purpose is one of the most powerful ways to engage employees. It not only gives them a shared mission and understanding of their roles, but it also helps foster a sense of connection. 

To define your purpose, ask yourself: why does your org exist? What sets it apart from its competitors? Next, look for ways to reinforce this purpose with tangible examples that can be used to bring it to life. 

Offer opportunities for employees to understand the org’s unique mission and uncover how they’re integral to achieving success. Finally, put these insights into action by actively engaging employees to remind them why their work is meaningful and how it contributes to the greater good. 

Crafting a dynamic, inspiring purpose will motivate employees and inspire better engagement throughout your organization.

2. Encourage open communication

Open communication between employees and managers is key to increasing employee engagement. Not only does it create a more inclusive workplace, but it also helps build trust and understanding among teams. 

  • Actively listen to your team and ask for their opinions on projects, meetings, and day-to-day tasks. 
  • Provide a safe space for team members to engage in respectful, honest, and transparent conversations. 
  • Consider employee feedback and make changes based on those ideas. 
  • Then keep everyone in the loop about what's happening – regular updates about developments or even just check-ins can make all the difference in feeling included. 
  • Lead by example. Practice open communication as a leader and encourage others to do the same.

Employees will feel more engaged and have an increased sense of purpose by fostering openness and trust between team members and leaders. These are examples of how encouraging open communication helps foster better relationships between employees and managers, ultimately boosting employee engagement.

3. Foster transparency from within

If you’re looking for ways on how to increase employee engagement, fostering transparency from within is the key. One practical tip to accomplish this is to create an open communication system, such as regularly scheduled meetings or office hours with leadership where employees can ask questions and provide feedback. 

To foster transparency within your organization, think outside the box! 

  • Create a culture of honesty while eliminating any feelings of distrust or secrecy. 
  • Ensure all expectations are clear and all employees’ contributions and roles are valued. 
  • Open communication, staff feedback systems, and regular one-on-one conversations will help build relationships founded on trust. 
  • Leaders should be vocal in creating an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable raising honest questions and voicing opinions and ideas. 

Lastly, involving employees in decision-making processes to get their perspectives will also foster a culture of transparency and trust, leaving employees feeling supported and valued. As a result, employee engagement can be significantly increased.

4. Promote accountability for yourself

Accountability is a powerful tool for improving employee engagement and cultivating an engaged digital workplace. Setting realistic expectations and holding employers accountable can foster a culture of trust and commitment. For example, creating clear goals and enforcing deadlines can ensure employers and employees are held to the same standards. 

Additionally, providing feedback during regular check-ins allows employers to reward progress while constructively reinforcing boundaries. As employers actively demonstrate their concern for the well-being of their employees and make employees feel valued, employees become more inspired to work harder. Ultimately, promoting accountability for employers leads to healthier working relationships between employer and employee that get improved results from a more engaged staff.

5. Curate a smooth onboarding strategy

Creating a smooth onboarding strategy effectively fosters employee engagement and creates an enjoyable working environment. The first few days of a new job can be overwhelming, so it’s important that employers provide the necessary tools, guidance, and support to ensure that employees have the best start possible. 

A great onboarding employee experience will give them the confidence to hit the ground running and build trust in their working relationship with their employer and colleagues. To achieve this, employers should think beyond just assigning tasks; creating a personalised onboarding plan which takes into account each individual’s background, skillset and experience will go a long way towards improving employee engagement.

Onboarding can be a truly transformational experience for any employee and directly impacts how engaged they will become. To ensure success in curating a smooth onboarding process, a few simple steps can go a long way in improving employee engagement. 

  • Companies should educate new hires before the first day arrives by providing the material that provides the necessary information about the job, culture, goals, and expectations. 
  • Onboarding should be ongoing and involve frequent check-ins with team members to provide mentorship and reassurance. 
  • Additionally, companies should value their employees' opinions by including them in key decisions throughout onboarding, so they know their voice is heard. 

Ultimately, curating a smooth onboarding strategy means dedicating time upfront to provide clear expectations as an employer while giving employees the necessary resources to integrate easily into the organization going forward.

6. Conduct regular pulse surveys

Pulse surveys are a quick and easy way to gather employee feedback and discover engagement opportunities. Regular pulse surveys are one of the best strategies for keeping track of how engaged your employees are with their workplace, as these surveys allow you to gauge their enthusiasm and uncover underlying issues before they become bigger problems. 

By allowing an anonymous channel for feedback, pulse surveys give employees an outlet to express their opinions about working conditions, management, or anything else that can potentially impact employee engagement--information that can then be used to make meaningful improvements. 

Examples of topics from pulse surveys could include questions about how the work environment has changed over time, rewards they feel they have earned but haven’t been given, ways the job has positively impacted them personally, and what kind of support they would need to feel more engaged in their role. The right survey questions can go a long way in cultivating employee engagement through understanding and insight.

7. Address concerns and complaints promptly

Promptly addressing employee concerns and complaints is a great way to increase employee engagement. This can be achieved through digital workplace tools that alert managers when a concern or complaint is filed, so they can take quick action before the situation escalates. Additionally, ensuring employees know the channels to communicate their concerns and then proactively answer all queries within 24 hours is an important step in improving engagement. 

Finally, having team members check in regularly to ensure open dialogue goes a long way in helping managers stay abreast of any issues before they become bigger problems.  Taking these steps will show your employees that you value their input and are there to support them in achieving success - leading to enhanced loyalty and engagement within the workplace.

8. Lead by example

Leading by example is a great way to gather respect and trust from employees, ultimately resulting in an improved work environment with higher employee engagement. As leaders, it’s important to remember that our actions do not just affect ourselves but also the people we lead. Showing passion and drive toward excellence sets the standard for others and helps foster a culture of mutual respect. 

Taking time to actively recognize employee efforts rather than simply focusing on business objectives can go a long way—even small gestures like offering team members a hand when they need help or celebrating successes together can bring about long-term dividends. Above all else, leading by example helps you live out core values such as integrity and accountability - enabling everyone in the organization to see what it looks like to carry out the company mission daily.

Employee engagement is just the start

Engagement is only one piece of the puzzle regarding employee success. While engagement is necessary, organizations must also focus on other factors that influence employees' ability to succeed in their roles. By looking at the bigger picture and taking a holistic approach to employee development, organizations can create an environment where employees are more likely to succeed. 


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Gabe Scorgie

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