15 Innovative Ways to Improve Employee Engagement

June 4, 2024
2 women small business employees engaged in tasks

It may shock you to learn that 85% of employees today aren’t engaged at work. Yes, you read that right. According to the Gallup Report on Employee Engagement, on a team of 10 people, only 1 or 2 are truly engaged. 

Imagine if you could flip those numbers. You’d inspire your employees, create a happier work environment, and get much better results. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to improve employee engagement. 

What Is Employee Engagement? 

Employee engagement means employees feeling motivated and excited about their jobs and the company they work for. Engaged employees work harder. And Gallup found that they’re 87% less likely to leave their jobs. This increases productivity and helps the business succeed. 

Unfortunately, there are many reasons why employees become less engaged at work:

  • Poor work-life balance
  • Not feeling appreciated
  • Unclear communication from management
  • Negative work atmosphere
  • Fear of losing their job
  • Unclear job expectations
  • No room for growth

These are only a few of the reasons employees may feel unmotivated. And you’re not alone if you’re concerned about employee engagement on your team. Many organizations are facing these challenges. The good news is that you can learn how to improve employee engagement. 

The Importance of Employee Engagement

small business employee engaged at work

When employees are engaged, they’re more motivated and happier with their jobs. Happy employees lead to happy customers. And happy customers keep your business thriving. 

The same Gallup Report shows that companies with engaged employees are more successful. On average:

  • They earn 21% more profits
  • They’re 17% more productive
  • They have 10% better customer ratings

Those are some positive statistics. They prove that focusing on employee engagement is important for business success. 

15 Employee Engagement Strategies for a Better Workplace

Let’s explore some ways to improve workplace engagement. 

1. Start with a Positive Onboarding Experience

A great onboarding experience sets a positive tone. It helps new hires feel welcomed, informed, and prepared for their roles. 

Introduce new employees to the team. Allow them to ask questions. And schedule regular check-ins to address any concerns. 

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2. Promote Work-Life Balance

People are looking for more balance in their lives. To support this, offer flexible working hours and remote work options if possible. You should also encourage employees to take their vacation and sick days. This shows them that self-care is important. 

3. Offer Wellness Programs

Focus on your employees’ physical, mental, and emotional health to boost team spirit. You can support the well-being of your employees by providing:

  • Gym memberships
  • Mental health days
  • Comfortable office spaces
  • Wellness workshops
  • Access to counseling services
  • Employee assistance programs 

Even if you have a small team, the occasional day off or extra benefit will make a big difference to employee well-being.

4. Establish Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

Create or encourage groups that share resources and support team members. Most ERGs center around a common theme, like a group for women, people of color, or veterans at the company. Which group you form would depend on the size of and identities on your team.

These groups create a sense of belonging. They also help with career development. That’s because ERGs provide new networking opportunities. 

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5. Create a Culture of Regular Feedback

Regular feedback fixes problems as they come up. It keeps employees on track and makes performance reviews less stressful.

Frequent feedback can also boost dedication and excitement about being at work. That’s because feedback builds stronger connections between managers and employees. If one person manages the whole team, make sure there are open lines of communication for upward feedback. This encourages growth from everyone.

6. Encourage Team-Building Activities

Organize activities and events to help strengthen relationships. Activities and events give employees something to look forward to. It also creates a sense of community and teamwork. 

7. Set Clear Goals and Expectations

Humans need purpose. When employees see how their work fits into the bigger picture, they feel a stronger sense of purpose. Communicate role responsibilities and expectations with your employees from the start. This leads to greater motivation and excitement for their work. 

8. Recognize and Reward Achievement

It’s human nature to care what people think of us. Recognize good work and reward achievement to boost morale. For example, reward employees for meeting sales targets or finishing projects early. When employees feel good about the work they’re doing, they’re motivated to continue to give their best. 

9. Hire Competent Managers

This may seem like a no-brainer, but hiring managers who are expert leaders boost team engagement. Good managers will:

  • Inspire their teams
  • Provide clear directions
  • Motivate team members more 
  • Show strong emotional intelligence
  • Create a supportive work environment

Offer regular professional development and leadership training. Help managers build leadership skills and stay current on best practices. If you don’t have the budget for these trainings, try pairing younger managers with experienced ones for mentorship opportunities.

10. Offer Competitive Benefits Packages

Employees who feel valued invest more in their work. A great way to show you care is with good compensation. Provide your employees with a complete benefits package with services like:

  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Retirement plans or 401K 
  • Paid parental leave
  • Disability insurance
  • Employee discounts and perks
  • Performance bonuses and incentives

11. Make Space for Equal and Open Discussions

Employees need to feel their opinions matter at work. Brainstorming sessions generate new ideas, but introverted team members may feel unheard. Create a positive environment where everyone can share their ideas and opinions. You can do this by:

  • Using anonymous feedback tools
  • Holding regular one-on-one meetings
  • Conducting roundtable discussions 

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12. Encourage Professional Development

Offer employees opportunities to improve their skills. Help them advance their careers with professional development. Encourage them to attend training programs, workshops, and courses related to their jobs. 

Investing in your employees shows you care about their growth. This helps them feel good about themselves and their career path. 

13. Promote a Healthy Work Environment

Make sure your workplace is safe and comfortable. If you have an office, provide ergonomic furniture, good lighting, and a clean workspace. Offer healthy snack options and encourage employees to take breaks. This reduces stress and boosts productivity. 

14. Support Work Independence

People work better when they have a say in how they perform their job duties. Trusting employees to manage their work increases their sense of ownership and responsibility. This leads to higher employee engagement. 

15. Emphasize Company Culture

Lead by example by creating a positive and engaging work culture from the top down. Promote and practice being open, honest, and respectful. Encourage an open-door policy. This helps employees feel comfortable sharing ideas and concerns with upper management. 

5 Ways to Measure Employee Engagement

small business coworkers engaged at a task at work

Now that you know how to engage employees, it’s important to measure your success. Here are five ways to measure employee engagement on your team: 

  1. Surveys. A simple way to measure success and gather feedback is with regular employee surveys. Use anonymous surveys for honest feedback and pulse surveys for real-time insights. Short, focused questions can reveal information about job satisfaction, company culture, and engagement.

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  1. Email click-through rates. Track the open and click-through rates on internal emails. High email engagement shows how interested your employees are in staying informed. 
  2. Meeting participation. Pay close attention to how often and how long employees speak during meetings. Active participation shows interest and investment in their work. Silence signals a lack of engagement.  
  3. Absenteeism rate. A major red flag for employee disengagement is an increase in absenteeism. Absenteeism is the number of times employees miss work. A low number of absences shows high satisfaction and commitment. High rates can be a sign of disengagement. 
  4. Employee retention. Measure employee retention rates to see how long employees stay with the company. Engaged employees don’t usually quit. Higher retention rates show stronger employee engagement. 

Create Invoices Instantly With Invoice Simple

At Invoice Simple, we know that engaged employees are only one thing that keep your business operations running. Another is streamlined payment collection. 
Use Invoice Simple to simplify your billing process. With our software, customers can pay directly from their invoices. Plus, they can use several different payment methods, including debit cards and Venmo.

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