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Employee Engagement Strategies for the Year Ahead

4 minute read
Sebastien Ricard avatar
Employee engagement produces dramatic and tangible benefits. Yet across the US, statistics show only about one-third of employees are engaged.

Engaged employees are the most valuable resource you can find in an organization. These employees drive company growth, retention, customer satisfaction and even profits.

According to Gallup, teams who scored in the top 20% in engagement showed:

  • 10% increase in customer ratings.
  • 21% greater profitability.
  • 41% reduction in absenteeism.
  • 59% less turnover.

Clearly employee engagement produces dramatic and tangible benefits. Across the United States, however, statistics show that only about one-third of employees are "engaged" in the workplace. Do the statistics above look like the goals you want to achieve? If so, whether you're in a physical office or in a digital workplace, follow these tips to increase employee engagement.

Prioritize Employee Engagement

The dedication of your employees might seem insignificant when compared with the day-to-day demands of the industry, but the fact remains that disengaged employees cost US companies up to $550 billion every year. If you'd prefer not to lose that kind of money, think about how to weave employee engagement concepts into your business model from the very top.

Leaders can set concrete, yet realistic expectations for managers in terms of engagement and enable them to reach those goals. Managers can listen to employees to find out if there are any obstacles to engagement, and work on eliminating those barriers.

Related Article: What Successful Employee Engagement Looks Like

Choose the Right Tools

If it takes an employee 15 minutes to get a laptop running, or if an employee needs to switch between nine different apps just to complete a basic task, they'll hardly stay engaged during the workday. A business can empower employees to work productively and efficiently, without delay and frustration, if they provide the right tools, clear procedures, and strong support.

Understand what you should expect from your investments in improving employee engagement. Open feedback channels to communicate with your employees to find out what their frustrations are, then research what technology or equipment would benefit them the most.

Optimize Management

Forbes reports that 96% of employees believe increased empathy in the workplace leads to increased retention. However, there's a big discrepancy in the perception of empathy. Overwhelmingly, CEOs (92%) claim to have an empathetic organization, but only 50% of their employees agree. What's the lesson?

It's important to select managers with "soft skills" (like empathy). These are managers who truly care about the success, contributions and opinions of each individual team member.

But all managers need training around employee engagement. And remember, only hire managers who are capable of training people.

Learning Opportunities

Related Article: How to Cultivate the Human Side of Leadership

Invest in Employee Training

Proper training can give employees confidence in their own knowledge and skills, which will work wonders for their sense of engagement. For example, when giving employees a new tool to use, be sure that they receive training on how to leverage that tool to fulfill their specific job responsibilities.

By investing in your employees, you also give them a basis to invest in your organization. A LinkedIn study reveals that 94% of employees are more likely to stay in an organization when an employer provides opportunities for skill development and career growth. Don't underestimate the effect that those opportunities can have on employee engagement.

Related Article: How to Start Improving Digital Literacy in Your Workplace 

Set Measurable Goals

Defining goals for employee engagement shouldn't be a one-time event. Managers should regularly discuss engagement at weekly meetings, during one-on-one reviews and even in planning sessions, making that concept an integral part of the company culture.

Finally, be sure to use reliable metrics to measure employee engagement so you can see the benefits of your hard work. Survey data needs to be specific, relevant and actionable to drive change in an organization. From time to time, ask employees to retake an employee engagement survey to be sure you're heading in the right direction.

Don't Give Up!

While improving your employees' sense of engagement might be a long process, the benefits you'll receive — in terms of retention, customer satisfaction and profit — will make all your efforts worthwhile. Start planning for improved employee engagement today.

About the author

Sebastien Ricard

Sébastien Ricard, currently founder and CEO of LumApps, has been an entrepreneur for over 20 years, creating major companies in business intelligence and cloud. Passionate about technology, he’s one of the cloud pioneers in Europe and the US, as the creator of gPartner (distribution and integration of Google Enterprise in Europe) and LumApps (worldwide editor on the digital workplace market).