A quick summary:
- What is employee engagement? 💡
- 4 Secrets of employee engagement experts 🔎
- What do employee engagement say about the future? 🔮
- Using Heka to improve employee engagement 👍
If you’re looking to create a successful business driven by a happy workforce, employee engagement might be the answer you need. What started as ping-pong tables and free beer has evolved massively over the past few years.
Now more than ever, leaders must get employee engagement right or face a workforce plagued by poor retention, low employee performance and other struggles.
Today, we’re focusing on the secrets of employee engagement experts. Our team has done all the digging to reveal some interesting findings. We’ll discuss workplace culture, re-engaging employees, the hurdles of remote work and what we should expect in the near future.
But before we jump right into the secrets of employee engagement experts, let’s first understand the concept, and why you should care.
What is employee engagement?
First and foremost, what exactly is employee engagement? It’s rather simple actually, and most employee engagement experts would say this…
Workplace engagement is characterised by how involved people are in things like company culture, collaboration, employee benefits and other facets of a business – it’s the relationship between the employee and the workplace.
Most employees are categorised by the following descriptions, and through surveys, questionnaires and general communication, leaders can better understand staff engagement:
- Actively engaged
- Not engaged
- Actively disengaged
Actively engaged employees are passionate and optimistic about both their careers and the company they work for. Employees who aren’t engaged are very much there for a paycheck and to get the job done. And actively disengaged employees are resentful toward their job and dislike the company they work for.
Employee engagement experts have a solid understanding of these three descriptions, as they can help you take action against low engagement in the workplace.
Instead of delivering vague strategies, we're looking at key questions and answers that employee engagement experts know to be crucial. Once you’ve read through the following ideas, look at your own workforce and see how best you can implement them.
4 secrets of employee engagement experts
Employee engagement experts are experts for a reason. They understand how to re-engage staff, build a strong culture, engage remote workers and generally increase engagement. It sounds simple on paper, but it takes years to get these things right.
If you’re an SME, it’s likely that by implementing the following ideas you can revolutionise your workforce engagement. Without further ado, let’s dive into the four ideas of employee engagement experts.
How to re-engage employees
If you’ve noticed your workplace engagement slipping, it could be a sign. Change must come, and without it, your engagement rating is likely to fall further until employees begin to depart.
To kick things off, we want to talk about how to re-engage employees, and our best advice is to listen and act on their needs and demands. As a leader, it is your responsibility to listen to your employees and support them as best as possible.
However, we’ve identified listening as the key to re-engaging employees. That’s not to say it isn’t important in all scenarios, but disengaged employees are likely disengaged with the workplace because they feel unheard.
Start working on listening and acting for your team’s sake. Arrange stay interviews, general wellbeing meetings and other conversations with your employees. This doesn’t mean you have to carry out every conversation, enrol others from your leadership team to help.
If you’re really stuck on how to re-engage employees, remember communication is key. Create an open and honest working environment. One that empowers employees to come forward with their thoughts and problems.
It’s okay to arrange one-to-one meetings with employees, but without openness and honesty in the workplace, they will never come forward.
How to create a culture of employee engagement
While we’re on the topic of openness and honesty, let’s discuss why culture makes it into the secrets of employee engagement experts.
Firstly, workplace culture governs all other efforts in your business. Whether it be to create an open and honest environment, or if you want to increase collaboration between employees.
Without a robust company culture, you cannot nurture engagement. So, if you’re wondering how to create a culture of employee engagement, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Start by quizzing employees and managers on their perception of the workplace culture. It’s important you understand the existing thoughts and feelings about the culture as it is right now.
Next, benchmark your culture by the following 5 questions to give you a better understanding of engagement in the workplace:
- Does my workplace encourage collaboration?
- Can employees socialise and communicate with ease in the workplace?
- Does my workplace promote health and wellbeing to employees?
- Are my employees generally happy with the workplace?
- How can I better support openness and honesty?
Analyse the current workplace against the questions above, and you will identify the shortcomings of engagement.
As we said, workplace culture is built on a number of factors, and by asking the right questions, you’ll receive the right answers. It is leaders that focus on improving all areas of the business that will see an improvement in workplace engagement - something employee engagement experts understand thoroughly.
How to keep remote employees engaged
As the world of work embraced flexibility, engagement became even more difficult. That said, employee engagement experts all understand how to keep remote employees engaged – let’s take a look.
From a distance, staff engagement may seem unachievable, but as we’ve discovered so far, communication is key in every situation. Just like in the workplace, leaders should try to keep up with communication.
This means regularly checking in with employees to find out how they are doing. Loneliness has become a work-from-home epidemic, and ensuring employees don’t feel negatively towards WFH means you can improve employee engagement.
As an employee engagement expert will tell you, it’s about building a sense of belonging for remote workers. You should consider things like virtual gatherings, games, and discussions – get creative with this.
For instance, here at Heka, we have multiple Slack channels for different interests and hobbies. Whether it’s F1 or daily Worldle’s, the team share their answers and have conversations with one another.
Focus on creating a social element for remote working. While flexibility can be good for health and wellbeing, too much isolation can lead to feeling down and unhappy. And one final reminder: create a hybrid working policy, or allow people to attend the office whenever suits them best.
Similar read: How employee benefits can improve your team's engagement
How to increase employee engagement
Now for the biggest secret of them all, how to increase employee engagement. Employee engagement is an ongoing process. It’s not something that’s achieved and then disregarded.
It’s important your HR team are fully aware of this and always strive to improve or refine your employee engagement strategy. Ultimately, however, workplace engagement is a combination of the ideas and points mentioned above. Let’s break this down into bitesize bullet points:
- Listen and act on employee needs and demands
- Create questionnaires and surveys for employee feedback
- Create a culture of openness, honesty and trust
- Focus on communication and socialisation with remote workers
- Get creative with your solutions to employee engagement
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is the foundation of successful employee engagement. Increasing employee engagement starts by recognising that personalisation and individual care are vital.
Only by focusing on helping employees on a personal level can engagement thrive. For example, your employee benefits package must meet individual needs, and your onboarding phase must support the personal issues of new starters.
Increase employee engagement by educating your leadership teams on becoming better managers. And better in this sense means to create healthier, happier employees.
What do employee engagement experts say about the future?
So, what do employee engagement experts really think the future looks like for workplace engagement? Well, here are their predictions based on our findings:
- Personalisation in every sense will grow even more important
- Employers must embrace health and wellbeing
- People must come first if a business wants to truly thrive
- Leaders must track other metrics, not just performance and productivity
Let’s look at these points in more detail – starting with personalisation. As we touched on above, personalisation is essential to increasing employee engagement. However, this is likely to increase in the near future.
If the past couple of years has taught us anything, it’s that we all experience uncertainty in different ways. For this reason, employers should embrace personalisation.
This is even more important when it comest to health and wellbeing in the workplace. What we’ve learnt here at Heka is that employees are demanding better initiatives that focus on health and wellbeing.
Gone are the days of benefits and perks that do not have real meaning. Instead, employees want life coaching, flexible working arrangements, digital healthcare access and many other better benefits.
If these all point to one thing, it’s that people must come first in business. Some leaders understand this, and their businesses thrive. Think technology leaders like Microsoft and Netflix who have created workplaces that support employee health and wellbeing.
From onsite gyms to access to healthcare professionals, many businesses are thinking outside the box to improve employee wellbeing and engagement.
Finally, leaders should acknowledge that employees can’t only be assessed on their performance and productivity. If we know anything about employee output, it is that there are many influencing factors.
For instance, employee engagement experts know that our job satisfaction, our level of autonomy over our work, peer relationships and many more things contribute to employee engagement.
Before we assess employee performance and productivity, we should look at just how happy employees are with their role and the company. Dig deep enough and you’ll often find that a dip in employee performance isn’t due to laziness, but possibly other issues.
Introducing employee engagement experts at Heka
Meet Heka! An employee wellbeing platform built to empower thousands of people in the workplace. Through more than a thousand wellbeing experiences, products and services, employees can focus on what matters to them most.
Some of us need more sleep, Heka’s got you covered. Some of us want to do more outdoor activities in the summer, Heka’s on hand to help! As you can see, there’s something for everyone in your team, whatever their health and wellbeing preferences.