How To Build an Effective Employee Engagement Strategy
All across the country, workers are switching off. Employee engagement has steadily slumped since 2021, dropping to just 32% last year, according to a Gallup poll.
While this decline is noticeable across all groups - those who work from home, in office, or on a hybrid schedule - it’s most apparent among remote workers. And it’s no surprise why. Working from home may allow workers more flexibility, but it’s also very easy to get disconnected without in-person interactions with your team.
Having the right digital tools is a must. If you’re going to keep your team connected, you need technology that enables streamlined communication and collaboration. Investing in this infrastructure doesn’t just facilitate shared working. It also signals to employees that you care enough to equip them with the right tools for their success and wellbeing at work.
What is employee engagement, and why is it important?
Gartner defines employee engagement as “the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization and put discretionary effort into their work.”
There are a number of factors that contribute to employee engagement, including:
- Work conditions - do staff have the right tools, processes, and equipment?
- Staff relationships - do managers practice servant leadership or micromanage?
- Training - are there easily accessible opportunities for career development?
- Company culture - are employees connected with the goals of the organization?
- Wellness - are their policies in place to support and prioritize employee wellness?
- Reward and recognition - are employees appreciated?
Engagement isn’t just a perk or a benefit. It’s vital to your organization’s competitiveness and success. Companies that focus on increasing employee engagement enjoy greater productivity, performance, retention and recruitment.
Workforces with less engaged teams experience turnover rates that are 18% - 43% higher than highly engaged teams. Gallup research also shows that increasing engagement leads to higher earnings per share, making companies more competitive and ramping up growth.
Digital employee engagement tools
You can’t build effective employee engagement strategies in the era of remote and hybrid working without the appropriate technology. There are a number of digital tools to promote better engagement among even the most disparate workforce. These focus on key aspects of engagement - communicating, caring, managing, and monitoring.
Don’t underestimate the importance of workplace buddies. When your team builds strong relationships with each other, they’re more motivated and satisfied, plus less likely to resign. Creating these bonds is tough in a remote environment, but not impossible.
Managers should ensure their employees have the right tools to be able to communicate, meet virtually, share their work, collaborate on projects, and have informal brainstorming sessions. This will look different for every organization but will typically involve messaging apps, video conferencing, group emails, shared drives, and project management software.
Employee wellness is central to engagement. A company that genuinely cares about its workforce is more likely to keep and attract talent, especially among the younger demographics - 60% of millennials and 65% of Gen Z say it’s very important that their employers offer wellness benefits.
There are a number of digital tools that support wellness, from meditation apps to fitness trackers, which encourage workers to take a break, stretch and move around regularly. Employees should be encouraged to use those tools when needed.
Managers should also schedule regular one-on-ones with their employees via virtual meeting apps, so they can check-in on how employees are handling their workload.
These sessions should ideally have no agenda and be framed as an informal check-in where workers can share their concerns and give feedback on how their work life could be improved.
Engaged employees are employees who know exactly what’s expected of them, can see their progress, and collaborate towards a goal. When managers assign tasks, they should be very clear on what’s involved, outlining the timeline, stages, responsibilities, and how their team will work together.
This requires a cloud-based project management platform that tracks every task from start to finish. Make sure every team member is fully trained on its use and comfortable working within the platform.
To keep your team engaged, you need to be able to measure and monitor their performance.
When you have employees working remotely, it’s easy to miss warning signs that they’re headed for burnout or struggling with their workload. Managers need to be especially vigilant, tracking their activity for any unusual behaviors or other red flags.
Employee productivity monitoring solution, Prodoscore gives team leaders visibility into their workforce’s daily engagement. The software collects and analyzes valuable data on how employees interact with cloud-based business applications to generate actionable insights that drive success. These insights, displayed in an easy-to-use dashboard, enable managers to spot disengagement before it festers - tackling the problem before productivity dips and the employee leaves.
Prodoscore also helps leaders allocate work more effectively, showing them who is over-contributing and who isn’t pulling their weight. With this information, they can make data-driven decisions around training, recognition, and task management - delegating tasks and streamlining workflows more efficiently.