Employee engagement is important to every business. The more engaged and involved staff are, the better your results are likely to be. This has an impact on every activity these people take part in, from internal communication to social events. It’s a part of the company culture, too, so it’s not something to be ignored.
If the culture is poor, engagement will be low. There isn’t a quick fix for this – you’ll have to invest time and resources into changing things by listening to your employees and finding out what the problems are. As the backbone of your business, the ones who work on the frontline with customers, they are the ones who have the biggest impact on the success of your business.
It might be a long process, but when the culture improves, staff engagement will, too, and you’ll see a wide range of benefits.
What Is Employee Engagement?
Simply put, employee engagement is how loyal a member of staff is to a business, and how likely they are to engage with any business activity or action. The more an employee does, the more engaged they are. The more staff that are engaged with the business, the more likely results will improve and targets will be met.
There are a lot of ways to measure employee engagement, and depending on how your business is structured will determine what the best metrics to track are. With a communication platform like OurPeople, you can use workplace analytics to track how your messages perform, how long it takes staff to open them and what they do after. This can help you tailor content and updates to specific audiences for better results.
Why Does Staff Engagement Matter?
You might be tempted to think that staff engagement doesn’t matter, so long as the results and revenue keeps coming in, but that’s a short-sighted view in our opinion.
Keeping staff engaged means they’re more likely to stay with your business, and the longer they are with you, the more they know what it takes to get customers to buy, sign up or do what they want. The amount of time and money spent replacing and training new staff could be invested elsewhere for even better results.
Good staff engagement, and company culture, also makes it easier to attract the best people and push the business further, so there are many benefits.
How Does This Relate To Internal Communication?
As we mentioned, low engagement can be seen through internal communication. This is most obvious with staff not opening messages on time or acting on the content how you would like, when you would like. You’ll also receive minimal responses when you’re collecting information.
When you do get responses, these will be short and less helpful than you would get from an engaged employee. The differences between the two are stark, with engaged staff providing better data and results every time. If each and every employee did the same, the difference in results would be staggering.
This example can be applied to all parts of the business with the same results.
4 Employee Engagement Ideas To Try
There are a lot of different employee engagement ideas that you can try with your team. Some can be done for free, while others involve a cost. Not everything will be a success, but as long as you listen to your staff and learn from what you try, you’ll find the best ways to boost staff engagement.
It’s important to remember that employee engagement goes deeper than just how staff use a tool or piece of software – this is a company culture topic, too. Even activities that might look like they don’t have an influence on the metrics you measure could still have an effect further down the line.
We’ve gathered a range of ideas that you can think about trying, and you can build on these as time goes on.
1. Tailor Messages And Content To The Right Audiences
A good communication tool will let you create messages in a range of mediums, from text to image to video – and even more – so that the content you send out can be matched to what people respond to. The analytics will let you see engagement rates and try new approaches until you get the right format.
You should also be able to send messages and updates to the staff who need them, rather than everyone. This will avoid message fatigue and time spent scrolling looking through messages the things that are relevant to them.
Think of it this way; people working in an office will want to know different things to frontline teams working with customers. Healthcare workers, for example, want updates relating to their processes and schedules more than the people who don’t have those responsibilities.
To make sure workers are focused on what they need, and avoid update fatigue, it’s important to make every message relevant to the recipient.
2. Reward Staff For Their Effort
Everyone wants to feel like what they do matters. Staff recognition is a part of that, but it can take many different forms. Success comes in many forms, and each job role requires varying targets. Frontline teams will often have targets based around the customer interactions, sales or sign ups, while office-based staff might have completely different goals. Both are important to the business.
When an employee or team does well, recognise it. It might be as simple as a shoutout to the company the target has been met – or exceeded – or a difficult situation might have been resolved. Be clear in why they’ve been highlighted, so everyone else knows what it takes to get the same recognition.
You can also incentivise it further by offering a reward of some kind to those who have completed the most goals, or had the best feedback from a customer, for example. Use staff surveys and check-ins to learn about their wellbeing, and find out what they value the most, such as:
Anything else important to them.
3. Develop Personalised Training And Development Plans
When staff feel valued, they become more engaged. One way to achieve this is by developing their skills and knowledge to further their careers. This means more than simply creating a course that everyone must complete, but going further. Look at where your staff want to take their careers. You can use this to find out what skills and experience they need to reach their goals.
Find the skills and knowledge they need to reach their goals
Create training resources to help them reach the next step of their career.
There is a risk that some employees might leave the business in the future when certain opportunities arise that are relevant to their goals, but the time they spend with you will be much more valuable as a result.
4. Bridge The Gap Between Staff Working In Different Locations
We spend a lot of our adult lives at work. While we’re not there to have fun and socialise, it does help to have good relationships with the people we work with. This is true within a team and the wider business.
Some businesses operate in different locations, but working together is still important. Take the leisure industry, for example. Some staff may be in a centralised office while frontline workers are on the ground with customers. They need to work together across the distance, and to know who they are. Social events that bring the whole workforce together can help with this.
The same is true for those at the workplace and remote employees. Their contact with each other is limited beyond communication tools, but regular social events will help them communicate with each other more effectively, as they’ll know what to expect from the others in the business.
Some ideas of social events you can try include:
Monday morning briefings
Weekly team check-ins
Events around specific interests (book clubs, board game events, cooking classes etc)
30-minute video calls for office chats.
These can be done both in person and online with the right tools, so there are options for people in the office and those working remotely.
Improving Employee Engagement Is An Ever Evolving Process
While these employee engagement ideas are a good starting point, it’s important to recognise that this isn’t something that ends. When you stop focusing on increasing employee engagement, the numbers you see in our workplace analytics will drop. People change all the time, and that means your approach has to do the same.
While this can be a long process to understand and get right, the benefits can be huge. Engaged staff are more likely to be loyal to your business, making them more likely to stay, and they’ll go the extra mile in delivering great customer service every time. This has a knock-on effect as your customers and clients will be happier and you’ll get more return business.
If you’d like to know more about how employee engagement works in OurPeople, and what you can do with the platform to improve staff engagement rates, get in touch with our team today.