Employee engagement is defined as the relationship between an organization and its employees. An “engaged employee” is someone who is passionate and enthusiastic about their work and who keeps the organization’s reputation and interests in mind as they complete day to-day tasks. Their positive attitude drives them to perform at their best each day and contribute to the success of the organization. An engaged employee will go above and beyond the responsibilities defined in their job description to move their organization forward through innovation and a desire for continuous improvement.
While employee engagement may be a goal, it is far from a given. According to statistics compiled by Glassdoor, 32% of all U.S. employees were considered engaged. However, companies with an employee engagement program achieve 26% greater year-over-year increases in annual revenue than companies without an engagement plan. With all mind, it becomes essential for companies to invest in employee engagement to build your business. But how can you do this without breaking the bank?
Engaging employees to the fullest extent can both maximize the quality of output and ensure employee satisfaction throughout the company. Innovative and impactful plans and incentives do not have to be expensive. Rather, they need to be meaningful. Several strategies and perks mentioned below cost little or nothing to implement.
- Employee engagement surveys: Asking for feedback is critical to obtaining better outcomes. Employee feedback supplies data on your strengths and areas for improvement as an organization. The data collected through these anonymous surveys allow you to custom-tailor engagement initiatives to what employees are truly seeking.
- Peer2Peer recognition program: Employees cast quarterly votes for each other when team members exceed expectations. Honoring your top vote recipients with prizes (perhaps some based on survey feedback) promotes a culture of recognizing positive actions.
- Spot bonuses: Encourage your managers to award their team members with on-the-spot recognition, be it a gift card or something else, at any time to recognize excellent work.
- Coffee hours with executives: Give all your employees access to the executive team to talk over a casual cup of coffee and share their ideas. Depending on your company, this can be an intimate gathering of 5-10 employees or a larger, but casual, group event.
- Employee events throughout the year: In addition to enjoying an annual company picnic and/or holiday party, special food days, a benefits fair, health and wellness workshops, or a paid day off to volunteer at a non-profit can satisfy your team.
- Benefits and perks: An exceptional benefits package is always appreciated. Additional perks such as a smart casual dress code, discounts at local businesses, gym membership reimbursement, and financial wellness workshops can also contribute to company culture of total employee wellness.
- Employee training and development: Investing in your team’s careers through on-site training from both internal and external trainers, on-demand e-learning tools, peer learning, mentorship and early-career counseling fosters a culture of learning and growth.
- Employee shout outs: Collect employee accolades from customer survey responses and manager/peer recognition and share these deeds with the whole company, perhaps on the company intranet. Encourage your teams and congratulate your employees for outstanding work every day.
By leveraging your current assets, including internal employees and existing vendor relationships (such as health insurance providers), you can provide simple, cost-effective ways to engage your employees, develop your talent and grow your institution’s next generation of leadership.
Engaged employees make a company better. A company looking to gain from having highly engaged employees can adopt some of the above suggestions or adapt their current offerings to craft a meaningful and impactful total rewards program. Regularly surveying employees for their feedback and assessing their needs provides an invaluable opportunity for companies to learn how they can cultivate an engaging employee culture for today and into the future.