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8 Best Employee Engagement Ideas from the Experts That Work

As a leader, you know better than anyone else that employee engagement is the heart of any successful business. It's what allows you to attract and retain top talent and is also key to maximizing productivity and performance. But how do you ensure your employees stay engaged?
Let's find out more about the following:
  • What is employee engagement
  • Why employee engagement is important
  • Top 8 employee engagement ideas you need
So, without further ado, let's start!

What is Employee Engagement?

Have you ever stopped to think about how engaged your employees are? Do they feel inspired and fulfilled in their roles? Or do they show up, go through the motions, and then head home without feeling any sense of connection to your business or its mission?
At its core, employee engagement is important for leaders, HR professionals, and managers to understand. It is all about building an emotional connection between employees and the team. That means creating an environment where employees feel connected to the company's mission and values and that their work has meaning.

The 3 C's of Employee Engagement

To ensure employees remain engaged, you need to focus on the three Cs of the employee engagement strategy. Here are as follows:
1. Career: The development of an employee's career is a key aspect of their engagement. Leaders need to provide employees with opportunities for growth and development within the organization.
2. Competence: Having a clear understanding of job expectations is essential for employee engagement. Leaders should provide adequate training and regularly gather employee feedback to give a greater sense of purpose within their roles.
3. Care: Employees must feel like they are valued by the organization in order to remain engaged in their roles. This means that leaders need to make sure they are creating an environment where everyone feels respected.
As inspiring leaders, it's your responsibility to foster strong connections with your teams so that you can continue driving success together!

Why Does Employee Engagement Matter?

Most businesses that invest in employee engagement have higher levels of job satisfaction and a more positive work environment. But what are the benefits of cultivating an engaged workforce?
Let's look at a few of them.

Increased Productivity

Engaged employees are more productive than those who aren't engaged.
A study by Gallup found a decline in employee engagement–dropping from 36% engaged employees in 2020 to 34% in 2021. This year, only 32% of full and part-time employees working for organizations are now engaged.
People who are productive and passionate about their work tend to be more motivated and creative. This leads to better ideas and solutions for your organization.

Improved Retention Rates

Employee retention is a major issue for many businesses, especially in today's competitive job market. When your employees feel connected to your company, they are far less likely to leave—leading to increased stability and reduced hiring costs for your organization.

Better Customer Satisfaction

Happy employees create happy customers!
Engaged workers provide better customer service because they genuinely care about their roles within the team. Plus, having a positive work environment not only affects employee morale. But it also helps attract new talent to your team.

Top 8 Ideas to Increase Employee Engagement

Here are some expert ideas to get you started:

1. Encourage Open Communication

Communication is essential to any successful workplace. When there is open and honest communication, employees can express ideas, give feedback, and constructively interact with each other.
Leaders play an important role in fostering open communication–it's their job to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable speaking up instead of employees being afraid to voice their opinions.
Strategies for promoting open communication in the workplace include:
  • Setting clear expectations. Let your team know what you expect of them and how they will be evaluated on their performance. This should include expectations around open communication and providing input when appropriate.
  • Encouraging dialogue. This could mean having regular meetings where everyone has a chance to contribute. It could also mean setting up small discussion groups or brainstorming sessions where people can collaborate on ideas and come up with solutions together.
  • Rewarding good communication skills. You want your team members to feel like their contributions are valued, so finding ways to reward those who communicate openly is key.
  • Ask questions. Leaders should ask questions regularly—not just about work-related topics but also about themselves and their team members as individuals. It also creates an atmosphere of trust and is one of the ways to encourage employees to speak freely without fear.

2. Unlock Your Employees' Emotional Engagement

Having physically present but emotionally disengaged employees can be a challenge for any leader. It's easy to think of this as a problem of motivation. But what will truly help them is to find personal meaning in their work.
Meaning comes when people connect what they do with something bigger than themselves. That doesn't have to be something big – it can be simple and still make a huge difference in how committed someone is to their job and the team they work for.
Different people may find different meanings in different aspects of their jobs – whether it's work relationships, creativity, innovation, service, or reaching goals. And as a leader, it's important to recognize those moments when they appear.

3. Be a Motivating Coach, Not a Managing Boss

As a leader, it's important to understand the difference between being a motivating coach and a managing boss. While both roles involve overseeing employees and helping them reach their goals, they take very different approaches.
Take a look at the different roles of both positions:

Motivating Coach

  • Focus on encouraging their team to be the best version of themselves possible.
  • Emphasize growth, development, collaboration, and positive reinforcement.
  • Excellent communicators who can articulate expectations clearly.
  • Takes an active role in problem-solving and encourages employees to think outside the box.

Managing Boss

  • Focus on supervising their teams rather than inspiring them.
  • Rely on rigid rules and processes that don't leave much room for creativity.
  • Expect tasks to be completed without deviation or discussion.
  • Prefers to operate with complete control over everything that happens at work.
Becoming an effective motivating coach can create an environment where everyone feels valued and respected.

4. Focus on Outputs Instead of Inputs

The days of having employees clock in and out of work are long gone. Modern workplaces strive for more meaningful metrics that can help assess the impact of each team member's activities.
In other words, it is no longer enough to monitor how many hours someone spends at their desk. It is also important to observe what they accomplish during those hours.
Output measurement takes into account not only the number of tasks completed but also the quality of those tasks and how effectively they were completed. This kind of data gives employers greater insight into their team members' work habits. Plus, it allows them to tailor their approaches for maximum efficiency better.

5. Recognize Success

As a leader, it's up to you to come up with creative ways to keep employees engaged and inspired.
Here are a few ideas to start:

Team Building Activities

These are a great way to foster better relationships between co-workers and increase collaboration among departments. These activities don't have to be expensive. They can be as simple as having lunch together, playing board games, or even taking an outdoor field trip.
The key is making sure everyone feels included and can have fun while learning something new about their colleagues.

Provide Work/Life Balance

Allowing flexible hours or providing resources could go a long way toward helping employees feel less stressed out. Plus, they can be more energized when they return from leave or after working late hours on deadline projects!

Recognition Programs

Employee recognition programs provide rewards for employees who go above and beyond their job duties. These programs can include:
  • Formal awards ceremonies
  • Cash bonuses
  • Informal "thank you" cards
  • Messages of appreciation on social media platforms
No matter what form of recognition you choose, make sure it's meaningful and tailored specifically for each employee. They will feel valued for their hard work and improve company culture.

Career Development Opportunities

Giving employees opportunities for career development shows that you value their growth and want them to stay with the company for the long haul. On the other hand, you could also benefit from leadership training and boost your skills.
Developing each career can be through providing the following:
  • Online courses
  • Webinars
  • Conferences
  • Mentorship programs
  • Training and development opportunities such as B2B Leaders Academy will help you stay up-to-date on industry trends. Plus, you can hone the leadership skills that will benefit you and your employees in current roles or future careers.
Many people feel lost and confused as they attempt to figure out their next steps in developing their leadership skills. You can do this by completing a leadership scorecard. Don't delay embarking on your next leadership breakthrough with the B2B Leaders Academy!

6. Be a Listener and Provide Feedback

Being a great leader means more than just having the right words to say. It's about being an active listener, taking constructive feedback, and offering your own.
Listening and providing employee feedback are two essential skills for any leader. They enable you to understand better how to best serve those around you – both in your personal and professional life.
When you actively listen, it helps build trust, respect, and connection with others. It also allows you to understand their thoughts and feelings better, allowing for more productive conversations.
Furthermore, quality feedback should be given thoughtfully, without judgment or blame. This is to make the recipient feel comfortable sharing their thoughts with you once they have received your response. Constructive criticism is also important – it helps individuals identify areas for improvement so they can reach their full potential.

7. Lead By Example

To simply engage employees, one of the most powerful tools a leader has at their disposal is leading by example. As a leader, it is essential to understand how important a role model you are for your team. In other words, what you do matters more than what you say!
Leading by example has countless benefits for both leaders and their teams, including:
  • Facilitates trust within the team. When team members see that their leader practices what they preach, they become more likely to trust in the leader's vision and goals.
  • Inspires loyalty within the team. It is because when they witness their leader's commitment firsthand, they will be willing to put in extra effort to ensure that the organization meets its objectives.
  • Fosters an atmosphere of collaboration and creativity. When a leader demonstrates that they believe in collaboration and new ideas, this encourages employees to share their own experiences.
  • Shows employees that there are no "special rules" for them; everyone is held accountable for their actions equally.
  • Provides an excellent opportunity for personal growth. This open-minded attitude towards learning creates a positive environment where everyone feels comfortable taking risks. This is something that can often lead to great results!

8. Prioritize Workplace Wellness

Employee wellness should always be a top priority in any workplace. That's why you need to invest in resources such as a mental health and wellness program or physical fitness classes.
This shows employees that you care about more than just business results. You also care about their physical health too!

Wrap Up

For any business-to-business (B2B) leader, one of the primary goals should be to maximize employee engagement. After all, without engaged employees, a workplace can't effectively bring new products and services to market.
If you're looking for a little inspiration to jump-start your own program, any of these should do the trick. But don't stop here – keep exploring and finding new and innovative ways to engage your old employees and new hires!
© 2023 B2B Leaders Academy. All Rights Reserved.
© 2023 B2B Leaders Academy. All Rights Reserved.