7 Employee Engagement Best Practices

Jane Sarles Larson

Engaged employees

Of the challenges facing CEO's in 2015, employee engagement is of major concern. According to Business News Daily, employee engagement issues range from retaining top talent to taking on more millennials as Baby Boomers retire. And most leaders understand that employee satisfaction and employee engagement are prominent indicators of future business success. They also know that if employees aren’t happy—if their wellbeing is compromised—their productivity suffers. 

Employee Engagement by the Numbers 

Gallup’s U.S. Employee Engagement Survey reflects a three-year rise in engagement during the first quarter of 2015. And while it might sound like good news, take a closer look. Only 32.9% of the total U.S. workforce is engaged. That means the majority of U.S. workers are not engaged and 16.8% are “actively disengaged.”

Where Wellbeing Comes In 

If employees aren’t engaged, there may be underlying causes impacting their wellbeing. In the holistic approach found within Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, bestselling authors Tom Rath and Jim Harter note that wellbeing is based upon interdependent elements. Elements including professional, social, financial, physical, and communal factors. When any of these are out of balance, wellbeing suffers. However, a positive impact can be created when you consider best practices designed to drive employee satisfaction and engagement (and, by extension, wellbeing). Take a look…

  1. Recognize your people. The research shows it and practical workplace application backs it up—recognized and reinforced behavior gets repeated, according to subject researcher Saul McLeod
  2. Align employee engagement programs with corporate priorities. Look at your employee engagement programs from a universal perspective. Does your employee engagement strategy include all interdependent elements that contribute to wellbeing?
  3. Create a culture of wellbeing. Encompass different individuals’ shared perspectives and varied interests on wellbeing. Be inclusive and find role models to help direct behavior change.
  4. Integrate employee programs. Juggling a bunch of reward and recognition programs can be a pain. (Think of all the sandwich-shop loyalty cards you’ve collected!) Make it easy for your employees to stay in the know by using a centralized platform. When you use one online login as the central spot for your employee programs, you remove obstacles and make your program easier to use.
  5. Engage your team. Engagement is at the heart of the workplace relationship between employee and employer. As Sir Alan Jones, Chairman Emeritus of Toyota UK, said: “Wherever you work, your job as a manager is to make your people be the best they can be. It’s individuals that make the difference.”
  6. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Getting the word out is critical in enabling employees to reach a common understanding of wellbeing benefits. 
  7. Leverage ROI and VOI. VOI, you ask? It stands for Value on Investment and, according to Sodexo, Inc., using a combination of it and ROI complements a consolidated employee program strategy. Ultimately, it allows incorporation of both qualitative and quantitative perspectives to determine the impact of a total wellbeing approach. 

Ready to take on employee engagement and wellbeing? Don’t waste another minute. Give the people what they want and need, from recognition for a job well done to communication to an entire culture of wellbeing.

Jane Sarles Larson

Jane Sarles Larson

As the Research Manager for ITA Group’s Marketing Strategy, Jane is on the forefront of market research and thought leadership. Her interest in neuroscience and how it applies to human behavior and engagement has led to the development of ITA Group’s approach to motivation called Motivology. Her 30+ years of international advertising, sales and marketing experience is second only to her knowledge of dark chocolate.