Employee Engagement Ideas: Building Stronger Connections with Your Team

April 16, 2024

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Recent workplace numbers by Gallup show that only [2 in 10 employees feel connected to their company's culture](https://www.gallup.com/workplace/513491/worrying-workplace-numbers.aspx). Such low morale is bad news because if employees are not engaged in the workplace, they are more likely to have higher absenteeism and turnover rates. They also aren’t as productive as engaged employees. That said, all is not lost if your team is disengaged. There are many employee engagement ideas that you can implement to build stronger connections with your team. This article explores the importance of employee engagement and ways to build better working relationships with employees. ## What Is Employee Engagement & Why Is It Important? Employee engagement refers to the level of enthusiasm and commitment an employee feels toward their job and company. It's the extent to which employees are passionate about their work, committed to their organization's goals, and put effort into their work. Engaged employees see their workplace as more than just a job. It's a place where they feel their contributions are valued, and they can make a real difference. They often go the extra mile, contributing to a positive company culture and a more collaborative work environment. ### Here are the benefits of having engaged employees in your organization: **Increased productivity:** Engaged employees are more efficient and produce higher-quality work. This directly impacts the company's bottom line. **Lower turnover rates:** High levels of engagement can lead to lower employee turnover, saving your company significant amounts in recruitment and training costs. **Enhanced employee satisfaction:** High employee engagement increases job satisfaction. This leads to a happier and more positive workplace environment. **Higher customer satisfaction:** Engaged employees are more attentive and committed to providing excellent service, leading to happier customers and increased loyalty. **Improved company reputation:** Organizations known for high employee engagement are more attractive to potential employees and often see benefits in terms of recruitment and industry reputation. ## How To Build Better Working Relationships with Employees Building strong relationships with your employees can help foster a positive work environment and create a sense of mutual respect and trust. Here are some tips for building better working relationships with your employees: ### Communicate Openly and Frequently Effective communication is essential in any relationship, including those between managers and their employees. Be transparent about company goals, expectations, and changes, and encourage open dialogue between yourself and your employees. Remember that effective communication goes beyond talking. Active listening is an essential component of communication. Therefore, listen to your employees' ideas, concerns, and feedback. Show that you value their input by actively listening without judgment. ### Remain Positive During Interactions Deadlines and other aspects of work can be stressful. During such times, employees need a supportive and positive manager. Even when addressing issues or providing feedback, maintain a positive and respectful demeanor. This makes it easy for employees to come to you for guidance, resulting in positive relationships. ### Support Team Members The easiest yet most effective way to develop positive relationships with your team is to support them. Show interest in their career goals and suggest ways for them to achieve those objectives. Offer mentorship opportunities, provide training, and recognize their contributions. ### Trust Your Employees Mutual trust is critical in a working relationship. Respect their decisions, give them autonomy to complete tasks, and trust that they will deliver results. Avoid micromanagement or controlling behaviors, as this can harm the trust between you and your employees. ### Include All Employees Inclusion is essential in building positive relationships with your team. Ensure that all employees feel valued and respected, regardless of their role or position. Encourage diversity and create an environment where everyone's voice is heard and respected. This will foster a sense of belonging and teamwork within the team. ## Employee Engagement Ideas and Strategies Looking for the best ways to engage your employees? Here are a few ideas and strategies to get you started. ### Identify Employee Engagement Drivers You're better positioned to engage your team when you understand what motivates them. For most employees, engagement drivers go beyond salaries and perks. While there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to employee motivation, some common drivers include: - Recognition - Opportunities for growth and development - Work-life balance - A sense of purpose Conduct surveys to gather feedback from employees. Analyze their responses and identify the drivers of employee engagement in your organization. This will help you tailor your efforts towards what matters most to your team. ### Give Employees a Peak Behind the Curtain Most organizations only involve certain circles, like leadership, in important decisions. This ends up making employees feel excluded, which can negatively impact their engagement. Involving employees in the decision-making and goal-setting process can make them feel more connected to the company's vision and goals. This will also give them a sense of ownership and responsibility towards achieving those goals. When there's a discussion about potential changes that could affect all employees, involve them in the conversation. This will not only make employees feel valued, but it can also lead to innovative solutions and a sense of teamwork. ### Recognize Success and Achievements Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in driving employee engagement. When employees feel their efforts are recognized and appreciated, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated. Set up a rewards and recognition program to regularly acknowledge and celebrate individual or team successes and achievements. This can be through public recognition, rewards, or even a simple thank-you note. It's important to also recognize effort and progress, not just end results. This will encourage employees to continue putting in their best effort and stay engaged in their work. ### Opportunities For Growth and Development Employees want to feel like they are constantly learning and growing. Opportunities for growth and development show employees that the company is invested in their personal and professional development. Consequently, this increases engagement. Offering training programs, mentorship opportunities and career advancement paths are all great ways to show employees that there is room for growth within the company. Aside from offering training, perform regular performance reviews and provide constructive feedback. This will help employees improve and show that their development is a priority for the company. ### Encourage Health and Wellness Integrating health and wellness into your employee engagement strategies can dramatically elevate morale and boost productivity. Consider incorporating yoga sessions into your engagement program, offering a serene break that enhances mental and physical well-being. Alternatively, providing subsidized gym memberships can encourage a healthy lifestyle outside the office. Within the workplace, focus on stocking the kitchen with healthy snack options. Ditch the sugary sodas and energy drinks for nourishing choices that fuel productivity, not just a quick sugar rush. Remember to cater to dietary restrictions and allergies, ensuring everyone has access to snacks they can enjoy. These steps can make a significant difference in how engaged and valued your employees feel. ## Engage Employees Through Our Employer Portal It's no secret that employee engagement plays a critical role in overall company success. It improves retention, reduces turnover, and boosts productivity. However, engaging employees can be challenging, especially for large organizations with hundreds or thousands of employees. This is where our Employer Portal comes in. Here you’ll find a comprehensive dashboard report highlighting key performance indicators as well as a communications section packed with assets for sharing within your organization. There’s also a resource center brimming with thought leadership content. Help your employees take advantage of these benefits by sharing our list of offers and other useful communication resources available to you when you [click here](https://www.workingadvantage.com/employer) to access your Employer Portal.
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