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23 top tips for better employee engagement

What it takes to make your employees feel valued.

How do you energise your people, increase discretionary effort and maximise the resources dedicated to employee communications?

Our 23 top tips on better employee engagement provide a brief introduction to the key steps and thinking needed to set you up for success.

This article has been designed to help executives and managers in any discipline, take action to improve employee engagement within their organisation. Whether you are looking to improve communication channels, create the right environment to share information or simply setting the agenda for change, we’ll guide you on the path to improved engagement and achieving your organisation’s strategic objectives.

  • Do individuals and departments fully appreciate what value and services others bring within the organisation?
  • Can you do more with the same resource?

Create the environment and structure for disparate parts of your organisation to engage with each other, share knowledge and best practice.

  • 22 : One size does not fit all

    Identify what engagement drivers work and are appropriate for your organisation. There is no prescriptive list of do’s and donts, each organisation is unique and therefore you require a distinctive employee engagement approach and strategy.

  • 21 : Establish the value of employee engagement to your organisation

    Consider the impact employee engagement makes to your bottom line, human and financial resources. What is the positive impact engaged employees have on operational performance and profit? It is estimated that disengaged employees cost the UK economy £64bn through lost productivity, poor service delivery and reduced discretionary effort.

  • 20 : A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world

    You will do your own and your organisation’s reputation the world of good by getting out into the business. Especially during tough, difficult times. By taking the pulse of your organisation in a direct and personal manner you enhance the connection between employer and employee as well as providing valuable insight into your own plans and agenda.

  • 19 : If you can’t measure it, don’t do it

    It’s a myth that engagement can be difficult to measure and quantify. The increased use of digital platforms to communicate enables far greater insight. Also look at your aligning internal and external activities. Why not link your employee engagement survey metrics to customer service results?
    Do it often, do it clearly and do it consistently.

  • 18 : Do it often, do it clearly and do it consistently

    Whatever you do, whether it s a blog, a newsletter, or a weekly review follow these three golden rules. Who wants to see a news item on your intranet last updated dated six months ago?
    Establish who in your organisation is responsible for employee engagement.

  • 17 : Establish who in your organisation is responsible for employee engagement

    We’ll save you the trouble. The answer is everyone. Leaders should set the tone and direction. Internal and corporate communication teams will ensure the messaging is clear and consistent, the communication channels selected are appropriate. All employees should feel to some extent that they are part of, and contributors to, the engagement agenda in your organisation.

  • 16: What’s in your tool box?

    Do your employees and the people responsible for internal communications have the right material and infrastructure in place to communicate effectively, share knowledge, receive feedback? Contact us to find out how we helped clients to create the tools and framework for successful employee engagement, including BP and Logica.

  • 15: Don’t confuse happiness with engagement or engagement with effectiveness

    Happy employees are not always engaged. Engaged employees are not always productive. There can still be operational and managerial barriers to overcome which prevent your engaged employee becoming an effective one. Some employees may be transactionally engaged but not emotionally engaged. Ask for our advice on the questions you should be asking in your annual employee engagement survey.

  • 14 : Get the oxytocin flowing

    There is growing evidence to suggest that the hormone oxytocin is an important driver for employee engagement. The hormone gets released into our brains through a variety of stimuli, including whenever we feel a sense of bonding, engagement, trust and empathy. Fear on the other hand inhibits its release. Using social networks, whether for business or pleasure, causes a surge in oxytocin release. Perhaps your next business update should be on Yammer?

  • 13: Silence is rarely golden

    Especially in tough times. Speak honestly about the challenges being faced, as well as anticipated direction. Without direct and continual communication, employees are likely to fill the void themselves, often with worst case scenarios.

  • 12 : Sometimes you need to let go

    Informal groups and social networks on intranets are changing the way organisations are structured and in some instances deconstructed. Trust is one of the most powerful motivators in any relationship, in advancing employee engagement it is critical. Formal structures can, on occasion, inhibit entrepreneurship and knowledge share. Sometimes letting your own employees work things out for themselves yields better results and strengthens engagement.

  • 11 : In challenging times, make sure you give a voice to the majority who make the difference, not the minority who shout the loudest

    Do not allow a negative or defensive narrative to dictate your communications. Even in challenging times, good behaviours are still demonstrated by employees, successful operational events still happen so celebrate and showcase them. Likewise, if you know there are challenges being faced, where you can, be open about them and acknowledge you are dealing with them.

  • 10 : User-generated content is often more engaging than a corporate monologue

    When you open up your communication channels to the wider employee base, you not only increase engagement levels, you often create an environment for innovation. You can also strengthen the understanding and ownership of key business objectives and strategies.

  • 9 : Technology is not just for generation Y

    92% of adults in the UK own a mobile phone, over half of those are smartphones. Tablet and e-reader sales are doubling year on year. Reconsider the channels you use to engage with and communicate to employees.

  • 8 : Avoid fads

    Should you really be on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter just because your competitors are? What if they only have four friends and two ‘likes’. Think through the rationale for why you are doing what you are doing. If it is simply to follow the herd then you risk damaging your reputation, not enhancing it. You may also be wasting valuable time and resources.

  • 7 : Ask yourself, why?

    What is the purpose of your internal communications team and the outputs they produce? What is their agenda, and focus, does it align with the organisation’s? Ask yourself
    if you are giving the necessary direction and setting up your internal resources for success.

  • 6 : Listen, learn, empower

    Go beyond the employee engagement survey. Involve your employees in the solutions to the engagement challenges your organisation faces.

  • 5 : What you say to the outside world should resonate internally

    Practice what you preach. Your internal brand and approach to employee engagement should reflect the promises you make to external stakeholders. Your claim to be a leading, innovative provider of services will carry little credibility if your employees do not live and believe in those promises and brand values themselves.

  • 4 : Are you conducting a monologue or a dialogue?

    How do you communicate with your employees? Top-down information from senior leadership to the wider employee base has its place, however it should be part of a wider communications mix. Do an audit of what you say, how you say it and where. Identify where employees have the opportunity to have their say. Successful organisations know when to talk and when to listen.

  • 3 : Spending and doing less can sometimes achieve more

    Ask yourself what value does each communication and engagement activity brings to your organisation? How much time and resource are you dedicating to both communicating and consuming information? Would a more focused, reduced level of activity yield greater results?

  • 2 : Don’t tick the box. Think outside of it

    Is it time to take a fresh approach? Rethink and revisit every aspect of your communication strategy and outputs. What can seem ‘dry’ subject matter, especially in the areas of compliance and risk, offer an opportunity to engage and inform in a totally different way.

  • 1 : Talk to the experts

    Employee engagement is too important to be left to one individual. However, you are not alone. We get employee engagement (we’re employees too, after all). We see things positively. We create and deliver ideas with you, not just for you, that’s why we’re called The Team.

Call us on 020 7842 3000 or email hello@theteam.co.uk

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