Sponsored by Workleap Officevibe
In most organizations, the human resources team is a primary point of contact throughout the employee journey. From the very first nerve-wracking moments of the recruitment process to bittersweet exit interviews, an HR representative is usually there to guide us through it all. But how can HR help boost employee engagement along the way?
Working in tandem with senior leaders and managers, HR team members are in a unique position to help build and maintain a strong, sustainable workplace experience. And one sure-fire way to foster a positive experience is by ensuring that employees feel committed and motivated each day.
However, keeping engagement high is easier said than done — especially with change affecting so many aspects of organizational life:
- Remote and hybrid work standards remain fluid as we navigate post-pandemic norms.
- Automation and other emerging technologies are redefining established skills and work processes.
- Businesses across multiple industries are facing uncertainty and disruption.
Obstacles like these are the reason why HR matters more than ever. When organizations are navigating difficult challenges, HR teams can help ensure that employees are committed, happy, and motivated.
In this article, we’ll explore some proven strategies your human resources team can implement to boost employee engagement and sustain that kind of culture over time.
The Importance of Engagement
There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Ensuring employees are engaged is vital to the overall success of any organization.
What’s at stake? Research shows that if your workforce isn’t engaged, your company is likely to underperform at multiple levels. For example, you can expect to see:
- Higher workplace stress
- Increased absenteeism
- Lower productivity
- Reduced employee retention
- Unachieved business goals
No one wants to face these issues. But how can you avoid them?
8 Strategies to Boost Employee Engagement
It’s easy to talk about the perils of poor engagement or the benefits of improving it. But what strategies can HR implement that will actually boost engagement and keep top talent around for the long haul?
Below are 8 ways to move the meter. Keep in mind that arbitrarily focusing on only one strategy won’t achieve the best results. Instead, start by considering your organization’s current situation and objectives. Think about which of these ideas will likely make the biggest impact on your workforce. Then try a combination of methods that address your specific needs:
1. Choose the Best Employee for Each Role
During the hiring process, HR is responsible for helping to identify and select the best candidates for every open position. Because they’re aware of each team’s needs and the company’s broader objectives, it makes sense for HR to recommend candidates who are the best fit.
This also means HR should be responsible for ensuring that anyone you hire thrives in their role. So, if an employee is struggling, the appropriate HR representative should work alongside that person’s manager to assess the situation. It may mean the employee would perform more effectively under different leadership or in a different role.
2. Provide Stellar Onboarding
A great workplace experience begins with exceptional onboarding. When employees join a company, they usually have endless questions — not only about their job and compensation, but also about company culture and resources available to them.
Onboarding tools like Workleap Onboarding help HR leaders and managers offer new hires a seamless introduction to the company. They also go a long way in establishing high employee engagement from the get-go.
Does your HR department oversee a distributed team? This ultimate checklist for onboarding remote employees will start your new hires on the right foot.
3. Practice Clear, Open Communication
Effective communication is key to every team’s success — but it’s especially true for HR. In many organizations, HR serves not only as an employee sounding board and leadership coach. It also doubles as the main communication conduit between senior leaders and the rest of the company. This means transparency and trust are of the utmost importance.
Open lines of communication should also extend to one-on-one sessions. For strong engagement, employees must feel they can trust HR representatives with their concerns and questions. Above all, they need to feel heard, respected, and understood.
If employee satisfaction and engagement seem to be dipping, you may want to avoid unnecessary turnover by conducting stay interviews. If you’re not familiar with the stay interview process, these 6 questions can help you kickstart the conversation.
4. Gather and Respond to Employee Feedback
One of the most effective engagement initiatives we rally behind is the collection of anonymous feedback from across the organization. Employees might not feel comfortable submitting feedback directly to their managers. That’s why it’s crucial to provide a safe space for people to submit thoughts and opinions without fearing repercussions.
For best results, use a survey template. This provides a consistent structure for collecting and evaluating concerns. It also makes it easier to map that feedback to engagement.
Periodically review feedback reports with managers to analyze and interpret satisfaction and engagement metrics. This ensures that you can stay ahead of key metrics and identify specific issues or trends that need to be addressed. From there, you can work with individual unit leaders to craft relevant engagement activities or initiatives for their teams.
5. Deliver Meaningful Wellness Programs
When people are tired, stressed, or on the verge of burnout, they obviously won’t perform at their best. But data from Workleap Officevibe indicates that 1 in 4 employees feel their work-life balance is unhealthy. This suggests that engagement-minded HR teams should make workforce mental and physical wellness a priority.
Include a budget line item for mental health resources and programs that help employees care for their physical, emotional, social, and financial wellbeing. And to ensure your programs resonate, an employee wellness survey can provide a wealth of insight into employee wellbeing. Take time to ask thoughtful questions, then keep the conversation going with informal and formal forums.
6. Encourage a Culture of Recognition
In an ideal world, everyone in an organization would regularly acknowledge others for their contributions and achievements. But in reality, only 66% of employees are satisfied with the frequency of recognition they receive, according to Workleap Officevibe data.
Practices that build a culture of recognition can make gratitude a cornerstone of your employee experience. Begin with metrics that incentivize leaders and managers for consistently expressing specific, genuine appreciation for team members.
Also consider the power of a peer-to-peer recognition platform. These systems make it easy for employees to thank colleagues or give them props for a job well done. This is highly effective for improving engagement. In fact, it’s one of the best low-cost, high-reward strategies HR can implement.
7. Facilitate Team-Building
If your organization includes distributed teams, it can be challenging for people to establish authentic personal connections. By organizing casual team-building activities, HR can help bring that “human” touch back to your department. Activities like these can raise the level of team interaction and engagement:
- Innovation challenges
- Job rotation programs
- Team potluck dinners
- Events and games based on mutual interests
Looking for more team-building and collaboration ideas? Try these remote teamwork tips!
8. Offer Professional Development Opportunities
Nothing is more important to employees than investing in their growth. And it’s good for engagement, as well. Many people are creative, resourceful, and driven. But sometimes they need help to find and access courses and other learning experiences that will expand, enhance, or fine-tune their knowledge and skills.
Employee surveys can help determine which topics resonate most with your workforce. Then, by overlaying this feedback with organizational capability maps, it’s possible to build a curriculum that aligns interests employee with internal skills gaps.
For instance, some organizations are helping employees expand their digital fluency and AI skills to meet an increased need for technical talent. Others offer foreign language training to help employees work more effectively in a global business environment.
The best development programs structure learning opportunities in a variety of forms. For example, you could mix informal workshops, online knowledge-sharing forums, and lunch-and-learn events with a variety of formal courses, mentoring opportunities, stretch assignments, and certification paths. Think of these options as a way to help individuals expand their personal and professional competencies, while simultaneously lifting engagement and strengthening your business strengths.
How Workplace Experience Tools Can Help
Your HR team is at the heart of the employee journey. Their raison d’etre is to help managers find the best people for their teams and ensure that those individuals feel comfortable, supported, and engaged in their work. So even the most knowledgeable HR professionals can benefit from tools that help boost employee engagement and keep it high.
Tools like those from Workleap Officevibe make it easy for organizations to collect employee feedback, measure engagement, and evaluate the results. With these data-backed insights, you can design, deploy, and improve engagement strategies that elevate your employee experience and ultimately drive business success.