The roots of employee engagement reach all the way back to studies in the 1920s of worker morale and willingness to work toward organizational goals. Today, employee engagement ideas encompass workers’ emotional commitment to the companies that employ them, their passion for the organization and the work, and the positive business outcomes that are derived from that type of bond.

Employee engagement ideas help develop employees who enjoy their work and are invested in the organization’s values and goals. In “Employee Engagement for Everyone,” Kevin Kruse says that when employees care, they use discretionary effort – in other words, they go above and beyond, go the extra mile, give more than 100 percent. The take away? It pays to implement employee engagement ideas.

Looking for employee engagement ideas for your business unit or organization?

Check out how being flexible, available, and appreciative, using employee satisfaction surveys, and creating feedback mechanisms creates employee engagement.

Be Flexible, Available, and Appreciative

Managers can use employee engagement ideas to create a caring and open work environment and create a bond with the employees who report to them.

Be Flexible – Everyone has a life outside of work, and acknowledging that and being flexible with employees will make a real difference in their lives. It will also help create the strong emotional engagement you are looking for from your workforce. Let someone get out of the office a little early on Tuesdays for their kids’ after school sports. Give a single parent a paid day off once in a while. Assign a flexible schedule to an employee who is working hard to finish a degree in night school.
Be Available – Everyone is busy, and no one more than managers, but make a plan to be available to employees consistently so you can hear concerns and give guidance. Don’t expect them to work without clear expectations, good instructions, and consistent communications.
Be Appreciative – A sincere and timely “thank you” goes a long way toward making employees feel valued. Show appreciation often and in different ways to let employees know you value their efforts and appreciate their contributions.

Use Employee Satisfaction Surveys

Your short list of employee engagement ideas to implement should include using employee satisfaction surveys. Create a plan to survey employees about different aspects of their work by deciding how often you want to survey employees, how you will administer surveys, and what you will do with the information you get from surveys before you begin.

Don’t ask about things you’re not prepared to change, improve, or address. Once you start surveying employees, share the results to keep everyone involved and informed about trouble areas and how much improvement is made.

Employee engagement ideas that help you find out what your employees think about your organization, how they feel about their work, and what motivates them include asking questions such as:

  • How meaningful is your work to you?
  • Do you think your opinions about work matter to your boss?
  • How comfortable are you in your work environment?
  • Do you feel you are compensated fairly for the work you do?
  • Are you happy with your work schedule?
  • Do you think you get to contribute on important projects that help your career?

Create Feedback Mechanisms

In “Louder Than Words,” one of the employee engagement ideas that Bob Kelleher suggests is creating effective feedback mechanisms to establish mutual commitment to company goals and high performance.

  • One feedback mechanism he discusses is a communication protocol that includes a balanced scorecard shared with employees, and a commitment from management to use it consistently.
  • He also recommends identifying who is responsible for gathering and publishing the information.
  • Bob Kelleher talks about a company that gives new hires a copy of the communication protocol and commitment on their first day.

Studies have linked employee engagement with higher productivity and customer satisfaction which translates to higher profits and business success. What organization doesn’t want that? Developing and implementing creative employee engagement ideas is an important business success factor for any employer.

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