41081843_sLooking for some creative employee engagement ideas?  Understanding what makes your employees happy and unhappy is the first step in improving employee engagement. You can use tools like emooter or Morale.me to monitor employee satisfaction and see how your company compares to other companies. You can collect employee feedback regularly with software like CultureIQ. You can work with a business consultant to gather and analyze employee input about what’s right and wrong with your company culture and work environment.

However you choose to look at the latest employee engagement ideas and employee satisfaction, you have to be aware that it’s a defining factor in the modern employee-work contract. HR experts like Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte know that retention and engagement are among the top challenges haunting business leaders today. When you need fresh employee engagement ideas in your department or in your company, but don’t where to begin, try these simple engagement tactics.


Show Appreciation

If there’s low morale in your office, complaints, and tension under the surface, it may be that employees aren’t feeling valued or appreciated. According to the American Psychology Association, employees who feel valued by their employers report feeling more motivated to do their very best at work.

Forbes contributor and author of “The Type B Manager” Victor Lipman says appreciation is “a key piece of the retention puzzle,” especially for Millennials for whom salary is less of a motivator than recognition at work. He says management ignores employee engagement ideas focused around employee appreciation at their own risk, and that engagement is required to balance accountability and business results. The desire for appreciation and recognition is universal. Managers that say thank you to employees after a big project is completed or when employees put in extra hours and effort for customers and company objectives are creating engagement while building trust.

According to recent surveys like The 7 Key Trends Impacting Today’s Workplace, less than one quarter of employees feel strongly valued at work. It’s easy to get stressed during big projects and tough business deals. It’s even easier to say thanks to the people working with you during those stressful times, and it pays off in morale and productivity.


Expect Engagement

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that managers affect employee performance and morale because they work closely with employees, managing and directing their work and work environment. Companies that make managers responsible for employee engagement ideas and results include Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, where managers are evaluated on employee engagement criteria like coaching and treating employees with respect. Alcoa in New York City includes employee engagement activities in their managers’ performance objectives. Olympic Steel in Cleveland, Ohio ties their managers’ pay, promotions, and work incentives to

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In Gallup’s report State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders, surveyors found that at least 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement is due to managers and the way they manage people. One way to even out this variance is by expecting managers to create and focus on employee engagement. It’s easy to do this by hiring managers experienced in building employee engagement, adding employee engagement responsibilities to manager performance evaluations, and assigning specific employee engagement metrics to managers to implement and sustain.


Start a Buddy System

Whether formal or informal, pairing up new employees with existing employees in a peer mentoring program is one of the top employee engagement ideas. New employees get an introduction to the company and source of support and existing employees get an opportunity to take on a leadership role. New employees and existing employees alike benefit from shared learning opportunities, a safe place to process workplace issues, and a way to interact at work outside of work roles.

Forbes contributor, prolific author, and university professor Karl Moore says mentoring programs are particularly important to Millennial employees, who are used to and want a lot of feedback and input. He reminds employers that mentoring today is not just one way, as in the past, but that there is a lot of value in pairing Boomers and Generation X employees so they learn from each other and collaborate for the benefit of their careers and their companies.

It’s not difficult to start focusing on employee engagement ideas. It’s a lot easier to do things like say thank you, expect managers to pay attention to engagement, and pair new employees with mentors than to try to work through poor morale and turn a profit with a dissatisfied workforce. Companies ignore employee engagement at their own risk.

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