Imagine you're the captain of a big ship, guiding it across the ocean. Just like a ship needs all its parts working together to move forward, a company needs its employees to be happy and excited about their work to succeed.
But guess what? A lot of people at work aren't feeling that way. In fact, a big study found that about 85% of people at work aren't really into their jobs.
That's like having a ship where most of the crew isn't rowing! Now, to keep our ship smoothly sailing, we need to focus on the "drivers of employee engagement" - these are like the secret ingredients that make employees love their jobs and do their best
When everyone at work is happy and doing their best, it's like magic. Things get done faster, everyone does a great job, and customers are happy too.
But making this happen isn't always easy. It's like figuring out the best way to make sure everyone on the ship is rowing together and feeling good about it.
In this article, we'll talk about the key things that make employees excited to come to work and do their best.
We've covered 17 key drivers of employee engagement, like making sure everyone feels heard, making work fun, and saying "thank you" when someone does a great job.
We'll also give you some cool tips on how to find evaluate employee engagement how to make things even better.
Making work a great place isn't just about making sure everyone is doing their job. It's about making sure everyone feels important and excited to be part of the team. Let's dive in and learn how to make your workplace the best it can be, so everyone feels like they're part of something really special!
Employee engagement reflects an individual's emotional commitment to their work and the company they work for. Those who drive employee engagement are motivated to go above and beyond their job requirements due to a deeper connection, not just a desire for job satisfaction or happiness at work.
It's about creating an environment where employees feel valued, appreciated, and that they're making a real difference.
When employees are engaged, their work inspires, motivates, and energizes them. They are more likely to put in extra effort, go the extra mile, and come up with innovative ideas.
Engaged employees feel invested in the company's success, take ownership of their work, and care about the organization's objectives. They believe they are making a significant contribution.
“More engaged employees are more creative,
Imaginative, and dedicated to giving clients good service”
It's not just about job satisfaction or happiness at work, but also about how committed and passionate employees are about their work and the organization they work for.
A recent Gallup survey revealed that a mere 34% of U.S. employees are engaged at work, indicating that the majority of the workforce is not fully committed to their jobs or organizations.
This lack of employee engagement is estimated to cost American businesses up to $550 billion annually in lost productivity. But why is employee engagement so essential for an organization's success?
Why is Employee Engagement Essential for any Organization?
Employee engagement is more than just a buzzword or superficial concept – it is the lifeblood of a prosperous workplace culture. Disengaged employees are a significant liability.
These individuals may show up to work, but their hearts and minds are elsewhere, merely going through the motions and counting down the minutes until they can leave.
In contrast, engaged employees are fully present, dedicated to their work, and passionate about their company's mission and future.
Engaged employees are more productive than their disengaged counterparts. They are eager to exert extra effort to achieve their goals and demonstrate unwavering focus and commitment to their work.
This increased productivity results in greater efficiency, positively impacting the organization's bottom line.
Engaged employees care deeply about the quality of their contributions. They take initiative, focus intensely, and persist through difficulties rather than cutting corners. They think critically about improving processes and products because they feel invested in the organization's success.
Engaged team members hold themselves and each other accountable to high standards. With everyone striving for excellence, quality dramatically improves across departments over time when engagement levels rise.
Employees who are engaged experience a sense of purpose and fulfillment in their work, leading to heightened job satisfaction levels. This, in turn, can contribute to improved mental health, a better work-life balance, and higher employee retention rates.
Engaged employees are less likely to leave their positions compared to disengaged employees. They display loyalty and dedication to their organizations, minimizing the costs associated with employee turnover.
Recruiting, training, and onboarding new employees can be both time-consuming and expensive; thus, lowering employee turnover can significantly affect an organization's budget.
Engaged employees take pride in their work and demonstrate a sense of ownership, going above and beyond to meet customer needs. This commitment leads to enhanced customer satisfaction, helping the organization establish a positive reputation and gain a competitive advantage.
Employee engagement is critical for any organization as it directly influences success. Here are some ways you can improve your employee engagement:
Talking openly and having caring conversations are key to keeping employees happy at work. When team members feel "in the loop," they feel like they matter.
Leaders should share regular updates about what's going on, through meetings, emails, texts, or calls. Explain any changes happening in simple, friendly language.
Also, make time to listen. Ask folks what's on their minds and how they feel about work. If you're a Slack user you can send out surveys using Wrenly to get direct feedback from your team.
You can receive honest feedback through Surveys which you can then use to make improvements to show you understand your team and strive to make things better. You can try and test it for free.
When an employee speaks up, don't ignore it, be sure to always reply! When you circle back and explain if you used their idea or not it shows that their voice counts. Knowing that their leaders care keeps people motivated.
Praise and coaching help too. Thank team members when they pitch in or achieve a goal. Be their cheerleader! Also nicely point out ways they can grow. We all need help at times.
Keeping everyone informed, listening, praising and coaching are like water and sun to plants - they make people blossom! Simple care and feeding keeps your team growing happy at work.
Creating a culture of openness and transparency requires the active participation of both senior leaders and employees.
Leaders must set the tone for open communication by creating a safe and inclusive work environment, where employees feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas.
There are a few key ways leaders can promote open, transparent cultures:
Being open requires courage and humility from leaders. But the payoff is team members also learn to communicate ideas freely and admit missteps.
When people feel "in the loop" through transparency, engagement goes up. Teams make smarter choices working together toward a common purpose.
Building trust and purpose keep employees invested in their work. When your teams trust you and feel their efforts matter, engagement improves.
Here are the tips to nurture trust and purpose:
By lighting the path from daily tasks to higher goals, you equip people to find purpose. When teams trust you've got their backs, they throw discretionary effort into the ring. Engagement compounds when people feel safe to try new things while keeping their eyes on the horizon you steer toward.
Showing thanks and praise keeps people feeling happy and motivated at work. When you make employees feel valued for their efforts, engagement improves.
Here are the tips on how you can recognize and appreciate:
A little thanks and praise goes a long way! When you make people feel visible for the human beings they are and the unique effort they give, engagement compounds across your teams.
Helping people grow keeps them motivated. When you show employees you care about advancing their careers, engagement improves.
Here are the tips to nurture development:
Investing in your team’s continual growth helps them feel like your organization can grow with them over the long-haul. Purposeful development keeps engagement high across roles.
Helping people balance work and life keeps them engaged. When you care about your team's whole self, they give their best. When you aren’t keeping work-life balance in mind it’s easy for high-performing teams to feel overwhelmed or burnt out as there is always more work on the plate.
Here are the tips to champion work-life balance:
When you invest in sustainable balance, employees repay that trust through higher engagement and loyalty. Supporting your team’s well-being makes you a better leader too.
Ever had a mentor or boss who just seemed to get it? Someone who not only guided you but inspired you to be your best self at work? That's the power of quality leadership.
Great leaders spark engagement. When you model compassion and support, your teams feel inspired to excel.
Here are the tips to be a quality leader:
When you lead with empathy, integrity, and purpose, people follow your example. Quality leadership unlocks quality work and engagement across teams. Serve your people well and they will serve your customers better.
Empowerment inspires people's best work. When you give ownership, teams feel engaged in meaningful impact.
Here are the tips to increase ownership and employee engagement:
With you clearing the path for responsibility, employees shine and realize their full potential. Ownership unlocks discretionary effort as people take pride in achievements. Your empowering leadership lets all realize "I did this" - the key spark of engagement.
Teamwork keeps people engaged and invested. When you foster collaboration, employees feel valued connecting toward shared goals.
Here are the tips to facilitate productive teamwork:
With you nurturing cooperation and bonding, employee engagement improves through connections, learning from each other, and lending one another strength. People want to belong to something bigger than themselves - help make space for that through teamwork.
A compelling vision rallies people to a common purpose. When you define values clearly and live them openly, employee engagement skyrockets through unified direction.
Here are the tips to bring vision and values to life:
Rally your teams to a shared future purpose. Celebrate small acts reinforcing your principles. That compounding unity will have everyone on board your visionary voyage.
Fair pay inspires the best work. When you offer competitive salaries and appealing benefits, teams feel valued for efforts tied to results - fueling engagement.
Here are the tips to get compensation right:
With you positioning compensation competitively, teams can focus fully on the work, not bills. Employees want to know their excellence moves the financial needle too.
Trusting in tomorrow keeps workers invested today. When employees know you’ve got their backs come what may, teams can stay focused on excelling now without distraction — powering discretionary effort over time.
As leaders, we cannot control all factors affecting job security. But we can control how we support our people through uncertainty. Here’s how:
Of course, promises of lifetime employment are often impossible. But signals of trust in your people’s future and care through turbulence go a very long way.
With you positioning employment as an enduring partnership, teams can delay external worries and deliver their best work now, paying loyalty forward. When job security is done right the team knows they’re all in it together, no matter what the external circumstances are.
Innovation keeps things fresh and exciting. When you nurture an innovative culture, teams feel energized to create better ways without fear - driving engagement through progress.
Here are the tips to spark innovation:
For example, 3M's famous "15% time" empowers workers to use a portion of their role experimenting freely with ideas. This freedom birthed hit products like Post-It Notes! That spirit of creation and incentive for unconventional thinking still energizes 3M's workforce today.
With you clearing the way for innovation, people feel fulfilled realizing progress over time, not just straightforward task completion. New breakthroughs require bravery; make it safe to try.
Wellness powers top performance. When you support employees holistically, teams operate at full capacity – fueling engagement.
Here are the tips to champion well-being:
Studies show every $1 invested in well-being drives $4 in productivity gains through boosted engagement. With you looking out for your people’s whole self, they reciprocate with discretionary effort ignoring burdensome distractions. Protect workplace joy and sustainability – human achievement will follow.
The space where we work impacts how we feel about work. When you nurture an uplifting environment, teams thrive unhindered by physical or psychological annoyances - boosting engagement.
Here's how to optimize work facilities and culture:
When you enhance physical comfort and interpersonal warmth, people can show up as their best selves to drive innovation. Little touches add up to joyful places where employees want to be - and give their all.
How leaders listen - or fail to - resounds profoundly. When you make time for human connections with empathy, teams feel cared for - boosting engagement.
Here’s how to provide meaningful support:
For example, Nike CEO John Donahoe holds monthly small group “Just Listen” lunches with rotating employee volunteers to gain unfiltered insights on culture and wellbeing that then shape people-focused decisions.
With you as an open, understanding leader, employees know they have a safe space to thrive holistically. This fuels their highest human potential - and your team’s results.
Feeling valued inspires the best work. When people know their strengths and efforts matter, discretionary effort flows freely.
When you celebrate the value unique individuals offer, they reciprocate by pouring their whole selves into achieving shared goals.
Since we have covered 17 fundamental drivers of engagement now it is clear that employee experience hinges on some universal human needs around purpose, community, transparency, appreciation, and more.
Assessing how well our organizations currently align with these drivers requires taking a pulse on real perceptions and feelings through multiple listening channels. This brings us to 5 essential evaluation tips for diagnosing engagement accurately and addressing gaps.....
In essence, we first have to define what engagement means and unpack the core elements that motivate discretionary effort when nurtured by leaders.
Once we grasp these universal drivers, we can transition to practical methods for gathering authentic employee feedback tied back to these drivers. Assessing engagement levels turns Knowledge into Insight and then eventually into Action to course correct. Now let's dive into 5 powerful tactics for taking that crucial first step - listening deeply.
Measuring employee engagement is a way to understand how involved and passionate most employees really are about their work and the organization they work for.
You can create surveys to provide employees to gauge how satisfied employees are with their work, how connected they feel to the organization's goals, and how much they enjoy working with their colleagues.
You can use Wrenly to create a pulse survey and send it out to your employees across Slack. You can ask questions about their job satisfaction, work-life balance, relationships with coworkers, and overall feelings about the company.
Make sure the surveys are anonymous and that you ask open-ended questions to encourage honest and insightful answers.
Another way to measure and improve employee engagement is by holding one-on-one meetings with each employee. Use this time to ask them how they feel about their job, their workload, and the company culture.
Employee turnover is a sign that employees are disengaged and unhappy. If you notice a high turnover rate in your organization, it might be time to dig deeper into why employees are leaving. Exit interviews are the key way to understand the specific instances that drive employees to leave.
You can tell a lot about an employee's engagement by their behavior at work. Engaged employees are usually more productive, and enthusiastic, and take pride in their work. On the other hand, disengaged employees may have a negative attitude, lack motivation, and may not show up to work on time.
Providing regular feedback to employees can boost employee engagement levels and help them understand how their work contributes to the overall success of the organization.
After covering all 17 key drivers of employee engagement, we bet you're sitting there wondering how any leader can keep all those plates spinning. It's a lot!
Thankfully, you can use purpose-built tools like Wrenly which integrate directly with Slack to provide timely assistance. Wrenly makes time consuming tasks like sending and analyzing pulse checks a breeze by automating reporting through AI. This allows you and your HR team to focus on more important initiatives..
Instead of manual analysis, Wrenly offers:
With such assistance monitoring engagement signals, leaders can double down on supporting teams.
We’re happy to share more about Wrenly's capabilities tailored to your specific needs in a brief 15-minute discussion or demo. Or directly start for free to kick the tires within your Slack workspace.
Either path aims to inform and equip, not sell or overwhelm. Please reach out with any other questions as you look to sustain stellar employee experiences in this age of uncertainty!