Cerkl Broadcast
Cerkl Broadcast

10 Most Effective Employee Engagement Best Practices for 2024

Discover the proven list of top 10 employee engagement best practices to boost morale, productivity, and retention of your valuable workforce.
Written by: Penny Swift
employee engagement best practices
Published: October 12, 2023
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In the modern business world, employee engagement is key to maintaining productivity and efficiency within an organization. Gallup’s new State of the Global Workplace 2023 Report puts it into perspective financially with an estimate that low employee engagement costs the global economy $ 8.8 trillion. This is 9% of the global GDP, which, the report says, is “enough to make the difference between success and a failure for humanity.” 

It’s serious stuff, but there is a solution. Gallup puts the responsibility fairly and squarely on the shoulders of leaders and managers, stating that there’s a great deal organizations can do to engage employees and ensure they thrive at work.

Two vital steps they can take are to:

  1. Focus on employees who are winners rather than those who are “quiet quitting.” 
  2. Provide better managers who will embrace employee engagement best practices.

This article provides in-depth insight into the top 10 best practices for employee engagement. They include everything from effective communication and employee recognition to leadership and continuous improvement. We define what employee engagement truly encompasses and its associated benefits. We also explore simple but impactful strategies to measure the levels of employee engagement within a wide range of organizations.

After a thorough assessment of employee engagement a decade ago, Gallup established that highly engaged workforce are 22% more profitable and 21% more productive than those in a disengaged workforce. They also found that there is a strong correlation between employee engagement and performance. The research shows that companies with an engaged workforce have higher earnings too. 

However, a much more recent Gallup employee engagement survey shows that employee engagement has been declining since 2020. By January 2023, the ratio of disengaged vs engaged employees was the lowest it’s been since 2013. 

This indicates that there’s a very real need for employers to work proactively towards improving employee engagement. The reality is that when employees are involved, they are generally enthusiastic and committed. Those who are disengaged couldn’t care less. Unfortunately, this means that they are more likely to be disloyal. 

The graph below is based on figures published by Gallup that indicate employee engagement trends between 2010 and 2022.

employee engagement trend

According to the 2023 workplace report, employee engagement has resumed a historically positive course. Gallup also found that these negative statistics don’t apply to all organizations. There are some that have doubled their employee engagement statistics. They did this by embracing employee engagement best practices. 

The new report acknowledges there’s a lot still to be done. Only 23% of employees are engaged at work and thriving. More than half (59%) are “quiet quitting,” which means they do what’s required with minimal effort. The remaining 18% are “loud quitting.” They’re the ones who undercut organization goals and defy leaders, potentially harming the organization. The quiet quitters offer the best opportunities for growth and change. 

There is no doubt that applying the best practices of employee engagement leads to improved performance, reduced turnover, and ultimately a positive impact on the bottom line. 

Employee Engagement Defined

Employee engagement embodies employees’ levels of enthusiasm, commitment, and involvement in their work as well as the company they work for. Highly engaged companies succeed and flourish through the active participation and investment of team members who feel a deep emotional connection and personal investment in their roles. 

The primary emotions that promote engagement at work are feeling appreciated, confident, inspired, excited, and empowered, according to a 1,500 employee nationwide poll

10 Most Effective Employee Engagement Best Practices for 2024

The degree of employee engagement rises when they consistently experience even one of these favorable feelings towards their immediate supervisor and workplace. More than half (52%) of employees who said they experienced at least three of these important emotions were actively engaged. For them, disengagement decreased to only 5%. 

Importantly, the Gallup employee engagement survey highlights which engagement elements have declined. Unengaged employees didn’t have:

  • Clarity of what was expected of them
  • A clear connection to the mission of the organization
  • Meaningful opportunities to learn or grow
  • Opportunities to do what they did best
  • A feeling that they were appreciated and cared about 

A comprehensive employee engagement strategy not only involves acknowledging and rewarding hard work. It also includes the creation of a positive work culture, offering various modes of communication, and providing opportunities for career advancement.

The Benefits of Employee Engagement

Engaged employees significantly contribute to a company’s success. On the contrary, disengaged companies may face lower employee productivity, poor customer satisfaction, and decreased annual sales. 

Nico Black, Head of Marketing in Cerkl

Benefits of employee engagement include boosted performance, increased workplace satisfaction, and improved employee retention rate, which collectively impact the bottom line.

A highly engaged culture automatically stimulates creativity, innovation, and efficiency among team members. This results in superior client service, increased sales, and a stronger brand reputation.

10 Most Effective Employee Engagement Best Practices for 2024

Turning again to the 2023 Gallup workplace report, there is evidence that 51% of people who are employed are either actively seeking or looking out for a new job opportunity. Of these, 61% are actively disengaged while 43% are recognized as being engaged. An interesting anomaly is that on average, disengaged employees want a 22% increase to make a job change worthwhile. Those who are engaged want at least a 31% increase. 

Feelings of enthusiasm and a desire to be involved are also affected positively by an employee engagement strategy. The study shows very specifically that engaged employees are considerably less likely to be stressed than those who aren’t engaged. Incredibly, it appears that engagement has 3.8 times more influence on stress at work for those employees who are engaged. It also disproves theories that stress is caused by management or location problems. 

Employee Engagement Best Practices

Being able to implement employee engagement best practices can play a pivotal role in transforming a disengaged organization into one that thrives with a vibrant, purpose-driven workforce. 

But what are they? Following the 2023 global workplace study theme, “the voice of the world’s employees,” Gallup asked respondents for their ideas. Only 16% said that well-being would make the workplace better. This idea incorporates things like reduced overtime, working from home more, and having longer breaks and/or places where they can relax with colleagues during breaks. 

Pay and good benefits seem like an obvious advantage. But only 28% said that this was important. A resounding 41% said that engagement or culture would be what they would change about their workplace if they could. From these responses, it is clear that employees want recognition and respect. They want clearer goals, better guidance, and a fair opportunity for promotion. Responses show there is a need for everybody to be recognized for their contributions. They want managers to be approachable and transparent. They also want more autonomy in the workplace to stimulate and encourage creativity.

And there’s a caveat. While they found that 70% of team engagement was due to effective managers, they also found that managers are quiet quitting. A key reason is that they want the best tech tools to improve employee engagement.  

Let’s explore 10 of the best practices picked by experts at Cerkl. You’ll see that there is a general synergy between these and the wants of Gallup’s 2023 global workplace study respondents. 

#1: Communicate Openly and Transparently

Effective communication forms the backbone of any successful engagement strategy. Avoiding silos and creating an open dialogue across various hierarchical levels maximizes transparency and helps to foster a sense of unity.

A well-defined culture of transparency will also support the wellbeing of your employees at every level.  

According to research conducted by Harvard Business Review, a significant majority (71%) of employees report that the highest levels of engagement in their work occur when senior management maintains transparent communication with them. This includes continually updating and communicating strategies and business goals.

10 Most Effective Employee Engagement Best Practices for 2024

An even higher percentage (73%) state that effective communications are likely to bring success. Additionally, strong executive leadership ranks at 71% and efficient productivity at 68%. 

Of course, these are all interlinked and pretty well as important as each other. The research also highlights what drives employee engagement. Recognition for being a high performer is particularly important, ranking 72% in terms of votes. This aligns with the next of our 10 best practices. 

#2: Recognize and Appreciate Your Team

Employee recognition programs foster a positive work environment and create an emotional connection, thereby significantly enhancing engagement levels. Employees also value public recognition and respect. 

According to a survey by Achievers, 44% of employees thinking about leaving their current jobs are doing so because they feel unrecognized and disengaged in their current workplace. When asked what might persuade them to stay in the job, 69% ranked recognition and rewards as a major factor. 

There are many ways that you can recognize individual employees and teams, and acknowledge them publicly. At Cerkl, team leaders constantly take the opportunity to recognize our employees’ milestones, including each workiversary

#3: Involve Employees in Decision-Making

Empowering employees ensures they feel valued and trusted, thereby inducing a sense of loyalty and personal investment in their work. It’s also a good strategy to improve decision-making. When employees have the confidence (and approval) to make decisions, they generally become more positive and willing to contribute to the success of the organization. 

Offering ample opportunities for decision-making can be a substantial and very effective empowerment strategy.

#4: Provide Opportunities for Growth

Investing in employee development not only improves skill sets and productivity but also motivates employees to broaden their horizons. Showing appreciation to employees who succeed is incredibly important. Regular training programs and performance reviews also play an essential role in professional growth. 

According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 41% of workers believe that having the chance to progress in their careers is very significant for overall job satisfaction. Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement is based on a study of U.S. employees. Although conducted on a relatively small scale, it provides considerable insight into typical employee preferences. It also highlights crucial elements for organizations to factor in when crafting and enhancing initiatives aimed at organizational improvement.

Similarly, a Udemy Workplace Boredom Study reported that 80% of people felt learning new skills would make them feel and be more engaged at work. It also found that 43% of U.S. office workers were bored, with boredom being a primary reason for quitting. 

#5: Foster a Positive Work Environment

Positivity is a vital element in life, not only in work life. Generally, employees want to make a positive difference, and in doing so, they hope to be rewarded at the very least with recognition for their achievements or efforts. When employees are feeling positive, they are much more likely to remain motivated and engaged. 

Management and team leaders can follow through on these expectations by positively reinforcing employee efforts and achievements. Acknowledging them publicly in the workplace can make a huge difference to morale, which usually improves productivity. 

Employee feedback is an important way to promote positivity. But be straightforward and honest. Also, remember that criticism doesn’t need to be negative. If you show what the failures are and how things can be improved and done differently, you can be positive in a way employees will appreciate. 

#6: Cultivate a Culture of Inclusivity and Diversity

In a survey conducted by CNBC and SurveyMonkey, 80% of people said they want to work for a company that cares about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

This shows that inclusive practices directly enhance the employee experience by making them feel acknowledged and respected. So, it’s important for employers to find a way to create an inclusive workplace that prides itself on diversity and promotes a sense of unity and belonging. Without a doubt, DEI starts with internal communication, and Cerkl Broadcast is here to help.  

#7: Promote Health and Wellness

Placing emphasis on the wellbeing of employees is integral to any successful employee engagement strategy. Physical activity or mindfulness exercises are ways to promote mental and physical health in the workplace. Another good idea is to organize a wellness week during which team leaders and internal communicators promote wellness strategies. 

But it is essential to prioritize employee well-being and mental health. 

Generally, the best way forward is to encourage a healthy work-life balance and discourage employees from overworking. Ensure that they have boundaries between work and their personal lives. Offer resources and support to help employees navigate the potential challenges of remote or hybrid work.

Also, respecting the importance of work-life balance by offering flexible work hours or remote work opportunities can also significantly improve employee engagement. Flexible work arrangements are a desired perk for many employees and will help to foster a positive work environment.

Ultimately, expressing gratitude in any workplace will cultivate a more positive mindset, which has both physical and psychological benefits. If you enable employees to embrace an optimistic view of life this will result in reduced stress levels, improved sleep, enhanced performance, and more effective decision-making. They will also be more likely to experience increased confidence and a greater sense of decisiveness.

#8: Seek Input and Provide Feedback 

Employee feedback, exit interviews, or employee communication surveys offer crucial insights into improving employee engagement. An employee software platform can help manage and analyze active feedback more effectively.

Employee surveys, in particular, enable team leaders to improve employee engagement as well as commitment. But the caveat is that you need to know what your survey goals are, and you’ll need a trusted survey tool to help you succeed. 

Feedback is, though, vital as well. People need to know what others think, and they need confirmation of achievements. Feedback to employees won’t necessarily always be good, but it’s important. 

#9: Demonstrate Engagement as a Leader

Leadership teams act as catalysts for change. Strong leaders who practice what they preach can inspire employees and boost engagement levels drastically. 

A recent research paper indicates that a specific leadership approach known as “engaging leadership” has the potential to increase employee engagement. It can also improve overall team effectiveness in the workplace. What makes this research different is that it suggests that demonstrating engagement as a leader can predict team effectiveness and work engagement. 

#10: Implement an Employee Engagement Strategy

The key to improving employee engagement is ongoing effort and fine-tuning of strategies. Engagement levels should be regularly measured, and trends analyzed to redraw action plans as needed. 

A well-thought-out employee engagement strategy won’t only result in a workforce of dedicated employees who are happy and hopefully healthy. It will also improve the functionality, productivity, and bottom line of the company. 

Internal communications and customer success management (CSM) employee engagement strategies can make or break organizations. Do it right and you’ll be on your way to being a winner. 

Measuring Employee Engagement

An important step to improving engagement is to first measure the current state of employee engagement through surveys, performance reviews, or exit interviews. This could provide valuable information to understand areas of weakness, for developing an effective employee engagement strategy.

10 Most Effective Employee Engagement Best Practices for 2024

At the same time, the reality is that in typical organizations employees are ambivalent. Very often, they aren’t engaged or actively disengaged. By acknowledging this, team leaders will find that these people offer the greatest potential to drive customer retention and organic business growth. But how? 

Potentially, it’s so simple. By employing an effective employee engagement strategy. But the caveat is that employee engagement doesn’t necessarily spell happiness. By presuming that employees are happy and content, you may be missing the opportunities that employee engagement offers. Meaningful employee engagement encompasses a deeper commitment. Employees don’t only engage, they respond and commit, playing their role in making the organization more successful and a better place to work.  

Ultimately, engagement strategies can make or break a firm’s performance. However, implementing these strategies requires continuous effort, monitoring, and modifications. Monitoring employee feedback, recognizing hard work, ensuring effective team building, and making continuous improvements can drastically improve engagement levels and ultimately boost productivity.

Implementing Employee Engagement Best Practices with Cerkl Broadcast

We’ve said that all-important DEI starts with effective communication. This is why we’ve focused on ways to use internal communications to power DEI initiatives. You can also enhance employee engagement with employee resource groups (ERGs) that promote a positive work culture and promote collaboration.

But more importantly, Cerkl Broadcast provides insights and analytics for communications. For example, you can see click rates, click-through rates, open rates, and so on for emails you send to employees, clients, and potential clients. Broadcast also offers a unique approach in terms of audience management. 

What’s Next?

If you’re developing an employee engagement strategy, we can help you become the best.  

FAQ

What are employee engagement best practices?

Employee engagement best practices are ways of doing things in an organization that improves employee engagement. More importantly, they focus on using engagement to increase employee satisfaction so that employees will perform better, be happier, and thrive.

What is one of the top employee engagement best practices?

Employees regard engagement with employers and team leaders as more important than anything else.

Why is employee feedback important?

Employee feedback is the only way to let employees know whether they have performed well or have failed. An employee who has done well will want to be acknowledged publicly. One who has failed needs to be told what went wrong. Either way, feedback is a positive method of employee engagement.

What defines a successful employee engagement strategy?

A successful employee engagement strategy involves creating a workplace environment where employees feel valued, motivated, and aligned with the organization’s goals. It includes regular communication, recognition, opportunities for growth, and a strong sense of belonging.

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