Employee Engagement

With employees hustling with their busy work schedules, they tend to spend lesser time with their families and more time at their workplace. No wonder, they want to be more engaged and productive at their workplace. This kind of commitment that employees have towards their job and the workplace is referred to as - Employee Engagement. More often, employee engagement is a jargon used in the corporate industries to describe the obligation and responsibility of the workforce towards their company.

Until a few years ago, employee engagement or workplace wellbeing was never a preference for employers. However, of late, many studies have shown that companies whose employees are highly engaged are 202% more productive than the ones that have lesser engaged employees. Many studies also show that disengaged employees cost their companies almost $450 - $550 billion towards lost productivity. Such results have started changing the corporate policies, and employers started prioritizing employee health and wellbeing, engagement, and workplace culture.

With time, technology has evolved, and so has employee expectations of workplace benefits and perks . By implementing the right employee engagement strategies, wellness technology, and other wellbeing tools, employers can have a great opportunity of creating a committed workforce and establish a healthy and productive workplace culture

A Gallup study showed that in the US, employee engagement has become stagnant at just 30% in the past few years. And as the engagement rates drop, it impacts employees and businesses in many ways. To ensure there is adequate employee engagement at the workplace and in the corporate wellness programs, the right employee engagement strategies and activities must be implemented. However, to implement the right employee engagement activities and strategies, it is important to understand all the key aspects of employee engagement.

So, What Exactly Is Employee Engagement From Employee Perspective?

From the employee's perspective, employee engagement is all about them being happy to work and interact at the workplace. When the employees wake up in the morning feeling good to get to their workplace to start working for the day, socialize with their team and co-workers, and have a good time throughout, it is evident that they are engaged well. It is more about understanding their role well at their workplace and what is expected from them to deliver their best for workplace wellness. Their ideas and actions are in line with the company's views and policies, and fits well with the organization's objectives.

In short, well-engaged employees are authentic, empowered, focused, trusted, and committed at the workplace. For them, workplace engagement includes having the freedom to give constructive feedback, have mutual respect, are supported for learning and developing new skills, and appreciated for their achievements.

What Is Employee Engagement from the Employer’s Perspective?

For employers, their key goal at the workplace is always about a productive workforce and positive behaviors that reflect enhanced business outcomes. From the employer's point of view, workplace engagement is about carrying a positive attitude, having a deeper commitment from the employees, lesser absenteeism rates, fewer conflicts at the workplace, and higher employee productivity. Employers expect well-engaged employees to be loyal towards their job and the workplace, advocate their business to clients and customers, be innovative, improve their services, go the extra mile to complete their tasks on time, and be consistent with the workplace culture and values.

Facts about Successful Employee Engagement Strategies

Employee engagement and workplace wellness go hand in hand. The right employee engagement strategies will nurture employees - the most valuable asset of the organization. Apart from creating a healthy workplace culture, successful employee engagement in the corporate wellness programs give an ROI of almost thrice the invested wellness dollars.

Here are some facts that prove the importance of implementing the right employee engagement strategies for workplace wellness and business growth.

  • Organizations with engaged employees showcased 21% higher profitability.
  • Companies also showed 41% lower absenteeism and 59% employee turnover rates
  • 61% of employees at well-engaged workplaces have made better lifestyle choices
  • 89% of employees working at companies with corporate wellness programs are more likely to recommend their employers
  • Employees who are acknowledged at work are 4.6 times more productive

On the contrary, disengaged employees are likely to cost their organizations more than just expensive healthcare costs. A study shows that disengaged employees lead to -

  • 37% - higher absenteeism rates
  • 18% - lower productivity
  • 15% - fewer profits

Common Goals Expected From Higher Employee Engagement Strategies

Employee engagement impacts workplace wellness and the culture of health in many ways. One of the fundamental steps while planning on the right employee engagement strategies is to understand the business and wellness goals. Articulating clear and actionable engagement goals is the crucial first step to plan the direction of the necessitated employee engagement strategies. Understanding the common issues at the workplace and seeking employee feedback through pulse surveys, polls, or discussions can help in getting the right input to plan the right engagement goals.

When the well-planned workplace engagement strategies are implemented the right way, it is sure to have a positive impact and give the desired outcomes.

Different Employee Engagement Activities and Strategies

Lack of employee engagement can impact employees and employers in many ways, and it can be caused due to many reasons. One of the most important reasons is not considering employee interests while planning the employee engagement strategies that keep them intrigued with the program. Studies have proven that happy and healthy employees are more engaged and productive. So, here are simple employee engagement strategies that can engage employees and keep them healthy and productive.

Preventive and Behavior Change Programs

Studies have shown that cardiovascular diseases and cancer are the major causes of death in the US. By offering preventive health screenings, behavior change, and disease management programs, employees can be engaged in corporate wellness programs. When employees are offered the modules and features that suit their health and wellness, they are more likely to participate in the programs. In addition to engaging employees in the wellness programs, good workplace engagement will also reduce healthcare costs by preventing the risk of chronic health diseases and their complications.

Holistic Wellness Challenge Ideas

Wellness challenges are an integral part of employee wellbeing programs. They help employees in adopting healthy habits and are excellent workplace engagement strategies. From physical health challenge ideas to mental health challenges and virtual wellness challenge ideas, employers can include the best-suited employee engagement activities to ensure employees participate and follow healthy habits.

Gamification

Adding fun and gamification elements to the employee wellbeing programs can undoubtedly boost employee engagement. Integrating the corporate wellness platform with popular fitness devices and tracking apps is a great way to engage employees. Offering rewards and incentives also lure employees to participate in employee engagement activities and wellness challenges, and achieve their goals, thus raising the chances of success of the corporate wellness programs and employee wellbeing.

Corporate Wellness Apps

Digital technology is advancing, and so are the employee health and wellbeing trends. To stay on par with the latest employee wellness trends, employers must plan their corporate wellness programs with the right workplace engagement strategies. Well-designed corporate wellness apps are the mobile version of the wellness program platform. They offer all the features and modules of the wellness program platform, making it easier for the employees to access the workplace engagement activities and wellness challenges from anywhere, at any time.

Implementing Workplace Engagement Strategies

Once the engagement goals and the key areas to be improved have been identified, it becomes easier to plan the right workplace engagement strategies to be implemented. The actions you take must be on par and balanced with the company's policies, values, workforce size, and budget constraints. There are many different ways by which employers can motivate and engage employees. Right from on-site employee engagement activities to positive practices at the workplace, it requires sincere efforts and effective ideas to boost workplace engagement.

Have Employees Understand Their Role

Ask employees to write down their roles at the workplace and have them add the tasks for which they are ready to take responsibility. This will not only give them a clearer idea of their roles and responsibilities, but will also let the employers understand the potential of the employee, help them develop additional skills, and give them a feeling of ownership for their job.

Seek Regular Employee Feedback

Employees make up for most of the business, and so, seeking their opinions and feedback with the right tools , plays a huge role in improving the business and workplace culture. Also, seeking advice from employees gives them a sense of being valued by the company and that their opinion matters. It might unleash a few hidden skills and talents of employees that promote performance and workplace productivity. More importantly, employees feel heard, respected, and worthy that boosts their confidence and morale. Hold employee surveys, polls, team meetings, or one-on-one discussions to seek employee feedback.

Implement Corporate Wellness Programs

Corporate wellness programs focus primarily on improving employee health and wellbeing. They also offer proven employee engagement strategies that boost employee wellbeing, reflecting improved workplace culture and better organizational productivity. Plan, design, and execute suitable wellness program modules like wellness challenges, health risk assessments, biometric screenings, health coaching, device integration, and more, to ensure employee satisfaction and holistic health. The employee wellness programs can also include elements of social wellbeing, financial health, and emotional wellness, to ensure overall employee wellbeing.

Offer Suitable Employee Benefits

Unlike the previous times, employee benefits and perks are now not limited to just the bonus pay or medical insurance. With time, employee expectations of workplace benefits and perks have changed, and they emphasize other more important factors of life. For most employees, having a work-life balance, a healthy workplace culture, flexible working hours, and extra vacation time are more prioritized than financial benefits alone. In addition to focusing on these employee benefits, employers can also offer rewards and incentives like cash prizes, HSA contributions, eGift cards, free lunches or snacks, gym memberships, spa appointments, and likewise, to motivate them to participate in the wellness programs and also boost workplace engagement.

Measuring The Impact Of Employee Engagement Initiatives

Measuring how engaged the employees are is never easy as it is not a quantifiable factor. Many factors, including the leading and lagging indicators , must be considered to get an apt picture of the impact of the employee engagement strategies. Here are a few metrics and methods to assess workplace engagement.

Surveys

The chief goal of conducting a survey is to understand the thoughts and requirements of the workforce to identify the current loopholes and trends. Employee pulse surveys , engagement surveys, or one-on-one discussions, show that employers value employee opinions and wish to work on employee demands and improve the workplace culture. Drafting the survey questions must be done clearly and carefully to avoid unnecessary topics.

Employee Absenteeism Rates

Engaged employees are passionate about their jobs and turn up at the workplace regularly to put in their efforts to do what they love. On the other hand, disengaged employees are not very excited to be at the workplace or do their tasks. They might even skip going to the workplace to avoid any displeasure at the workplace. Higher rates of workplace absenteeism can be a useful metric to know the workforce engagement levels.

Employee Turnover Rates

Like absenteeism, when employees are not happy with their work roles or the workplace, they might quit the job to find a better employer who may cater to their needs or has a more interesting job profile offering. Although employee turnover rates will be different across different industries, the aim is to identify the problematic areas causing employee dissatisfaction. While consistently high turnover rates can be a result of a lack of employee engagement, well-engaged employees will stick to their jobs and employers to grow the business.

Employee Promotion Score

Word-of-mouth marketing is a great way of advocating the business to new clients and customers. When employees become promoters of the company and recommend working there, it becomes an effective marketing strategy. However, this advocacy can happen genuinely only when the employee experience is on a positive level at the workplace. Employers can put across a question to the employees as to whether they would recommend the company to their friends and family. They can do so in a survey or as a poll to answer anonymously. On a scale of 10, if the aggregate score is more than 7 for 'YES', it can be assured that employees are happy and engaged at the workplace, while a score less than 6 may need deeper investigation for the causes.

Employee Engagement Apps

Studies show that measuring employee engagement with the right metrics can boost the workplace engagement score by at least 20%. The most common way to measure employee engagement is by - Employee Pulse Surveys. Like the other employee engagement tools, conducting regular employee surveys makes the workforce feel valued and that their opinions matter to the company, making them more loyal and committed to their workplace. The best way to conduct the employee pulse surveys to measure workplace engagement is by using - Employee Engagement Apps. Employee engagement apps help understand individual and teamwork habits, giving enough scope to improve workplace engagement strategies. These engagement apps keep the employees connected and sync with the wellness platforms to know all the progress and wellness activities going on in the wellness program. Typically, organizations use 4 different types of employee engagement apps -

Feedback apps

These apps open up communication between the employees and employer groups by drawing important feedback from the workers to boost employee engagement. Employers can customize the survey questions in these kinds of engagement apps, and the feedback can be given as ratings or qualitative data.

Recognition apps

These employee engagement apps allow better communication and to come up with fresh creative ideas to boost workplace engagement. The recognition apps identify the employee accomplishments in their wellness program activities or wellness challenges for celebrating and rewarding the achievements. When other participants of the wellness program see the achievements of other co-workers, they will be motivated to engage and do well too. With remote working becoming common, it is important to recognize employee efforts which could have been done easily in-person at the workplace. At such times, these recognition apps can be effective employee engagement strategies.

Communication apps

While extra communication software may not be the first choice for many employers as an employee engagement strategy, it does play a huge role. Communication is all about getting employees to interact with each other, boosting engagement and teamwork. A good communication app will not only give an opportunity for the employees to converse about many health and wellness topics, but will also keep them updated about the upcoming events and wellness challenge activities.

Data collection apps

Getting feedback, recognizing accomplishments, and communicating are important aspects of employee engagement. However, to understand the progress and success of the employee engagement strategies and the entire workplace wellness program, it is vital to evaluate quantifiable data. A data collection app allows tracking engagement metrics and collects the aggregate engagement data of the entire workplace, anonymously. So, apart from collecting employee feedback from the surveys, these apps also help create goals that can drive better employee engagement.

Employee Engagement is a reciprocating process - if the employers treat, interact, and value their employees, the workforce in return will be loyal and productive. It cannot be achieved completely with mechanistic or temporal approaches. So, employers need to understand the driving force for workplace engagement and plan the employee engagement strategies that improve the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to ensure higher productivity, workplace wellness, and holistic wellness of employees.