How to Launch an Employee Engagement Strategy in 3 Steps

According to a recent Gallup poll, only 33% of U.S. employees say they are engaged at work. What’s more, 51% say whether they’re engaged or not, they’re actively keeping an eye on the job market. In other words, your best employees could very well have one foot out the door. Implementing a formal employee engagement strategy can help you reduce the risk of losing your ‘A’ players. If you’re not sure where to begin, the following three steps should help get you pointed in the right direction.

Prioritize Communication

Employee engagement has a direct impact on your practice’s bottom line. Disengaged workers are less productive. They also negatively impact the morale of others within the practice, which can affect everyone’s performance. And when turnover arises, there’s additional lost productivity to worry about.

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to re-engage your team is to make open, honest communication a priority. When you share things freely with your employees, they’ll continuously be reminded not only of the goals you’ve set for the practice, but of the role they play in achieving those goals.

In addition to being open about the health of the practice, you should encourage your team to share their own questions, concerns and suggestions openly. This creates trust and buy-in, which naturally inspires engagement.

Exceed the Basics

In the book “The Good Jobs Strategy,” author Zeynep Ton breaks down employee engagement into a set of needs. These needs are as follows:

Basic Needs:

  • Pay/benefits
  • Schedules
  • Career path
  • Safety and security

Higher Needs:

  • Meaningfulness
  • Growth
  • Achievement
  • Belonging
  • Recognition/Reward

The thing is, people expect employers to cover their basic needs. It’s sort of a given. So, while the absence of these things certainly detracts from engagement, meeting these needs doesn’t necessarily add anything.

The key here is learning which of the higher goals matter most to your team. One employee may be strongly motivated by rewards and recognition while another might prefer the opportunity to do more meaningful work. Take the time to understand what makes your employees tick and then develop your engagement strategy around that.

Encourage Accountability

Data from Gallup’s recent report indicates that only three out of every 10 employees feel that their colleagues are committed to performing high quality work. It’s not just important for people to take pride in their own work, but they need to be confident that their peers are equally dedicated. When they don’t, it can cause a domino effect that negatively impacts the entire staff.

If someone on the team is perceived by his or her peers as not putting in a full effort, it sets the standard for the rest of the group. In turn, this lowers productivity and engagement across the board. You can overcome this ripple effect by implementing accountability standards, both from a manager-employee standpoint as well as peer-to-peer. Creating team goals that require everyone’s best effort to achieve is a great place to start.

At the end of the day, it’s important to understand that employee engagement isn’t something that just happens. It’s something employers must work hard at every day. By implementing the three simple steps listed above, you’ll be well on your way to creating a highly productive, deeply engaged workforce that will drive your practice forward in a positive direction.