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5 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement

The Great Resignation is still going strong, with employees reexamining their lives and their careers. So if retention is at the top of your list these days, you’re not alone. Business Insider reports that nearly three-quarters of employees would consider leaving their job for a new opportunity.

Employee engagement is key to combatting the current levels of dissatisfaction and turnover. Following are five ways to up the engagement factor in your organization:

  • Get employee input on goals and expectations
  • Show appreciation throughout the year
  • Address flexibility and mental well-being
  • Demonstrate organizational culture and mission
  • Remember your remote workforce

Employee input

Quantum Workplace reports that employees who understand their individual goals and expectations within the larger framework of the organization are nearly three times as likely to be engaged.

Involving your employees in this process can take the form of:

  • Working with managers on short-term and long-term goals. Get employee input on workload improvements, performance metrics, obstacles to success, and new opportunities or projects that interest them.
  • Encouraging professional development and career growth through online learning, in-person conferences and other educational pathways. Offer coaching or mentoring opportunities to help employees grow their skills.
  • Replacing annual reviews with weekly or monthly updates. Supervisors should regularly connect with their teams for personal and professional updates, including what has them excited or concerned.

Year-round appreciation

Employees ranked recognition as the most important component of professional success, according to the employee engagement platform Haiilo. Recognition even ranked ahead of autonomy, pay and promotions (though, of course, these elements are also vital to keeping employees motivated and productive).

A LinkedIn report quantifies the impact of recognizing your employees as people, not just workers, with research demonstrating that employees who feel cared for are more than three times as likely to be happy and nearly four times as likely to recommend their organization to others.

You can show appreciation to your employees by:

  • Praising their efforts in one-on-one meetings and in wider company announcements
  • Providing autonomy and flexibility when possible
  • Offering bonuses and salary increases based on clear performance metrics
  • Making your organization a safe space to talk about personal and professional concerns
  • Having leaders show vulnerability by admitting to mistakes, talking about their challenges and explaining their resiliency techniques
  • Hiring, paying and promoting employees equitably at all levels of the organization

Flexibility and mental well-being

Employees increasingly want to work for companies that acknowledge their competing demands at work and at home. This means providing flexibility and addressing mental wellness.


The Wall Street Journal reported in January 2022 that 95% of employees want flexible work hours — and 72% of those who don’t receive flexibility will look for a new job within the year. This may require a new understanding of work-life balance.

HR Morning notes that your goal shouldn’t be an equal balance each and every day. Some days, work may take up more time. Other days, employees might need to focus on doctor’s appointments or caregiving needs. Moving forward, flexibility will be about giving employees the autonomy to fit work into their lives.

Mental wellness

Mental health concerns cut across all industries and companies of all sizes, according to Mental Health America. Addressing mental well-being often starts with benefits such as employee assistance programs, mental health apps, telehealth counseling, and easy access to mental health professionals and resources.

But equally important is a work environment that holds honest discussions about mental health challenges and encourages employees to seek preventive, maintenance and reactive care. Your organization’s leadership should talk openly about their own challenges to remove the stigma and normalize mental health issues.

Culture and mission

The tricky part about culture is that it’s a constantly moving target. Even organizations with longstanding success may need to make drastic changes to their culture in the wake of the pandemic. 

But research underscores the importance of this effort. Among employees actively seeking a different job, nearly half cite culture as the biggest reason for leaving, according to Haiilo.

Ideas for enhancing your culture include:

  • Communicate with your employees early and often. Make sure employees understand your company mission and how their work forms an integral part of it.
  • Train your managers to detect and prevent burnout. Supervisors should pay attention to the words and actions of their team to serve as a front-line defense against dissatisfaction.
  • Encourage employees to add variation to their workdays, perhaps by tackling a side project, joining a committee, or collaborating with different teams and departments. This can help to create cohesion and form new bonds across your company.
  • Talk about the value of using time off and recharging. Make sure your leaders model reasonable work hours and the use of vacation and sick time.

Remote employees

With hybrid and remote work here to stay, it’s important to prioritize feedback and recognition for all employees, regardless of where they get the job done.

Ideas for engaging your remote employees include:

  • Conducting brief, weekly virtual meetings that connect them to managers and co-workers for updates and face-to-face online conversations
  • Recognizing their work through companywide emails
  • Sending gift cards for local shops and/or restaurants
  • Publicizing volunteer or charitable opportunities in their communities
  • Delivering personal items like food baskets or healthy snacks
  • Mailing a thank-you card to their home address

More important than ever

The current workforce upheaval makes it vital to engage your employees. In fact, research from Gallup indicates that engaged employees can help your organization achieve:

  • Higher productivity
  • Increased profits
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Lower turnover

For more ideas on employee engagement, talk with your insurance broker or benefits adviser. They can help you explore options for employee recognition, mental health benefits and manager training. In addition, they can provide updated guidance on workplace flexibility and remote work policies.

This content is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing professional, financial, medical or legal advice. You should contact your licensed professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

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