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The 10 Best Employee Engagement Ideas (Based on Research)

The 10 Best Employee Engagement Ideas (Based on Research)

In this guide, we'll explore practical strategies that are grounded in psychology and have been proven to enhance employee engagement. These techniques go beyond superficial perks and focus on creating a meaningful and fulfilling work experience for your team.

The 10 Best Employee Engagement Ideas (Based on Research)

As a CEO or a manager, you want to be able to rely on your employees. And in most cases, you can. But have you ever questioned whether your employees are truly engaged in what they do? Are they really motivated to contribute their skills and talents to the growth and success of the company? 

Or are they just going through the motions, merely doing what’s expected of them based on their job description? 

For many employees around the globe, it’s the latter. Sadly, only 36% of U.S. employees are engaged in their workplace. Plus, among the disengaged employees, 74% are looking at other job opportunities.  

As if this wasn’t enough, disengaged employees cost U.S. corporations $350 billion annually. Among decreased productivity, missed deadlines, quality issues, and higher absenteeism, disengagement in the workplace can have a significantly negative impact on your company’s success. 

That said, there’s no need to reinforce the idea that engaged employees are crucial to ensure continuous business growth and success. When employees are engaged in what they do, they tend to be more committed, motivated, and aligned with the company's goals and values. 

Although engaging your employees in their work and workplace is easier said than done, there are several techniques you can use to make it happen. 

In this guide, we'll explore practical strategies that are grounded in psychology and have been proven to enhance employee engagement. These techniques go beyond superficial perks and focus on creating a meaningful and fulfilling work experience for your team.

Provide a psychologically safe workplace

Employee engagement idea

A recent survey asked employees why they decided to quit their jobs in 2021. 63% of the surveyed workers cited low pay and lack of opportunities for growth as the main reason for leaving, while 57% said they quit because they felt disrespected at their workplace. 

Moreover, about 39% of them quit because they were working too many hours. This shows that employees care about maintaining a healthy work-life and are ready to leave if it isn’t promoted in the workplace. 

💡 When your employees don't feel safe or respected at work regarding the work they contribute, their personal boundaries, and their need for time off, they might quickly disengage. 

Additionally, if your employees feel scared to share their opinions or commit a mistake, their productivity will naturally decline. This is why creating a psychologically safe workplace is key to boosting employee engagement.

Research shows that when employees feel psychologically safe, they work better as a team and get more done. So, ask yourself: Do your employees feel safe, respected, and valued at the workplace? If not, take immediate steps to address this issue.

Organize activities reuniting leaders and employees 

Employee engagement idea

Employee engagement means how much employees are into their work, both in their hearts, bodies, and minds. It's a multidimensional concept encompassing emotional, physical, and cognitive engagement, as defined by this research article.

Activities that unite leaders and employees can make employees feel more emotionally, physically, and mentally engaged in the company's life. Bringing leaders and employees together not only reduces the huge connection gap between them but also makes employees feel that their input and opinions matter to the organization. 

On the other hand, in many organizations, leaders are often distant and disconnected from the everyday realities of their employees and, therefore, misunderstand or completely overlook their necessities and desires. By engaging in shared activities, they can gain deeper insights into what their employees want and need. 

💡 Plus, by organizing activities, such as team-building exercises, group volunteering, or non-work-related virtual chats, you can demonstrate your commitment to the company culture as the leader. This way, you can foster a culture of inclusivity and connection beyond assigned roles and hierarchical structure.

Ask for feedback from your employees and act on it

Employee engagement idea

Listening to your employees’ feedback, opinions, and ideas can make a huge difference in their productivity and engagement in their work. On the other hand, employees who don’t feel heard are more likely to quit. 

In fact, employees care about feeling valued and respected in their workplace far more than employers think. What’s more, employers who act on their employee feedback are 3 times more likely to hit their financial targets

This shows that listening and acting upon your employees’ feedback can not only contribute to higher employee retention and increased productivity but it can also help you identify areas for improvement and reach your business goals. 

Empower & reward employees

Employee engagement idea

Unless your employees feel valued and believe their hard work can lead to rewards like promotions or raises, they won't feel motivated to give their best at work. 

In fact, a survey found that 37% of employees who changed jobs did so because they felt they weren't progressing in their careers.

If your employees feel like no matter how much they work, they won't be able to move up in their career, they will be inclined to start "quiet quitting" - doing the bare minimum to keep their jobs without putting in any extra effort.

To prevent that, make your employees feel recognized and valued by rewarding them for their achievements. 

Rewarding your employees with bonuses, raises, promotions, and other things that are meaningful to them will not only help you increase employee retention, but it will also create a sense of loyalty due to the reciprocity principle (we’re hard-wired to feel indebted to those who give us something, regardless of whether or not we wanted it).

Don’t reward employees with more work

Another thing you can do to boost employee engagement is to let your employees take on more responsibilities beyond their usual tasks. But it's important not to overload them with more work without any rewards. If you do, they might feel like their hard work is just being rewarded with more work. 

Rewarding your employees for their good work with more work is a surefire way to fail. A 2023 study concludes that loyal workers are exploited more often than their not-so-committed counterparts, which is the primary motivation for quiet quitting.  

That's why it's important to find a balance between extra responsibilities and rewards and acknowledge their achievements. Did they sign a new client? Doubled sales this month? Found a solution to a long-standing issue? Celebrate it and reward them!

Encourage personal development at work

Employee engagement idea

Happy employees are 13% more productive, according to a study by Oxford University’s Said Business School. 

But what makes employees happier at the workplace? Among other things, the opportunity to pursue their goals and work on side projects they’re passionate about. 

After all, we spend a significant portion of our lives at work, so it makes sense to integrate our personal interests and passions into our daily roles whenever possible. When employees can pursue their personal goals and interests within their jobs, it can lead to a sense of fulfillment and engagement.

Follow in Google’s footsteps

Google is an excellent example of how allowing your employees to pursue their passion projects at work can contribute to their increased engagement and motivation and create a culture of continuous innovation at the company.

Google’s famous 20% Time rule that allows employees to dedicate 20% of their workweek - so one day per week - to working on their side projects has proven to be extremely valuable for the company. 

Not only was it the source of innovative ideas like Gmail and Google Adwords, but it also enabled employees to learn new skills - and thus, it allowed Google to increase the qualifications of their workforce.

Listen to your employees' ideas

Employee engagement idea

You can’t grow without ideas. And sometimes, the best ideas come from your employees. 

They not only understand the intricacies of internal processes and practices within their roles and departments, but they’re also the ones who interact directly with the customers. As a result, your employees often see things from a different perspective and can contribute out-of-the-box ideas. 

But listening to your employees’ ideas isn’t only a good practice to drive innovation and growth. It’s also a great way to boost employee engagement within your company. 

When employees see that their ideas are heard and acted upon, it shows them that their input is valued and that they have a stake in the company's success. This empowerment can boost their self-esteem and motivation, leading to higher engagement. 

What's more, an organization that listens and acts on employee ideas creates a positive and supportive work environment. High morale and job satisfaction are closely tied to employee engagement, and a culture of idea-sharing can contribute significantly to both.

Implement an idea management tool

To leverage the power of idea generation, implement an idea management system like Ideanote. This not only provides you with an organized way to collect, evaluate, and implement ideas but also allows your employees to share their ideas whenever inspiration strikes. It makes their roles in your company more meaningful. 

Plus, it sends a clear message: We value your ideas, and you can share them with us anytime!”.

Work on your company culture

Employee engagement idea

Fitting in with the company's culture can be a deciding factor for employee engagement. If employees don't feel comfortable and happy with how things are at work, many of them might leave in the first year. 

According to a survey by Robert Walters, as many as 73% of professionals said they left their jobs because they didn't fit in well with the company's culture. 

Furthermore, the survey discovered that 67% of workers felt they weren't given the right information about the company's culture when they started their jobs, which can lead to disengagement and quitting. 

Cultivating a company culture that makes employees feel welcomed and appreciated will improve their job satisfaction and make them more likely to be engaged at work. 

Communicate with your employees transparently

Employee engagement idea

Employees are increasingly looking for transparency within the workplace. The Slack Future of Work Study found that 80% of workers want to understand how their company makes decisions, and 87% hope their next job is at a company that's transparent about their decision-making processes. 

This shows that if companies want their employees to be more engaged, they need to create a workplace that encourages open and transparent communication. 

But, the transparency employees seek goes beyond informing them about company news and changes through regular updates and company-wide communications. Aside from that, it’s about encouraging an open-door policy where employees can approach leadership with their thoughts, ideas, or issues without fear of reprisal.

Help foster meaningful working relationships

Employee engagement idea

Building meaningful relationships at work is more than just a social benefit. It directly influences an employee's psychological well-being in the workplace. Employees who have positive and supportive relationships with their colleagues and supervisors feel more valued, respected, and motivated.

According to research, employees who have close friendships at their workplace are 7 times more likely to feel committed and enthusiastic about their job. Additionally, they tend to be 50% happier with their work. Another study found that 91% of employees want to feel closer to their work colleagues. 

Encouraging workplace friendships, whether it’s in the office or during external company events, has a positive impact on employee retention, as people are less inclined to leave their jobs when they have strong bonds with their colleagues.

Introduce more flexibility at work

Employee engagement idea

Workers are now seeking more flexibility at work. This can mean different things, like having flexible hours, working from home, taking longer breaks, or trying on different responsibilities. 

This study found that employees feel less stressed and more motivated to work when they have more flexibility. It concluded that: 

  • Working from home increased job satisfaction by 65%,
  • Taking time off decreased job stress by 56%, 
  • Flexible schedules decreased job stress by 20%, and increased job satisfaction by 62%. 

What’s more, another report shows that when given the opportunity to work flexibly, 87% of workers take it. 

So, there’s no doubt that giving your employees more flexibility at work - whether it’s an opportunity to work a few days from home or adjust their schedules - can help to keep them more engaged and satisfied with their job. 

10 best employee engagement idea

Key Ideas for Better Employee Engagement

To become more engaged in the workplace, employees must feel comfortable within four key areas. Let’s explore them. 

The environment they work in

Employees should feel at ease doing their jobs. Competitiveness, top-down management, and constant pressure to stay late or outperform set metrics can quickly lead to burnout and motivate your employees to look for another job.

To ensure your employees feel comfortable in the workplace, you should:  

  • Create a psychologically safe environment where they don’t feel afraid to share their opinions or ask for help. 
  • Encourage work-life balance. You can do so by allowing your employees to work from home, adjust their schedules, or take time off to attend their daughter’s first orchestra concert. 
  • Never ask them to work unreasonable hours.
  • Promote respectful communication.

The people they work with 

A sense of belonging and community can greatly contribute to employee engagement. Here’s how to ensure employees feel comfortable with their leaders and colleagues:  

  • Promote team-building activities in and outside the office.
  • Organize shared activities between employees and leaders. 
  • Encourage open communication. Make sure everyone’s voice is heard. 
  • Listen to your employees' ideas and opinions. 
  • Make every employee feel respected and valued by recognizing their hard work and rewarding their achievements.

The company culture and vision 

When your employees don’t share the company’s vision, nor do they feel like they fit in the company culture, they’ll feel more inclined to disengage. Here’s how you can ensure they feel connected to the company’s culture and vision. 

  • Clearly define and communicate your company's mission, vision, and values.
  • Involve employees in shaping and refining the company's culture and goals.
  • Communicate how each employee's role contributes to the company's success.
  • Be transparent about how you make decisions and why. 

Their input into the company’s growth and success 

Employees must feel like the work they do has an impact on the company’s success. Unless they feel part of the company wins, they might feel useless and unvalued, which may eventually lead to quitting. 

To make your employees feel like they have a say in the company’s growth, you can: 

  • Encourage them to provide input and feedback on company strategies and decisions and share their ideas.
  • Create opportunities for them to pursue their passion projects.
  • Offer training and development programs to help them acquire new skills and grow within the company.
  • Recognize and reward them for their achievements and accomplished goals.

Ready to engage your people?

Do you think your company could be doing more to engage employees?

If you're looking for an all-in-one solution for your innovation, look no further than Ideanote! With our flexible platform you can do everything from collecting ideas, engaging your crowd and analyzing your innovation performance.

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