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How To Develop an Employee Engagement Plan (+ Template)

How To Develop an Employee Engagement Plan (+ Template)

Discover what is an employee engagement plan and why it’s important. Learn how to write an effective plan to improve employee engagement in your company.

How To Develop an Employee Engagement Plan (+ Template)

In the era of “quiet quitting” and tight labor supply, more and more organizations are beginning to understand that keeping their employees engaged is the key to success. So, they send out employee surveys and collect data to gauge the existing levels of engagement. 

But then, they stop. Once they identify employee engagement challenges, they stand before a challenge of their own: execution. How do you go from recognizing the issues to actually achieving your goal of increasing employee engagement in your company? 

The answer is you need an employee engagement plan. In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” 

Unless you’ve got a plan to convert the feedback you’ve gathered into actionable steps that lead to a meaningful change, your employee engagement levels won’t budge.

In this article, we’ll talk about what is an employee engagement plan and how to create one. 

What Is an Employee Engagement Plan and Why You Need One

An employee engagement plan is a strategic roadmap that allows you to define and prioritize actions that lead to improving engagement in your company. 

A proper engagement plan describes engagement challenges and strategies to address them in a determined timeline and within an allocated budget. 

Because employee engagement involves various aspects, you need a plan to figure out how much time and effort to put into each area, which employee engagement strategies to choose, what to prioritize, and so on. 

This plan helps you decide where to focus your resources and efforts.

Aside from that, having a clear plan ensures everyone is on the same page and makes it easier to assign tasks across teams and departments. Plus, it serves as a reference point in case of any bottlenecks. With a clear plan, you can keep tabs on how things are going. 

So, in simple words, an employee engagement plan is a document that shows you where you want to go and how you're going to get there.

How to Write an Employee Engagement Plan

According to a survey by Gallup, engaged employees are, on average, 22% more productive. 

Moreover, employees who are engaged and happy at work often stay with the company longer, reducing turnover and increasing retention. 

These compelling reasons are enough to motivate any company to invest time and effort into creating an employee engagement plan. 

Here’s how to go about it in 5 steps.   

How to Write an Employee Engagement Plan

Identify Existing Engagement Problems

Deloitte’s ​​Global Human Capital Trends survey found that while more than 80% of executives consider employee engagement important in their organization, only 64% of companies measure levels of engagement. 

Unless you’re able to pinpoint issues that cause your employees to disengage, you can’t come up with an effective plan to boost engagement. Conducting employee surveys and scheduling 1:1 meetings will help identify what’s working and what isn’t. 

Here are the most common issues that cause employee disengagement:  

  • Poor leadership and lack of transparency, 
  • Lack of recognition and feeling unappreciated, 
  • Insufficient communication and keeping employees in the dark, 
  • Limited opportunities for professional growth within their roles or the company, 
  • Inadequate or inexistent work-life balance, 
  • Lack of meaningful relationships with colleagues and managers. 

To get genuine feedback, establish a safe space where employees feel comfortable expressing their honest opinions. Create an environment where they don't worry about being judged or losing their job for being open and honest. 

While surveys and 1:1 interviews with employees are the most popular ways of measuring employee engagement levels in your company, there are other methods you can use. For example, gathering data from digital tools, such as email marketing and idea management software, can be a great way to see how engaged your employees are.

Prioritize Areas of Improvement 

After you’ve conducted several employee engagement surveys and 1:1 interviews and gathered other relevant employee engagement data, you’ll be able to identify the main issues causing your employees to disengage. 

Typically, these issues can be clustered into five main areas of employee engagement. 

  • Work environment: The overall conditions and atmosphere in the workplace, including physical space, flexibility, management, work-life balance, etc. 
  • Relationships at work: The quality of interactions and connections between colleagues and managers. 
  • Company culture: The shared values, beliefs, and behaviors that shape the work environment and influence how employees interact with each other and the organization as a whole.
  • Employee input in company growth: The extent to which employees feel their ideas, opinions, and contributions are valued and incorporated into the growth and decision-making processes of the company.
  • Employee personal development: The support and opportunities provided by the company for employees to improve their skills, achieve personal goals, and grow both personally and professionally. 

Identify the most urgent areas of improvement and prioritize them in your employee engagement plan. Determine both short-term and long-term goals and allocate the budget for each area accordingly. 

By setting clear priorities, you can ensure that your employee engagement strategy addresses immediate challenges swiftly while laying the groundwork for long-term improvements. 

Areas of improvement for employee engagement

Set Realistic Milestones & Timelines

To ensure you’re on the right path to increasing engagement in the workplace, you must set concrete milestones to work towards, as well as realistic timelines to achieve them. 

While employee engagement can be hard to measure because of its intangible nature, there are some metrics you can establish in your plan to quantify the results. 

For instance, some milestones you can establish could be: 

  • Achieve a 20% increase in employee-generated ideas within 3 months using idea management software.
  • Increase participation in professional development programs by 25% within the next quarter.
  • Achieve a 15% improvement in overall employee satisfaction scores in the next two quarterly surveys. 
  • Achieve a 30% increase in positive recognition within three months with an employee recognition tool.
As you work towards your engagement milestones, establish a feedback loop that allows employees to share their thoughts regularly. This can be done through surveys, open forums, or 1:1 conversations. Continuous feedback will provide insights into the effectiveness of your actions and allow you to make timely adjustments to your plan based on real-time employee experiences.

Appoint an Employee Engagement Manager 

The best thing you can do to make sure your employee engagement plan is not only well-thought-out but also properly executed is to assign it to an employee engagement manager. 

An employee engagement manager is a person responsible for developing and overseeing strategies aimed at improving employee engagement across the five main areas. Without a dedicated manager, it may be challenging to monitor how your engagement plan is moving forward and keep track of every critical detail. 

Moreover, the employee engagement manager’s role is crucial for one more reason: great management positively impacts engagement. According to Gallup, managers account for 70% of variance in employee engagement. 

Your employee engagement manager shouldn’t be the sole person responsible for implementing the employee engagement plan. Each aspect of the plan should be assigned to those with the best capacities to handle them (like an HR or People Ops manager, the marketing team leader, etc.). Your employee engagement manager will oversee team efforts and ensure everyone is aligned with their assigned tasks.

Track Progress

Remember that improving employee engagement in your company isn’t a one-time initiative. It’s an ongoing process that extends beyond the actions and strategies outlined in your employee engagement plan.

Your plan is the first step towards achieving improvement in all five areas of employee engagement. But to bring a meaningful change in your company, you must establish a systematic process to track the evolution of each initiative and hold everyone accountable for their assigned tasks. 

This can be done via periodic reviews, regular employee surveys, and an overall openness for continuous feedback. Thanks to this ongoing monitoring, you’ll be able to adjust the strategies as needed and build momentum that will eventually lead to a more engaged and satisfied workforce. 

Example of an Employee Engagement Action Plan (Template)

Now that you know how to create an employee engagement plan in theory, you might be wondering what it looks like in practice.

A well-crafted plan should cover key elements such as identified problems, strategic initiatives, measurable metrics, team members responsible for each initiative, and the timeline previewed for executing each part of the plan.

Here's an example of an employee engagement plan that can serve as a helpful template for creating your own.

Areas of improvement Identified problems Initiatives Success Metrics Assign to Timeline
Work environment Work-life balance is off Implement flexible work hours and remote work policies Increase in employee satisfaction surveys; Reduction in employee burnout HR Department May 2023 - July 2023
Relationships at work Employees feel disconnected from leadership Introduce regular "Coffee with Leadership" sessions Improvement in employee morale surveys; Increase in positive feedback Managers & team leaders August 2023 - September 2023
Company culture Lack of a cohesive company culture Develop and communicate core values and mission statement Growth in employee engagement surveys; Enhanced alignment with company goals HR Team October 2023 - December 2023
Employees’ input in growth Employees don’t feel like their ideas matter Set up an idea management process Increase in the number of submitted and implemented ideas Team Leaders January 2024 - March 2024
Employee’s personal goals Limited support for personal development Launch a mentorship program Measure progress in employees achieving personal goals; Mentorship feedback. People Ops Department April 2024 - June 2024

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