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Four Elements of Employee Engagement

By Erika Miller
Illustration of icons for our four products: Connect, Recognize, Lead, and Listen.
image with text - Only 39% of the workforce is actively engaged in the work they are doing.

According to Gallup, only 39% of the workforce is actively engaged in the work they are doing. If you’re anything like us over here at Motivosity, that sends chills down your spine and butterflies to your stomach (and not the good kind).

After years of studying employee engagement and what really makes people happier at work, we’ve created a list of the four essential elements of employee engagement and ways to start growing your internal fan base.

1. Connect

Connecting with your team means more than just saying “hi” when you walk past their desk, asking how the kids are doing, or sending a meme over Slack. 53% of people don’t feel as connected to their company as they used to - which is a big ‘uh-oh’ if you’re even remotely interested in creating a great place to work. What needs to happen to engage your employees and build meaningful relationships?

image with text - When you take a genuine interest in your peers and employees, you are telling them that they matter to you.

Your employees are people first. Believe it or not, we have lives outside the four walls of the office! Your employees aren’t just titles and responsibilities. They have awesome hobbies and interests, hard days, and unique needs. Make the time to get to know who your desk neighbor is or what Greg in Finance likes to do on the weekends. Start your conversations off by asking how they really are or if their kid won their soccer game on Saturday. When you take a genuine interest in your peers and employees, you are telling them that they matter to you.

2. Recognize

Bagel Wednesdays and dusty Long John Silver’s gift cards won’t cut it anymore.

Feeling appreciated at work is one of the top drivers for employee satisfaction, and, when 65% of employees feel underappreciated, you’re doomed to a workforce of unmotivated and unengaged employees. So what can you do to change the face of recognition and build an infectious culture of gratitude?

image with text - Instead of waiting for quarterly bonuses or annual reviews, make saying ‘thanks’ part of your everyday routine.

Appreciate the little things. Maybe Donna put together the monthly report you didn’t have time to do, or Tom took a few extra steps to throw away that pesky granola bar wrapper that’s been sitting on your desk. You can’t wait three months to recognize the good things people are doing. Instead of waiting for quarterly bonuses or annual reviews, make saying ‘thanks’ part of your everyday routine. Public peer-to-peer appreciation gives visibility into the positive things that are happening, encouraging a never-ending cycle of gracious energy.

Milestones matter. Don’t forget another birthday or work anniversary. Making your employees feel important on their special day is a sure-fire way to let them know you care. Whether it’s balloons on a desk or a sweet note in their email, make sure you’re recognizing the milestones that mean the most.

3. Lead

image with text - Did you know 70% of the employee experience is directly related to employee-manager relationships?

Did you know 70% of the employee experience is directly related to employee-manager relationships? Because bosses have such a heavy impact on the way people feel about your company, it’s important you focus on how your managers are interacting with their teams. Here are a few things to pay attention to:

Communicate openly and frequently. One of the most important and underrated aspects of strong employee relationships is communication. That can include casual chats by the water cooler, a weekly 1-on-1, or even formal performance feedback. Creating open lines of communication built on mutual respect and trust helps your employees feel valued, and allows them to better understand their role in the big picture and the responsibility they have for the brand.

Encourage career development. Whether they stick around forever or make a transition, help them think about their future and understand they have a path for growth. Let them know you care by facilitating opportunities to develop new skills, acknowledging career-defining moments, and emphasizing the importance of looking ahead. You’ll be amazed at the impact of showing someone you care about their well being rather than just their outputs at work.

4. Listen

Some of the most powerful insights about your employees and culture come from listening. You can identify the things that are going well, things that need your attention in the future, and issues that are in the red-zone and need to be addressed now. How can your internal data help you create a superstar culture?

Understand your employees. Let’s be honest. How many people are actively voicing their concerns before they start looking for another job? Use pulse surveys and anonymous eNPS drop-ins to really get an idea of how your team is feeling, what you’re doing right, and where you need to improve. Then, thoughtfully consider and implement meaningful solutions. Your employees and your turnover rate will thank you.

Companies with great culture engage their employees on all four levels and understand that positive relationships with their people are the best motivation for a job well done. Engaged employees that love what they do and where they work are more likely to share their positive experiences, devote themselves to your company, and promote your culture internally and externally.

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