5 Employee Engagement Tips for Small Businesses

Employee Engagement Best Practices

Employees often feel like they’re being ignored.

Unable to ventilate their grievances, they sometimes leave the organizations in which they work.

Listed below are some of the ways employee dissatisfaction hurts a business:

  • Dissatisfied employees disclose enterprise information to non-employees.
  • They speak ill of the organization, which stops potential employees from joining it.
  • They create a negative atmosphere around them, which hampers the steady workflow.

Employee satisfaction, on the other hand, leads to enterprise benefit. Employee retention rate increases as employers keep experienced employees from leaving, which paves the roads for a stable clientele. Selection, recruitment and on-job training costs are paid off.

Employee Engagement Best Practices

In order to retain its employees, an organization needs to keep them engaged. Here are some actionable tips based on employee engagement best practices:

Offer Customized Incentives

This is a surefire way to engage employees. Studies after studies prove employee benefits and incentive programs drive better performance. Let’s refer to some survey data. Last year, the Gallup Poll found nearly 70% employees are disengaged because of lack of incentives. The disengagement results in $350 billion every year in lost production.

When employees are given incentives, they feel happy. Happy employees are more focused, more engaged and more productive. Engaged employees more productive than disengaged employees. Smart enterprises know this and they have employee incentive schemes for increased productivity.

Incentives should be customized. Customization should be based on demographic factors and employee preferences. The average age of employees in the financial sector is 44 years. Health schemes, lucrative pension schemes and insurance offers can be good incentives for people in mid-40s. Young employees, on the other hand, would be more interested in gift cards, redeemable coupons, travel offers, etc.

Demographic discrimination, therefore, is a prerequisite for employee incentives. Workplace performance is another parameter. When high-performing employees are incentivized, it creates a spiraling effect that finally benefits the company.

Use Expression to Lead to Engagement

According to studies, the more employees express themselves, the better they engage. Some enterprises actively encourage their employees to express themselves. Those, who are not that active can provide their employees the same opportunities via brainstorming sessions, HR meets, business summits, etc.

A zeitgeist in corporate blogging is blogs written by employees. According to research, customers like reading this type of blog. In the United States, almost 80 percent customers rely on blog content. They find blogs written by employees more reliable and unbiased.

This can be a win-win situation for an enterprise. By insisting employees to blog, it can create a facilitating environment for employee expression. Alongside, interaction between employees and customers can solidify its branding. To make blogging more interactive, enterprises can take help of interactive formats like podcasts, slides, video presentations, real-time interviews, etc.

Realize Personal Life Matters

When staff members are stressed or overworked, they tend to neglect their work and feel less engaged. This in turn disrupts the delivery of the work. Hence, an enterprise should help its employees find a balance between professional and personal lives.

Experts advise organizations to stay away from employees’ personal affairs. David Lewis, CEO of an HR outsourcing firm called OperationsInc said the less employers know about their employees’ personal lives, the better off they are. A business etiquette expert called Lydia Ramsey compared getting involved in employees’ personal lives with wading into dangerous waters.

However, employees are human beings and they may face personal crisis at times. What should be the role of an organization to resolve such crises? The organization should instruct managers to be supportive to people working under them and help them address the issues causing distress. That said, the managers shouldn’t offer them shoulders to cry on. They have a professional relationship with staff members, so they shouldn’t get too personally involved with them.

Set Goals and Leadership Engagement

Setting realistic goals is a great way to motivate employees. To set goals, an organization needs someone in leadership role. That’s because only a leader can set achievable goals. He talks to individual employees and to gauge the timeline for the completion of the goal before setting it. That’s what makes the goals realistic. Such goals offer employees opportunities to engage with each other and with their supervisors in a professional backdrop.

Leadership engagement is the precedent for employee engagement. Most organizations put executives in leadership roles. They must have a professional synergy between them, in order to inspire their subordinates to engage with them and with each other.

When employees achieve their goals, they feel accomplished. Afterwards, when they receive appreciation from people in leadership roles, they feel motivated to undertake professional challenges, which are more serious in nature.

Employ Productivity Increasing Tools

Business organizations are strongly recommended to update their technological superstructure. Unless organizations harness new technologies, they can’t match up with the pace with which the industry is moving forward. Automation guarantees enterprise productivity and smooths employee engagement. The sooner business organizations understand it, the better.

There’s not a single tool that comes exclusively under “employee engagement enhancer” category. Nevertheless, organizational productivity increasing tools have a slew of features for engaging employees. Tools which measure customer insight track both customer and employee data. There’s a dark side to workplace data tracking, but employers are to blame for that, not the tools. If the tools are positively harnessed, employers can instantly figure out the collective mood of the workforce, engage them in fact-based conversations and educate them with actionable tips.

Productive employees tend to interact more with one another and share ideas. Idea-sharing and workplace interaction are two key components of employee engagement. This is how automation gives way to a sharp rise in productivity, which then gives way to employee engagement.

Summing Up

Following the five tips makes employee engagement easier. However, these tips should never be followed in isolation. An innovative approach always puts one a notch above others. In competitive domains like business, innovation is the ultimate game-changer. Hence, enterprises need to invest more in idea generation, so that innovative ideas come up. Next, they need to customize the tips discussed above in the light of innovation.

Business Employees Photo via Shutterstock 3 Comments ▼

William Johnson William Johnson belongs to the most creative field of digital media - web design. He is currently an Editor at Big Eye Deers and he is obsessed with the latest trends in ecommerce, SEO and social media analytics. He has been a regular contributor to leading online portals such as SEMrush, Small Business Trends and SocialMediaToday.

3 Reactions
  1. What helps is not to create some form of routine but to sit down and really talk with your employees one-on-one. It helps to visit a store and get to know people.

  2. These are great employee engagement tips. I would a sixth, to create value from the inside. By thoroughly understanding the employee culture through internal brand research, that can help managers operate on a more intuitive basis; and leaders be able to better demonstrate their commitment to a better way of doing things through actions and words, ultimately creating value from the inside out.

  3. I like that you mentioned that setting realistic and achievable goals is a great way to make employees more engaged. The company I work for is struggling with employee engagement, so we have been looking for tips to fix the problem. Setting goals with a good incentive could help give employees something tangible to work for. I will definitely pass this information on, thanks for sharing.