How To Keep Employees Engaged

Employee engagement is a huge topic these days. If you're wondering how to keep employees engaged, it can be difficult to figure out the best way to implement an employee engagement strategy into your own organization. There are many different ways to approach keeping your employees happy and productive. We'll cover some of the ways to keep your employees engaged, motivated, and how to move your organization forward.

We've all experienced the results of positive employee engagement at one time or another. Even if you've never been part of a highly engaged team, then you've no doubt experienced it when doing business with other companies. And that’s precisely why it's so important to know how to keep employees engaged. Ultimately, it creates positive customer experiences and repeat business. Once the employee journey brings your company to a place of engagement, all leaders must monitor and actively work to maintain it.

Recognize Engagement

It’s important to know what an engaged employee looks like and how to assess an employee's level of engagement. The kind of employee we're looking for is one who understands and passionately seeks to fulfill the mission of the organization. It's pretty clear when you've got an actively disengaged employee, who intentionally works to spread dissatisfaction among your workplace. However, if you're wondering how to keep employees engaged, it can be quite simple: regularly communicate your organization’s mission.

Many leaders spend copious amounts of time talking about short-term goals and improvement methods while neglecting to convey the company’s ultimate reason for existence. Today's younger generations connect with a company's vision and purpose - they are not content to just complete tasks day after day with no view of the broader context.

Recognize When Work Serves The Larger Purpose

Now, if you see little value in your company’s mission, you’re likely part of the reason maintaining employee engagement is a struggle. You may find it surprising that the level of employee engagement within for-profit businesses is routinely significantly higher than employees at nonprofits. You might expect employees dedicated to serving a cause to have a higher level of commitment than those employees working for organizations with the goal of turning a profit. However, business leaders today have found ways to communicate deep meaning in what the company is accomplishing, which can prove to be highly rewarding for employees. If you're wondering how to keep employees motivated and engaged, one of the first steps is to recognize the feeling of completing work that serves the company's vision and share that feeling with others.

How to Keep Work at Home Employees Engaged

There has been a tremendous shift to remote work since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's clear that remote work is not going anywhere, even as we navigate life post-pandemic, and some of the projected statistics may surprise you. Based on research collected by Ladders, 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022, and opportunities for remote work will continue to increase through 2023. That being said, it can certainly be challenging to make sure your remote employees are motivated and productive. If you're wondering how to keep work at home employees engaged, we've got you covered. 

We've written at length some of the ways to keep your remote employees connected, including checking in with them, seeking feedback, and collaborating often. The most important thing to do if you're trying to understand how to keep work at home employees engaged is connection. Connecting with your remote teams on social media, or messaging apps like Slack or Google teams, is essential to remain connected and keep your remote teams engaged and productive.

How to keep employees motivated and engaged

Recognize the Value of Involvement

Another method of maintaining employee engagement is not just inviting participation, but understanding its value. It seems all leaders value the concept of asking for input, but many lack the practice of doing so in mission-critical situations. When we leaders find ourselves facing an issue that could define our quarter or even our year, we tend to focus on the problem at the top of our organization rather than inviting individuals from each level within the company to contribute. In other words, the most critical moments for us to listen are often the moments we are least present to those who are speaking.

Encouraging input on significant issues is only the first half of maintaining employee engagement. After hearing from your team you must either: 1) take action on what you just heard or 2) explain why not. Seemingly ignoring the input of a team member does more harm than good, so be sure to follow up with those who are engaging to show appreciation.

Recognize Your Own Engagement Levels

Terry Pearce’s "Leading Out Loud," offers a set of self-evaluation questions that can help you maintain your own engagement levels:

  1. What is the strength of my personal commitment to our mission?
  2. What specific action am I taking to inspire others to engage with our mission?
  3. What specific actions am I going to ask of others to give them a way to engage immediately?
  4. How can I involve others with the problems facing us today?
  5.  What can I ask that will give others the chance and the desire to participate?
How to keep employees engaged

Learn How to Have Engaged Employees

Over time, your team’s engagement levels can naturally decline, so make sure you take steps to keep that engagement high and see a steady stream of returning customers. Employee engagement often gets simplified to be all about keeping employees happy, as if harmony in the workplace is the only reason for employees stay committed to the company’s goals. But if you’ve read anything about engagement before now, you know there’s way more to it than that - and that maintaining engagement is a whole new set of challenges.

One of the most important things that you can do to keep your employees engaged and increase employee satisfaction is to ensure that they feel like they are a valuable part of the team. Make sure that each employee knows what their role is and how it contributes to the overall success of the company. When employees feel like they are valued, they are much more likely to be engaged in their work.

Another great way to improve employee engagement is to provide them with opportunities for growth. If a team member is feeling like they are stuck in a dead-end job, they can quickly become disengaged. Offer training and development opportunities so that your employees can continue to grow and develop their skills. This will help them feel more invested in their work and therefore more productive and motivated to do their best.

Finally, one of the most important things that you can do to ensure you have engaged employees is to simply show them that you care. Take an interest in their lives outside of work and get to know them on a personal level. When your employees feel like they are valued as people, they will be much more likely to be engaged in their work.

Maintaining Engagement 

Your leaders will learn all they need to know in the new "Maintaining Engagement" lesson from A Better LeaderHere's what your leaders will come away with when they complete "Maintaining Engagement" training from A Better Leader:

  • “The Five Dimensions of Employee Engagement”
  • Revealing findings about engagement, including how position and tenure influence it
  • How to can best measure the level of engagement within a team
  • Tips on how to prevent engagement from fading

If you're wondering how to keep employees motivated and engaged, we're here to help! Click here to chat with our team and get started and start improving employee engagement now.

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About the Author Jennifer Orechwa

With over 25 years in the industry, and now as IRI's Director of Business Development, Jennifer has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to build a culture of engagement. By blending a deep understanding of labor and employee relations with powerful digital marketing knowledge, Jennifer has helped thousands of companies achieve behavioral change at a cultural level.

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