14 employee engagement initiatives to try in 2024

Employee engagement is the most important internal communications metric. And, according to Gallagher, 74% of internal comms professionals agree

This means employee engagement initiatives are vitally important to the strategic goals of any internal comms team. 

Especially considering that increased employee engagement leads to an:

  • 18% increase in productivity
  • 23% boost in profitability
  • 10% higher customer loyalty rate
  • 87% increase in employee retention

In this blog, we’re going to show you 14 strategies that will help you boost engagement across your whole workforce. 

We’ll also share the 5 steps you should take to create effective employee engagement initiatives for your business. 

5 steps to create an effective employee engagement program

Creating an employee engagement program or initiative isn’t just about throwing a few team activities together. Nor is it about scheduling extra meetings for enforced facetime. 

For maximum effect, you need to approach it strategically. Any initiative needs to align with your business goals and improve your overall workplace culture.

Here is how to build an initiative that resonates with your teams, while helping you achieve your business goals. 

Step 1: Understand what you’re trying to achieve

Before launching employee engagement initiatives, you need to understand the reason behind them. Do you want to reduce employee turnover, boost morale or improve productivity? Clarify your intentions to help you tailor your strategic approach to any specific challenges that arise. 

A good way to approach this is using the “5 Whys Framework”. This is a powerful technique that helps you better understand the problem you are trying to solve. 

Here is an example of the technique for the goal of reducing employee turnover. 

  1. Why is employee turnover high? They feel disconnected from the organisation and unsure how their actions contribute to our success.
  2. Why do employees feel disconnected? Leadership doesn’t communicate about company updates, business plans, direction and the impact teams have on objectives.
  3. Why is there a lack of communication from leadership? Internal communication strategies are not effectively prioritised or implemented.
  4. Why are internal communication strategies not prioritised or implemented? The internal comms team lacks the tools, resources and support to develop and maintain effective communication channels. 
  5. Why do they lack these tools, resources and support? A lack of understanding of the importance of internal comms in employee retention leading to minimal / reduced budgets.  

Conclusion: To reduce employee turnover, we need to focus on enhancing internal communications channels. We need better tools, resources and support to improve leadership communications. This will help employees understand their place in the company, and feel more valued. 

Step 2: Set relevant goals and objectives

Once you understand the intention behind your initiative, you need to set SMART goals. These are goals that are:

  • Specific. You understand what outcome(s) you want to achieve. 
  • Measurable. You have a quantifiable objective you can measure using relevant data.
  • Achievable. Be ambitious, yet realistic. Don’t give yourself an impossible task. 
  • Relevant. Ensure alignment with your overarching business objectives.
  • Time-bound. All goals should have a deadline to help determine success or failure.

To continue the example above, a SMART goal around reducing employee turnover would look like this:

“Reduce turnover by 20% (as measured by employee headcount) by Dec 31st 2024.”

Step 3: Get leadership buy-in

If you want your initiative to work, you need strong leadership buy-in. They can provide resources and legitimacy to your efforts. Both of which will help encourage your wider workforce to get on board. 

However, getting this endorsement can be difficult. Especially if your leadership team doesn’t understand the value of internal communications

To give yourself the best possible chance, keep your pitch short and to the point. 

Always bring it back to how it can support the overarching business goals. This will help put your initiative in a more strategic context. 

Explain your intentions and reasoning, your SMART goals, the expected outcomes and the business impact of a more engaged workforce. 

Step 4: Create a communication plan for launching your initiative

Communication is key for any workplace initiative. Create a comprehensive communication plan that is clear, consistent, and transparent. Be sure to include how you will announce the initiative, the channels you will use and how often you will share messages relating to it. 

If you are unsure where to start with this, our recent Internal Communications Strategy guide is a great resource. You can download it here.  

Step 5: Gather feedback, measure and adjust to increase effectiveness

Any initiative should be adaptable to the needs of your workforce. Create feedback mechanisms like surveys, discussion rooms or forums to measure effectiveness. Use this feedback to make adjustments and iterate for maximum effectiveness.

Not only does this improve performance, but it shows genuine commitment to employee concerns and wellbeing. 

14 employee engagement initiatives you can try in 2024

So, now that you know how to create an initiative. Here are a few ideas to help get you started on your journey to increased employee engagement, retention and satisfaction.

1. Boost performance with regular updates

      Engaging your employees in two-way communication is vital if you want to improve productivity, collaboration and trust. 

      96% of employees feel that empathy is essential to retention. This means, if you make employees feel heard, they’re more likely to stay with you long term. Plus, they’re 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to do their best work. 

      So, if you want a better performing, long lasting workforce you should implement weekly catch up meetings. During these sessions, set expectations, share results and listen to feedback to supercharge your workforce. 

      2. Showcase real examples of company culture

        It is said that there is no such thing as a single, unified company culture. And that companies have as many cultures as they have teams. This is because your employees are human, and they all have their own attitudes and ways of working.  

        This gives you the opportunity to learn, share and promote examples of individual team cultures that align with your ideal company culture. That way, you allow flexibility while maintaining your overarching vision.

        Drive employee engagement by showing that your culture, values and vision are not just tick box exercises. They are the reality of your workplace. A reality that puts value on your employees and their overall satisfaction.

        3. Be transparent about financial performance

          When creating a positive work environment, you need to be honest and transparent. If you want to encourage employees to engage with your business you can’t hide financial results.

          We’re not suggesting that you share confidential information. But, explaining results, revenue, expenses and forecasts with your team keeps them in the loop. 

          They will understand the realities of your business, and be in a position to help. So, be sure to listen to any suggestions for improvement during catch ups. 

          After all, employees understand your processes and may be able to come up with quick wins that make a real difference to your bottom line. For example, automating certain processes to increase resource capacity

          4. Invite customers to share their experiences

            A key cause of employee disengagement is that they don’t know their impact. It can be hard to motivate yourself if you don’t see the outcome of your work. 

            Invite customers to speak and share how your business, and your workforce, benefits them. 

            Although this can be beneficial to your workforce. You also need to remember that your customers and clients are busy people. So, ensure that you make it worth their while to speak. 

            This could be through a discount, providing extra services, promotion via your networks or even an Amazon gift voucher. 

            5. Create employee-driven role descriptions and departmental strategies

              Another great way to improve employee engagement is to encourage them to create their own job descriptions

              Have them think actively about their daily roles and responsibilities. Then work with them to ensure that matches your expectations of them. This means that everyone is on the same page, increasing employee ownership.

              You can also encourage them to get involved in the creation of departmental strategies. This improves your brainstorming by adding other diverse viewpoints to the mix. It also has the added bonus of ensuring that employees understand the strategic context of their work.

              6. Recognition of good work and values-aligned behaviours

                According to Gallup, employees who get recognised for good work are 20 times more likely to be engaged. You can set up a system for rewards and recognition within your business that matches your values. 

                This can be business successes, or just behaviour that you want to encourage within your workforce. Ensure that this recognition is public, and that other employees can congratulate their colleague. 

                7. Employee led coaching and knowledge sharing 

                  Every business is a melting pot of experience and specialist knowledge. 

                  Implement programs where employees can coach their peers. This promotes a learning culture within your business and allows employees to showcase their talents. 

                  A great way to incorporate coaching and knowledge sharing into your business is via a learning management system. Particularly in the age of the digital workplace. With the right platform, you can create employee led learning paths, and monitor completion rates with simple dashboards. 

                  8. Optimise your onboarding process

                    Did you know that 44% of new hires regret their decision after the first week

                    This means if you want to hire and retain top talent, your first impression needs to count. 

                    Formalise your onboarding process to bring people up to speed quickly and effectively. And be sure to address common new hire frustrations by providing:

                    • Training on the tools and software your company uses
                    • An introduction to employee guidelines, as well as your mission statement and values
                    • A clear point of contact for questions
                    • Training on the products and services you provide
                    • Access to essential tools from the outset
                    • A comprehensive, support technology set up 
                    • A single person acting as an onboarding guide
                    • Clear information on who their manager is, and what is expected of them

                    If you address all of these potential challenges, and provide a smooth informative experience your new hire will be engaged and working for you for a long time.

                    Remember, you can optimise almost any process with automation. For the best possible onboarding experience, automate what you can and focus on introducing the company, its culture and its people. 

                    9. Enhance employee wellbeing and work-life balance

                      One in six workers are experiencing mental health issues at any one time. Yet, 46% of businesses don’t have a formal wellbeing strategy.

                      This means too many businesses are missing out on the benefits of a happier, healthier workforce. 

                      A study by Deloitte, found that focusing on and investing in the mental wellbeing of your workforce generates £5 for every £1 spent. Not only that, but addressing wellbeing at work can lead to a 12% increase in productivity

                      Create an initiative that encourages work-life balance and promotes wellbeing in the workplace. These can be through implementing policies on working hours, sending notifications reminding people to take breaks and ensuring appropriate workloads. 

                      You can also implement flexible working to allow for better work-life balance. Ensuring that your workforce can access everything they need no matter where, or when they are working

                      10. Career progression plans

                        Studies show that career growth and development opportunities lead to increased employee engagement and satisfaction

                        If your workers don’t see a future for themselves at your company, they are far more likely to leave. Sooner rather than later. 

                        Create an initiative to retain employees with the creation of career progression and development plans. Having a future roadmap will reassure them that they can achieve their personal and professional development goals at your company. 

                        Not only will this improve employee retention, but your workforce will be more engaged as they have something to aim for. 

                        11. Company-wide retreats or events

                          When employees feel a sense of belonging at work, they are more committed to your business. They are more motivated to achieve their goals, leading to improved productivity.

                          In fact, studies show that inclusivity and community in the workplace lead to increases in team performance, decision-making and collaboration

                          So, if you can, do something special to foster a sense of community. Take your teams to retreats or events. These can be simple retreats, industry events or even holidays. 

                          How much you work during these trips is up to you. But make sure you allow time for team bonding and socialising. This helps colleagues to bond and form lasting relationships, increasing trust throughout your organisation. 

                          12. Conduct stay interviews

                            If you wait until an exit interview to understand why employees are dissatisfied, you’ve waited too long. 

                            A great way to improve engagement in your business is to conduct “stay interviews”. 

                            For this initiative, you would interview employees, asking why they stay with your company. What they like, don’t like and what might improve their experience. 

                            Be sure to approach these interviews with an open mind. If you provide staff with a safe, no judgement space to speak, you will get valuable, actionable insights into how to increase engagement. 

                            13. Virtual water cooler chats

                              In the digital workplace, employees benefit from flexibility and a better work life balance. All while being more efficient and productive. 

                              However, hybrid and remote working means less social interaction compared to an office. This can lead to loneliness, burnout and disengagement. 

                              A program encouraging virtual water cooler chats can help bring your people together, no matter where they are. Provide your teams with the video conferencing software, instant messaging and intranet communication tools to easily connect.

                              14. Employee resource groups / affinity groups

                                Employee resource groups (also known as affinity groups) are groups based on common backgrounds, experiences or interests. These can include things like gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation, lifestyle or general interests. 

                                They help create a sense of community and inclusiveness in the workplace. All while supporting personal and professional development in line with your business goals.

                                We’ve already talked about how to launch an effective engagement initiative. But, for this one, your first step should be to conduct anonymous surveys to find out what ERG themes and topics interest your workforce. 

                                Once done, you can follow the usual steps of getting leadership buy-in, creating communication plans and iterating your approach for maximum business impact. 

                                Find the right technology to make your initiatives a success

                                We’ve talked about how you can engage your employees. But, the next step is finding the right tool to help you. 

                                After all, using technology to engage and communicate with employees can lead to a 40% increase in retention.

                                Claromentis is a digital workplace solution that helps you increase employee engagement, retention and satisfaction. If you want to engage your workforce, we’re the perfect partner for you. 

                                Our fully integrated solution contains four platforms to help you build a better business. 

                                All of which help improve your internal communications, operational processes and upskilling efforts. 

                                Book a demo today to find out more about how we can help you engage and retain your employees. 

                                Or, if you want more information on how your internal comms team can best serve your business, download our latest strategy guide today. 

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