May 04, 2022

5 Ways to Boost Employee Engagement

As employers continue to evaluate workplace flexibility, it’s increasingly apparent that hybrid and remote work are here to stay. According to Buffer’s 2022 State of Employee Engagement report, 52% of people who started working remotely due to COVID-19 feel less connected to their coworkers. While some companies may have found quick and scrappy ways to foster engagement, the reality is that keeping employees engaged calls for continued innovation. 

So what can people leaders do to build a greater sense of community? Bravely recently partnered with Owl Labs and Charthop on a webinar, “Strategies to Boost Employee Engagement in the Hybrid Workplace”, to dive deeper into this topic. Read about the actionable takeaways from the webinar below

1. Take a human-centered approach. 

According to the American Psychological Association’s Work and Well-Being survey, three in five workers said work-related stress caused them to have a lack of interest, motivation, and energy at work. As a people leader, it’s important to set a precedent of acknowledging potential challenges employees may be facing in and out of the workplace and to give them space to recharge when needed.

I take an approach to say, ‘take some time if you need it.’ Try to create flexibility and acknowledgment. Being real and being human is the starting place.

Ben Harman, Chief of Staff at Owl Labs

Transparency and being able to truly understand what the goals are, how your team is feeling, being vulnerable is important. To me all of those things are transparency. I think that’s first and foremost.

Sarah Diegnan, VP of Customer Experience at ChartHop

2. Place greater value on feedback and transparency. 

A successful engagement plan starts with strong communication. Not sure what your people are looking for in the workplace? Don’t be afraid to ask! As a leader, make it a priority to open up the lines of communication and be vulnerable. Dedicate time during team meetings or send out brief surveys more often to stay current on employee sentiment. Along with asking for feedback, be transparent with your teams.

Defining engagement is super important. One of the key things I think about in defining engagement is: do we know why we’re all here, and if we do are you passionate about it?  You have to measure it, you have to send out surveys, and make sure you actually have data behind this objective definition.

Sarah Diegnan, VP of Customer Experience at ChartHop

3. Leverage external resources. 

In order to successfully build engagement, people leaders can and should tap into the resources available to them. As flexible work continues, leaders need to continuously evaluate the perks and other offerings provided for employees. There’s an urgent need to ensure that employee benefits are adequately supporting employees. Leaders should feel empowered to advocate for more external resources such as mental health apps or coaching services. 

Advocate for external resources. Not everything can or should fall to the company itself.

Sara Aharon, Bravely Coach

4. Take action, measure, and iterate.

Trying to find new ways to keep employees engaged is both an art and a science. As a best practice, experiment with different activities to see what resonates most with your teams. Doing something to proactively engage employees is always better than being reactive. Keep in mind that you can always pivot if an initiative doesn’t have the results you expect. The important learning is that trying out a variety of methods gives you a way to track what is or isn’t working to engage employees.

“You have to be able to measure how you define engagement. Let’s fail fast and iterate. Measure what’s working and ask the right questions.”

Sarah Diegnan, VP of Customer Experience at ChartHop

5. Invest time and cost savings into new experiences. 

Another way to boost team morale is to be intentional about creating shared experiences. For workplaces that are hybrid or remote, cost savings from catered lunches and office space has been greatly reduced. Since your people are your biggest resource, they should be directly benefitting from the savings. 

Another tip is to find more effective ways to allocate time. Even setting up ten minutes for teams to hold space to come together and express verbal or written gratitude can be instrumental in building a sense of connection.

Keeping sessions shorter and timebound can build community and bring positivity. Bring it back to the locus of control. Having external resources can be very helpful, whether it’s coaching or mental health and wellness.

Sara Aharon, Bravely Coach

Interested in learning more? Schedule a demo to learn how Bravely can boost engagement for your organization.

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