Increasing employee engagement is critical for the long-term, sustainable success of your business.
My focus in this article is to highlight some of the most effective tactics and strategies the best companies are using to increase employee engagement.
“Your number one customers are your people. Look after employees first and then customers last.” – Ian Hutchinson, author of People Glue
To get the most out of this article, you need to have a firm understanding why employee engagement is so important. If you need a refresher, I'd invite you to check out these resources:
- The Top 5 Benefits of Creating Amazing Employee Engagement
- Engaging Employees to Bring Their Best to Work
Here are some awesome examples of what some companies are doing to create amazing employee engagement.
- Coworker Bonus Program
Did a coworker really impress you or go above and beyond? At Zappos, you can choose to award that coworker another $50 that month. What a great way to recognize employees going above and beyond to assist their fellow coworkers.
- Zappos $$
At Zappos, they call these "Zollars" and they are used as another way to recognize employees who have gone above and beyond. Employees can use them to get company swag, donate them to charity, or use them to enter a raffle for even larger prizes.
- Shadow Sessions
Have you ever heard employees talking negatively about other departments? This happens all the time. At Zappos, they have a program where employees can "shadow" coworkers in other departments for a few hours to gain a better understanding of what they do on a day to day basis. What a great way to build new relationships within the company and gain a better understanding of how other departments operate and why.
Pride in the company is the single most important driver of employee engagement. Facebook has found when their employees have pride in the company they are more satisfied, more committed, more successful, and more likely to recommend Facebook to others as a great place to work.
- Extremely Competitive Salaries
Money isn't everything, but it's not a bad place to start. Google pays some of the highest salaries in the tech industry. Top notch employees demand top notch salaries and if you want the best people it is going to cost you.
- They Have a Purpose
Their motto is "Don't be evil". They have a social mission and want to make the world a better place. Having a mission that people know about attracts like minded employees and puts them in an environment they believe in. This can only impact their engagement in a positive manner.
- Show You Care
Google goes above and beyond to provide a welcoming work environment to show their employees they care about their well being. How can you possibly expect someone to be engaged at your company if they feel like they are simply another number?
- Allow Employees to Explore
Google allows employees to spend up to 20% of their work time to pursue special projects. Some of Google's amazing products have come out of this time. Giving employees the autonomy to pursue projects they are really passionate about helps drive employee engagement.
- Top Notch Training & Development
Google has a program to provide employees with support, guidance, and coaching from executives. The program covers things like work-life balance, personal and professional development, and much more. This is another way Google is investing in their people and showing them they care. Wouldn't you feel more engaged in an environment like this?
- Get Employees Involved
Southwest recently unveiled a new uniform design for employees. Instead of seeking help outside the company, they asked employees to get involved in the project. Who could possibly be better than the people wearing the uniforms every day?
This is a great example of getting employees involved in major projects that help determine the direction of a company. Employees can't help but feel valued, excited and encouraged with involvement in things actually making a difference for the company they work for.
- Put Employees First
Richard Branson's philosophy that if staff are happy, customers will follow is the reason Virgin puts employees first. Pretty simple, right? Often times the simplest ideas are the most impactful.
- Create & Define Your Company Culture
Quicken Loans uses a list they call their "ISM's" to define their company culture. They live by this list and it helps them create a culture of enthusiasm, passion, and creativity. What is your company culture? Can you and your employees easily define it?
- Create an Employee Engagement Model for Success
The Intuit model is based on four needs they feel drive employee engagement. The more of these needs they meet, the more an employee will be engaged. With this model in place, it's much easier for Intuit to create policies and practices that drive employee engagement. Think of your model as a roadmap or beacon that can help you navigate employee engagement.
The image below shows you Intuit's model.
- Work-Life Balance
REI offers their employees a number of perks to take advantage of and use the great gear they sell, which encourages employees to enjoy life outside of work. No one can work all the time, and if they do, burnout is soon to follow.
Employees who enjoy their time outside of work tend to come back to work recharged, focused and ready to be productive. I know multiple people who work for companies that regularly request they come in over the weekend or work late into the night which conveys the company has little regard for their personal time...not a great way to build strong employee engagement.
- Create an Amazing Company Culture
Every one of the companies on this list has a clearly defined company culture. They have outlined what's important to them and the type of company they want to be. By hiring people that already buy into and believe in your culture you've taken a huge first step in creating amazing employee engagement. All the tools and tips to improve employee engagement are really branches of the "company culture tree".
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I hope you gathered some valuable info you can apply in your organization.
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