A Guide to Increasing Employee Engagement Among Distributed Teams

Increasing Employee Engagement Guide

A fast employee churn rate can lead to higher training costs, low employee morale, and operational inefficiencies. Eventually, it can reduce your profits and negatively impact your bottom line. That’s why it’s important for businesses to learn how to prepare for it but, better yet, actually focus on slowing it by increasing employee engagement.

Last year, Gallup reported that while the number of engaged workers held steady at 32% the number of actively disengaged employees rose to 18%. This is not good news when you consider that a disengaged employee is 2.3x more likely to be exploring other jobs!

Employee engagement is a measure of employees’ commitment to helping their organization achieve its goals. It’s demonstrated by how employees think, feel, and act, as well as the emotional connection employees feel towards their organization, their work, and their teams. 

Before the pandemic, engagement and well-being were rising globally for nearly a decade — but now, they’re stagnant, and most believe it’s because they don’t find their work meaningful. Now is no time to take our eyes off the road when it comes to employees’ personal and professional well-being. Addressing the structural and cultural issues that create disengagement in your organization is the first step to laying the foundation for a new and better employee experience.

Top Reasons for Employee Disengagement & Turnover

Now more than ever, organizations are actively discussing the importance of employee engagement, but not everyone agrees on how to define and measure it. For our purposes, let’s define it as a state and behavior in which employees are enthralled by their work and devote their hearts and minds to it. Engagement like this requires true connection– connection to others, the team, and business goals. Engagement like this is founded on an organization’s and team member’s trust, integrity, two-way commitment, and communication.

Here’s Why Increasing Employee Engagement Matters

Employee engagement helps businesses succeed by improving organizational and individual performance, productivity, and well being. With the right employee engagement software, strategy, and leadership buy-in, an employee engagement strategy is:

  • Quantifiable; 
  • Can be cultivated and substantially increased; and conversely,
  • Can be squandered and discarded.

It’s no secret that companies with engaged workforces vastly outperform those without them. When people feel their work matters and that they’re valued, the sky is the limit. Employee engagement has a very real impact on organizational success. 

  • Companies with highly engaged workforces are 24% more profitable. (Gallup)
  • Disengaged employees cost organizations an estimated $450-550 billion each year. (The Engagement Institute)
  • 80% of employees said learning and development opportunities would help them feel more engaged on the job. (Udemy)
  • Engaged employees are 44% more productive than workers who merely feel satisfied. (Bain & Company)
companies focused on Increasing employee engagement
Organizations with high employee engagement vs those with low (Source: Smarp)

With that as a backdrop, let’s look at some of the main reasons employees continue to leave companies.

The Best Ways to Increase Employee Engagement 

Employees can only perform at a high level when they’re set up for success, with the right tools, processes, and guardrails in place for optimal productivity. Creating an engaging, motivating, and supportive employee experience increases productivity and leads employees to being:

  • 15x more likely to recommend the company to friends and colleagues.
  • 1.5x more willing to learn new skills and responsibilities.
  • Almost 6x more likely to plan on staying for a full career.

The good news…your employee engagement ideas don’t have to break the bank. They just need to be deliberate, thoughtful and work in unison. With these five keys, you’ll be well on your way to building a stronger internal brand, energizing employees, and promoting employee advocacy.

  1. Enable Mentorship, Learning & Initiatives  
  2. Actively Combat Burnout
  3. Recognize Employee Contributions Big or Small
  4. Make Time to Connect & Communicate
  5. Use Technology to Create a Work Environment Based on Connection & Trust

At the end of the day, employee engagement involves a person’s perception, feelings, and beliefs about the business, the people they work with, leadership, and the work itself. The drivers of employee engagement are highly personal, dependent on the company culture, and while they vary for each individual, these employee engagement ideas have proven to boost retention and coax the disengaged back into the game.

Ensuring a positive and empowering working environment where all employees feel valued and connected doesn’t just help your company; it helps your people. An employee who feels connection to others is an employee who is more likely to find their work meaningful. An employee who finds their work meaningful is an employee likely to be engaged – demonstrating through their work a commitment to the overall success of the business.

To dive deeper, download our guide on increasing employee engagement and learn how to inspire deeper connection among colleagues, download our short guide.

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