Proven Employee Engagement Strategies

A group of office employees is shown engaged in their work

recent Gallup survey showed that only 31.5 percent of U.S. employees were engaged in their jobs last year. This number is slightly up from the previous year and at its highest level since it was first measured in 2000, but the low percentage is indicative of the continued need to provide better working conditions that enhance productivity, increase employee satisfaction, and ensure profitability.

According to research done by Gallup, companies that are successful in maintaining a high rate of employee engagement typically employ the following tactics:

  1. Have in place those leaders who model the positive change they wish to see in their organization. Since the attitudes and behaviors of leaders tend to trickle down to their employees, having involved leaders who act upon implementing improvements provides a powerful influence on the level of enthusiasm and commitment of their teams.
  2. Have an HR team that greatly influences managers and leaders through the use of strong practices and holds them accountable to develop and strengthen their teams. 

  3. Ensure that employees' basic needs are met. When employees know what is expected of them, are able to fulfill their jobs, and feel supported by management, then employee engagement tactics are easier to implement. 

  4. Effect organizational culture changes despite financial downturns. Companies who have experienced periods of tightening budgets but continue to work toward increasing employee engagement see the payoff in the long run with improved company culture. 

  5. Provide support for managers, build their capability and resilience, and then hold them and their teams accountable in understanding their challenges and solving them.

  6. Use performance management practices such as recognition as a powerful means to expand employees' capabilities to new levels.          

  7. Don't over-manage employee engagement by solely measuring and tracking metrics - successful companies instead focus on the expected outcomes that are produced by improved employee engagement.