In the rapidly changing technology industry, HR managers have the exciting challenge of fostering a workforce that is not only highly skilled, but also deeply engaged and emotionally connected.
The truth is that an organization with poor employee engagement is more likely to experience the harmful effects of high turnover and poor performance. For example, a Gallup report on employee engagement found that highly engaged workforces can increase profitability by over 20%. On the other hand, employee disengagement can cost up to $550 billion every year.
Now imagine a workplace where every team member feels valued, inspired and eager to do their best every day. This is employee engagement and its magic: a powerful force that ignites employees’ passion and dedication, propelling them to achieve remarkable success.
So, if you’re considering implementing employee engagement strategies for your organization, you should know that they’re more than just plans. They’re a commitment to creating work environments that foster growth and cultivate unity among all team members.
In this article, we’ll explore 16 strategies specifically designed for HR leaders in the tech sector to boost employee engagement. Complement these strategies with the information provided in our employee engagement best practices guide. Together, they form a powerful toolkit that will inspire your team and foster a culture of dedication and success!
16 Key strategies for cultivating employee engagement
Having high levels of employee engagement is crucial to the success of any organization. Engaged employees are not only more motivated and productive, they also contribute to a positive work culture and are more likely to stay loyal to the company.
By implementing the following strategies and effectively measuring their impact, you can create an environment in which employee engagement thrives. This will result in a motivated, loyal and satisfied workforce that drives your organization toward continued success.
- Define your company’s core values.
- Build a positive company culture.
- Establish a solid onboarding process.
- Focus on setting professional development goals.
- Give your employees trust and autonomy.
- Give individual attention.
- Create a sense of purpose.
- Invest in opportunities of growth.
- Promote feedback and communication.
- Recognize good performance.
- Focus on employee wellbeing.
- Promote smart working.
- Offer employees perks and benefits.
- Create an inclusive workplace.
- Plan volunteer actions.
- Organize team building activities.
1. Define your company's core values
To foster employee engagement, the first critical step is to define the company’s core values. When a company’s core values are very clear, employees understand what is expected of them in terms of work ethic and behavior. They become more than just words on a poster: they become the driving force behind every decision, interaction and task.
Take the time to communicate these core values clearly and consistently to all team members. Encourage open discussions and provide opportunities for employees to share how they align their individual values with the company’s.
When employees connect with the company’s core values, it creates a sense of shared purpose, guides decision-making, fosters unity, builds trust and ensures a strong fit between employees and the organization. In fact, this coincides with some of the benefits of employee engagement, which play a critical role in creating a thriving and healthy organization.
2. Build a positive company culture
Creating a positive company culture is not only a stand-alone strategy, but also the very essence that encompasses other essential approaches to employee engagement.
Laying the foundation for building a positive company culture involves implementing a variety of strategies, such as promoting recognition and appreciation, encouraging transparency, improving work-life balance, and others.
In any case, regardless of the strategy applied, a positive culture fosters collaboration, open communication and trust, as well as continuous learning and growth over the long-term.
3. Establish a solid onboarding process
There are strong ties between onboarding and employee engagement. For example, a Robert Half research revealed that effective onboarding made new hires 18 times more likely to feel highly committed to their company. Participants were also 30% more likely to feel strongly integrated into their workplace culture.
All employee engagement strategies should start by designing a strong onboarding experience. In fact, a well-designed onboarding process is crucial to fostering employee involvement and engagement. It goes beyond paperwork, welcomes new talent into the company culture and allows them to thrive from day one.
Key elements include a warm welcome, clarity of expectations, introduction of company culture and values, thorough training, meaningful socialization, encouraging feedback, management support, progress tracking, milestone celebration and continuous improvement.
4. Focus on setting professional development goals
When done correctly, goal setting improves employee engagement. It also gives employees a sense of ownership over their contributions and creates an ideal opportunity for employee recognition.
Knowing how to set goals can make a difference in employee engagement levels. While there are many goal-setting frameworks to draw inspiration from, SMART goals are ideal for increasing performance at work. Make sure all your goals are:
Focusing on setting professional development goals empowers employees to grow, achieve their aspirations, and contribute meaningfully to the organization’s success. Regardless of the framework you decide to use, be sure to involve employees in setting objectives. They should have a say in their own professional development plan. You’ll see how this is one of the best employee engagement strategies you can use to boost overall productivity.
5. Give your employees trust and autonomy
When employees feel that the company trusts them to make decisions and give them autonomy, they are more motivated, more innovative and more committed to the success of the organization. In fact, empowering employees also fosters a culture of collaboration.
The key to giving employees confidence and autonomy is to believe in their capabilities. By recognizing that they are skilled and knowledgeable professionals, managers empower their teams to make informed decisions aligned with the organization’s goals. This confidence creates a sense of psychological safety, where employees feel comfortable taking calculated risks and exploring creative solutions.
One last important thing: fostering autonomy does not mean abandoning support and guidance. On the opposite, managers act as mentors and coaches, facilitating employee growth and providing feedback to help them thrive.
6. Give individual attention
It’s a common situation. After the onboarding process, the paths of an employee and HR teams never cross again. It is a common mistake that, after this process, the support falls only on the team managers. This is not the case. In fact, joint action between HR and team managers is the perfect approach to increase engagement.
In this regard, HR managers should encourage team leaders to pay attention to new employees during onboarding to increase their engagement levels. Between the two, the HR team and managers should join forces to provide individualized attention to employees.
Also, don’t forget that each employee is unique, with different strengths, aspirations and challenges. By taking the time to understand and address their individual needs, ultimately team managers demonstrate to employees that they are valued and supported members of the organization. Show personal attention to an employee by:
- Inviting them to lunch.
- Asking them questions about their life outside of work.
- Building genuine personal and professional relationships.
- Gathering feedback from employees on a regular basis.
7. Create a sense of purpose
A sense of purpose is a powerful driving force that fuels employee involvement, passion and commitment. When employees understand how their work contributes to the overall mission and vision of the organization, they feel a deep connection to their roles and are motivated to make a meaningful impact.
Here are some ideas that can foster your employees’ sense of purpose:
- Communicate clearly to them the organization’s mission and vision .
- Help them see how their individual roles contribute to the broader goals of the organization.
- Highlight the positive impact of their work on customers, communities, and society as a whole.
- Encourage them to share their ideas and suggestions. Involving them in decision making fosters a sense of ownership of their jobs.
- Ensure that the organization’s core values are aligned with its purpose.
- Encourage discussions and activities that reinforce the organization’s mission and values.
8. Invest in opportunities for growth
In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, a focus on empowering lifelong learning ensures that employees stay adaptable and ready to meet future challenges head-on.
According to a study by Udemy, 80 percent of employees believe that learning and development opportunities contribute to increased engagement at work. Offering various growth opportunities demonstrates a commitment to employees’ professional and personal growth, fostering a sense of loyalty.
- Providing access to online training sessions and webinars allows employees to acquire new skills and knowledge.
- Designing a career development plan outlines the necessary steps to achieve their goals within the organization.
- Organize lunch-and-learn sessions to create a space where employees can expand their knowledge while enjoying an informal and interactive learning environment.
- Promoting peer coaching to foster a culture of collaboration and support.
- Supporting employees in obtaining professional certifications to validate their knowledge and also increase their confidence.
- Facilitating book clubs and chat forums for employees to engage in discussions, exchange ideas, and explore diverse perspectives.
By investing in opportunities for growth, organizations demonstrate their commitment to employee development, creating a culture of continuous learning. Moreover, investing in employee growth attracts top talent seeking organizations that prioritize their employees’ professional advancement.
9. Promote feedback and communication
Understanding the importance of feedback and becoming familiar with its different types is key to harnessing its potential to improve individual and collective performance.
When feedback is given thoughtfully, it can inspire employees to recognize their strengths and address areas for improvement. By providing feedback on specific actions and behaviors, it helps align personal goals with organizational objectives.
To truly promote feedback and communication as an employee engagement strategy, HR professionals must foster a feedback-centric culture. Providing training and resources on how to give and receive feedback effectively can empower employees at all levels to:
- Engage in open and constructive conversations without fear.
- Emphasize the importance of empathy and active listening to use feedback as a collaborative tool for development rather than a criticism.
10. Recognize good performance
Recognition programs are not mere thank-you acts; they are a strategic approach to driving employee engagement. When integrated into the organizational culture, recognition becomes a powerful tool that inspires employees to go above and beyond, propelling the organization toward long-term success.
Rewards work best when they are personalized and go beyond the basic gift card. Think about it and try to design a fun and timely recognition program that shows your appreciation and connection among employees. A common approach is gamifying the recognition process, such as Nailed claps.
Creating the habit of giving recognition builds a positive feedback loop because the more positive messages employees receive about their accomplishments, the more they will want to recognize others for theirs!
11. Focus on employee wellbeing
In today’s fast-paced work environment, organizations are increasingly recognizing the paramount importance of employee wellbeing in fostering a highly engaged and productive workforce.
To achieve those benefits even outside of work hours, it is crucial for HR to get to know the team and their interests, including outside of the office. By understanding their individual needs, they will be able to offer benefits that employees truly enjoy and value.
For example, for those employees who are fond of sports such as hiking, weight lifting or running, a gift card to a sports store will make them happier than a discount on health insurance.
Focusing on employee wellness demonstrates that the company cares about the well-being and personal satisfaction of its team. In this sense, employee wellness programs have emerged as a powerful tool to address the holistic needs of employees and promote a culture of caring and support within the organization.
12. Promote smart working
Another effective employee engagement strategy, which not only boosts productivity and performance but also fosters a thriving work environment, is to promote smart working. This innovative approach to work grants employees the freedom to choose their workspace and schedule, allowing them to align their professional commitments with their daily routines. That’s why smart working is so amazing!
By embracing smart working and offering flexibility, organizations enable employees to achieve a healthy work-life balance. The trust placed in employees to fulfill their responsibilities and achieve their goals within this framework motivates them to excel and demonstrate their capabilities. It gives ambition to employees, an inner drive that helps them stay focused on achieving goals.
Incorporating a serious time-off policy is another essential aspect of promoting work-life balance. Encouraging employees to take time off when they need it, recharge their batteries and take care of personal matters not only rejuvenates their well-being, but increases their commitment and dedication to their roles.
13. Offer employees perks and benefits
Offering attractive perks and benefits is a powerful employee engagement strategy that goes beyond the conventional compensation package. While a competitive salary is essential, offering additional perks and benefits can significantly enhance the overall employee experience and foster a sense of appreciation and loyalty among workers.
In addition to flextime policies and the ability to work from home to achieve work-life balance, one example of a benefit that resonates with employees is comprehensive health and wellness programs. From gym memberships and fitness classes to mental health resources and wellness workshops, these initiatives demonstrate that the organization values the well-being of its employees.
Focusing on emotional salary not only boosts employee morale and engagement, but also translates into reduced absenteeism and increased productivity.
14. Create an inclusive workplace
Creating an inclusive workplace is vital to achieve a diverse, innovative and high-performing workforce. An inclusive culture fosters a diversity of perspectives, which improves problem solving, decision making and competitiveness in the marketplace.
Prioritizing diversity and inclusion in hiring, leadership development and employee training, along with open communication and employee resource groups, fosters an environment where everyone feels respected and encouraged to thrive. This translates into increased employee satisfaction, improved teamwork and a greater sense of shared purpose throughout the organization.
A DEI approach allows companies to embrace employees for who they are, regardless of their background, fostering a sense of belonging and strong connections within the organization.
15. Plan volunteer actions
Implementing volunteer actions can significantly enhance employee engagement. According to Deloitte’s volunteerism survey, 70% of respondents believe that volunteering has a greater positive impact on employee morale than company-sponsored happy hours.
Some inspiring ideas for volunteer initiatives include:
- Volunteer at a local charity.
- Offer mentorship opportunities to local students.
- Sponsor a youth sports team.
- Organize an office holiday drive.
- Collect and donate pet food and supplies.
- Clean a local park.
- Grow a community garden.
These activities not only benefit the community but also create a sense of pride and shared accomplishment among employees, leading to increased employee satisfaction and overall workplace positivity.
16. Introduce team building activities
Team building activities play a key role in breaking down communication barriers, improving collaboration and building trust among team members, regardless of whether they work remotely, in an office or in a hybrid model.
Here are some engaging team building activities that can bring employees closer together:
- Escape Room
- Online trivia.
- Scavenger hunt.
- Team cooking competition.
- Storytelling circle
If you want more ideas like these, check out our post about improving remote employee engagement, where you will find examples of games and activities!
6 Tips for implementing your employee engagement strategies
After implementing these strategies, it is equally important to effectively measure engagement levels to get a clear picture of how they are responding to the initiatives implemented and whether they are experiencing an improvement in their work experience.
Choosing the right metrics is essential to gain a complete understanding of the effectiveness of the actions you have taken. Each company may have specific needs and objectives, so it is crucial to select the metrics that are most relevant to measure the impact of the engagement program.
As you dive into developing and implementing your employee engagement strategy, keep in mind these 6 essential tips to ensure your success:
- Gather feedback: start by soliciting feedback from your employees through surveys, focus groups or one-on-one meetings. Understanding their needs, preferences and concerns will help you tailor your engagement initiatives to better match their expectations.
- Be transparent and realistic: set clear and achievable goals for your employee engagement initiatives. Be honest and open about the organization’s goals and the role employees play in achieving them. Transparency builds trust and encourages employees to actively contribute.
- Be adaptable: recognize that each employee is unique and that different strategies may have a different impact on each individual. Embrace flexibility in your engagement efforts to accommodate diverse preferences and needs.
- Practice effective communication: keep employees informed about company updates, new initiatives and growth opportunities. Establishing open channels of communication helps create a sense of belonging and inclusion.
- Adopt a people-based approach: remember that employee engagement is not only about productivity metrics, but also about the quality of the company’s people.
- Analyze your strategies: you can test the effectiveness of your strategies through the use of surveys. These give you valuable insight into the level of employee engagement. By asking the right questions, you can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.
And that’s not all! In addition to these 16 strategies and 6 tips, we highly recommend exploring our comprehensive guide with the best ideas and tips to promote employee engagement in your organization.