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Developing strong employee engagement

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Last editedJul 20223 min read

What motivates your employees to come in every morning? Is it a strong company culture, or a competitive benefits package? While every individual might have slightly different motivations, it’s important to promote engagement with consistent communications. Keep reading to learn more about how employee engagement can create a more productive, energised workplace.

What is employee engagement?

The definition of employee engagement isn’t easy to pin down, as what motivates one employee may not hold the same weight to another. However, there are a few characteristics of an engaged employee:

  • They have a positive attitude towards their employer.

  • They are enthusiastic about their work.

  • They are motivated to take positive actions to boost the company interests.

  • They work under the right conditions to meet their full potential.

By contrast, a disengaged employee is someone who does the bare minimum to get through the workday. They might feel unmotivated at work, disconnected from their employer, and even have negative feelings towards the organisation.

The benefits of employee engagement

Engaged employees are not only happier, they’re also more committed to getting the job done right. It’s worth pursuing employee engagement strategies because the ultimate payoff is so big. You can create a workforce that’s fully motivated to do its best, increasing productivity rates while decreasing staff turnover. The job becomes more than a paycheque to a committed, fully engaged employee. Here are the major benefits of employee engagement:

1. Employee productivity

Engaged employees are more likely to be consistently productive and meet their targets, rather than phoning it in with the bare minimum. They have greater drive to succeed both on an individual and company-wide level.

2. Employee retention

Another major benefit is that engaged employees are more likely to stay for the long term. This in turn reduces hiring costs, while ensuring that your business attracts and retains top talent. Loyal, satisfied employees have a greater understanding of business goals, driving your organisation into the future with sustained growth. 

3. Greater attention to detail.

When employees are engaged, they notice every detail of the job and find innovative ways to do their best. This also leads to a safer, healthier workplace. According to a Harvard Business Review study, organisations with higher employee engagement reported fewer safety incidents.

Top drivers of employee engagement

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits associated with strong employee engagement. So, how can a business improve engagement levels? It’s important to first understand what sparks them.

The three main drivers of employee engagement are:

  1. Trust: Does the employee trust business leadership?

  2. Relationships: Does the employee have a strong relationship with their team?

  3. Pride: Does the employee take pride in being part of the organisation?

While executives might assume that engagement directly correlates to a higher salary, in fact it’s these more intangible factors that make all the difference. At the heart of engagement is communication between employer and employee. Communication is what fosters trust and builds relationships.

For example, if the organisation is undergoing a rapid period of change, it’s vital to communicate these changes adequately so that employees don’t feel left behind. Periods of change can be stressful and lead to disengagement if you don’t actively involve employees in the restructuring.

Employee engagement strategies to try

There are a number of ways to work better employee-employer communications into your organisation. Here are a few employee engagement strategies that might help.

1. Give employees the space to innovate

Employees that feel they contribute valuable ideas to the organisation are more likely to be engaged. Challenge your team with new projects, fresh tasks, and creative workshops. Be sure to listen to everyone’s ideas and take them seriously.

2. Communicate your company values

If employees feel like they understand the company’s mission statement and vision, they’re more likely to share the same core values. This means setting a good example at the executive level by creating and meeting appropriate goals.

3. Encourage peer-to-peer relationships

Workplace camaraderie encourages all employees to be more productive. Positive peer relationships boost engagement because the workplace becomes somewhere that employees want to be. Peers can provide a sounding board for ideas, assist one another during times of difficulty, and celebrate wins together.

4. Encourage remote relationships

Beyond the immediate workplace, do your employees feel connected to all of your organisation’s locations? As your business grows in scope, you need to find new ways to connect geographically disconnected workers. This is particularly true if your workforce is remote. Engage remote workers with consistent, clear communication and virtual team-building activities.

5. Recognise excellence on the job

While a paycheque isn’t everything, a rewards program does help boost motivation. The strongest employee engagement strategies combine communication with rewards. Recognise employees for their contributions to make them feel more valued.

By investing in your team, you’ll create a more positive company culture and enjoy the benefits of employee engagement. 

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