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9 Min Read

6 Ways To Build And Maintain High Employee Engagement

Baili Bigham
Baili Bigham

Employee engagement is something that all leaders strive for but can be an ambiguous metric to measure. Academics, psychologists, and HR professionals have disagreed for decades on what actually drives engagement and performance, making it challenging for organizations to understand where they should be investing their time, energy, and money to make positive changes.

To tap into the kind of engagement that fuels performance, leaders and managers must help their people feel fulfilled by their role, fully supported, and connected to the company’s purpose. At first glance, this may seem like a big ask or too complex to do it well, but it’s actually pretty simple.

Here are six practices and tips you can begin implementing today to help maximize engagement across your organization.

1. Prioritize a culture that supports all of your people

High workplace engagement is directly linked to building an inclusive culture. The best companies inspire performance from their people by creating conditions where everyone is able to do their best.

But building an inclusive and diverse environment is not easy and doesn’t happen on its own. If your culture doesn’t actively empower all of your people to feel accepted for who they are, then your work environment will not employ your people to be open and honest, take calculated risks, or bring their unique perspective to the table.

2. Think about performance differently

Performance is an outcome or byproduct; it’s not something that can be managed directly. Boosting performance requires tapping into a deeper, intrinsic motivation. This type of motivation comes from having a genuine interest in your role and responsibilities, rather than the external benefits that may be obtained. Performance is directly tied to how often a person uses their strengths, so instead of unlocking performance, focus on helping people unlock their talents.

3. Help individuals become their best selves

Every person has the innate desire to have their talents be realized and fulfilled, otherwise known as self-actualization. When leaders create a safe space for people to be their true selves, support the development of their strengths, and craft roles that allow them to use those strengths daily; employees can live out their full potential and bring their best selves to work each and every day.

4. Connect individual goals to the company’s mission

When a company and its leaders aspire towards a common goal, success isn’t merely achievable, it’s the natural result. Through the use of company objectives and key results (OKRs), many leaders have successfully created high-performing teams who feel engaged and fulfilled at work. 

While increasing revenue or improving customer NPS are all important places to focus, people are driven by impact. To create meaningful goals, build company objectives that motivate and allow employees to attach their own measurable key results to those objectives. 

5. Recognize and acknowledge employees

When leaders highlight the strengths of their people, they’re far more engaged, productive, and creative. 

Regular recognition can help alleviate some of the day-to-day tension that employees may experience, and can significantly boost morale. In fact, studies show that high performing teams are far more supportive and complementary than low performing ones.

6. Take an ongoing and accurate measurement of engagement

Tracking and analyzing employee engagement has long been misunderstood. Outdated methods, systems, and content leave HR and leadership at a loss to understand results and take the correct course of action. But when engagement is measured accurately, thoroughly, and consistently, you’re able to see which qualities of your organization are hindering performance and which ones are driving it

Check out 15Five’s employee engagement feature Engage to learn how you can boost the type of engagement that drives performance.

Employee Engagement FAQs/Topics of Concern

Keeping remote employees engaged

Building a strong company culture with dispersed teams is a challenge, particularly when impactful conversations are vital. Combat this with the right questions. Read the full article for ten essential questions that can keep remote employees engaged.

Types of employee engagement surveys

Employee engagement surveys play a vital role in understanding and improving workplace engagement. This article discusses three main types of employee engagement surveys: vanity surveys, self-commissioned surveys, and psychometrically-valid surveys. Learn more about the types of employee engagement surveys and their impact.

What are the signs of disengaged employees?

This article by David Mizne highlights five surprising signs of a disengaged employee and emphasizes the importance of addressing these signs to improve employee engagement. Learn more about the signs of disengaged employees and their impact.

Employee engagement TED Talks

These five must-watch TED Talks for entrepreneurs focus on employee engagement. The talks cover various aspects of engagement, such as creating a safe environment for employees, understanding different stages of company culture, the link between ownership and engagement, the power of vulnerability in building connections, and achieving a state of “flow” for increased happiness and productivity. Delve into these employee engagement TED Talks and gain comprehensive knowledge.

Improving employee morale and engagement

This article provides six simple ways to improve employee morale and engagement within a company. The strategies include encouraging frequent one-on-one meetings, empowering employees to ask for feedback, training managers to become better coaches, supporting employees’ personal and professional development, showing appreciation for their contributions, and fostering a positive and fun work environment. Learn more about improving employee morale and engagement.

Are employee engagement surveys really anonymous?

Conducting anonymous employee engagement surveys can help overcome barriers to candid feedback, contributing to more authentic and useful insights. While concerns about anonymity exist, combining anonymous feedback with other forms of communication can provide a holistic view of engagement levels, allowing organizations to support a culture of openness and growth. Delve into the benefits and considerations of anonymous employee engagement surveys.

Employee engagement during mergers and acquisitions

Maintaining employee engagement during mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is a significant challenge due to the potential clash of cultures between merging companies. Culture mismatch can lead to decreased return on assets and even failure of the M&A deal. To learn more about strategies for maintaining employee engagement during M&A, read the full article by Nicole Klemp.

Employee engagement and performance management

Driving employee engagement requires effective performance management strategies. Research-backed strategies for effective performance management include establishing clear expectations, setting goals and key objectives, and providing frequent feedback. HR and direct managers play essential roles in designing and implementing comprehensive performance management systems that involve role clarity, goal setting, and feedback programs. Learn more about driving employee engagement through effective performance management.

What employee engagement means

Employee engagement is essential for any organization aiming to remain competitive in a rapidly changing landscape. While job satisfaction and employee engagement might seem interchangeable, true engagement goes beyond mere satisfaction, requiring motivation, commitment, and a connection with the company’s vision and goals. Learn more about the meaning of employee engagement and its impact.

Employee engagement ROI

Employee engagement is crucial for an organization’s success, leading to increased productivity, reduced turnover, and lower absenteeism. To quantify the impact of employee engagement on your bottom line, a free Employee Engagement ROI Worksheet is available. By using this tool, companies can assess the potential financial benefits of having an engaged workforce and understand the positive effects it has on productivity, revenue, absenteeism, and turnover. To learn more and access the worksheet, read the full article about employee engagement ROI.

What to do when a high performer is disengaged

Amidst the “Great Resignation,” retaining high-performing employees is crucial for business success. Rather than focusing solely on why employees leave, it’s important to consider what makes them want to stay. HR leaders suggest identifying what defines high performance in your organization, engaging and nurturing high performers through managers, and addressing disengagement proactively to retain top talent. Gain further insights about what to do when a high performer is disengaged, read the full article.

Employee engagement measurement

This ultimate guide to employee engagement measurement by 15Five addresses the abundant advice on leadership and employee engagement with thousands of books and numerous Google search results. In this guide, the author navigates this landscape by providing insights into employee engagement’s significance, its historical context, and practical ways to measure it effectively. To gain a deeper understanding and streamline your team’s performance, read the full guide to learn about employee engagement measurement best practices.

Employee engagement benchmark

This article highlights the challenges in assessing the effectiveness of employee engagement initiatives and provides insights gathered from measuring engagement across thousands of employees. It discusses the significance of quarterly surveys, calculating engagement scores, and offers benchmarks based on company size, industry, and team type. To understand how to benchmark employee engagement in your organization and learn about best practices, read the full article.

Remote worker engagement

This article by Baili Bigham emphasizes the challenges of maintaining a strong company culture and engagement in a hybrid work environment. The article provides ten insightful questions aimed at maintaining a resilient culture, enhancing engagement, and supporting remote teams. Read the full list of questions and insights on maintaining remote worker engagement.

Increasing engagement

Unlock exceptional engagement and cultivate an extraordinary culture with 15Five. Address the challenges of employee engagement by enhancing visibility through surveys, feedback practices, and reporting features. Elevate managers with instant upgrades, coaching, and training, driving sustained engagement and fostering a connected, high-performing workplace. Ready to transform performance? Learn more about Increasing engagement with 15Five today.