Employee Engagement: The Time To Do It Is Now

January 29, 2018 in HR Best Practices


“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”

The same philosophy applies to employee engagement. The ideal time to deal with engagement was decades ago. Developing organizational culture takes time. Training managers takes time. But you know that. So, what do you do if employee engagement hasn’t been priority number one?

Don’t let it keep the organization from taking action. Like the proverb says, “The second-best time is now.” Here are seven tips and resources to get you started:Start with a definition. I believe many organizations struggle with employee engagement because they don’t know how to explain it. Ask yourself: “If I had to explain employee engagement in one sentence, what would I say?”

  1. Get the entire company onboard. With all the talk about “full employment,” employee engagement is more important than ever. Retaining and attracting the best employees requires a great company culture. And that’s everyone’s job.
  2. Train managers and employees to communicate well. Feedback and one-on-one meetings are more important than ever to grow engagement and improve employee retention. But those things don’t always come naturally. Give managers and employees the tools to communicate.
  3. Build engagement strategies into company culture. Businesses want an engaged workplace culture. That starts before an employee’s first day on the job. Our friends at Kronos show us the essential elements of a highly engaged culture.
  4. Take a pulse on the work environment. We know the value of employee engagement and using surveys to develop programs. Proper planning and execution is crucial in employee engagement surveys. Our friends at Readex share four survey planning and execution strategies.
  5. Tell your company story to candidates, employees, and customers. Storytelling has become the cornerstone of marketing. So, it’s no surprise that storytelling can be effective in growing employee engagement. A few tips can be found here.
  6. Measure your results! Yes, it’s possible to accurately measure employee engagement. Our friends at Workify have developed Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), based on the net promoter score concept, to link engagement and candidate referrals.

Even if your organization has made employee engagement a priority for years, your work isn’t done. Engagement is a top priority–today, tomorrow, and in the foreseeable future. That means it’s not about when you start making engagement a priority, but the fact that you are.

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Editorial Note: The content of this blog originally appeared in the January, 2017 edition of ABR Employment Services e-newsletter,  HR Insights. It was written by Sharlyn Lauby, president of ITM Group, Inc. and author of HR Bartender.