10 Employee Engagement Initiatives to Use in 2023

Strong employee engagement is the key to retaining a satisfied workforce. Here’s how managers can keep their employees connected and content.

group of colleagues high fiving one another.

Employees are your greatest asset as an organization, and it’s essential those employees feel happy, engaged, and connected to your company. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.

Employee engagement is all about the emotional connection an employee feels toward their organization. But what makes that employee feel connected to your company and your cause varies from person to person. Some workers prefer better benefits, while others place more value on recognition.

Employee engagement is critical to maximizing productivity, reducing turnover, and improving your bottom line. Studies show that U.S. businesses lose up to $550 billion annually due to unhappy employees.

The most effective techniques for improving employee engagement may change depending on what is happening in the world. Programs that worked years ago, before the global pandemic and shifted to remote work, may need to be revamped.

Forward-thinking leaders can use these strategies to help build employee engagement.

1. Publicly Recognize Employee Successes

Employee recognition is one of the most important ways to promote employee engagement. Most organizations have a set of values, but not every organization will recognize employees for their hard work according to those values.

Employee recognition programs can help highlight employees who live up to your company’s values. And recognizing them publicly not only helps them feel seen and appreciated but also shows their peers that hard work and achievements will be noticed and rewarded.

Allocate time for peer-to-peer recognition during meetings so employees have an avenue to commend each other. This will give them well-deserved recognition and bring successes to your attention that may have flown under the radar.

If feasible, consider monetary rewards for particularly outstanding employees.

2. Build Company Culture

Looking to boost employee engagement? Try starting with your company culture. Values like your company’s leadership style and team dynamics lie at the heart of your company culture and shape day-to-day life at your organization. Your brand’s personality will affect your employee retention metrics, from recruitment rate to turnover rate.

So invest in healthy company culture by helping your employees bond through social events, team projects, and even asking fun team-building questions during meetings.

3. Create Time for Fun Activities

Carving out time for fun activities might seem counterintuitive, but instituting recreational activities can help your employees feel appreciated and improve company culture.

Regular catch-ups and social events within the organization can build community. Consider team lunches, “Fun Fridays,” birthday celebrations, holiday parties, or monthly get-togethers. Even short events can make a big difference.

4. Offer Perks

There’s more to a job than just a payday. Offering small employee perks or benefits can help employees feel valued and, in turn, more engaged. Consider handing out gift cards or offering perks like free lunches to show your workers that their company cares about their happiness.

5. Welcome Employee Feedback

Your employees likely have a lot of thoughts about your company. Allow them to voice their concerns, both positive and negative. Don’t take the feedback as criticism. Honest insights, like workers wanting a better coffee machine, can help improve the workplace for everyone.

Use the feedback to build a solid roadmap to help boost employee engagement and slash turnover rates.

6. Set Up Virtual Watercooler Chats

Managing remote or hybrid teams can have its unique challenges. It’s never easy for people to get to know each other, especially when everything is virtual. Try integrating new communication tools, like virtual water cooler chats, to help promote team building and bonding.

Incorporating these tools into your workflow can encourage team members to step away from work and chat with each other, which can lead to better employee collaboration.

7. Support Personal Development

Personal development—or upskilling—is critical to keeping employees engaged at work. Giving your employees a chance to learn new skills and develop as both people and workers will make them feel that the company is invested in their growth.

In one Gallup study, 65 percent of workers believe employer-provided upskilling is very important when evaluating a potential new job. Personal development means more than just a couple of online training sessions. Consider adding paid training, side project support, vouchers for college programs, and more to encourage employees to develop their skills.

8. Champion Work-Life Balance

Don’t let stress or burnout leave your employees feeling exhausted and unmotivated. Stress can negatively impact workers. 91 percent of workers say having an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration negatively impacts the quality of their work.

Championing a better work-life balance in your office can ensure your workers feel excited and enthusiastic about their jobs. You may need to examine your work culture and management tactics to improve this balance.

9. Support Mental Health

Mental health is an essential part of an employee’s work life. In one survey of workers across the globe, 74 percent of workers say their company should increase their focus on mental health.

Putting an increased focus on mental health is partly about recognition. Giving employees the resources to help them navigate challenging times can lift them and reassure them that you care about them.

10. Build Strong Onboarding Programs

Everything starts with onboarding. Establishing strong onboarding programs can help promote better collaboration between teams and encourage new employees to get to know their colleagues.

Try instituting team-building events, a mentorship program, or other programs to help new hires feel engaged within their new workplace.

Nicholas Rubright
Nicholas Rubright is a digital marketing specialist and expert writer at Mvix. In his free time, Nicholas enjoys playing guitar, writing music, and building cool things on the internet."