By RedBalloon for Business

6 ways to drive employee engagement

In this new financial year, employee engagement is front of mind for many businesses – as it should be. According to a LinkedIn survey on global job seeker trends, “an unsatisfying work culture or environment” is one of the top reasons employees jump ship.

Employee recognition and reward is the easiest way to improve engagement. Creating a culture of recognition brings to life your company values while highlighting the positive behaviours you want to promote. Here are some creative and effective ways to do it.

1.  Implement an employee recognition program

Company rewards create immediate engagement. Aligning your company values with a reward program offers your employees more than mere monetary gain. It shows them their contribution is seen and has an impact on business success. The secret is making your recognition program organic, creative and ongoing.

RedBalloon for Business’s employee recognition and reward strategies have thousands of rewards to choose from, including local things to do such as restaurant vouchers, museum passes, attractions, experiences and getaways.

2.  Encourage feedback and open forums

Another key way to make employees feel valued is to ensure they are heard. Create easy pathways for feedback and open forums where employees can voice their views. These may include:

• A feedback link on the intranet or in an employee newsletter.
• A monthly question (on the intranet, social media or another employee-communication channel) that invites discussion on key topics.
• Regular focus groups with a cross-section of your employees.
• Recognition and rewards that are created specifically for sharing feedback and offering innovative ideas.
• Training managers to seek out and handle feedback.

3.  Boost health and wellbeing programs

Businesses play an essential role in the health and well-being of their employees. They can be sources of stress and anxiety in people’s lives, which negatively impacts health, or they can be part of the cure.

Burnout, absenteeism and stress claims can all be reduced through sustainable health and wellbeing programs. What’s more, employee wellness programs are a great way to recognise and reward employees for their hard work. For those businesses already committed to an employee recognition program, including a wellbeing element can be as simple as adding extra rewards.

4. Foster collaboration

Many of today’s most successful companies are no longer hierarchical and top-down. Instead, they are collaborative and bottom-up. In order to attract and retain the best talent, businesses need to foster a collaborative, communicative culture. Ways to achieve this include:

• Ensuring all employees clearly understand the business vision and their role in it.
• Empowering employees to take ownership of the solutions for achieving outcomes.
• Treating all work groups, unions and contractors as respected partners – make sure everyone knows they have a role to play in your business’s success.

5. Promote flexible working conditions

Offering flexible work arrangements is an inexpensive perk and is often seen as a major employee benefit. Having flexible working schedules that allow employees to better balance their work and personal lives is a great way to reward and recognise them. This may be as simple as accommodating personal factors in their life, such as childcare or external commitments like volunteering, sports training or creative endeavours. A flexible environment might include offers of part-time work, job sharing, compressed or staggered working hours, and remote working.

6. Provide mentorship for employees

The sense of career development, practical training and support employees get from a mentoring program is one of the keys to improving employee engagement and retention. A study by Robert Walters looked at the value of mentoring for empowering women in the workplace and found that 94% of women believed it would help their career. Additionally, 14% of professionals had paid for mentoring and career coaching themselves. Being a mentor for employees can also be a powerful motivator for senior employees, as it offers them recognition and the opportunity to ‘give back’ in a meaningful way.

To get our bi-monthly Handpicked selection of blogs, ideas and stories for business success click here, and join us in the conversation on LinkedIn.

To find out more about how the RedBalloon for Business team can help you reward and recognise your people, contact us today.