Top 15 Employee Engagement Best Practices For 2024

Alex Cleary


in Employee Engagement

Want to improve productivity at your business? Start by engaging your employees with our employee engagement best practices.

It’s no secret that employee engagement is directly linked to productivity. Engaged employees take their work seriously because it matters to them, and they’re more likely to suggest ideas and improvements for your business.

Whether you’re new to employee engagement or a seasoned communications pro, our employee engagement best practices can give you great ideas for measuring employee engagement and collecting employee feedback at your business.

In this post, we will cover 15 employee engagement best practice techniques that are sure to improve employee engagement at your organization.

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What is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement tells you how connected your employees are to your business and to each other. It measures how much employees interact with their coworkers, management, and the business in general.

Benefits of employee engagement

Engaged employees feel a strong connection to their work, and see your business’ success as a product of their effort. When your employees feel pride in their work, they’re more likely to contribute beyond expectations.

A highly engaged workforce can benefit your business in numerous ways:

  • Greater productivity and willingness to contribute new employee engagement ideas.
  • Higher employee retention levels.
  • Critical perspective for business initiatives; can help fine-tune processes for greater efficiency.
  • More likely to speak highly of your business to friends and family.

Want a data-based look at how engaged employees improve your business. Check out our blog on top employee engagement statistics to learn more about the benefits of an engaged workforce.

18 Best Practices for Employee Engagement

There are countless ways to boost employee engagement at your business. After all, your employees interact with your company in all kinds of ways.

But here we’ve listed our overall factors for improving employee engagement and retention, under which many individual initiatives can fall. Use our list of best practices to improve employee engagement and inspire efforts specific to your employees.

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1. Develop an employee engagement strategy

One of the most important best practices for employee engagement is developing a concrete strategy for motivating and inspiring staff.

Plan your success from the very start with an employee engagement strategy. This plan outlines everything you need to succeed at increasing engagement including:

  • Initiatives you plan on carrying out and when you’ll implement them.
  • Employees responsible for carrying out your initiatives.
  • KPIs you plan to measure to track employee engagement.
  • Review processes to improve your engagement initiatives in the future.

When you’ve prescribed how your business is going to approach employee engagement, it’s much easier to find what works and what doesn’t. Employee engagement KPIs can help measure whether your efforts are effective, and highlight areas where your strategy needs to be improved.

2. Keep your efforts consistent

Your employee engagement strategy should be designed to ensure consistency with your engagement initiatives. Your employees are creatures of habit; consistent employee engagement efforts, like a monthly wellness session, help employees incorporate them into their routines.

Schedule recurring initiatives at similar times across different weeks, months, and years. Use your employee engagement strategy as a roadmap for future efforts, and alert your employees to upcoming events. The more attention your efforts receive, the more employees will be likely to participate.

3. Make your expectations clear

Uncertainty breeds anxiety, which is the enemy of engagement. Employees who are unsure of their responsibilities, their position in your organization’s hierarchy, or their role in the future of your company will naturally have a difficult time feeling connected and engaged.

Clarifying expectations and making information readily available for employees is an important employee engagement best practice.

Foster an open and accepting company culture so your employees don’t hesitate to ask questions. If your employees feel comfortable in your organization, they’ll be able to better determine what’s expected of them and get really engaged with their responsibilities.

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4. Use the right tool for driving employee engagement

There are countless internal communication platforms on the market purporting to improve your employees’ engagement levels. But choosing the right employee engagement tool is about finding one that works best with your unique engagement challenges.

Some tools only offer specific engagement tools, like chat or surveys, while leaving out other crucial functions. ContactMonkey is designed with an employee engagement focus, and includes a suite of tools for boosting and measuring engagement:

  • Employee pulse surveys
  • eNPS survey
  • Staff engagement surveys
  • Emoji reactions, star ratings, thumb up/down reactions, and more
  • Anonymous employee comments
  • Response emails that work perfectly on all devices
  • Detailed email tracking
  • Outlook and Gmail integration

With ContactMonkey, you can carry out your employee engagement strategy right from your inbox. Since you can track email opens in Outlook or Gmail, you can access these insights regardless of the system your workplace uses. Whether your workforce is 500 or 5000+ employees, ContactMonkey can give you real results for increasing your employee engagement.

5. Collect employee feedback

Nurture employee engagement by giving your employees a chance to share their opinions and feelings about your business. Employee feedback is an email engagement best practice that can give you a detailed look into what really matters to your employees, and help you focus your engagement efforts.

Surveys, emoji reactions, star ratings, anonymous comments, eNPS, and other feedback methods included with ContactMonkey give your employees numerous ways to share their opinions:

Screenshot of survey options within ContactMonkey's email template builder.

Help your employees feel their opinion matters by regularly collecting (and acting on) their feedback. Learn how to create a pulse survey that truly engages employees with our step-by-step guide.

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Using ContactMonkey’s email template builder, you can easily embed staff survey questions on your internal emails and internal company newsletters.

Step up two-way communication across your company with our employee feedback examples.

If you need ideas for your survey questions, you can use ContactMonkey’s OpenAI ChatGPT integration to generate content for your email. Simply describe the kind of information you want to gather, then edit the output according to your audience.

6. Focus on employee fulfillment

Everyone wants to feel like what they’re doing makes a difference. Feeling that one’s work contributes to the success of others is a hallmark of engaged employees and a key best practice in employee engagement.

Find what really matters to your employees and make that your focus. Collect employee feedback about what milestones stood out for your employees, and then resolve to emphasize those successes in the future.

Showing your employees that their work really matters to the business’ overall success is a terrific way to foster a connection between your employees and their work.

7. Educate management

Employee engagement isn’t made, it’s grown. And your managers should be the ones cultivating that growth. That’s why continuously educating management in the latest innovative employee engagement best practices is vital.

Create employee handbooks and train your managers to think through an employee engagement lens; emphasize their sensitivity to the struggles and success of your employees.

When your managers listen to employee feedback, it’s easier to create a strong, trusting relationship from which both parties can find meaning and fulfillment.

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8. Invest in your employees

Another way you can prioritize the success of your employees is by providing them with opportunities for growth outside of their prescribed roles. And this is an indispensable employee engagement best practice.

Offering professional development opportunities for your employees helps your workforce develop useful skills that matter to them. It also emphasizes that your workforce isn’t replaceable; they are integral parts of your organization whose development helps everyone.

Organize 1-on-1 discussions with your employees and survey their career interests. Find useful intersections with the priorities of your business and research programs, certifications, and training sessions that develop those interests. If you’re not sure how to do that, you can always take a learn how to write a training email to employees with our examples.

9. Prioritize employee wellbeing

Treating your employees like people is essential for building solid employee engagement. While focusing on the success of your employees is important, it’s equally important to recognize the struggles they may face, both professionally and personally, and prioritize employee wellbeing.

Facilitated by strong employee/manager relationships, emphasize to your employees that it’s OK to take time off if they’re struggling with whatever issue.

Have a set of easily-accessible resources to help your employees engage and overcome their struggles—like a health plan directory on your company intranet or employee handbook. Provide a pressure-free working environment to help your employees approach their jobs with enthusiasm and optimism.

10. Measure your employee engagement success

After all your efforts, how can you actually tell if your employee engagement best practices are working? Start with measuring engagement and feedback via your internal communications.

Your internal communications are a terrific barometer of your employee engagement situation. Engaged employees are more likely to take their internal emails seriously, paying more attention to the information contained within them.

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Metrics like open rate, click-through rate, opens by device and location, and read time can tell you what your employees are paying attention to. Combined with employee feedback, your internal email metrics gives you a detailed look into your employee engagement levels, which you can compare to other companies in your industry. You can also use these metrics to directly boost employee engagement, like pinpointing your company’s best time to send employee emails.

With ContactMonkey, all of your email metrics and employee feedback are visualized within your analytics dashboard:

Screenshot of engagement distribution timeline within ContactMonkey's campaign overview.

You can compare the engagement information from multiple campaigns and filter metrics using different criteria. ContactMonkey makes measuring your employee engagement super easy.

If your organization has external or internal regulations around email privacy, you can still gather email metrics using ContactMonkey’s anonymous email tracking while maintaining your employees’ privacy.

11. Build engagement with great company events

Employee engagement happens in all aspects of your employees’ experience at your business. Company events give your employees a chance to relate to your business and their coworkers in a different capacity than their day-to-day work allows.

Weekly fitness challenges, monthly town halls, and yearly holiday parties are just some of the ways you can use events to improve employee engagement. Not only do they give your employees something with which to relate to their coworkers, but they also break up the monotony of your employees’ work schedule and give them something to look forward to.

Using ContactMonkey’s event management feature you can create, send, and track event invitations from your Outlook or Gmail inbox:

Screenshot of event invitation created using ContactMonkey's event management feature.

Event RSVPs are easily tracked within ContactMonkey, and your employees can include comments on them so you can gauge interest in your next event.

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12. Recognize success

We’ve mentioned earlier the employee engagement best practice of highlighting your employees’ good work. But recognizing success can take many forms.

The most traditional form employee recognition idea is when management congratulates an employee for a particularly good effort. But just as important is other employees recognizing their peers’ success.

Give your employees a chance to raise up their coworkers when they do good work. For example, during company town halls designate time for your employees to highlight each other for their efforts in the previous month. Add an incentive for sharing or receiving praise to increase employee engagement even further.

13. Have solid onboarding and offboarding procedures

A positive company culture is crucial for consistently strong employee engagement. Your employees’ contribution to company culture begins on their very first day of work, so ensure they’re set up for success.

A thorough, formalized onboarding process can help your new employees navigate through their new workplace. Familiarizing hires with your product or service, important members of your organization, and coworkers that they can turn to with questions are all indispensable aspects of a solid onboarding process. You can also do this with a new employee welcome email to set them up for success.

Similarly, your offboarding process should be prioritized to elicit actionable feedback from your employees who are moving on to new opportunities. Use surveys and exit interviews to understand the successes and challenges of your employees. Taking this feedback seriously and acting on it is crucial for ensuring positive future employee experiences.

14. Reach all employees

More companies have remote workforces than ever before, which presents unique challenges for keeping all employees engaged. When managers may have been able to simply ask their employees how they’re doing, now this same task requires them to set up zoom meetings or lengthy Slack back-and-forths.

Ensure you make an effort to keep your remote employees engaged. Having the right employee communications software in place will help a great deal. Establishing guidelines for remote employees to help remove assumptions and clarify key processes is a vital employee engagement best practice.

Prioritize employee feedback and be sensitive to the challenges they face from working remotely. If a meeting could be substituted with a simple Slack message, opt for the easier option. This is an easy employee engagement best practice that can have a big impact.

If you need to contact only a select portion of your employees, you can use custom email lists to reduce the number of irrelevant emails your employees receive. With ContactMonkey’s List Management feature, you can create custom email lists—without needing IT—that integrate with your Human Resource Information System (HRIS) like Workday and ADP, as well as Azure Active Directory, so they’ll automatically update as employee join and leave your company.

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15. Rally employees behind your company mission and values

Effectively communicating your company’s goals and values is an important best practice in employee engagement.  When employees are inspired by your organization’s objectives, they derive meaning and purpose from their work.

In turn, employees are more motivated be become engaged in day-to-day processes at your company, and more dedicated to their projects.

Ultimately, effectively communicating a strong company vision and values is a cumulative process. It involves reminding employees about team wins and even client achievements, to encourage pride in the work they do.

It also entails communicating consistently, with cohesive messaging, brand voice and visuals to help employees understand the brand identity. Using consistent employer branding across your communications and choosing appropriate graphics, colours, and designs is an important part of this.

In the end, employees need to understand what your company is all about and their role in it. Once they know this, they’re more motivated to become fully engaged because they have direction and know how to achieve success.

16. Promote diversity and inclusion

The significance of this employee engagement best practice can’t be understated. In fact, creating an environment that promotes diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace is the bare minimum for facilitating employee engagement.

Feeling comfortable and safe in the work environment is essential for employee engagement. When staff don’t feel welcomed in the office and sense that their ideas are being excluded from discussion, they will avoid engaging altogether.

To foster employee engagement, make sure that you’re promoting D&I policies, standards, and training. Use your leadership communications to underscore your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

In addition, try to establish and promote any D&I-related employee coaching opportunities, webinars, and other resources.

17. Foster connection through team-building

At the office, it’s easier to build bonds with colleagues. After all, we see them almost every day.

Remote and hybrid work have made team-building a bit more complex. But these flexible work policies are an important component of your employee engagement strategy themselves, so you don’t want to scrap them.

Instead, you need to strike a balance between engaging in-person and virtual team-building events.

Try organizing virtual game nights, ‘wine-downs,’ lunch & learns, and other events that allow employees to connect beyond work—in a remote setting.

At the same time, make sure to set up in-person events, such as escape rooms, paint nights, and dinners once a quarter to get employees mingling in person.  This balance enables employees to retain the work flexibility they value while gaining opportunities to make meaningful connections.

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18. Stick with it

It’s worth mentioning again that good employee engagement doesn’t happen overnight. Rather, it’s a continuous process that needs frequent refining and updates, according to the many factors that affect your employees.

A solid employee engagement strategy combined with effective and frequent measurement can give you a solid foundation on which to build greater employee engagement.

Formalizing this often nebulous aspect of your organization can help you unlock greater productivity and camaraderie from your employees.

Give Employee Engagement The Attention It Deserves

It’s easy to overlook the importance of employee engagement best practices, but do so at your own peril. Low employee engagement can drastically reduce productivity at your organization, resulting in low morale, high turnover, and dissatisfied employees.

Emphasize employee engagement in all your initiatives and consider its importance to your business’ overall success. When you invest in your employees and genuinely care about their success, you will quickly see that this effect is reciprocal.

Engaged employees save your business time and money, while helping your business grow and achieve its objectives. Invest in employee engagement by using a dedicated employee engagement tool like ContactMonkey. With ContactMonkey, you can take a data-based approach to employee engagement at your business and easily prove the ROI of employee engagement.

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