How to Improve Employee Engagement: 15 Data-Backed Strategies 

Mariya Postelnyak


Employee engagement is at the forefront of your company’s success. If you find yourself wondering how to improve employee engagement in your organization, this guide has you covered. 

Successful companies rely on an inspired, committed, and engaged workforce in order to deliver their best work.

When you notice that your business is not performing as well as usual, low employee engagement could be the culprit. 

By continuously measuring employee engagement levels and collecting employee feedback, you can pinpoint issues quickly. You’ll also be able to create a timely plan for improving employee engagement. 

In this post, we’ll look at how to improve employee engagement through 15 tried and tested strategies. We’ll also provide you with the employee engagement apps, tools, and techniques you need to optimize results.

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What is Employee Engagement?

Imagine two scenarios: one employee walks into work on time, shares industry news, and regularly brainstorms ways to boost operations at your company. Another employee walks in just as punctually, completes their assigned tasks, and watches the clock in anticipation of the day’s end.

It’s not difficult to tell which employee is engaged at work and which one isn’t.

While both are fulfilling their roles and responsibilities, their productivity and satisfaction levels are worlds apart.

Think of it like this: employee engagement is the level of connection and commitment employees experience towards their company. Engaged employees have a personal stake in their organization’s success and regularly go above and beyond in their roles.

Why is Employee Engagement Important?

Employee engagement is important because it fuels your staff with drive and motivation in their work.

Identify and target problems in employee engagement from the get-go. Understand how to use employee engagement best practices to improve your internal communications.

With ContactMonkey, you can track, measure, and boost employee engagement all at once, using two simple features:

  • Email tracking: ContactMonkey’s email analytics let you monitor how your employees are engaging with your internal communications. Do your employees engage more with long-form or shorter content? Does your readership increase when you provide multilingual emails? With detailed email tracking, you can see which content resonates most and continue to increase employee engagement
  • Employee pulse surveys: Using ContactMonkey’s email template builder, you can easily embed employee engagement pulse surveys into your weekly emails. You can choose from a variety of employee engagement survey styles including star ratings, emoji reactions, eNPS, and anonymous comments.

Not sure how to increase employee engagement at your business? Try adhering to a specific employee engagement model depending on your specific engagement goals.

How to Improve Employee Engagement: 15 Data-Backed Strategies

Let’s explore how to improve employee engagement in your organization.  Our list of 15 strategies for improving employee engagement can work with any internal communications budget.

Combined with effective tools like ContactMonkey, these techniques will help you improve employee engagement and keep it up in the long-run.

1. Set clear goals for improving employee engagement

Establishing engagement goals and benchmarks will help guide your employee engagement initiatives and determine when you’ve reached your goals. 

We recommend following the SMART method of goal-setting. Create goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound. 

  • Specific goals can include attaining a high score on your next eNPS survey. Your eNPS, or employee Net Promoter Score, calculates the amount of employees that would recommend your company to others as a great place to work. 
  • Measurable goals allow you to see your progress on your way to boosting employee engagement. This can include measuring employee engagement with your internal newsletter over time.
  • Attainable objectives are those that account for your resources and manpower. With an internal communication software like ContactMonkey, businesses large and small can track and improve employee engagement.
  • Relevant objectives are ones that have a clear value for your team. Show your leadership team the ROI on employee engagement  by demonstrating how engagement has led to measurable business results in the past.
  • Time-bound targets are a crucial part of a successful employee engagement plan. Having a time frame to achieve your employee engagement goals helps set you on track and shows you whether you’re making progress.

2. Establish and communicate your company values

Your company’s core values are the beliefs and principles that unite your team. They’re at the base of great company culture. And they help employees feel engaged by sensing that they’re part of a community. 

That being said, company values serve to increase employee engagement only when they are clear, authentic, and cohesive.   that your company values are audible and in-sync across all of your internal communications, from your company newsletter to your leadership communications.

Remember: your workplace culture and communication are inseparable. Your brand logos, slogans, and graphics should add up to a unified brand voice.

With ContactMonkey’s email template builder you can demonstrate your company values using the resource your employees turn to the most — your employee emails. 

Using custom visuals, symbols, and emojis you can personalize your communications to display your unique company values and brand voice. You’ll also be able to set default brand colours and elements.

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Gauge employee satisfaction with embedded pulse surveys in your emails.

3. Improve your onboarding program

Employees who undergo a standardized employee onboarding program are 54% more engaged than those who don’t.

When employees have clear structure and guidance during onboarding, they have a thorough understanding of their role in the company. They also know where to find resources and support when they need help. 

With ContactMonkey, you can choose an onboarding email template designed specifically for communicating with new hires. 

The pre-set template elements will help guide you in organizing necessary information. Add an onboarding survey to see your new employee’s progress and what support they may need.

4. Measure employee engagement

In order to improve employee engagement, you need to know where you currently stand and where you can make progress. 

By crunching the numbers, you can clearly visualize your current situation and what needs to be done to increase employee engagement. 

If you find yourself wondering how to measure employee engagement, a good place to start is with your internal communications. With a tool like ContactMonkey, you can gather concrete data on employee engagement and retention through detailed email analytics. These include

  • Email opens
  • Open time
  • Click-through-rate (CTR)
  • Top clicks
  • Read time
  • Survey responses
  • Anonymous comments

5. Ask for feedback regularly

Who better than your own staff to let you know what they need and what’s missing?

Employee feedback let’s you get an understanding of your employees’ needs in their own words. It shows your staff that you value their opinion and input, which empowers them in their work. 

The key is to make employee feedback simple and straightforward. With ContactMonkey, you can embed quick pulse surveys into your employee emails directly from Outlook or Gmail (and without any pesky Outlook rendering issues).

Pulse surveys focus around a simple, pointed question around your topic of choicesuch as employee engagement. 

When employee surveys are quick and efficient, you can gather feedback on employee engagement more regularly. This way, you’ll learn how to increase employee engagement directly from your staff and make changes in a timely manner.

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6. Ensure strong leadership

Team leaders set an example for their employees.

There are a few ways leaders can improve employee engagement. These include introducing themselves individually to new employees and having regular check-ins with teams. This ensures that senior leaders are approachable and creates an environment of trust and support among employees. 

Most importantly, leaders need to ask for, and give effective employee feedback. This demonstrates that senior leaders value employee input and sets them on a right track to success.

7. Plan team-building activities

Employees spend 40 hours on average interacting with their coworkers. That makes workplace relationships vital to your employees’ overall sense of wellbeing and engagement.

Team-building activities offer an opportunity to build trust while encouraging collaboration and open communication. This in turn transcends into workplace dynamics and makes it easier to communicate and resolve conflict during office hours.

For our favourite virtual team-building activities, check out our post on Remote Employee Engagement Ideas as well as our latest article on frontline employee engagement.

Want to take your virtual events to the next level? Explore virtual reality communications and technology. With countless apps, tools, and software now available for incorporating VR into corporate events and communications, you can make your next team-building event one for the books.

Pro Tip: Improve employee engagement by creating segmented lists based on employee characteristics and demographics with our list management tool.

8. Offer plenty of professional development opportunities

Professional development opportunities fuel employee engagement by providing a clear path for growth within your company. 

Conduct a pulse survey to find out which topics are most interesting to your staff. Then, work alongside team members well-versed in the subject to design a series of webinars or training modules on the subject. 

You’ll also need to make sure employees are aware of professional development options and can easily access them. 

With ContactMonkey, you can use your weekly newsletter to promote your company’s professional development opportunities. Then, take advantage of the email analytics feature to find out how many employees are following the links and engaging with the resources. 

9. Offer competitive compensation and benefits

If employees spend a chunk of their workday concerned about fulfilling their financial obligations, it won’t leave much room for meaningful engagement in the workplace. If you want to boost employee engagement, ensure that your staff is appropriately compensated for the work they do. 

Not sure if your compensation and benefits program is lacking? Ask your employees directly. Conduct a compensation and benefits pulse survey across your workplace.

With ContactMonkey, anonymity is guaranteed across all of your company surveys. This way, employees can feel open and honest in their feedback on compensation and benefits. 

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10. Recognize employee achievements

Recognition and positive feedback empowers employees to do their best work. It lets them know when they’re on the right track and inspires them to continuously improve. 

Implementing employee recognition at your workplace can start small. Begin by providing positive feedback in day-to-day interactions. You can comment on how well-prepared someone arrived at the weekly meeting, or take advantage of your employee newsletters to acknowledge a top-performer. 

Check out our blog post on creative employee recognition ideas for more inspiration.

11. Check employee wellness

When employees are sleep-deprived or perpetually stressed about an upcoming deadline, they won’t have the time for meaningful workplace engagement. Ensuring employee wellness is an important step towards improving employee engagement.

Workplace wellness initiatives can range from extended vacation days to benefits that cover fitness and therapy. 

Whichever wellness techniques you choose, the first step is collecting employee feedback and listening to staff needs. An employee wellness survey is a great place to start.

Start by asking employees to rate their work-life balance. With ContactMonkey’s Likert scale surveys, employees can provide their feedback on a scale using star ratings or emoji reactions. 

Once they complete the survey, they can add anonymous suggestions for improving work-life balance at your company. 

12. Provide flexible work options for employees

Increased workplace flexibility has shown to increase employee engagement alongside productivity and creativity during work hours. 

If you notice employee engagement take a dive in your organization, test out flexible work arrangements. Conduct an employee pulse survey to find out whether your employees’ current work schedules accommodate their personal priorities. If you notice a disconnect, offer ways to accommodate. 

One way to provide more flexibility is by offering a late start or early departure options for those who need it. For companies planning a return to the office, try out a hybrid work environment where employees who want to work remotely can continue to do so.  

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13. Create mentorship opportunities

Employee mentorship opportunities build bonds across all levels of the company workforce. They also help employees reach their professional development goals and get actionable advice about career paths within the company. 

Send a pulse survey to senior staff to see who would be interested in becoming a mentor.

Then, send out a company-wide survey in your weekly newsletter to ask who’s interested in being paired with a mentor. Make sure to also ask employees about their career goals, areas of interest, and schedules. 

With ContactMonkey, you can visualize your survey responses on your campaign dashboard and easily cross-reference survey responses. You can pair employees with a mentor who has expertise in the appropriate field and whose schedule is compatible.

14. Ensure diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Today’s workers want to know that the values of their company align with their own. That means knowing they’re part of a work environment that welcomes people of all backgrounds and values their ideas. 

To improve employee engagement at your company, start by conducting a diversity and inclusion (D&I) survey. This will let you see how your employees rank your company’s current D&I efforts. 

If employees notice a problem, ask them what you can do to make a meaningful difference.

Try engaging in open and inclusive dialogue. You’ll be taking the first step towards improving diversity and inclusion in your workplace. 

15. Encourage innovation

8 out of 10 engaged employees consider their company as one that nurtures innovation. This sort of environment relies on a combination of effective leadership and initiatives designed to stimulate innovation. 

The first part consists of managers who recognize employee achievements and understand that failure is part of the process. The second part comprises programs modeled on the 80/20 rule implemented by Google. The initiative creates a standardized process for innovation by designating 20 percent of the workweek to creative projects. 

By offering employees a chance to truly show their skills, you’ll boost employee morale and motivation while showing that you value new ideas. 

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Improve and Maintain Employee Engagement

When you invest in employee engagement, employees will invest back into your company. Try implementing the employee engagement strategies outlined in this guide. You’ll be able to improve workplace engagement and ensure that your employees thrive at your company.

ContactMonkey makes it super easy to boost employee engagement. Increase email engagement by learning the best times to send internal emails, and analyze engagement using email tracking. Check out our other employee engagement ideas for even more ways to keep your internal communications fresh.

To see lasting employee engagement, you’ll have to continuously measure your progress and adjust your strategy. With a powerful employee analytics tool like ContactMonkey, you’ll be able to monitor employee engagement and take timely steps to improve it. 

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