Businesses succeed for different reasons, but those who do it best all have one thing in common: engaged employees. That’s because engaged employees are more productive, have lower absenteeism rates, and are thus more invested in a company’s success.
We’ve written before about how to improve employee engagement and why it’s essential to focus on employee engagement, but in this post we want to talk about how developing an employee engagement action plan can kick-start employee engagement in your organization. We’ll also tell you how to create an employee engagement action plan and what to include in it. To make things really easy, we’re also giving you a free template to download and customize to fit your organization’s needs.
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What Are Examples of Employee Engagement?
There is no one universal example of employee engagement and drivers of engagement will vary from workplace to workplace. What motivates an employee at a software developer, for instance, is not likely to motivate and engage someone who works at a marketing agency. What matters is that an organization has a strong company culture that taps into the human needs of its specific employees.
- Google’s culture is focused on transparency and freedom, which has resulted in a more creative atmosphere where employees feel valued.
- Southwest Airlines sees its purpose as connecting people, not just transporting them. That purpose resonates emotionally with the airline’s employees, who feel what they’re doing is of great importance.
- Virgin believes listening is key to engaging employees. Employees who are encouraged to have healthy debates and share ideas want to do their best because they feel heard and valued.
For employees everywhere, engagement activities like gamification, rewards and recognition, and being part of a supportive workplace inspire them to be more engaged.
Benefits of an Employee Engagement Action Plan
There are multiple benefits to crafting an employee engagement action plan. Here are just a few:
- Improved productivity with employees more invested or engaged in their workplace and co-workers.
- Increased employee satisfaction which leads to better performance and happier employees who become company advocates.
- Lower attrition rates due to higher employee satisfaction and engagement.
- Better work-life balance as engaged employees feel empowered to achieve their work-related and personal goals.
Organizations with an engaged workforce also see significant financial benefits like reduced costs and higher revenue as engaged employees tend to stay longer in their jobs and deliver better customer experiences, which promotes loyalty.
How Do You Create An Employee Engagement Action Plan?
Step one is to implement an employee engagement survey that asks for feedback on topics such as learning and development, leadership, whether an employee would recommend the company to others, if an employee sees themselves staying in the job for at least two years, and whether they have access to the things they need to do their job.
Once you evaluate and measure the responses to identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement, it’s time to draft your employee engagement action plan using key engagement drivers. Keep in mind the point of the survey is not to get high marks from employees (although that would be nice) but to help your organization do better.
- Choose your focus area. Set overall objectives such as lower absenteeism, better retention rates, increased employee satisfaction, a more positive company culture, and enhanced employee motivation. Two to four focus areas are a good start. Think about which results could be achieved with simple changes and which ones are most likely to have a quick impact on employee engagement.
- Brainstorm solutions. Solicit employee feedback by creating a separate focus group for each focus area you choose. Each group should identify the main challenges the topic presents and consider different solutions to improve the score. The top solutions should be given priority for action.
- Commit to action. Now that you understand which areas need attention, it’s time to design a set of initiatives or your employee engagement action plan. The plan should include specific actions you’re committing to, who will be responsible for putting solutions into action, deadlines for completion, how you’ll measure success, and a timeline for progress reports.
- Communicate progress. Regular communication is crucial to creating and implementing an employee engagement plan. Survey results and the final action plan should be shared with employees. Create teams who are responsible for achieving defined goals and be sure to share successes along the way. You might want to conduct periodic surveys throughout the year to get employee feedback on whether improvements have occurred.
Many companies choose to include some “quick wins” in their employee engagement action plan. These focus areas can usually be implemented quickly and easily and don’t require a huge financial investment. They can be a valuable way to kick-start employee engagement. They also send an important message to employees about your organization’s commitment to improvement. Just be sure to balance these efforts with longer-term projects.
Examples of quick wins include inviting employees to submit ideas for organizational improvements, setting up team-building activities to improve team morale, and implementing a company-wide recognition scheme. Long-term engagement projects might include improving internal communications channels and reviewing employee performance appraisal systems to ensure personal objectives are closely aligned to organizational priorities.
Remember, the work of improving employee engagement never ends. It will always be a work-in-progress because workplaces and employees constantly change. But the effort is well worth it, as organizations that commit to listening to their employees and addressing their concerns through improvements can expect to see increased happiness and higher retention amongst their team members.
What to Include in an Employee Engagement Action Plan
An employee engagement action plan is designed to guide your organization in achieving its goals. It helps employees stay focused and motivated. If you’re just about to create your first plan, keep these essential targets in mind:
- Make sure your employee engagement goals are clear and concise.
- Include success measures.
- Identify who’s responsible for achieving goals.
- Set clear timeframes for completion.
Here’s an example of what your action plan might include:
Action item: Set up a company-wide engagement program such as gamification.
Action description: Survey employees and team leaders to create games that reward positive behavior, build lasting relationships, and deliver value.
Leader: HR manager
Timeframe: List the date the survey should be completed, when employee and team leader feedback should be submitted, when the first game will launch, and when the results will be measured.
To make it even easier to get started with your employee engagement action plan, we’ve created this free employee engagement action plan template for you to download. Simply adapt it to your organization’s specific needs.
An employee engagement action plan should be designed to harness the incredible power of teamwork whenever possible. Gamification is an excellent tool to drive employee engagement through communication, collaboration, and interaction.
BeeLiked creates employee engagement games that improve employee satisfaction, boost employee morale, and improve your bottom line. To learn more about our products and solutions, get in touch with us today to set up a no-obligation discovery call.