If you’re lucky, you know what it’s like to have a genuinely positive culture at work. You don’t mind going to the office every day and enjoy collaborating with your coworkers. You all take pride in your work, and it shows in your team’s numbers. 

Of course, this is a best-case scenario. To many of us, it may seem like an unattainable goal. But if you manage a team—no matter how small—you can make a difference by working to improve employee engagement. 

The benefits speak for themselves: According to a 2017 Gallup survey, the employers who had the most engaged employees also had 20% higher sales, 17% higher productivity, and 21% higher profitability. And that’s just a start. 

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement gauges how invested and committed employees are to their workplaces. People are more likely to be engaged in their work if they feel valued, challenged, supported, and fulfilled. However, in 2020 just 36% of surveyed American workers reported being engaged at work. So how can we raise that number? 

7 strategies to improve employee engagement

There are many ways to boost employee engagement at all levels. All of them require consistent and dedicated effort from employers. Here are seven strategies to consider:

1 Promote positive manager-employee relationships

It’s a classic trope in movies and TV: the exasperated boss versus their unmotivated employees. But life doesn’t have to imitate art. Instead of falling prey to a “me against them” mentality, think of yourself as a coach. Your job is to guide, support, and help the players on your team. 

It will make a difference. In a 2020 McKinsey study, people rated their relationship with management as a key factor in their job satisfaction.They found that 74% of respondents who said they were “very satisfied” in their job also rated management-employee relationships at their company as “very good”. 

2 Encourage autonomy

Nobody likes micromanagement; in fact, employee satisfaction is directly linked to feelings of autonomy. Team members who are empowered to make problem-solving decisions tend to be more productive, loyal, and generally invested in their work. The lesson? Empowering employees and giving them the space to work pays off.

3 Make employees feel valued 

On the other end of the scale, feeling overlooked can shatter employee morale, too. Gallup found that employees who said their work wasn’t adequately acknowledged were twice as likely to say they planned to quit in the next year. Even a simple “great job” after someone lands a huge client can go a long way, but it’s even better to articulate what they did well and why it was important. 

4 Invest in your employees

To be clear, we don’t just mean “invest” in a financial sense (although that certainly helps). Your time and attention also matter. Helping your employees grow professionally could mean offering training or educational benefits. It also means working with them to develop their goals and decide how they can achieve them. And, like any investment, it pays off over time.

5 Show your employees that you trust them 

To earn your employees’ trust, you need to put your faith in them, too. Think of it this way: You hired them because you felt they could do the work, so demonstrate that by giving them a voice in how they work. Encourage them to make suggestions and reward their initiative when they do. 

6 Show employees how they (and your company) make a difference

If your company doesn’t have a mission statement, brand values, or a brand voice, now’s the time to develop them. When you have a strong, consistent set of values, you’ll attract employees who share those values. To keep those employees, help them see how they’re contributing to your company’s mission—and why that mission matters. 

7 Give employees the right tools to do their job

Most office jobs today involve multitasking. While writing a sales report, someone might have to email a client, follow up with a coworker about a project, and finish up a presentation. It’s a lot to juggle, but you can make your team’s job easier by giving them the right tools. With an AI-powered writing assistant like Grammarly Business, they can communicate consistently while saving time:

Why is employee engagement important?

Companies that put work into improving their employee engagement reap many benefits. Here are a few:

  • Reduced churn: When team members move on, companies must recruit, hire, and train new people. This is an expensive, long process. However, engaged employees are 87% more likely to remain at their current jobs than those uninvested in their positions. 
  • Better teamwork: When employees work in an environment that supports, values, and trusts them, they’re more likely to support, value, and trust their coworkers. 
  • Increased productivity: Engaged, happy employees are 44% more productive than their merely “satisfied” counterparts. 
  • Happier customers: Customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction are strongly linked. It’s no surprise: If customers interact with experienced, engaged employees, they’re likely to have better experiences. 

Keep it going: sustaining employee engagement

Improving employee engagement isn’t a one-time goal. You should continually review and reevaluate your employee engagement strategy. Remember, what works this year might not work next year. Put the work in, and you’ll find that improving your employee engagement pays off.

Grammarly Business can help you promote the clear and effective communication necessary to foster a positive work environment and improve employee engagement. To learn more, contact us today.

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