Employee engagement is a crucial element of business success. Engaged workers are more productive, less likely to quit, and provide better customer service. In this article, we discuss 9 important employee engagement goals and share tips on how you can achieve them.
Table of contents
- Engaged employees are more productive, stay with a company longer, and provide better customer service compared to disengaged workers.
- High employee engagement also leads to increased profitability, reduced costs, and increased innovation.
- It’s crucial for businesses to set employee engagement goals and take action to achieve them.
- To reach their employee engagement goals and objectives, employers can offer rewards and recognition, regularly communicate with employees, gather feedback, provide professional development opportunities, and more.
Engaged employees are more productive, committed, and willing to go the extra mile to achieve business goals. This results in increased employee retention, improved efficiency, and better customer service.
Disengaged employees, on the other hand, feel disconnected from their jobs and aren’t invested in the company they work for. They pose a big risk to businesses, as high levels of disengagement lead to lower job and employee satisfaction and increased turnover.
As a business owner, it’s important you have a strong employee engagement strategy in place. But knowing which engagement goals you should set can be tricky.
In this article, we cover 9 important employee engagement goals. Examples include reduced absenteeism, enhanced employee well-being, and more. We also provide practical tips on how to achieve each goal.
What Is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement describes the level of enthusiasm, emotional investment, and commitment that employees have for their employer and their work. An engaged workforce is motivated to go above and beyond to help achieve company goals.
While job satisfaction and employee engagement are related, these terms refer to different things. Job satisfaction is an employee’s overall feeling of happiness about their job. Employee engagement is a more complex concept and accounts for an employee’s:
- Interest and sense of pride in the work they do
- Connection to the company’s core values
- Opportunities for professional development
- Relationships with colleagues
- Compensation and benefits
- Recognition for their hard work
Satisfied employees aren’t necessarily engaged employees. For example, an employee can be satisfied with their salary yet still feel disinterested in their job or unmotivated to work diligently.
Similarly, employees can show different levels of engagement. They can be one of the following:
- Actively engaged: These employees are committed to the business’s mission and goals. They strive to improve and have a positive attitude. They’re usually the first to share ideas, lend a hand, or lead conversations.
- Not engaged: These workers do their jobs adequately but typically don’t show much passion or willingness to go the extra mile.
- Actively disengaged: These employees are often absent, late, or unproductive. They tend to have negative attitudes and can express negative feelings about their job and the company.
Why Is Employee Engagement Important?
Employee engagement is important because it helps:
- Increase productivity and profitability. Engaged employees feel a greater connection with their work, and thus are more productive. Improved productivity leads to greater profitability. In fact, Gallup reports that engaged workers are 21% more profitable than those who are disengaged.
- Improve retention and reduce costs. Engaged workers have greater job satisfaction and are less likely to leave a company. Reduced turnover rates mean reduced costs for recruiting, hiring, and training new hires. The cost of replacing an employee can range from one-half to two times their annual salary, so engaged employees can save companies a lot of money.
- Increase innovation and creativity. When team members are engaged, they more regularly contribute valuable ideas and solutions. This results in better innovation and creativity within your organization.
- Enhance customer satisfaction. Engaged employees provide better customer service, which leads to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Employers create a skilled workforce. Compared to their disengaged counterparts, engaged workers more often seek out and take advantage of professional development opportunities. They want to learn new skills and strengthen the ones they already have. With engaged employees, you can easily build skilled talent right from within your organization.
9 Important Employee Engagement Goals
Below, we cover 9 important employee engagement goals, examples of steps you can take to achieve each goal, and one tool that can help you get there.
Employees are aligned with company goals
It’s important that your employees know what your business wants to achieve. This way, they know what they need to do to contribute to organizational success.
When workers are aligned with company goals, they feel like a valuable part of the team and are motivated to go that extra mile to achieve success.
How to achieve it
Introduce new hires to your company’s mission, values, and culture during onboarding. This will make it easier for employees to contribute to your company’s goals from the very beginning.
Additionally, make sure you communicate your goals and values clearly to all employees—new and current. You can do this through emails, newsletters, and messages in your company feed.
It’s good to regularly remind your team of what your business is striving for. This way, everyone knows that their hard work is contributing to bigger objectives.
Productivity is about more than just hitting certain output targets. It accounts for how efficiently employees are working and contributing to business success.
There are many reasons why an employee might be unproductive. But the majority of unproductive employees are also disengaged employees.
They typically don’t find meaning in their work, know their responsibilities, or have realistic goals. They may feel unappreciated, burnt out, or disconnected from the rest of the team. Also, they usually haven’t received the proper training to do their jobs well.
When workers understand their roles and responsibilities and feel appreciated, they become engaged. And engaged employees are more productive.
How to achieve it
Start by providing clear instructions to employees about their duties and responsibilities. You can consider setting SMART goals for employees. These are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Also, check in regularly and facilitate two-way feedback. Let employees know what they’re doing well and how they can be more productive, and let them share their feelings with you, too.
You should also provide proper training. This helps employees strengthen their existing skills, which increases their confidence, motivation, and productivity.
Additionally, regularly reward and recognize your employees for their efforts. This will make them feel appreciated and help them be more engaged and productive.
Employee engagement and employee motivation are closely related concepts. Motivated employees generally have high levels of engagement, while unmotivated employees tend to have low levels of engagement.
It’s crucial for businesses to have motivated, engaged employees. They have a greater commitment to the company and perform better at work. They’re more likely to contribute ideas, are more productive, and stick with the company for longer.
How to achieve it
A good place to start motivating employees is by giving them more autonomy. One way to do this is by letting workers schedule their own shifts for the upcoming week.
This helps employees feel more responsible for the quality of their work, rather than just another cog in the machine. They’re more motivated to do well, which boosts their engagement.
Also, providing recognition can motivate not just individual employees but also your entire workforce. Research finds that employees who feel their work gets recognized are 40% more engaged compared to those who don’t.
Absenteeism hurts productivity and can negatively affect morale. It can also be a sign of low employee engagement, as disengaged employees are more likely to miss work.
Engaged employees, meanwhile, tend not to miss their shifts. They actually enjoy being at work because they find purpose and value in their jobs.
Reducing absenteeism is an important employee engagement goal to set. Not only does it boost morale and prevent inefficiencies, but it also takes the pressure off employees to cover for absent coworkers.
In this way, it’s a continuous positive cycle. Absenteeism goes down when engagement goes up, and when you aren’t understaffed, your employees are more likely to be engaged.
How to achieve it
There are a couple of ways you can engage your employees and keep absences to a minimum.
Firstly, you should identify any employee concerns. Regularly speak with your team to discuss how they feel about their jobs and discover why they may be absent from work. Chat with them over the phone, or via email or messages.
You could also send out employee engagement surveys with questions about their daily experiences and relationships with managers. This information gives you insight into why employees are absent and can help you improve the employee experience.
One way to take action and address employee concerns is to provide flexible work arrangements. These allow workers to better balance their personal and professional lives, which helps boost their engagement and ensure they aren’t missing work due to conflicting responsibilities. For example, you could offer employees flexible start and end times, or allow them to choose their own job sites.
Enhanced employee well-being
Strong worker well-being is one of the biggest objectives of employee engagement. It focuses on improving employees’ physical, mental, and emotional health.
Workers who are stressed or overworked are more likely to become disengaged and burnt out. This can lead to a drop in productivity and a rise in absenteeism and even employee turnover.
Conversely, employees who feel that a business prioritizes their well-being are more engaged. They’re enthusiastic, productive, and help promote a healthy company culture, too.
How to achieve it
You’ll need to address employee well-being from mental, physical, and emotional perspectives.
Consider adopting an “open-door” policy for communication, where employees can share their thoughts and feelings with you at any time of the work day. Knowing there’s support in place can do wonders to reduce your employees’ stress and improve their mental state.
You should also consider offering wellness programs. These might include free gym memberships, stress management workshops, or mental health resources like counseling and therapy.
Additionally, encourage a healthy work-life balance by offering flexible work arrangements. An example of this is compressed workweeks, where employees work 10-hour days in 4-day weeks.
You should also encourage employees to take time off to disconnect from work and recharge. Be sure to offer plenty of paid time off (PTO) and allow employees to take personal days as needed.
Improved employee retention
Engaged employees are more likely to stay with their organization and contribute to its success. By investing in employee engagement initiatives, businesses can improve employee retention and reduce recruitment, onboarding, and training costs.
How to achieve it
One of the best ways to improve employee engagement and retention is to offer workers professional development opportunities.
For example, you can create and deploy training courses that upskill or crosskill employees. You could also provide one-on-one mentoring, or give employees a stipend to spend on further education or training.
This helps employees develop new skills and grow within your organization. It also shows that you’re invested in their continued success. Workers who see themselves at your company in the long term are more likely to be engaged—and far less likely to accept other job opportunities.
Improved workplace safety
Disengaged employees tend not to follow best practices to ensure jobs are done safely. Instead, they look for ways to complete their tasks easily and more quickly. With this mindset, accidents are more likely to occur.
Employee engagement and workplace safety go hand in hand. A 2016 study found that companies with high employee engagement had 70% fewer safety accidents compared to companies with low engagement.
Poor workplace safety can lead to numerous problems—beyond workers getting injured. You can face poor company reputation, litigation costs, and difficulty attracting top talent.
How to achieve it
Remember that engaged employees are well-informed employees. So start by detailing safety protocols in your onboarding documentation. This way, new hires are aware of them right away. Include this information in your employee handbook as well.
From there, provide safety training and education to employees to help them identify and mitigate potential safety hazards. This can include regular safety workshops, safety drills, and safety protocol training. You can also distribute surveys that test or reinforce workplace safety practices. It’s also a good idea to create and share videos to update staff on new safety protocols.
Additionally, you can engage employees in safety initiatives by gathering feedback on potential hazards and solutions.
You might even create a safety committee with employee representatives. Employees can contribute their ideas and suggestions for safety solutions, making them feel important and engaged.
By empowering employees with the knowledge and skills to identify and address safety risks, you can increase employee engagement and improve workplace safety.
Increased customer satisfaction
Employees who are engaged are invested in their work. As a result, they’re more likely to go above and beyond when performing their duties. This means they provide excellent customer service.
Greater customer satisfaction is an important engagement goal to set, as it leads to more loyal customers, repeat business, and continued profitability.
How to achieve it
Employees who feel that customer satisfaction is a priority for your company are more likely to be engaged and motivated to provide great service. Clearly and consistently communicate the importance of quality customer service to all employees. You can do this through emails, video calls, meetings, or updates in your company newsfeed. Additionally, prioritize customer service in your company’s mission statement.
You should also provide resources and support to motivate your employees to provide excellent customer service. Consider holding customer service training sessions or sharing documents with tips and tricks for ensuring customer satisfaction.
To further aid in engaging employees, you can offer incentives to achieve customer service goals. For example, you could offer extra PTO for achieving high customer survey results.
Positive company culture
Company culture directly affects employee engagement, and vice versa. Positive company culture leads to more engaged employees, and engaged employees help promote company culture.
Workers who are engaged are more productive, communicative, and helpful. They also tend to have positive perceptions of your company, and their enthusiasm motivates others to work hard to reach company goals.
How to achieve it
Establishing a positive work culture involves the other drivers on this list. You should align employees with company goals and promote a safe and supportive work environment.
Plus, it’s important to facilitate open communication. Hold regular one-on-one meetings or use group and individual chats to talk with employees. This creates an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their opinions and concerns. In turn, it creates a positive and supportive company culture.
You should also foster a feeling of community among employees. To do this, you can host team-building activities like cooking classes or trivia nights for your team. This creates a sense of belonging, leading to increased engagement and a positive company culture.
Rewards and recognition are also important to company culture and employee engagement. Celebrate important employee milestones, wish them happy birthday, and offer a genuine “thank you” when they’ve done great work. You can also consider offering monetary rewards like regular bonuses and raises. This lets employees know they’re appreciated, which motivates them to continue working hard.
Employee engagement is a critical factor for business success. As you can create or optimize your employee engagement program, you need to establish clear employee engagement goals and objectives.
These goals include increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, improved employee retention, and increased customer satisfaction. There are many ways to achieve these goals, and by taking action today, you can ensure your workforce is engaged and your business is set up for success.