10 Proven Ways to Improve Employee Engagement & Well-Being

Building a thriving organization requires employee engagement and well-being. Find out what you can do to boost these aspects in your company.

Productive and motivated employees form the lifeblood of successful, growing organizations. Studies show that engaged employees are 20% more productive and 75% less likely to indulge in absenteeism. Acknowledging this, boosting engagement and well-being is critical to building a thriving organization. 

What exactly do these concepts mean, though?

  • Employee engagement encompasses the quality of an organization's relationship with its employees. It includes employees' emotional commitment, enthusiasm, and dedication to the organization.
  • Employee well-being addresses employees’ holistic needs, including physical and mental health, financial security, and a sense of community belonging. It also addresses optimism about where and how they work and their ability to maintain a stable work-life balance. 

Boosting employee engagement and well-being aspects is necessary to:

  • Ensure workers are tethered to organizational goals and policies 
  • Enhance employee retention and loyalty
  • Spur innovation and creativity
  • Deliver excellent end-customer experiences
  • Boost employee health, wellness, and morale
  • Build a positive work culture

Despite the benefits, engagement and well-being receive little focus in modern organizations. Most merely focus on paychecks to motivate employees. Unsurprisingly, 90% of employees feel their work-life needs more attention to engagement and well-being. Worse, it’s seen that disconnected and disengaged workers display tendencies to quit their jobs en masse. 

The employee engagement and well-being deficit is more acute for deskless workers

Studies show that 75% of the global workforce is deskless and operates at the frontline. Of this group, 37% are likely to quit within six months due to a lack of focus on their engagement and well-being, poor work-life balance, and inflexibility.

So, how do you ensure employee engagement and well-being take center stage in your organizational operations for frontline and in-office employees? Let’s look at 10 actionable ways.

10 easy ways to improve employee engagement & wellbeing 

Empower workers to exercise their agency

Research says a perceived lack of control in the work environment strongly correlates with poor physical and mental health, harboring employee resentment and dissatisfaction. Therefore, ditch micromanaging or enforcing regimented work schedules immediately. Instead,

  • Empower employees to exercise their agency by letting them choose when and how they work. For instance, start promoting an asynchronous communication culture.
  • Encourage employees to be proactive and incentivize forthcoming behavior. Reward those taking the initiative.

Strike a balance between responsibility-bearing and sharing

Studies show that being overburdened with responsibilities results in stress and impacts health and well-being. Conversely, urging employees to solve problems collaboratively reduces the desire to quit and enhances job satisfaction. For this, you must:

  • Avoid overburdening employees with extra work. This leads to burnout, attrition, and poor productivity. 
  • Encourage them to delegate tasks they cannot do themselves helps and collaborate wherever they feel they must.
  • Build a sense of shared ownership by incentivizing proactive problem-solving and ensuring employee involvement is noticed and rewarded.

Encourage learning and development

Presence of learning and development (L&D) opportunities positively impacts employee morale and satisfaction at work. Kahoot’s recent workplace culture report found that nine in ten frontline workers considered the learning and development opportunities available to them a deciding factor as to whether they would stay in their current role.

Interestingly, many organizations invest in extending L&D opportunities. Yet, their employees often fail to take advantage of them due to issues like lack of time, difficulty accessing, etc. To address,

  • Create a centralized learning hub. Infuse it with short-form content and videos to disseminate training material. Make them available across platforms to ensure ease of access.
    Case example - Kalahari Resorts, an African-themed chain of resorts, used an all-around employee communication tool to disseminate their wellness-related content. They also launched a forum to track one’s physical and mental health, financial wellness, career development, and work-life balance. With this endeavor, they noticed increased consumption of wellness-related content, which also resulted in an overall engagement increase. 
  • Encourage learning at one’s own pace. To keep the momentum, automate sending regular reminders regarding learning status.
  • Reward employees who complete consuming training material to create a learning culture.

Enhance communication at work

Engagement is a social concept that’s successful when communication is timely, accurate, and open. To enhance it, 

  • Build a mechanism to facilitate smooth two-way communication
  • Ensure you collect timely employee feedback, conduct surveys and interviews, and implement digital suggestions/complaints boxes. 
  • Reassure and encourage those usually silent to participate during digital and physical team meetings. Allow them to share their views anonymously or through private text messages.

Highlight the importance of socialization

Supportive relationships among colleagues help foster enhanced employee well-being and a sense of belonging. Moreover, socialization is an essential component of “being at work.” To strengthen this, you must

  • Encourage socialization, mentorships, and friendships among employees both online and offline. You can assign buddies, hold regular town halls, and more to provide such opportunities.
  • Identify and incentivize help-seeking behavior or knowledge sharing. For example, you can encourage sharing such instances on your employee app.
    Dominos understood the importance of this. Its employees often found it difficult to contact each other beyond a point. They also struggled to process an increasing volume of orders. The company created its employee hub, Domino's Chat, to address this. Coworkers started connecting seamlessly and sharing thoughts and best practices. Socializing enhanced their sense of belonging. The best part is that they learned from each other and started making pizza twice as fast.
  • Encourage recognition as a part of your organizational culture. Examples include employee-employee appreciation, newsletter mentions, and physical and digital appreciation walls.

Encourage building a community

While socialization occurs between smaller groups, community building is broader and impacts engagement significantly. This requires a top-down approach that uses events, shifts in organizational culture, and actionable strategies such as implementing social features on the employee communication app. For building communities, 

  • Encourage forming groups and forums based on shared interests or hobbies with a rotational leadership or moderation system. 
  • Normalize social validation with the help of likes, shares, and comments from both senior management and peers to create a healthy digital culture. You could encourage conversation on an employee app to make this more accessible.
  • Put effort into getting your deskless workers to meet up at physical events. These are valuable photo-ops too.

Amend mental health policies to be more inclusive

Research reveals a disconnect between what employers think about their mental health policy and what employees feel about it. While 65% of employers believe they support mental health through existing policies, only 51% of all employees and 27% of frontline employees agree. Furthermore, mental stigma is widespread, and 67% of employees with mental health issues find it difficult to find professional help. The presence of such problems impedes engagement. To address this,

  • Run mental awareness campaigns and events.
  • Create a mental health support team with registered professionals or a buddy system if you cannot afford in-house care. This ensures that those in need will have someone to talk to and be guided toward professional care. 
  • Make confidential and anonymous communication channels available for in-house and frontline workers to seek help without difficulties. 

    Manage pushback against DEI policies

DEI policies are essential and are widely implemented. However, nearly 50% of employees reveal that their colleagues resent DEI efforts. Managing the pushback with empathy, collaboration, and focus on systemic change is critical. For this, you must:

  • Conduct DEI awareness campaigns and training programs without alienating many employees. 
  • Implement inclusive language guidelines for communication.
    For example, Basic-Fit implemented the pronouns feature on its employee communications platform, allowing employees to indicate their preferred pronouns in their profiles easily. This ensures they’re addressed respectfully.
  • Humanize people from minority groups by sharing their stories on employee engagement apps with their consent. 

Make technology accessible 

Workers use various tech solutions to work, communicate, and socialize.  Poor user experience (UX) and unfriendly user interface (UI) in these tools reduce productivity and exacerbate stress and cognitive issues. Furthermore, most communication technology is picked with only desk workers in mind. This prevents the frontline workforce from being able to communicate easily. 

To ensure consistent and straightforward communication for all,

  • Use minimalist and user-friendly technology that doesn’t require a lot of operations to communicate and consume content. 
  • Ensure that all your mobile apps support single-hand operations without requiring many gesture controls, which is particularly important for workers on the go. 

Suggested Read: Empowering Employee Engagement & Retention with Cutting-Edge Communication Technology 

Measure and iterate engagement

Finally, measuring critical employee engagement and well-being indicators is vital to understanding whether your policies and campaigns work. You can leverage findings to make improvements and achieve tangible improvements. For this,

  • Conduct A/B tests, iterate, and update your employee engagement app to address problems as they arise. 
  • Track aspects like employee performance, absenteeism, satisfaction, and engagement scores. These give a good idea of what’s happening at the ground level.
  • Observe how the metrics evolve, and leverage that understanding to recalibrate your approach. 

Bottom line: Happy and engaged employees are your greatest assets

Ensuring employee engagement and well-being is essential to keeping workers happy and connected. It also motivates them and ensures optimum performance. Boosting these aspects requires focusing beyond providing attractive paychecks. What’s needed is to put the right processes in place that increase connectedness, focus on physical and mental health, and enable learning and growth.

Ensuring robust internal communications using a user-friendly employee app provides an easy way to implement the different tips we’ve shared here.

Download this whitepaper to learn more about the ROI of using a Mobile-First Employee Communications Platform.