Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to their organization and its goals. Having emotional commitment means employees genuinely care about their work and the company they work for. They don’t just work for a paycheck or for the next promotion. They work on behalf of the organization’s goals.

The term employee engagement is not a new one, but since its original concept in 1990 and now, the way we view engagement in the workplace has shifted dramatically. Now, employees are juggling several responsibilities and employers have made considerable efforts to keep their employees from burning out on virtual meetings, all while trying to foster a feeling of connection and appreciation.

But, have employees felt appreciated during this time? According to a new study by Gallup, not so much. Only 36% of the workplace is engaged and 54% are either unhappy in their role or simply going through the motions. 40% of employees say they don’t feel appreciated for the work they’ve done during the pandemic.

Employee engagement is always critical, but it is critical now more than ever. In these unprecedented times it’s essential to stay connected with employees and remain tuned in to their mental and emotional needs.

So, are you wondering how to improve employee engagement in your team? At Odyssey Teams, we’ve come up with some of the best ways to increase employee engagement at your workplace:

1. Listen

Listen starts with list, so make a list in your mind as you listen. Be able to repeat back the three most important things you heard your employee say. Repeating these back to them validates and lets them clarify. As a result, employees will feel heard and understood.

2. Acknowledge

Acknowledge ends with knowledge. Praise gives employees the knowledge that their contribution matters. What is the knowledge your employees have demonstrated in their actions that you can celebrate and reinforce?

3. Connect

Let’s look at the words meaning – “To join together two or more things or to be joined together”. The words origination revolved around this connection happening physically. Though virtual meetings, or a good old fashioned phone call or text will do the trick. Make the effort to stay connected to your team. Doing so will boost your employees emotional commitment, and improve employee engagement as a result.

4. Extend

This one is a STRETCH. Raise your hand over your head as high as you can. No, really. Do that now before reading the next sentence. Ok, now extend another inch higher. Now another. And one more. If you did this, you understand that extending further than we think we can is often as simple as a request and belief that it just might be possible. Try to extend yourself a little further and encourage your employees to do the same. The possibilities are endless.

5. Celebrate

The first four in this list are simple, but not easy. Celebration is the re-charge so we can listen, acknowledge, connect and extend again. Celebrate the large victories along with the small ones. Take the time to reward your employees to show that their contribution to the team matters. This will go a long way when working to maintain and improve your employees engagement.

The connection between engagement, appreciation and a healthy workforce is undeniable. The lack of physical engagement we have all experienced has resulted in an unprecedented number of people who don’t feel appreciated or engaged in their work. Put these tips on how to improve employee engagement into action and notice the increase in happiness and productivity in your workforce.

Odyssey Teams delivers leadership and team development workshops that simultaneously benefit your people, teams, community and world, and significantly help to increase employee engagement. The unique combination of training and philanthropy allows our world-class facilitators to give a powerful, new perspective to the purpose of work and the importance of team collaboration and will inspire your employees to engage in a way never seen before.

Each program has a give-back component that is designed as a business simulation to emotionally anchor the specific values and mission of your organization. This creates an impact in real time with real customers who benefit in a life-changing way and affirms your organization’s commitment to corporate social responsibility in your communities.

If you’re looking for an event that will increase employee engagement in your workforce, contact us for a free program consultation today. We would love to hear from you. 

Written by Bill John, CEO of Odyssey Teams