6 Employee Engagement Strategies for the Modern Workplace

By susanlienau | May 29, 2018 | Philanthropy Operations
This article shares several employee engagement ideas to boost workplace satisfaction and recruit top talent.

No matter what business you’re in, it’s key to keep your employees engaged in order to make sure they’re satisfied with their work. Having a happier workforce means less turnover, fewer absences, and a more general sense of well-being throughout the office. And for those working in the nonprofit sector in particular, it’s even more important to keep spirits and morale high – there’s a lot of good work to be done, but it can be hampered by unengaged employees who just don’t seem to want to put in the effort.

When it comes to motivation, there’s no shortage of office perks out there – everything from gym memberships to laundry services to free meals – but it’s important to implement strategies that work for emotional fulfillment (corporate social responsibility is a big one here!) as well as physical comfort. As a bonus, having a more engaged workplace means you’ll likely start to attract a higher quality of employees, which means a stronger front line in general.

But where do you start, and how do you ensure that overzealous staff won’t take advantage of too much leniency and start slacking off? We’ve got you covered with five strategies for employee engagement in the workplace:

This image shows six employee engagement strategies, as outlined in the text below.

Have flexible working hours

A lot of modern workplaces are eschewing the punchclock-style 9-to-5 hours and instead letting employees choose whichever hours are best for them (some are more productive early in the morning, while some are more productive late at night!). Taking a more relaxed approach to when staff arrive and leave work shows good faith as well as understanding for individuals who are parents or have other personal responsibilities. Resist the urge to micromanage – if they’re being extremely lax in their working hours, their productivity will show it!

You could also consider the added bonus of seasonal hours which, for example, could allow employees to leave at noon on Fridays before long weekends in the summertime.

Allow employees to work from home

Much like having flexible work hours, the option to work from home is attractive to many current and prospective employees – particularly if they’re dealing with responsibilities outside of the office at the same time. Giving them the freedom to work from anywhere as well as tackle other matters could be a huge stress reliever, which results in happier people.

Plus again, it’s a demonstration that you have faith your employees will get the job done without you looking over their shoulder constantly. Letting your employees work “on their honor” is how to build a sense of accountability and responsibility.

Set up the office for success

Although you’re offering the work-from-home option, you still want to make sure your office space is inviting to work from – after all, a motivational open space makes for productive staff. If possible, choose colors and designs that are bright and inspiring, or look for office accessories to liven up the atmosphere (pool or ping-pong tables are a huge hit).

Also, if you’re working with open concept, consider having separate breakout rooms and soundproofed quiet rooms for when people need to get down to business. Having personal quiet spaces is essential to making sure your staff feels comfortable.

Start a volunteer program

71% of employees think it’s important to work at a company that participates in philanthropy and volunteering. Even if you’re a nonprofit yourself, it’s always worth looking at opportunities to give back to the community! Think about setting aside a few days a year for your employees to sort canned goods at a food bank, clean up a local park, or lend a hand at a soup kitchen.

If you’re looking for flexibility, consider allowing 1-2 days per year for employees to have off so they can choose to volunteer or do volunteer work for a charity of their choosing. You already know that your nonprofit’s staff have big hearts – it’s good to spread that spirit around!

How to drive participation in volunteerism

To increase participation in your volunteer program, consider implementing CSR software. This type of platform benefits businesses and nonprofits alike by organizing CSR opportunities like volunteering.

Find a CSR platform that allows nonprofits to post volunteer opportunities. That way, you can encourage your employees to participate in activities that actually interest them. If your own organization is looking for volunteer help, you can seek out these types of platforms and add your own volunteer opportunities.

With a dedicated CSR platform, your employees can register for volunteer outings and track their hours. Then, you can report on metrics such as the number of volunteer hours contributed and the types of causes your employees support.

This reporting can differentiate your nonprofit from others by demonstrating your commitment to helping a variety of charitable causes, not just your own. You can also mention these metrics in your recruitment and hiring processes to attract employees with a giving spirit.

However, the main benefit your organization will receive from implementing a volunteer program with the help of CSR is increased employee engagement. The ease of use of your CSR platform will make it incredibly simple for employees to get involved in your program and feel more connected to the workplace as a result.

Encourage social & team-building activities

Forward-thinking workplaces often have social committees made up of employees that put together events like movie nights, sports teams, or after-work dinners. Having these types of activities can help employees feel more at home in the workplace, as well as build friendships with their colleagues that can assist them in being more productive at work.

One step further is team-building exercises with the specific purpose of bringing colleagues closer together and demonstrating how well they can work together as a team – think escape rooms, trust exercises, or problem-solving puzzles. It’s even better if you can get out of the office to do some team-building – this gives it more of an “event” feel, as well as a little break from sitting at a desk all day.

Employee health and well-being, corporate social responsibility, and generally making a company a more attractive place to work are all great reasons to promote employee work-life balance. Try out some of the above strategies and see how well they work for your team!

Drive motivation with dedicated software

If you’re ready to take your employee engagement efforts to new heights, investing in employee engagement software can be the stepping stone to increased employee morale. Overall, dedicated software can facilitate many of your efforts, so you can show employees you value their experiences without detracting time from other priorities.

Using dedicated software can make your employee engagement initiatives more organized and structured, ultimately allowing you to grow your efforts sustainably over time. Plus, you can more accurately track the effectiveness of your program to determine if your initiatives are truly the best fit for your employees.

360MatchPro’s employee engagement software guide outlines a few tools that can help boost workplace morale:

  • CSR software: While we mentioned this type of solution can power your volunteer program, it can facilitate much more than that. These platforms help you carry out holistic corporate philanthropy programs, such as matching gifts, employee assistance funds, and volunteer grant programs.
  • Appreciation software: This includes any solutions that help show employees your gratitude and recognize their efforts. This can include eCard software that employees can use to shout out their coworkers or software that gives employees points or badges for a job well done.
  • Employee experience software: This type of software usually includes survey tools for gathering employee feedback, reporting on trends, and implementing employee input into your engagement strategy.

To implement this type of software effectively, make sure employees know how to use it. Be sure to ask for their feedback as you roll out the new tools. Ultimately, these solutions are meant to improve employee engagement, so if something’s not working, adjust your approach to align your goals with your software solutions better.

Author Bio

Caitlin Hotchkiss is the content and social media manager for FrontStream, covering all the best and latest news and tips for fundraising success. With many years as an online influencer, she works to stay ahead of the trends by keeping one eye on upcoming online tools and the other on established favorites, spreading the good word of charities and nonprofits across the digital landscape.

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