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 elevate your employee engagement efforts, investing in employee engagement software can significantly boost employee morale. Dedicated software streamlines your initiatives, allowing you to show employees you value them without detracting time from other priorities.

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

1) CSR Software

A CSR platform can do more than power your volunteer program. These platforms support multiple corporate philanthropy programs, such as:

  • Matching gifts, in which you match employees’ charitable donations
  • Employee assistance funds, in which you provide financial support to employees facing unexpected hardships or emergencies
  • Volunteer grant programs, in which you offer monetary donations to organizations where employees regularly volunteer

By facilitating various forms of giving, CSR software helps employees feel more connected to their community and your organization, boosting overall morale and engagement.

2) Appreciation Software

Appreciation software helps you recognize employees’ efforts. This can range from eCard software that allows employees to send shoutouts to coworkers, to platforms that award points or badges for a job well done.

If you prefer the points approach, choose a solution that allows you and your employees to select custom rewards. If you go the eCard route, choose an employee recognition eCard platform that lets you design custom eCards that emphasize your organization’s values and align with your branding.

Here’s a great example of a branded eCard that reinforces an organization’s values:

A screenshot of an employee recognition platform being used to send an eCard that says, “Thank you for committing to our value: Trust.”

By regularly acknowledging employees’ contributions in creative ways, you can foster a culture of recognition and appreciation. Doing so will help you maintain high levels of engagement and job satisfaction.

3) Employee Experience Software

Employee experience software typically includes survey tools for gathering feedback, raising concerns to the appropriate parties, and implementing employee input. By actively seeking and responding to employee feedback, you can create a more responsive and adaptive workplace culture.

Implementing Engagement Software

When implementing engagement software, make sure employees know how to use the tools and understand their benefits. Provide training sessions and resources to help them get comfortable with the new software. Additionally, gather feedback after rolling out your new software to ensure it meets employees’ needs and preferences.

Remember, the goal of these solutions is to enhance employee engagement, so be prepared to adjust your approach based on the feedback you receive.

By incorporating these types of dedicated software into your employee engagement strategy, you can create a more structured and sustainable approach to boosting workplace morale.

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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