How to Collaborate With Employees to Increase Engagement

Employees are the backbone of the workplace and every employee, from entry-level to C-Suite, plays a crucial role in driving business success. While employers have long understood the importance of an engaged workforce, the way employees feel about work has shifted. According to a U.S. employee engagement report published by Gallup, only 33% of employees felt engaged in their work and workplace in 2023. Now more than ever, it is crucial for organizations to focus on the employee experience. Not only do disengaged employees negatively affect revenue due to lack of productivity, they also negatively impact company culture. In this blog, I share examples of effective strategies to improve employee engagement to help you retain your workforce and achieve your growth goals.

Communicate Expectations Clearly, Early, and Often

Clear communication of expectations lays the groundwork for effective collaboration. When employees don’t understand what is expected of them, they lose the ability to actively contribute to organizational goals. Establish communication channels and rhythms that allow you to provide clearly stated, measurable outcomes with your workforce. Share broader organizational expectations in places like your employee portal, internal newsletters, and during company-wide meetings. Relay expectations for specific functional areas and individuals in one-on-ones, on team stand-ups or huddles, and during performance reviews. Regularly providing clear expectations, ensures alignment throughout the organization which minimizes misunderstanding and empowers employees to actively contribute in a productive way.

Encourage Two–Way Communication

Effective collaboration thrives on open dialogue, transparency, and feedback exchange. Your employees won’t be actively engaged if you’re leaving them in the dark by only communicating with senior leadership. Communication should go both ways in your organization. First, be transparent with employees by communicating key business decisions that affect them, their team, and the organization. Transparency from leadership stops employees from being caught off guard and allows them to adapt when changes occur. Second, encourage employees to regularly share their concerns and ideas. This can be done through providing an open-door policy, administering employee engagement surveys, and including 180-degree manager feedback in performance reviews. By encouraging two-way communication, you create a culture of collaboration that drives engagement and productivity.

Invest In the Right Technology

Technology became an integral part of corporate work culture during the pandemic as organizations were forced to adapt to remote work. While you may have integrated platforms like Zoom, Slack, or Microsoft Teams as communication tools in 2020, updating your technology is an innovative way to boost team collaboration. It is important the technology you choose makes communication easier for the demographics of your workforce. Although there may be some overlap, a fully remote company will generally need a more robust technology offering than a company whose employees work together in-person. If your organization supports remote work, your technology needs to allow remote teams to easily communicate with colleagues, share documents, and independently find information. Implementing technology systems such as project management and collaboration tools helps both remote and in-person teams streamline workflows and share ideas to increase efficiency and collaboration.

Recognize and Reward Good Work

Recognizing and rewarding employees for their contributions is a powerful motivator that fuels employee engagement. Acknowledging your employee’s efforts, both publicly and privately, boosts morale and reinforces desired behaviors and outcomes. Publicly recognizing achievements during team meetings and on shared communication platforms highlights the behaviors that get recognition within your organization, which encourages the rest of your team to perform similarly. In addition to public recognition, regularly provide individual recognition to direct reports. Recognizing employees one on one emphasizes the value they bring to the organization and creates a greater sense of belonging. By aligning recognition and rewards with organizational goals and values, you encourage collaboration by creating a culture centered on shared success.

Provide Professional Development Opportunities

Even the most competitive total rewards packages won’t keep employees from becoming disengaged if they feel stagnant in their roles, which is why investing in employee growth and development is crucial. The most impactful way to show employees their growth potential is through internal promotion. Create clearly defined career ladders for each functional area within your organization and train managers how to support their team’s development through goal setting and performance management. Regularly assess the skills of your current workforce to identify opportunities for internal promotion before going to market for an external hire. While promoting employees shows the rest of your workforce that long-term growth is achievable within the organization, you should also offer opportunities for professional development. Training courses, mentorship programs, and providing reimbursement for continuing education related costs are all great ways to promote continuous learning and collaboration to keep employees engaged.

Give Opportunities for Socializing

When it comes to collaboration, social connection is key. While after-hours social events tend to see less attendance, employees are more likely to spend time with colleagues outside of work when they’ve built relationships with one another. This means creating an environment where employees can get to know each other before relying on happy hours for team socialization. For in-person organizations, encourage employees to step away from their desks to take small breaks throughout the day. These breaks create opportunities for employees to have unplanned interactions with other colleagues while they’re making coffee, taking a walk around the office, or grabbing lunch. Non-structured interactions allow employees to organically build relationships and share ideas with one another, making future collaboration easier. Additionally, all organizations can benefit from hosting structured social events like team-building activities, offsites, and learning days. Investing in full or half-day social events during work hours not only ensures employee attendance, but also provides opportunities for cross-collaboration and socialization.

Increase Employee Engagement with HR Support

How employees feel about work is changing, which means your business needs to adapt if you want to foster an actively engaged workforce to achieve your growth goals. While the collaboration examples listed above can help you understand how to increase employee engagement, HR support is needed to implement these strategies to truly see results. Having a trusted HR partner to help drive change throughout your organization is important, and Red Clover is here to help! Contact us today to see how we can help you elevate your employee engagement to unlock the full potential of your workforce.

Photo Credit – Kindel Media:

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