How to Improve Employee Engagement With 5 Practical Steps


Employee Engagement is already having an impact on your business, whether you realise it or not. Employee Engagement directly impacts your teams’ behaviours. So, if you’re happy, or frustrated with your team’s performance – that’s caused by Engagement.

Therefore, it makes sense to do what you can to improve Employee Engagement within your own business.

Here is a great step by step process to get you started.


1. Measure – survey your team

Start with a survey which will give you a line in the sand. A starting point. It will allow you to track your progress over time.

This survey is a great way to understand what part of your teams’ experience is having the greatest impact on their Engagement. 

Your survey should have the right mix between operational questions such as processes and communications, and softer questions about the culture and facilities you provide.

As a benchmark, our experience suggests you can expect a participation rate of about 73%. An incentive will undoubtedly help improve that. A common incentive would be putting respondents names into a draw for a meal in a nice restaurant.


2. Design a framework

Now that your survey has given you a better understanding of your teams’ frustrations, and what’s important to them, it’s time to design your Employee Engagement framework using our six pillars below. This framework will help you to shape your desired employee experience and culture.

Our Six Pillars to Employee Engagement.

  • Operations
  • Communications
  • Training & Development
  • Leadership
  • Culture
  • Wellbeing

The perks and terms of employment that a company might provide (such as extra holidays, rate of pay, meals, etc.) do have a role to play. But on their own, they are simply not enough. More fundamentally, you need to be mindful of the basics (such as communications, respect, etc). You’d be surprised just how big of an impact that these frustrations have on employees and their engagement levels.  

That doesn’t mean you don’t do all of those great things; it just means you need to start with the basics first! Get them right consistently! 

Use the six pillars as a framework to design what best practise is for your organisation.

Operations is all about the processes and procedures, tools to do the job, obstacles in their way.

Communications is about whether they know what’s going on in the business on a daily basis. Do they know what’s expected of them?

Training and development is about the on-boarding, on the job training, progression opportunities.

Leadership is about the experience with their line manager and senior management.

Culture is about how they work together as a team. Behaviours and Values

Wellbeing is about the facilities you provide, work-life balance, stress, LTIPS (long term incentive plans).

This will, of course, take some time, but it will give you the framework to show, train and measure against. It’s your blueprint for your desired employee experience.


3. Action plans

Once you’ve completed the two steps above, it’s time to take action.

Your action plans need to be broken into two parts.

  • A macro company-wide action plan to tackle the big long-term changes
  • Micro plans that are department-specific.

The survey results will give you great insight into the experience your team are having in each department within your business. Comparing their experience to your blueprint will provide you with a gap analysis. These will feed into your department action plans.

Use an action plan template that marks out the six pillars, along with what needs to be done under each pillar, by who, and by when.


4. Empower your managers

It’s important to remember that Employee Engagement is not just an initiative for your HR Department. Your front line managers have a bigger role to play, delivering on engagement day-in, day-out.

More often than not, managers get promoted to management level for being excellent operators. For example, a great bar attendant being promoted to Bar Manager, or a great salesperson being promoted to Sales Manager. But as soon as they get promoted, they’re now no longer a bar attendant; they’re now a manager – which is an entirely different role with a very different skill set.

Being a great manager is a skill that needs to be learned. Take the time to train your managers to be managers, and support and empower them to help them grow into their new role.


5. Re-survey

Now that you have your Employee Engagement programme in place, you need to track your progress and make quick changes or corrective action as issues emerge.

Typically a full employee survey would be repeated bi-annually. But short and quick pulse surveys throughout the year can be a great way to monitor your progress with pressing issues.


Our last word…

Executing an Employee Engagement programme delivers amazing benefits. Particularly now, in an era of uncertain times, companies are accelerating their plans to improve engagement and maximise productivity, and the steps above will guide you in developing your own programme.

If you’d like further support, we’d be more than happy to talk to you at

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