Employee Engagement Strategies for Attracting & Retaining Your Workforce
September 28, 2022
By Taylor Zansberg
The world of work has done quite the 360 since the emergence and now aftereffects of COVID-19. A large part of the workforce has learned that not only can they do their job remotely, but they can do it even more productively. Business News Daily says:
“Remote workers appear to be working longer hours while enjoying a healthier work-life balance and reduced stress.”
The way we work, why we work, and how we work now have all been re-evaluated since many of us were in lockdown on and off for 2+ years and were forced to work from home. This has brought up the time and space for both self-reflection and for businesses and employers to reflect on what is best for their employee’s well-being, as well as what is best for their bottom lines.
Many employees and employers have now reprioritized what’s important to them and what employee engagement strategies now make the most sense. Employee motivation can vary significantly.
Many factors impact what an employee prioritizes in their life and career. For example, Jim Hopkinson, an employee at Microsoft, reflected,
“I've seen my priorities around benefits change throughout my career. When I was out on my own as an entrepreneur and single, finding the lowest cost program that covered basic medical expenses and putting aside money when I could was just fine. But now that I'm married with 2 children, having a comprehensive family health plan is much more important. I'm so grateful to have benefits that covered a lot of the childbirth expenses and allowed me to take 3 months paid leave to bond with my newborn and support my wife, as well as a generous 401(k) match and other quality of life perks."
Similarly, Sven Ahrens of Spotify, posted on LinkedIn right before he took his 6-month paid paternity leave, saying how much he valued that time to be with his wife and newborn child.
There are lots of different ways to support your employees, and many employees are expecting more than a salary and healthcare benefits. That’s why it’s crucial to understand how to motivate employees as a manager because it can vary so much.
What works for one employee or employer may not work for another. There are other ways, big and seemingly small, to recognize employees and make them feel special, which in turn could significantly reduce employee turnover. For example, at Inspirus, parents of school-aged children were given $25 Target gift cards to help with their back-to-school shopping efforts.
To publicize this effort and let employees know about this opportunity, Inspirus shared about it in a Spotlight within the Connects employee engagement platform. Spotlights are the area of the platform which can be configured as self-service and used to showcase brand-specific stories, news, events, and other initiatives that need to be communicated to the entire workforce.
Andrew Lantz, a new hire at Inspirus, said of this experience:
”The gift card was for $25- it was enough to show they care about the family. Real nice for them to realize and know we have other things going on, that we care about outside of work.”
There are a host of different ways to show your employees you care and recognize their efforts in and outside the office. Not only has the way we work changed, but so has the way we expect to be recognized and rewarded.
Here are some other creative employee motivation strategies that can help attract and retain your employees:
- Offer personal and career development opportunities, like coaching, mentoring, online courses or certifications, conferences, and more.
- Have a mandatory “Learning Day” once a month or once a quarter, where everyone in the company takes a day off to learn something new. It could be related to their job function or not, and then at the next all-hands meeting, each person can share what they learned. Whether they read a book on SEO or took an online course on meditation, this is a great and inexpensive way to support the growth and wellbeing of your employees and improve team culture.
- Provide your employees with a series of discounts they can use to frequent local establishments in their hometown. For example, at Microsoft, they have a program called Passport, where Jim’s favorite perk is a buy one, get one free entrée at his local Ale House. It’s important to realize life outside the office also influences the employee experience.
- Provide a monthly or yearly stipend to be used on wellness activities or home office supplies. Some employees prefer gym memberships, while others may prefer a standing desk or ergonomic chair or 34’’’ curved monitor for their home office. Giving your employees some autonomy in their benefits is very empowering.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to finding new and inspiring ways to attract, motivate, and retain employees. Think outside the box and have fun! Sometimes, something as simple as a personalized message on Connects, our signature employee engagement solution, recognizing someone’s hard efforts is just what is needed to make an employee’s day. Want more employee engagement ideas? Be sure to subscribe to our blog here.