How to improve employee engagement: Tips & tactics for HR teams

  •  By
  •  Murray Humphrey

For HR and People leaders tasked with finding ways to improve employee engagement, it can be hard to implement new and impactful changes. It's a process we've experienced ourselves here at Penfold.

We’ve put together some practical tips to help you show your employees that they’re valued and improve employee engagement across all of the teams in your business.

What is employee engagement?

Let's start with the basics. Employee engagement is about creating a culture in the workplace where employees feel invested in and enjoy their day-to-day work.

For employers, there are many different ways to measure employee engagement that range from a more traditional survey route to collaborative methods like focus groups. Measuring progress and engagement is key to finding new and impactful ways to improve employee engagement.

Why should HR teams prioritise employee engagement?

Boosting employee engagement benefits the wider business in more ways than one. Employees are happier in their roles, and evidence suggests that this leads to improved productivity.

The business will also see a reduction in staff turnover with an engaged workforce, and therefore a reduction in overheads and resource allocation for recruitment.

For businesses, it is a priority to keep productive staff engaged whilst finding ways to help less-efficient staff become more eager to help the business progress.

Top tips to improve employee engagement

Employee engagement is no longer just about choosing the best employee benefits package for your team. Instead, HR teams must craft a culture that prioritises well-being and ensures teams across the business feel valued.

1. Create open communication channels

Many successful HR teams are able to open clear and trusted communication channels between employees and leaders. This can help not only reduce minor annoyances that cause talented staff to leave but can also help identify easy wins for improving employee engagement. Establishing an employee voice that creates a two-way communication channel can be an invaluable tool for businesses.

2. Choose a pension that helps them save

Traditional “fun” employee benefits don’t have quite the same impact as they used to. With the current economic difficulties, employees are prioritising financial security and well-being above novelty benefits.

Implementing easily accessible and manageable workplace pensions has quickly become important to many highly-skilled workers. Employees want to prioritise and solidify their financial futures and employers can offer an easy win that demonstrates how much they value their teams (and keeps them auto enrolment compliant). Find out more about pensions for HR teams.

3. Consider flexibility

The last couple of years have made a lot of workers reevaluate their work-life balance and where (and when) they are the most productive. HR teams can help to improve employee engagement by being flexible with workers and finding solutions that work for their well-being, family circumstances and general workflow. For more, don't miss our 7 tips for managing employees remotely.

4. Invest in your employees

One of the most common reasons that talented workers leave a business is that they see barriers to their own progression or a lack of opportunity within their own role. Employers can offer effective CPD programmes that allow talented workers to continue to progress and grow both individually and within the business. Not only does it make employees feel valued, but the additional skills can also contribute to the success of the business.

5. Champion employee wellbeing

HR teams are increasingly aware of mental health and employee well-being in the workplace. Leaders should check in on their teams and ensure that workloads are manageable and try and avoid burnout. Cardiff University found that where employees were persistently working at a level considered to be “very hard”, their well-being was almost always lower.

6. Reward and recognise

Hard-working employees deserve to be rewarded and recognised, and this can go a long way in improving employee engagement. A consideration for inconsistent teams or those where some are very engaged and others aren’t might be looking into performance-based rewards.

SHRM found that performance-based incentives can boost high-performing employees' retention (while also increasing low-performing employees’ turnover). For ambitious businesses this approach can mean improving the quality of teams, increasing engagement, and creating a better pool of key personnel to contribute to the success of the business.

A better way to improve employee engagement

Employee engagement continues to be absolutely essential to businesses in terms of retention and growth, but the priorities for employees have very much changed. Employees are no longer looking for bean bags in the office or some table football in the break room.

Instead, talented team members are prioritising their own well-being, progress and financial security with things like bonuses and pensions. Learn more about implementing a workplace pension that prioritises your team and improves engagement: Request more information today.

A photo of Murray Humphrey

Murray Humphrey


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