employee engagement

By Lauren Kollauf on Monday, July 15, 2019

How to be the reason your employees are connected and engaged at work

Employees who are engaged at work are valuable. They give 57 percent more effort and are 87 percent less likely to resign, according to Gallup.


However, only 30 percent of employees are engaged at work!

Despite employee satisfaction being at a 10-year high, it is not translating into employee happiness and engagement. Why is that? Tanya Fish and Pleasure Allen from ITA Group explored ways to increase employee engagement during a session at the 2019 Healthiest State Annual Awards on May 14.

ITA Group related employee engagement back to the types of benefits that workplaces offer:

Functional Benefits: What does this company help me accomplish? (Pay, traditional benefits, wellness programming) 

Emotional Benefits: How do I feel working at this company? (Employee relationships, mentoring, inclusion policies)

Identity Benefits: What does working at this company say about me? (An employee's autonomy and purpose)

pleasureWhile employers often focus on the functional benefits for employees, on a scale of relative importance in predicting engagement, emotional and identity benefits outweigh functional benefits. In reality, less than 25 percent of employees feel they are connected with others and nearly 40 percent aren't proud to share where they work, according to Chadwick, Martin & Bailey.

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Companies must foster the emotional and identity benefits for their employees if they wish to truly create a culture of connectivity to ultimately increase engagement and organizational success.

How can companies do that? ITA Group offered some suggestions to increase the emotional and identity benefits of your workplace:

  • Hold leadership roundtables or town-hall meetings with top company leaders to allow all employee voices to be heard.
  • Create a coaching/mentoring program based on empathy so employees have an opportunity to grow outside of annual reviews.
  • Make the on-boarding experience memorable and personal. Allen shared an example of how during her on-boarding experience, her supervisor sent her family movie tickets. 
  • Develop a program to pair new employees with a "buddy" to show them the ropes and learn the culture of the company.
  • Hold regular "stay conversations" with team members to let them know they are valued before they make a decision to leave.
  • Recognize your employees in the way they want to be recognized (personal letter vs. company-wide recognition). Create a spotlight program to regularly recognize employees.
  • Celebrate wins! Completing large projects deserve to be celebrated. At ITA Group, one team leverages a gong (one example of many) to simply but effectively recognize team achievements.
  • Create networking events within your company through volunteerism, special interest groups, cross-department meet-ups or lunch/coffee meetings.
  • Include family members when possible, whether through team outings or family-friendly company events so employees can share their work with their family members.

With any effort to improve culture, the key is consistency. Don't let town hall meetings be a one-time event, skip a month of recognition or forget to follow-up with your buddy. Commit and invest in building a culture around connectivity at your workplace.