HR Software

7 Ways to Improve Employee Engagement

Happy employees (1)

In today’s climate, it’s no wonder that you’d be looking for ways to improve employee engagement. Workers are dealing with some of the toughest hardships in recent times. Keeping them engaged and motivated is key to their wellbeing and critical to the success of your organisation.   

In this article, we will explore some practical strategies for improving employee engagement. By implementing these strategies, you can create a more positive work environment. This can lead to increased retention, reduced turnover, and better business outcomes.  

If you’ve explored our website, you’ll know that we specialise in HR software for SMBs. With that in mind, we’ll be weaving in our thoughts on how HR software can help you increase staff engagement. Let’s face it, if we didn’t address how HR software can help improve your staff engagement, it would be like turning up to a talent show without our props!  

So, let's dive in and take a closer look at how to improve employee engagement. 

1. Focus on efficiency

Focusing on efficiency can be one of the most effective ways to improve employee engagement. It contributes to higher levels of productivity and improved communication.  

4 Ways that focussing on efficiency can improve employee engagement:  

  • When employees feel that their time and efforts are contributing positively, they are more likely to feel motivated and engaged in their work.  
  • Reducing unnecessary workload can help employees focus on the most important aspects of their work. This can increase their sense of purpose and satisfaction.  
  • Providing employees with the tools they need to do their job efficiently can help them feel more supported and empowered.  
  • Improving communication and collaboration can lead to a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment. 

Overall, focusing on efficiency can create a more positive and productive work environment. This can help boost employee engagement. 

2. Listen and encourage feedback

Feedback is one of the most powerful HR strategies to improve employee engagement. It is a two-way street though. As an SMB, you should be working hard to encourage feedback at every stage of the employment cycle. The most obvious method of obtaining feedback is through employee appraisals. But, if your appraisal process is inconsistent and lacks structure, you may be missing key learnings for your business and staff.   

You may have heard of the term, 360 feedback. It’s where managers and peers share their views on their colleagues' performance. This is usually before the appraisal takes place. It can lead to more purposeful and meaningful feedback for the employee. But 360 feedback can be difficult to implement when done manually. HR software with built-in 360 feedback functionality makes the obtaining of feedback seamless.  

It utilises anonymous feedback forms that are collated and reflected on before the appraisal takes place. To learn more about 360 feedback and how it can help your business, read our detailed article.   

As we mentioned at the start of this section, feedback is a two-way street. Listening to and encouraging feedback from employees can boost employee engagement. When your employees feel that their ideas are valued, they are more likely to feel invested in your organisation.  

Encouraging feedback can also help: 

  • Identify and address problems 
  • Promote open and honest communication 
  • Create a sense of ownership and responsibility among employees  

Asking for opinions and using them to make informed decisions helps companies make a better place to work. This can lead to increased retention, satisfaction and engagement among employees. 

3. Invest in their training and education

When considering how to improve employee engagement, staff training can be effective. If employees feel their employer is investing in their growth, they are likely to feel valued. 

Training and education can also help employees build new skills and knowledge. They can use this to perform their job more effectively and advance in their career. This can lead to a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment. 

Some HR software providers offer a built-in digital learning platform. This is tailored to meet the compliance and training needs of your business and industry. However, this is often targeted at larger organisations. Such organisations would have an established training procedure in place. With that in mind, SMBs looking for a quick solution may not require this level of functionality.  

HR software for SMBs (like Access PeopleHR) often work off a ‘plug in and play’ model. Their core aim is to help SMBs cut down on manual, repetitive tasks. By saving time, SMBs build a consistent training schedule for their employees.  

By providing employees with the resources and tools they need, you are helping them feel more supported and empowered in their work.  

4. Boost their performance reviews

When performance reviews are regular, timely, and focused, they can be a powerful tool for performance management. Involving employees in the process can also help them feel more invested in their own development and progress.  

Feedback should be specific and actionable. Employees should also receive ongoing support and coaching. This way, you are helping employees achieve their goals. This can lead to an increased sense of motivation and engagement. 

A key feature of HR software is its performance review functionality. This helps SMBs conduct appraisals effectively and consistently. Often, SMBs struggle with conducting performance reviews due to time constraints and a lack of resources.  

HR software can help small businesses conduct performance reviews in a number of ways: 

  • Automating the process. HR software can help automate the performance review process. It can send out reminders to managers and employees and allows them to complete their reviews online. This can save time and make the process more efficient.   
  • Providing templates. Many HR software platforms provide templates for performance review forms. This can help small businesses ensure that they are covering all the necessary areas and gathering the right information.   
  • Tracking progress. HR software can help small businesses track employee performance over time. It can store past review data. This can be helpful in identifying patterns and areas for improvement.
  • Providing guidance. Some HR software platforms offer resources for conducting effective performance reviews. This can be especially helpful for small business owners and managers who may not have a lot of experience in this area.   
  • Facilitating communication. HR software can help communication during the review process. This makes it easier for employees to provide feedback and for managers to offer constructive criticism. 

5. Concentrate on employee well-being

When employees feel that their employer is concerned about their wellbeing, they are more likely to feel valued and supported. This contributes to a positive and supportive work environment. It also helps you tackle the issue of how to improve employee engagement. 

Examples of employee wellbeing initiatives to consider for your SMB: 

  • Mental health support. Counselling services, hosting workshops and promoting a healthy work-life balance are examples.   
  • Physical health support. Gym memberships or on-site fitness classes, healthy eating workshops, and promoting regular breaks.  
  • Workplace ergonomics. Providing ergonomic equipment (e.g. standing desks, ergonomic chairs). Also, conducting ergonomic assessments and hosting training on posture.   
  • Workplace culture. Promoting a positive and supportive work environment. Also, fostering strong relationships among co-workers, and recognising and celebrating employee achievements.   
  • Employee assistance programs. Providing access to a range of services, such as legal advice, financial counselling, and mental health support.  
  • Flexible work arrangements. Allowing employees to work from home, offering flexible start and end times, and providing paid time off. 

A strong focus on employee wellbeing can help promote healthy habits and practices. This can improve employees' physical and mental health, build trust and loyalty, and create a positive company culture. 

6. Recognise hard work

Recognising and rewarding hard work can be an effective way to boost employee engagement. It goes a long way in making employees feel valued. This will keep them motivated to continue putting in effort.  

HR software can help organisations recognise and reward hard work in a number of ways: 

  • Tracking performance data. HR software can help track employee performance data over time. This can be used to identify top performers and recognise their contributions.   
  • Providing tools for recognising and rewarding employees. Some HR software platforms include features for recognising and rewarding employees. This includes employee of the month programs, peer-to-peer recognition, and award programs.   
  • Facilitating communication. HR software can help facilitate communication between managers and employees. This can make it easier for managers to recognise and reward hard work in a timely manner.   
  • Providing resources for managers. Some HR software platforms provide resources and guidance for managers on how to recognise and reward employees.   
  • Automating the process. HR software can help automate the process of recognising and rewarding employees. This is done by sending out reminders to managers and tracking the distribution of rewards. This can help ensure hard work is recognised and rewarded.  

Recognition and rewards can also help build self-esteem. This will encourage continued effort and foster a positive work culture. This leads to a satisfied and engaged workforce. 

7. Enhance your company culture

A positive and supportive company culture can help employees feel more motivated and engaged in their work. It fosters a sense of purpose and belonging and encourages collaboration and teamwork.  

A strong company culture can also help attract and retain top talent. Employees are more likely to be attracted to and stay with organisations that align with their values and priorities.  

There are many ways that small businesses can enhance their company culture, including:  

  • Clearly communicate your company values. Ensure they are reflected in your company's policies and practices. This begins during the onboarding process, and can be facilitated by applicant tracking software.   
  • Encourage open communication. Encourage open and honest communication between employees and management through reliable feedback channels. You can achieve this through performance review software.  
  • Foster a sense of community. Encourage employees to build relationships with their co-workers. Host social events, team building activities, and networking opportunities.   
  • Promote work-life balance. Offer flexible work arrangements. Encourage employees to take breaks and disconnect when necessary.   
  • Recognise and reward hard work. Show appreciation for your employees' hard work. Recognition programs, award initiatives and other forms of appreciation are worth noting.   
  • Foster personal and professional growth. Encourage employees to pursue their professional goals. Offer training and development opportunities. Support them in their efforts to advance their careers.   
  • Foster a positive and inclusive work environment. Make sure that all employees feel welcomed and valued. Promote diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the business. Blind recruitment is a great way to achieve inclusivity in the workplace.  

A strong company culture leads to a more supportive work environment. This means increased retention, satisfaction, and engagement among employees. 

How to improve employee engagement with a HR system

Throughout this article, we’ve weaved in ways that a HR system can improve employee engagement. Here are some specific ways that a HR system can boost employee engagement: 

  • It can streamline HR processes and make it easier for employees to access information and resources. A HR system can help automate and streamline HR processes. This includes onboarding, performance evaluations, and benefits management. This can make it easier for employees to access the information and resources they need, improving their satisfaction.   
  • HR software can help improve communication and collaboration. A HR system can provide tools for employees to communicate and collaborate with each other and with management.   
  • It can provide data and insights for improving employee engagement. A HR system can provide data and insights on employee engagement through surveys and performance tracking. This can help organisations identify areas for improvement and action.   
  • HR software can help with employee development and training. Some HR systems can provide tools and resources for employee development and training. For example, learning management systems (LMS) and career development plans. This can help employees build new skills and advance in their careers, which can lead to increased engagement and motivation. Note: LMS is more likely to be included in HR software targeted for larger organisations.  

If you would like to find out more about HR systems and what they do, follow the aforementioned link.  

Next steps 

There is a need to improve employee engagement in today's world. Increased competition for top talent, changes in work and personal situations are all factors at play. In today's competitive job market, you need to do everything you can to attract and retain top talent.  

Employee engagement is a critical factor in this. Engaged employees are more likely to stay with you and be more productive.  

The nature of work is also changing rapidly. There are more flexible and remote working arrangements. There is also a greater emphasis on teamwork and collaboration.  

Improving employee engagement can help you adapt to these changes. This creates a positive and supportive work environment that encourages success.  

Let’s not forget that engaged employees are more productive, customer-focused, and innovative. This can lead to improved performance, customer satisfaction, and overall business success. By improving employee engagement, you can drive better business outcomes. You can also stay competitive in today's fast-paced and constantly changing business environment.  

HR software can also provide data and insights on employee engagement. It also provides resources for employee development and training. This can help organisations identify areas for improvement and action. So, if you’re interested in learning more about HR software, start a free trial with Access PeopleHR today. 

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Sheldon Walker
By Sheldon Walker New Business Sales Representative

Sheldon is a New Business Sales professional with Access PeopleHR. He is dedicated to helping SMBs thrive in today's competitive landscape. With over 5 years of experience in SAAS and HR software products, he has provided numerous clients with the tools to make their life easier. Sheldon's passions lie in helping clients achieve their goals and giving them the freedom to do more.