Employee engagement is crucial for an organization because of its huge impact on business operations and profitability. It has become more important than ever as the work becomes more fragmented.
With more than 50% of employees working from home post-pandemic, employee engagement strategies look different than in the past few decades.
Keeping a strong company culture and creating a workplace environment where employees feel motivated and fulfilled are critical tasks. However, with budget cuts hitting many companies, spending money on something as intangible as employee engagement might seem unrealistic.
In this article, we’ll show you five effective ways to do employee engagement on a budget in 2023 and achieve higher engagement rates and customer satisfaction.
Why is Employee Engagement Important?
What do you think makes employees stick to your company besides a paycheck? What makes them emotionally invested in and committed to a company’s mission? Yes, you got it right, employee engagement.
For those working daily, being engaged with their job, company, and colleagues plays a crucial role in their overall satisfaction and experience. It improves work culture, boosts productivity, and builds healthy work and customer relationships. Highly engaged organizations get an average of 20% higher sales than those that are disengaged.
In addition, employee engagement helps keep employee retention high and reduce employee turnover costs. Calculations show that losing an outstanding employee can cost a company up to $20,000. You don’t only have to go through the entire hiring process, but you actually lose a valuable asset of your company with all the experience and understanding of your company.
5 Ways to Do Employee Engagement on A Budget
Here are 5 proven ways to achieve employee engagement on a budget:
1. Focus on the Impactful Basics
A lot of great engagement comes from impactful basics that don’t cost anything beyond time and intention. Keep in mind that teamwork, flexible work conditions, growth opportunities, and good leadership and management practices foster employee engagement. Nurturing one-on-one connections between employees and managers can push engagement across the entire organization.
Lead researcher at Culture Amp, Fresia Jackson shared that the best engagement often comes from basic conversations between managers and employees. Such as talking to the employees about their thoughts and suggestions like “Where do you want to see yourself in the company 2 years from now? Or is there anything you want to change in your workplace environment?”
2. Be Creative
Planning and implementing engaging activities and events in the workplace can be challenging when you are on a budget. Try to be creative and come up with activities that are inexpensive and easy to implement. Here are some creative ideas and fun activities that will help you keep your employees engaged without breaking the bank.
Organizing a coworker coffee date is one of the most effective ways to engage your team and increase productivity. It helps the team members get to know each other better and spark creativity which is lost somewhere under the huge pile of work stress. If you have hybrid teams, this could be the best chance for them to experience that much-needed social interaction for their mental health.
Back of the Napkin
This may seem like some secret message in some crime thriller movie, but it’s literally it’s just a simple way of looking at problem-solving. In this team-building activity, each team member draws the solution to a problem on the back of the napkin. You can pair people into teams to break down communication barriers between team members of different departments and solve complex problems more effectively.
Go to the Market
This is a non-typical team-building activity to enhance employee engagement in a fun way. Plan group tours to the markets, fairs, and informative expos to get employees out of work mode and bond with team members in an entirely different environment.
3. Connect with your Employees
Employee engagement is not only HR’S job. Everyone on your team should be equally involved in this shared mission. As weird as it may sound, employees can drive more genuine engagement as they are more connected with their coworkers.
Organize events that cost nothing, like one-on-one meetings, lunches, peer-to-peer Q &A’s, and fire-side chats to drive engagement, connect employees at different levels, and help them loosen up to break down silos in the organization.
4. Involve your Managers
Employee engagement is not a job for HR alone.
Managers play a crucial role in increasing employee engagement and have the power to “make or break” it. Getting your managers involved in developing activities to increase employee engagement will boost its legitimacy and acceptance.
Make them community managers that play a role in engaging and retaining employees.
5. Share the Costs
Some employee engagement activities need investment, no matter how cost-effective you try to be. Rather than bearing all expenses on your own, get help from companies like FlexOS to deliver employee engagement activities at a fraction of the cost of hiring your own trainers and share the cost across several companies with similar needs.