As the world of work unfolds in unpredictable ways, engaging employees becomes not just a strategy but a pulsating heartbeat, driving teams forward. It serves as the central engine propelling success in all thriving businesses. According to a new report, companies with high employee engagement levels are 22% more profitable and effective than those with low employee involvement.
A positive work environment increases engagement, morale, and retention. As a result, your organization is more productive. Simply put, your company will reap the benefits of investing in your employees in the long run.
However, developing and implementing an effective plan can be challenging for companies. It’s time to solve this problem! With the help of this guide, you will discover how to design an employee engagement action plan that drives the long-term commitment of teams and your company’s growth.
What Is an Employee Engagement Action Plan?
Firstly, let me elaborate on a simple definition of employer engagement. Accordingly, employee engagement is the level of commitment, enthusiasm, and connection that employees have towards their work, colleagues, and the company as a whole. Hence, in order to raise employee participation levels, it is necessary to implement a program, such as an employee engagement action plan.
An employee engagement action plan, or EEAP, is a comprehensive action program that aims to enhance and strengthen employee engagement in the workplace.
This plan is more of a road map that specifies the precise objectives you want to reach, the initiatives you plan to take, and how you will measure the results. What’s the purpose? Ultimately, the goal is to cultivate dedicated and engaged teamwork.
Why Creating an Action Plan for Employee Engagement is Important
A former chief executive of Xerox, Anne Mulcahy, has a valuable employee engagement quote:
“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person—not just an employee—are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”Anne Mulcahy, Xerox
In addition to some CEOs’ opinions, research has also confirmed these observations. For instance, the HBR examined around 600 companies with over 500 employees. In their study, 71% of managers cited employee engagement as a key component of overall business success.
Yet again, disengaged employees pose an even more significant challenge—they not only lack productivity but also actively hinder progress. A survey by Gallup shows that actively non-engaged employees cost the economy around $7.8 trillion annually in lost productivity. That’s certainly a large number.
According to the other Gallup findings, 60% of employees reported a sense of disengagement in the workplace. Meanwhile, 19% of them also confessed to “feeling miserable” at work; a worrying statistic. As a consequence, the turnover rate continues to rise, leading to overspending on employee replacement.
Fortunately, any leader is capable of breaking the cycle of disengagement and low performance. All you need to do is create a comprehensive action plan for employee engagement and to boost team productivity and morale.
7-Step Guide to Designing Employee Engagement Action Plan
Following these six steps, you can create a motivational and engaging action plan.
Step 1: Evaluate the Current Level of Employer Engagement
In order to measure employee engagement, you will need a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods. In a company, engagement levels are typically measured using several different approaches:
- 360-degree Feedback
- Employee Engagement Surveys
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)
Use these surveys along with focus groups with employees to gather insights into job satisfaction, the workplace environment, and their commitment to the company. Then, based on the team’s feedback, assess and identify areas for improvement.
In theory, it should be easy. However, in practice, this step is generally overlooked. A number of challenges can arise due to survey fatigue, ineffective survey tools, and difficulty with interpreting feedback. That’s where online engagement digital tools like Beams.ai come into play.
Beams.ai 🔵 provides comprehensive survey solutions designed to ease data collection. It can help you gather direct, real-time feedback from employees, allowing anyone, from managers to HR specialists, to measure employer engagement. Check out the really affordable pricing policy to explore the full potential.
Step 2: Set Realistic and Specific Engagement Goals
The second step is to identify clear and measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will help you track each initiative’s progress. For a successful employee engagement plan, make sure your objectives are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Here are examples of such objectives relating to different aspects of employee engagement:
- Increase Employee Satisfaction: Increase employee satisfaction scores by 15% by the next employee engagement survey.
- Enhance Communication Effectiveness: Decrease communication-related complaints by 20% by the next quarter.
- Boost Employee Recognition: Implement a recognition program and increase employee recognition by 25% within six months.
- Promote Work-Life Balance: Set up flexible work arrangements and strive for a 15% improvement in work-life balance perceptions among employees in five months.
Step 3: Brainstorm Employer Engagement Initiatives to Achieve Your Goals
The next stage is to figure out how to achieve your engagement goals by choosing the right employee engagement models and strategies to achieve them. There are many models of engagement that you can choose from, such as The X Model, the Engagement Pyramid, The Kahn Model, and others.
In any case, you should choose one that meets your business’s needs. It should be flexible, adaptable, and able to evolve as the company grows and changes. Here is an example of initiative mapping after brainstorming:
SMART Goal 1: Increase employee participation in professional development workshops by 25% over the upcoming six months.
1: Launch Monthly Lunch-and-Learn Sessions
- Schedule monthly educational sessions during lunch breaks.
- Invite guest speakers or internal experts to share knowledge.
- Communicate the schedule well in advance.
2: Develop a Learning Resource Database
- Curate online resources and training materials.
- Create a centralized hub for easy access.
- Encourage employees to explore and use available resources.
3: Implement a Recognition Program for Skill Development
- Show appreciation to employees actively participating in workshops or completing online courses.
- Highlight success stories during team meetings.
- Tie recognition to career growth discussions.
Here are some other ideas for engagement actions:
- Professional Development Programs. Enhance employees’ skills and progress in their careers through ongoing training and development.
- Mentorship Programs. Create a sense of community within the organization by creating mentorship initiatives, fostering knowledge transfer, and providing career guidance.
- Flexible Work Arrangements. Set up flexible work schedules or remote work options to promote a healthier work-life balance.
- Social Events and Team Building Activities. Organize regular networking events, team-building activities, and outings to cultivate a positive and collaborative work culture.
Discover more: Check out these employee engagement activities ideas to keep your remote teams bonded.
Step 4: Develop a Communication Plan
Communicating regularly with your employees will make your employee engagement action plan more effective. For that, create a comprehensive communication strategy and stick to it. Ultimately, your plan should include how you will share updates, gather feedback, and involve employees in the process.
Open communication throughout the process contributes to a successful outcome. The purpose is not just to engage employees but also to establish trust and foster a sense of responsibility. After that, provide training and resources to help employees understand the new engagement model and how it applies to their work. Make sure that all the implementation steps are clear to your teams.
Step 5: Make a Schedule and Identify Resources
After outlining your objectives and the strategies to achieve them, the next steps are to:
- Determine who within the company will be responsible for carrying out each initiative.
- Assign clear roles and responsibilities to individuals or teams who are accountable to them.
- Prepare the necessary resources for the plan’s successful implementation, including budget, equipment, and tools.
Afterward, create a timeline for implementing your employee engagement strategies and measuring their success. To achieve this, develop a timeline similar to an internal communications schedule—specify the dates and durations for each initiative in advance. This proactive planning helps prevent stakeholders from becoming overwhelmed.
Step 6: In-depth Monitoring and Adjustment of the Plan
Now that you have executed the plan, how do you proceed? The next step is to establish a systematic monitoring mechanism to track progress over time. Be prepared to adapt the action plan based on ongoing assessments and shifting business needs.
Here are some valuable metrics and possible challenges to prepare for the model assessment:
- Retention rates. Employee retention is a sign of motivation and engagement. While this rate is relatively low, it is still crucial to consider external factors such as market conditions and employees’ motivation to leave.
- Productivity and performance metrics. Energy levels directly correlate with engagement levels. So, how much work your employees do indicates how engaged they are. Optimal work-life balance and high performance go hand in hand.
- Rates of turnover. Generally, enthusiastic employees do not miss too many days at work. If you notice some team members taking sick leave frequently, make sure their job dissatisfaction isn’t causing the problem.
- Engagement and employee satisfaction surveys. Collecting feedback regularly makes it easier to spot any decline in engagement level.
Step 7: Celebrate and Reward Employee Achievements
Last step, but certainly not least, don’t forget to celebrate and acknowledge your engagement action plans’ success. By doing so, you will be able to recognize and appreciate each employee’s efforts and contributions, motivating them to do their best.
You can celebrate and reward your achievements in various ways, such as recognition, programs, personal appreciation, incentives, bonuses, benefits, etc.
- Recognition Programs. Developing employee recognition programs that consistently acknowledge and reward outstanding performance. For example, you could have an “Employee of the Month” program or regular recognition events.
- Team Celebrations. Organize team celebrations to highlight collective achievements and milestones. To illustrate, host a team lunch, a virtual happy hour, or a small office gathering to celebrate the team’s results and create a positive, collaborative atmosphere. The result is a sense of teamwork and unity.
- Personalized Recognition. Give each employee personalized recognition. You can do this by writing personalized notes, emails, or direct messages expressing appreciation for their contributions.
- Incentives and Rewards. For noteworthy achievements, offer tangible incentives, e.g., a performance bonus. Another few examples would be gift cards, extra time off, or company-sponsored events.
Employee Engagement Plan Template You Can Use Right Now
By now, you have a better understanding of how to develop and implement an employee engagement action plan. The use of a template can help your company create a standardized and seamless prep process. Here is a ready-to-use template for planning.
|[Company Name] Employee Engagement Action Plan|
|Purpose of the Employee Engagement Action Plan||Explain why employee engagement is important for a company.|
|Objectives||Clearly state the goals of the employee engagement plan.|
|Assessment and Analysis|
|Employee Engagement Survey Results and Feedback||Mention specific actions you are committing to in order to improve employee engagement.|
|Areas for Improvement||Actions||Metrics To Measure||Owner of the Action||The required resources||Timeline|
|List and prioritize specific aspects of engagement that need attention (e.g., communication, recognition, work-life balance).||Mention specific actions you are committing to in order toimprove employee engagement.||Define measurable KPIs for each engagement initiative.||Assign responsibilities for each action item.||Determine the budget, technology, and materials required to implement the plan smoothly||Define a realistic timeline for implementation.|
8 Solid Benefits of Employee Engagement Action Plans
Having more engaged employees will provide your company with a multitude of benefits. Listed below are some of the top advantages you can expect after implementing a plan.
- Increasing Productivity. Those who are engaged at work are generally more focused, motivated, and productive. When employees feel a sense of purpose and connection to their work, they are likely to put in extra effort. A study shows that such companies experience an 18% boost in productivity.
- A Higher Employee Morale. The more engaged the employees are, the more likely they are to have higher levels of job satisfaction and morale. A positive work environment, where employees feel valued and supported, results in an overall happier and more thriving workplace.
- Enhanced Creativity and Innovation. Those who are passionate about their work are more likely to be proactive in contributing ideas and being actively involved in problem-solving. A culture that encourages employee engagement fosters creativity and innovation, as employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and suggestions.
- Better Employee Health and Well-being. High levels of engagement lead to better physical and mental health among employees. People who feel supported and appreciated are less likely to experience stress and burnout, contributing to a healthier workplace environment.
- Change-adaptability. Engaged employees are more likely to embrace change and be willing to adapt. As a result, they understand the organization’s goals and are willing to work towards them despite changes or challenges.
Other Benefits of Action Plan that Improve Employee Engagement
- Retention of Talent: Engagement among employees leads to higher retention rates over time. In addition, employees who are satisfied and engaged are less likely to look for a new job. This reduces turnover costs and helps retain valuable company knowledge and experience.
- Competitive Advantage in the Employment Market. Engaging your employees gives a company a competitive advantage. Businesses with happy employees are more likely to attract top talent, satisfy customers, and gain an edge over their competitors.
- Increased Customer Satisfaction. Dedicated employees are more likely to provide excellent customer service. Their positive attitude and commitment to their work can directly impact customer satisfaction, loyalty, and employer brand reputation. According to the same Gallup study I mentioned earlier, there has been a 10% increase in customer loyalty due to boosted employee engagement.
7 Tips on Creating an Effective and Successful Employee Engagement Action Plan
Here are some more thoughts and suggestions on creating an effective and successful employee engagement action plan:
- Align Plan with Business Goals. There is a golden rule: engaging employees’ processes should be in line with the company’s goals and values. This alignment helps create a cohesive and purpose-driven workplace culture.
- Keep Communication Open. Make it easy for everyone to communicate and share ideas. For example, it would be great to have regular team meetings where everyone can speak up. Or a Q&A session where everyone can ask whatever piques their curiosity.
- Involve Employees in Planning. Encourage employee participation in the planning process. Listen to their input and ideas. To begin with, conduct Feedback Fridays to learn more about their needs and aspirations.
- Tailor Initiatives to Diversity. Recognize and embrace diversity within your company. Take the position that all preferences and needs will be met during engagement initiatives, thereby ensuring inclusivity.
- Maintain Consistent Communication. Communication plays a key role throughout the employee engagement plan implementation process. Among these options are all-hands meetings, an internal communication platform, or regular 1:1 meetings between managers and their reports.
- Leadership Involvement. Be sure to get commitments from leadership and active participation. Leaders are an integral part of setting the tone for employee engagement.
- Evaluate and Adjust the Plan (constantly). Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of your engagement initiatives. Use data and ad hoc feedback. The metrics help analyze the impact and make adjustments to the plan in accordance with what you learn.
5 Best Practices to Execute Employee Engagement Action Plan at Work
Implementing an action plan to improve employee engagement calls for adopting best practices that promote a positive and thriving workplace culture. Here are five noteworthy examples of employee engagement initiatives:
- Transform Leaders into Your Employee Engagement Ambassadors
Imagine leaders not just endorsing the engagement plan but becoming passionate advocates, inspiring employees. Think about a “Leadership Challenge” where executives actively participate in team-building activities, showcasing their commitment to creating a positive workplace culture.
- Create an Engaging Atmosphere with Storytelling Communication
Infuse excitement into communication channels by turning updates into engaging stories. Or, for instance, create a newsletter featuring success stories, kudos, and even a monthly engagement challenge that employees will be eager to read. In this case, invite your audience to take part in an exciting discussion in a comment.
- Form Employee Action Committees for Involvement
Another good practice is to set up action committees where employees take charge of specific engagement initiatives instead of traditional focus groups. Each committee becomes a hub of creativity, generating ideas for themed events, peer recognition campaigns, or even a workplace makeover day.
- Turn Feedback Into a Celebration
Instead of routine feedback forms, think of a feedback festival where employees share thoughts through interactive booths, digital suggestion boards, and even a “Gratitude Wall.” The festival atmosphere makes giving feedback a joyous and celebratory experience.
- Gamify Measurable Goals
Turn goal achievement into an exciting activity with a leaderboard, badges, and rewards. Create an “Engagement Quest” where teams earn points for hitting milestones. Keep it fun and celebrate achievements with virtual or in-person “Quest Parties.” As a result, you’ll promote healthy competition and collaboration.
Measure Employee Engagement With Beams.ai. 📊
An employee engagement action plan isn’t just a document; it’s the backbone of a thriving company. It drives productivity and cultivates a collaborative and committed workplace culture. So to be successful, your employees have to remain engaged with the company.
With companies striving to improve employee engagement, survey tools like Beams.ai are becoming increasingly useful. While drafting an employee engagement action plan can help the template above, our tool will assist you in preparing and carrying out it.
Take advantage of Beams.ai, a quick and easy tool to learn how your team is doing!
- Use accurate stats to gauge your team’s current employer engagement levels
- Show care for your employees by giving them customized recommendations based on their mood
- Encourage contagious gratitude between colleagues for a more flourishing workplace.
In addition to that, through its integration with Slack, this tool empowers managers to collect feedback on employee engagement in a breeze and receive detailed statistics.
Schedule a free demo today and discover the power of a transformative employee engagement tool!