15 Employee Engagement Initiatives that Worked
To help you engage and retain top talent in your company, we sought advice from fifteen founders, CEOs, and other leaders. From implementing social activities to running growth leadership programs, these experts share their successful initiatives and tips for you to follow.
- Implement Social Activities
- Invest in Employee Learning and Development
- Create Personalized Coaching Roadmaps
- Provide Bonus Incentives from a Profit-Sharing Pool
- Conduct Regular Surveys
- Include Continuous Education
- Set a Progression Pathway with Escalating Benefits
- Offer Flexible Work Schedules
- Incentivize Remote Staff through “Intrapreneurship”
- Prioritize People and Wellbeing Policies
- Leverage Team Member Strengths
- Hold a Mentorship Accelerator Program
- Foster Open Communication and Team Growth
- Align Personal Goals with Company Objectives
- Run Growth Leadership Programs
Implement Social Activities
Incorporating social activities has been a key factor in engaging and retaining top talent in my company. These gatherings allowed our employees to form genuine connections, fostering a more cohesive and positive workplace.
When team members enjoy spending time together, they’re less inclined to seek opportunities elsewhere. We host various activities, from team-building challenges to casual get-togethers, and encourage employees to lead in planning them. This has empowered our team to shape our work culture, enhancing their sense of belonging and commitment.
To achieve similar success, assess your team’s interests, encourage participation in event planning, and remain open to diverse activities. A well-rounded social calendar can significantly boost employee satisfaction and retention.
Invest in Employee Learning and Development
According to a CNBC report, 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it simply invested in helping them learn. Most organizations offer growth and development opportunities to their people, but their workload and schedules make it difficult to attend and engage with learning.
In 2021, our organization created an “Investment Time” policy for our people to dedicate 10% of their time to their professional growth and development. We are intentional about our development programming and ensure we listen to our people when creating or curating programs. This allows us to create journeys that help our people solve real problems, grow the professional skills they are interested in, and bring their best selves to the business each day.
This initiative has elevated organizational engagement and job satisfaction across four generations of workers by an average of 27%. This policy has also increased opt-in attendance to our learning experiences by 120% (H1 2022 to H1 2023).
Create Personalized Coaching Roadmaps
At our company, one of the most impactful initiatives we have for talent engagement and retention is a personalized coaching roadmap. Recognizing that every individual has a unique journey to success, we tailor these roadmaps to align with their goals and aspirations.
Each week, we engage in dedicated coaching sessions where we navigate challenges, brainstorm solutions, and track progress. Given that we’re a coaching firm with a rich repository of growth tools, each tool we employ in these sessions has been tried and tested by thousands of leaders.
The tip for other companies looking to achieve similar success is to truly invest in the individual growth of your employees. Go beyond generic training programs; instead, offer personalized guidance that aligns with their personal and professional goals. When your top talent feels understood, supported, and equipped with the right tools, retention becomes a natural outcome.
Provide Bonus Incentives from Profit-Sharing Pool
Access to our profit-sharing pool. Top talent is awarded with a bonus from a profit-sharing pool, which management sets aside. This allows the staff to understand an important point: higher achievements come with a larger bonus from the pool. Success is therefore incentivized, with top talent taking a significant portion from the pool.
Conduct Regular Surveys
Naturally, even the most skilled individuals can question their career paths over time. It’s crucial to spot that moment when an employee starts feeling disengaged.
Every six months, we conduct surveys to check employees’ satisfaction and level of engagement with their roles. As part of our corporate culture, we encourage feedback on values, management style, inclusion, diversity, and leadership. The survey helps us derive insights into how talents align with corporate goals and whether they feel comfortable and have a sense of belonging in the workplace. Such feedback also reveals weaknesses that impact employee engagement.
By identifying the hot spots for improvement, we can then take action to retain top talents by suggesting solutions to their concerns, clarifying their role in the company, and offering new opportunities. This may range from training programs and role shifts to additional vacation days, ensuring that our top talents know they’ve been heard and valued.
Include Continuous Education
One effective initiative for a beauty salon is to invest in continuous education and training programs for your staff. The beauty industry is ever-evolving, with new trends, techniques, and products constantly emerging. By providing opportunities for your employees to enhance their skills and stay updated, you not only improve the quality of services but also create a motivating and rewarding environment.
By investing in continuous education and training programs tailored to your team’s needs and encouraging their creativity, you can engage and retain top talent in your beauty salon. Not only will this improve the quality of services offered to clients, but it will also create a culture of growth and development that attracts and keeps skilled professionals in your salon.
Set a Progression Pathway with Escalating Benefits
To retain our top talent, we created a unique progression pathway, offering escalating benefits for sustained performance. These include salary increases, extra holiday time, car allowances, home cleaning services, paid “life moments,” and a wellbeing allowance for personal perks, even a gym membership or a dog walker.
It’s an incentive model that rewards consistent work and personal development, helping us to engage and retain our best performers. It also helps us keep top sellers focused on what they do best and not managing if that is not their strength. Remember, recognizing talent contributes not only to individual satisfaction, but also to organizational success.
Offer Flexible Work Schedules
To foster employee engagement and retention of highly skilled individuals, we introduced flexible work schedules as an initiative in our company. This allowed our employees to maintain their work-life balance while still meeting the requirements of their job duties.
We also encouraged regular breaks throughout the day, which improved morale and kept them productive. A valuable suggestion for other companies aspiring to achieve comparable success is to foster an environment of open communication between management and employees, encouraging discussions about their unique needs and requirements.
This helps ensure that everyone’s needs are met, which in turn leads to a more engaged and satisfied workforce. Additionally, it’s important to be flexible with scheduling, as this can help accommodate different lifestyles and commitments outside of work.
Incentivize Remote Staff through “Intrapreneurship”
At Financer, our team of 70 remote staff members is all incentivized through profit share. All agents have an hourly base rate, which can easily be multiplied through their own efforts. Hard—and clever—work is rewarded.
We also embrace the “intrapreneurship” model and hire talent that could easily, and will one day, become CEOs. We want to encourage thinking outside the box and bringing their ideas to the table, where we nurture and back the ones that are aligned with the company’s vision.
Prioritize People and Wellbeing Policies
At SALT, we continually and actively invest in the “people” side of the business, through both our People and Culture Lead, and by responding to colleague feedback to develop our Colleague Health & Wellbeing policies.
These policies include industry-leading maternity and paternity leave, investment in a Mental Health First Aider, and a budget for colleagues to advocate and participate in causes in which they are personally invested. This investment in people means it’s not about token efforts, like free pizza on Fridays, but about tangible and meaningful support as a given.
Leverage Team Member Strengths
Celebrating and leveraging the strengths of each team member is vital to engaging top talent and facilitating effective teams. Years ago, our leadership team invested in a CliftonStrengths coach to help us identify our strengths and then apply them both individually and company-wide. The results were transformative.
We learned that people were doing tasks that were draining and cumbersome for them. Reassigning tasks to match individual strengths not only increased productivity but also job satisfaction.
Now, as a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, similar jumps in productivity, team unity, and job satisfaction have been observed in clients. Regardless of the vehicle you use, the key is identifying and then aligning strengths to tasks and responsibilities so your people can do their best work.
Hold a Mentorship Accelerator Program
“Mentorship Accelerator” is a program we implemented, dedicated to the engagement and retention of our top-tier talent. The core objective of this program is to facilitate the seamless transfer of knowledge within our organization, while concurrently fostering robust mentor-mentee relationships.
The Mentorship Accelerator meticulously pairs seasoned employees with their newer counterparts, creating a meticulously organized platform for the enhancement of skills and the provision of guidance. Each mentor-mentee pairing is thoughtfully orchestrated, factoring in the mentor’s expertise, the mentee’s career aspirations, and shared interests. We have observed that this initiative not only expedites the professional growth of our newer staff but also fortifies the camaraderie among colleagues.
Foster Open Communication and Team Growth
Creating a culture of open communication is a priority, as is encouraging new employees to connect with the rest of the team to foster a collaborative environment. Investment in the team’s growth is also a key focus, as it is believed that investing in employees’ professional development is crucial for their success and the company’s growth.
Work-life balance is prioritized, and flexible work arrangements help employees balance their personal and professional lives. These initiatives have proven successful in attracting and retaining top talent, and in creating a positive work environment that supports employee growth and success.
Align Personal Goals with Company Objectives
We realized early on that for our top talent to stay engaged; they needed to feel a deep connection to our vision. So, we started “Visionary Workshops.” Here, employees would outline their personal and professional goals, and together, we’d align them with the company’s objectives.
It transformed our work culture. Integrate personal aspirations with company goals. When individuals see the convergence of their growth with the company’s success, retention becomes organic.
Run Growth Leadership Programs (GLPs)
At the beginning of this year, feedback from our top talent was that they wanted to feel more involved and to share their knowledge. We put together a GLP, where bi-weekly sessions are held to guide identified future leaders within the organization. This has allowed our top talent to feel more ingrained and build burgeoning relationships.
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