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Top 10 tips to boost employee engagement

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Richard Holmes, Director of Wellbeing at Westfield Health, gives 10 actionable tips to help boost employee engagement.

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Employee engagement is about creating a high-performing workforce, where your employees care about your organisation, and strongly believe in your mission, purpose and values. Richard Holmes, Director of Wellbeing at Westfield Health, gives 10 actionable tips to help boost employee engagement.

It’s clear that employee engagement goes beyond simple job satisfaction and motivation. Your employees need to engage for success, all working towards something they truly believe in.

It’s also important to remember that engagement can’t be forced – either by the organisation or its employees. It has to be part of the company culture, ingrained into the business and each employee.

Here are 10 top actionable tips towards creating a culture of employee engagement:

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1. It’s not always about money

Employee engagement activities don’t always require a significant financial investment. It’s more about taking the time to listen to your staff so that they feel seen, heard and recognised. By taking the time to talk to your people, you can gain valuable insight into how making simple changes in the office environment can increase engagement and boost morale, and a lot of these ideas require little to no financial investment.

2. Give staff flexibility

Allowing staff to be flexible about their working hours can often mean that they are less stressed at work, because they have a more positive work-life balance. In return, employees are more productive and engaged.

3. Look after your employees’ physical health

The mental health and physical health of your staff are equally important, and you need to actively support the overall health and wellbeing of your people. The obvious benefit of this is that healthier employees are absent less often, so by encouraging and promoting a healthy workforce you are reducing sickness absence and making substantial cost savings.

Healthy employees are also more motivated at work, at less risk of long-term illness and recover more quickly if they do become sick. Promote healthy living by providing resources and encouraging healthy eating habits such as encouraging staff to drink water and providing free fruit. In winter months, you could consider providing staff with a flu jab to help prevent winter illness.

4. Support mental health

With mental health issues affecting 1 in 4 of us in the UK each year, it’s increasingly important that workplaces are offering the right support and taking a positive approach to mental health awareness. When your employees know that they can comfortably discuss issues relating to their mental health, they are more likely to be engaged.

5. Implement 1:1 meetings with managers

It’s important for staff to feel that they have a voice and are able to see that their role is making a difference and contributing towards the overall goals of the organisation. This requires effective management and healthy working relationships. Regular meetings with line managers are a great way to support employees by discussing progress, personal development and celebrating success.

6. Set the tone from the start

To create a culture of employee engagement it’s important to set the tone right from the start of the induction process for new employees. This could be an email from their line manager to welcome them to the organisation, or even a physical postcard. It’s about ensuring employees feel valued right from the start, so that they arrive feeling motivated and engaged.

Download Westfield Health’s Free Health and Wellbeing Toolkit

7. Mindfulness and exercise classes

Stress can affect us all and it’s important that employees know how to deal with stress, and that they feel they can reach out for support if things do get too much. Being stressed at work can have an extremely negative effect on engagement, so offering stress-busting resources and workshops is a great way to help your staff deal with and prevent stress.

8. Giving back and volunteering

It’s a widely known fact that it feels good to give back. Volunteering can boost morale and positivity in the workplace, strengthening peer relationships which can in turn increase team productivity. By offering your employees the opportunity to volunteer for a cause that they’re passionate about, you are deepening their connection to your organisation’s mission and purpose and increasing their engagement.

9. Use recognition

There’s a clear link between recognition and engagement. Acknowledging employees for their work makes them feel valued and in turn develop a stronger commitment to their organisation.

10. Practice what you preach

You may state in policies that you have a positive approach to employee health and wellbeing, mental health, and other areas which make a positive contribution towards employee engagement, but your staff need to see this in practice to really experience the benefits.

The way you promote your brand values internally should also reflect the promises made externally. Your claim to be a thought-leading, innovative provider of products or services won’t carry credibility if your employees don’t live and believe in your brand values and promises themselves.

Health and wellbeing plays a vital role in achieving employee engagement, as it helps to create a healthy culture, both physically and mentally. It gives individual employees the opportunity to talk by creating an open and honest atmosphere when it comes to things such as mental health.

A health and wellbeing strategy can help towards keeping your employees happy, healthy, motivated and engaged. It also helps to reduce absenteeism and improve presenteeism.

If you want to find out more on supporting your staff through health and wellbeing, download Westfield Health’s free health and wellbeing toolkit, where you’ll find all the information you need to start creating your company’s strategy, featuring help and advice on everything from building the business case and exploring supplier options, to implementing and evaluating the process.

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