59 Ways to Engage Disengaged Employees

Finding ways to engage disengaged employees boosts productivity, reduces turnover, and attracts the best talent in the industry. Encourage employee engagement and make work experiences more enjoyable by facilitating these key strategies.

Disengaged employees can be costly for organisations. While it’s common knowledge that engaged employees are more efficient and productive at work, maintaining high levels of motivation amongst our talent can be a difficult task.

Maintaining employee engagement is a struggle for managers globally. Keeping employees involved and motivated at work requires paying close attention to them as individuals, nurturing their strengths, maintaining strong communication, and creating a healthy workplace environment.

Helping employees thrive and maintain their motivation is vital for our success as well as theirs. Here are 59 ways we can reverse employee disengagement and renew the motivation and focus of our teams.

Be honest and clear to engage disengaged employees

Employees need a clear understanding of who they work for and what is expected of them in order to feel empowered to do their work efficiently.

Creating a company culture that is open, honest, and clearly communicates its goals is key to helping employees become more engaged. It’s easier for people to have difficult discussions and solve hard problems when they trust each other.

What are some ways we can communicate clearly and create a more open and trustworthy company culture?

  1. Follow through with our words and honour our commitments so employees trust us
  2. Admit when we’ve made a mistake
  3. Communicate clear expectations of what we want and need from our employees
  4. Be transparent about company goals, ethics, ideals, and vision
  5. Conduct formal reviews and set aside time to communicate with employees one-on-one
  6. Convey a clear correlation between an employee’s work and the company’s goals
  7. Keep instructions simple and to the point, avoid using overly technical explanations or wording that will lead to confusion
  8. Regularly communicate using more than one channel like newsletters, emails, and meetings
  9. Notify employees internally before big announcements so they can hear big news from the company they work for instead of through the media
  10. Emphasise the importance of face-to-face communication
  11. Invest in managers’ communication skills by providing leadership seminars, coaching, and mentorship programs

Invest in getting to know employees

It’s important for leaders to be approachable. Being welcoming to employees will help us strengthen efficiency and adjust goals with performance.

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Leaders need to be able to communicate clear goals so employees can be motivated to reach an objective and feel validated once they do.

What are some ways we can better understand and get to know our employees personally?

  1. Become a mentor and use a managerial style that allows people to be open with us about where they want their career to go
  2. Encourage conversation where employees can share their thoughts and be sure to listen
  3. Be accessible to employees with an open-door policy where employees feel comfortable going to our office to talk
  4. Spend time outside of work by going to company events and getting to know people socially

Create a workplace of connectivity

Everyone needs to feel comfortable and safe in the workplace in order to be productive. Creating a culture where everyone feels valued and heard is key to the success of a team.

Let’s go over a few ways we can revamp our work environment, making it one that thrives on connectivity.

  1. Host friendly competitions in the workplace and reward winners
  2. Help every member of our team contribute and feel heard
  3. Create a safe place where employees can share a little bit about their personal lives
  4. Utilise online social programs to allow employees to share work-appropriate photos like photos of their pets, kids, or travels
  5. Celebrate company milestones together as a team
  6. Unite teams with a common goal outside of work by hosting a charity event
  7. Encourage team members to share ideas and maintain a company culture based on mutual respect
  8. Eliminate gaps in communication between departments by giving employees easy access to other areas of the company via a social media tool, communication software, or a directory
  9. Focus on building interpersonal and interdepartmental relationships

Invest in employee health and well-being

Employee health and well-being are paramount to their success at work. When people are worried about their health, they cannot focus on their job. More than ever, companies are investing in their employees’ physical and mental health.

Creating a work environment where people have the resources and help they need for both their mental and physical health will not only help our employees’ overall quality of life but also enable them to enjoy their job more.

Let’s go over a few ways we can help employees reach their health and fitness goals.

  1. Offer a good health insurance plan that includes a mental health plan
  2. Give employees access to fitness software
  3. Provide healthy eating options in break rooms
  4. Put on healthy eating challenges as a fun way to help people stay on track with their fitness goals
  5. Host wellness events and mindfulness classes to inspire healthy lifestyle choices
  6. Try integrating online fitness apps into employee health plans so it’s easier for employees to keep track of their health goals
  7. Offer mind and body wellness software to empower employees to focus on their mental well-being
  8. Utilise Online Positive Psychology Intervention (OPPI) exercises, which have shown success in decreasing stress, depression, anxiety, and burnout
  9. Make sure to have a email option that’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant to ensure employee privacy

Act on employee feedback

Gaining employee feedback through surveys, interviews, yearly reviews, meetings, or a suggestion box can help us gain valuable knowledge about our employees’ experiences at work.

Making changes in policies and the way the company works may require some financial investment, but if it improves productivity it can be worth the cost.

How can we understand and follow through with implementing changes with the feedback we receive?

  1. Use a staff engagement survey to help understand how employees see the company and their job
  2. Listen to feedback and take it all into consideration, understanding that they are on the front lines and what they think works and doesn’t work could be valuable information
  3. Implement changes based on feedback; this will not only help employees feel heard but also help the company run smoothly
Group of engaged employees

Image: Pexels

Facilitate team-building

A strong team is crucial for employee engagement and productive collaboration. Connecting with teammates on a personal level will help people communicate better while brainstorming solutions for difficult tasks.

Team-building exercises like competitions can have a lot of advantages, including improving collaboration, engagement, and boosting productivity and teamwork.

Let’s go over some ways we can facilitate team-building and engage disengaged employees within a team.

  1. Set up icebreakers that allow coworkers to get to know one another, like office trivia, community service, lunch outings, or parties
  2. Utilise external sources like private social media groups to collaborate,  network, or post funny pictures
  3. Facilitate contests amongst coworkers and teams that will help them see their strengths as a team, strengthening team dynamics and reminding them of their common goals
  4. Don’t overextend competitive achievement with too many merit-based rewards, breeding animosity amongst coworkers and making them disengaged
  5. Center team-building exercises around things like food drives, workplace safety competitions, and fitness challenges to maintain a friendly environment and boost camaraderie
  6. Acknowledge and thank everyone who participated in a competition
  7. Have short-term contests rather than long-term ones to give employees a break from competing
  8. Hold meetings after each competition to evaluate and review employee experiences

Invest in continued learning

When employees feel like they aren’t growing or learning from new experiences, they are more likely to leave a company. Employee turnover costs companies billions of dollars each year.

What can we do to help engage disengaged employees to find renewed motivation and stay with the company?

  1. Pay for training and host workshops that will help them do their job
  2. Send employees to seminars and conferences to network and learn from others
  3. Invest in workshops related to lifestyle, like finance workshops, to help them make wise investment choices and get the most from their money

Show our employees appreciation

No one enjoys doing thankless work, and not letting our employees know we appreciate all their hard work will leave them feeling disengaged at work.

Let’s go over a few ways we can continue to keep employees engaged by celebrating their accomplishments and showing employees appreciation.

  1. Share team successes throughout the company with a newsletter, notices posted in break rooms, or email announcements
  2. Reward employees for work well done with a raise when appropriate
  3. Throw an appreciation event with food and drinks
  4. Celebrate birthdays by offering cake in the break room or by announcement
  5. Create an employee recognition program where the company recognises the accomplishments of teams and their members each month

Allow employees a more flexible work schedule

The pandemic has caused a shift in attitudes toward work. One of the most significant is people are less keen to work in a traditional office environment.

Many prefer to work in a hybrid system, where they are in the office part of the workweek and work remotely the rest of the week. However, this new schedule comes with new challenges. Remote workers can also become disengaged by feeling isolated from the company they work for.

What are some ways we can engage disengaged employees and offer flexibility to retain employees without losing employee engagement?

  1. Hold online video meetings to share progress and objectives instead of always having them in person or via email
  2. Utilise messaging software like Slack or Microsoft Teams to allow teammates and managers to communicate virtually
  3. Host virtual meetings and happy hours through Zoom or Skype
  4. Invite remote employees to use online wellness programs
  5. Host a virtual lunch and learn
  6. Utilise gamification to help engage disengaged employees who work virtually and in-person
  7. Offer options for varied schedules when possible where people can work four days a week, have flexible hours, or work on a hybrid schedule

In Summary

The world of work has changed and we must do what we can to retain engaged, happy employees. Maintaining an engaging work environment doesn’t come without hard work and continual diligence.

People and work cultures are constantly evolving. In order to engage disengaged employees and keep up with the changes, we too must evolve not only in our industry but also in regard to the needs of our employees.

Investing in employee well-being and happiness has become crucial to the ongoing success of any organisation. Providing an honest, personal, healthy, safe, and flexible work experience will help us maintain valuable talent and keep employees motivated.

About the Author

Ellie Shippey works in content marketing with EBS Agency. She enjoys writing, gardening, and fostering puppies for a local rescue.

Team 6Q

Team 6Q