Apr 6, 2024
6 min read

How to Improve Employee Engagement: 9 Actionable Tips

In this article:

The ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees hit its lowest point in nearly a decade. This worrying trend risks productivity and requires quick and decisive action. To tackle this issue, we’ll show you how to improve employee engagement in nine simple ways.

You'll find out what needs more attention, what should be better, and how to tweak your approach to make everyone happier and more effective at work.

How to increase employee engagement in 9 ways 

Engaged employees increase customer loyalty, improve results, have more innovative ideas, enhance teamwork, and contribute to overall business success.

Here's how you can improve employee engagement.

Conduct employee surveys

Employee surveys let companies understand how their team feels about work and people and give them a chance to speak up.

It helps managers understand what's going well and what needs a little boost. Surveys also show that the company values its employees' opinions, which makes everyone feel more connected. 

Here are three common survey types to boost employee engagement:

  1. A 360-degree feedback survey collects evaluations from various perspectives, including managers, peers, and direct reports. It focuses on work behaviors like teamwork and communication. 
  2. Pulse surveys are brief check-ins with employees sent out more frequently than annual surveys, aiming to gauge overall employee satisfaction and identify areas for improvement promptly.
  3. The Gallup Q12 engagement survey measures employee engagement and commitment with 12 questions focused on enthusiasm and investment in work. It provides benchmarks and guidance for improving engagement.

See also: 30+ 360 Feedback Examples for Peers & Managers by Skills

Need some ideas for questions to ask? Check out our posts:

After completing surveys, managers should use employee feedback to make necessary changes and create a better working environment for everyone. 

And if you're tired of handling surveys the old-fashioned way, you might want to try Effy AI. It’s one of the best employee engagement software that simplifies performance management and periodic reviews.

effy ai with improve employee engagement

Effy AI offers:

  • Ready-to-use templates covering various topics
  • Survey customization to fit your company's needs or to create new questions
  • Survey distribution via email, Slack, or links
  • AI-generated reports with charts and graphs for easy analysis
  • Anonymity for honest feedback
  • Automated reminders for higher response rates
  • Forever free plan with unlimited reviews and members and Slack integration
effy ai pricing

Start from the top

As a leader, you should set an example and train your managers to do the same. The manager alone accounts for 70% of the variation in team engagement.

Employees are more likely to deliver better results when they know their managers have their backs. Plus, when managers show empathy and understanding, it builds trust and strengthens the bonds between team members. 

Implement wellness initiatives

Promoting wellness initiatives is a fantastic way to boost employee engagement and happiness. 

Here are some ideas for wellness initiatives you can include:

  • Provide access to healthcare benefits like medical insurance and check-ups
  • Offer stress management programs such as workshops or counseling services
  • Give wellness perks like gym memberships, healthy snacks, and mindfulness sessions
  • Provide mental health resources like therapy sessions or meditation apps
  • Create relaxation spaces for employees to de-stress
  • Offer ergonomic equipment for comfort and safety
  • Host workshops on mindfulness, nutrition, or work-life balance
  • Encourage regular breaks and discourage overworking

Recognize and reward hard work

Recognizing and rewarding hard work is like employee motivation fuel that keeps the team spirit high. 

Here are some effective ways to engage employees and speak the language of appreciation, ensuring everyone feels valued:

  • Start a program where employees can nominate each other for going above and beyond
  • Give salary raises or bonuses for outstanding performance
  • Offer opportunities for growth and advancement within the company
  • Plan team outings or events to celebrate achievements
  • Create a visible recognition board to highlight accomplishments
  • Give personalized rewards like gift cards or extra time off
  • Take time during meetings to publicly thank and acknowledge hardworking employees

Bonus: Check out our top 5 employee recognition software picks or our collection of employee recognition examples.

Provide professional development opportunities

When companies offer opportunities to learn and develop, it shows they care about employee success and thus motivate them to improve and grow.

To get highly engaged employees, companies should:

  • Work with employees on developing personalized professional development plans
  • Provide employee training programs and assign mentors to help employees learn and grow
  • Support employees attending workshops and conferences to learn more and meet others in the industry
  • Encourage employees to take online courses to improve their skills whenever it's convenient for them
  • Make it clear how employees can move up in the company and take on new roles
  • Leverage employee development software

Offer flexible working schedules

According to an ILO report, reduced working hours and flexible schedules benefit economies, businesses, and workers.

Another study by Airtasker found that flexible remote workers usually work 1.4 more days each month than those in regular offices—that’s an extra 16.8 days per year!

One possible explanation is that people have varying peak productivity times during the day. Therefore, by arranging their work schedule to align with these peak hours, employees can complete tasks more efficiently and deliver higher-quality work.

Allow employees to do meaningful work and drive impact

When people don't feel too restricted and can work on tasks that matter to them and the company, they feel more motivated and fulfilled. 

Micromanagement, on the other hand, doesn't bring anything good to anyone. 

Research shows that managers who micromanage or excessively control every aspect of their employees' work can create insecurity and disengagement among their teams. This behavior negatively impacts employee morale and increases employee turnover. 

To improve productivity, managers should trust their team, focus on outcomes rather than processes, and empower their staff to make decisions and drive impact.

See also: 9 Job Motivators Leaders Should Use to Keep Top Talent

Focus on strengths

Instead of dwelling on what's bad, focus on what's good and how to make it even better. One way to do that is by harnessing the work-related strengths of your employees. 

For instance, you can conduct Gallup's CliftonStrengths assessment for this matter. It helps identify these strengths and use them to your advantage. 

Here's how it works:

  • Take the assessment and answer questions online
  • Receive a list of your top strengths out of 34 possible themes
  • Get descriptions of your strengths and how you naturally excel
  • Use this knowledge to enhance your life, career, and relationships
Gallup's CliftonStrengths assessment

Image source

Set clear expectations from day one

Don't let new employees feel like they've been thrown into the fire. Set clear expectations right from the beginning.

Here's how:

  • Make sure they know exactly what they're supposed to do
  • Explain how their performance will be measured, like with goals or key indicators
  • Go over things like dress code, attendance, and workplace behavior
  • Let them know about learning opportunities or programs to improve their skills
  • Encourage questions and build a feedback culture from day one
  • Offer guidance and assistance as they adjust to their new role
  • Help them understand what they can achieve in their first days, weeks, and months


Employee engagement won't increase from just one good action. It needs constant nurturing—from showing appreciation and recognition to everything in between.

Using surveys, like those facilitated by Effy AI, is one of the best ways to understand how your employees truly feel. With Effy, you can gather feedback, collect data, learn more about employee experience, and make improvements accordingly.

Sign up and conduct your first review for free!


How do you increase employee engagement and morale?

You can increase employee engagement and morale by conducting regular surveys, implementing wellness initiatives, recognizing hard work, offering professional development opportunities, and providing flexible working schedules. You can also use employee survey tools like Effy AI to understand your team better and cultivate an engaged workforce.

What factors improve employee engagement?

  • Effective leadership and management that shows empathy and support
  • Opportunities for career growth and development within the company
  • A positive work environment that promotes work-life balance and well-being

What are the 3 key drivers of employee engagement?

  1. Trust and confidence in leadership and management
  2. Opportunities for growth and development
  3. Recognition and appreciation for contributions

Who drives employee engagement?

HR, managers, team leaders, and colleagues are all drivers of employee engagement. HR sets policies and programs, while managers and leaders provide support and employee feedback. 

Finally, colleagues contribute through teamwork and positive relationships. Together, they all create a motivating and engaged workforce.

What are the main challenges of employee engagement?

Poor communication, inadequate recognition and appreciation for employees' efforts, limited opportunities for career growth, high levels of stress and burnout due to heavy workloads, and lack of work-life balance.

In this article:
What’s Effy software?
Performance review
Easily launch review cycles in your way, track progress.
360 degree feedback
Collect feedback from peers and managers. Identify strength and improvements areas.
Choose templates that are right for you. Start review process in 15 min.
Collaborate effectively with team meeting agenda, action items and meeting notes
Personal development plan
Develop your people by providing them an explicit plan to the next level. Track goals progression.
AI generated insights & Analytics
AI will generate an extended summary for every employee, including top strength, areas to improve and action plan.
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