4 refreshingly simple ways to engage employees
Uninspired, lethargic, even disgruntled.
Do those terms describe your workforce? If so, you’re not alone.
Gallup’s latest “State of the Global Workplace” report says a staggering 85
percent of employees are not engaged at work.
Here are four ideas to help reverse that trend and create a more positive
culture at your organization:
1. Survey staff for solutions. “Companies with engaged
employees usually have policies in place that promote work-life balance,
career development, inclusion and alignment to their greater purpose,” says
Emmy Negrin, head of people development at OpenTable.
She recommends identifying your company’s outdated policies on issues such
as flexible time off, paid family leave, paid time off to volunteer, or
opportunities for professional development.
“A great way to do this is to create a survey where you ask your employees
what they would like to see improved in their culture. This puts the
employee voice front and center,” Negrin says. “Then include them in the
solution by creating employee task forces to identify new programs and
Support employee resource groups (ERGs).
Employee-led affinity groups can help promote a more positive culture of
inclusion and diversity. They’re usually run by on-staff volunteers and
give employees an active role in building awareness, educational events and
professional opportunities for underrepresented groups.
To start an ERG program, says Negrin, it’s important that company leaders
are fully supportive and committed to the success.
“One way to jump-start a program is to encourage employees to define their
group’s mission, goals and focus areas,” she says. “Successful ERGs usually
have an executive sponsor, a small budget and employee co-chairs that lead
[RELATED: Register for Ragan Training’s May 18 webinar virtual summit, “Create a Winning Culture” for more employee engagement tips from Emmy Negrin
(OpenTable), Jeremy Godwin (Verizon) and Beth Stellato (Newell Brands).]
Embrace mobile apps.
Employees usually have their cell phones with them and are more likely to
engage with an app than a company e-newsletter.
“A mobile app is a great way to inform and inspire staff,” says Beth
Stellato, director of communications at Newell Brands. “We built ours by
partnering with a company called Social Chorus. I definitely recommend it,
particularly with a millennial workforce.”
She advises keeping your mobile content to 200 words or less.
“Get the information across quickly,” she says. “Our attention spans are
short, and people typically check apps while running to a meeting or
waiting for an elevator.”
How do you create or curate great app content that fosters engagement?
“We run a monthly photo contest and weekly trivia,” Stellato says. “Both
have been incredibly popular. The trivia is always about our company and
brands, which has proven to be a great way to educate employees.”
4. Revive your intranet with video. Intranets are often
boring, lifeless content wastelands. “Video can really personalize things
and increase engagement,” says Jeremy Godwin, who manages Verizon’s
intranet and hosts a daily video series for employees.
Called “Up to Speed,” the daily video provides a quick update on what’s
happening around Verizon and the tech industry.
“Frequency is a critical success factor,” Godwin says. “Daily may be too
aggressive for most teams, but once a week shouldn’t be out of the
Don’t overthink equipment. “Just get started with your smartphone,” he
says. “There are so many apps and accessories that can help you produce
solid content, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t have solid content. Work
the content and then the production.”
is a Ragan Communications consultant and webinar manager.Emmy Negrin (OpenTable), Jeremy Godwin (Verizon) and Beth Stellato (Newell Brands) will reveal more
employee communication tips in Ragan Training’s May 18 virtual summit,
“Create a Winning Culture: Unlock Your Greater Mission, Increase Employee Engagement and Attract Top Talent.”