3+ Types of Employee Engagement Strategies

Employee engagement is often thought to be the holy grail of business growth. Engaged employees bring a range of benefits to businesses of all sizes. Yet, boosting employee engagement doesn’t happen overnight. It takes careful planning and the right employee engagement strategies to reach high levels of loyalty.  

Once you have that employee loyalty, however, it can supercharge your brand marketing efforts. Employees who are engaged and highly motivated can be your best advocates on social media and beyond. In this post, we’ll break down why employee engagement is so important, how to measure it, and ways to build a foundation of employee engagement that your brand can use to grow.  

Why is employee engagement important? 

Engaged employees are emotionally committed to and invested in their work. As a result, increasing employee engagement results in better quality work, higher productivity, increased sales — and, inevitably, more profit.  

Employee engagement, as measured by Gallup, declined for the first time in more than a decade in 2021. By some estimates, actively disengaged employees cost the US somewhere between $450 billion – $550 billion in lost productivity each year 

What does this mean for companies that get employee engagement right? There’s a distinct competitive advantage to be gained by focusing on initiatives that boost employee engagement. Gallup’s assessment showed that companies with high employee engagement experienced 147% higher earnings per share on average compared with their competition 

Most notably, however, is the impact high engagement can have on customer retention. Companies that nail employee engagement enjoy 10% higher customer loyalty. And, marketing professionals know that loyal customers are the holy grail of growth. Research shows that increasing customer retention rates by 5% will increase profits by 25% to 95% 

For more key stats proving the importance of employee engagement, check out this helpful infographic from Hubspot.  

How to measure employee engagement 

There’s a key difference between employee satisfaction and genuine employee engagement, and measuring the two can be a little tricky. As you implement any of the types of approaches to employee engagement outlined below, make sure you have key performance indicators in place to ensure your strategy is successful 

  • Absenteeism: lower absenteeism is a good sign that your employees are motivated and engaged with their work. The formula for absenteeism is:  (Number of unexcused absences / measurement period) x 100 
  • Employee turnover: low turnover is another good indicator that your team isn’t interested in abandoning your brand for another opportunity. The formula for employee turnover rate is:  (Number of employees who left the company / average number of employees during the measurement period) x 100 
  • Employees sharing content: employees who are more than satisfied with their work are often your best advocates. Keep an eye on your social media marketing to see if your team members are actively posting and promoting your brand. 
  • Earned Media Value (EMV): when you implement an employee content sharing initiative, EMV estimates how much you would have to pay to reach the same number of audiences using other advertising models 
  • Net Promoter Score: your NPS can be measured through employee surveys which ask employees to rate their experience with your company.  

Measuring employee engagement is easy with the right tools. Integrating an employee advocacy software like Clearview Social empowers marketing and HR leaders to regularly check the pulse of employee engagement initiatives to see what’s working.  

Types of employee engagement strategies 

As you seek to increase employee engagement, it’s important to understand where you’re starting from. Gallup developed an employee engagement framework consisting of three levels to help you better track how committed and dedicated your employees are. The levels are actively engaged, not engaged, and actively disengaged.  

As you consider which type of employee engagement approach (or approaches) to implement, make sure you’re considering each employee’s baseline level of engagement. Each employee has a different motivation set that contributes to this baseline. Some employees are working toward retirement, while others may be challenging themselves to be leaders in the field. As a result, you may need to vary your strategy to meet these motivations. 

With this in mind, here are some effective and common types of employee engagement strategies to consider. 

Start an employee advocacy program 

For those employees who are actively engaged, provide a way for them to participate in sharing company news on social media. 

Employee advocacy programs encourage employees to share thought leadership from your company. Any program that encourages employees to share company content or spread the word about your brand falls under this category.  

A good employee advocacy program requires incentives, a great company culture (more on this in a minute), and the right tools to make sharing easy. Clearview Social’s robust employee advocacy software makes it easy for your employees to share on their personal pages with a one-click email feature that allows your marketing team to send pre-approved content straight to their email.  

[Read more: How to Start Your Employee Advocacy Content Strategy 

Focus on the employee experience  

For those employees who are neither engaged nor disengaged, explore ways to make your work environment more aligned with their values and motivations. Take a page out of your marketing strategy: delivering an employee experience is not so different from creating a five-star customer experience.  

Start by learning what is most important to your employees. That might be flexible work hours, remote or hybrid work opportunities, regular recognition and feedback, or opportunities for mentoring and training.  

Keep in mind that perks aren’t always the solution to engagement. Offering a free lunch every now and then is nice, but too many short-term incentives can backfire. The more a perk is used, the more an employee may feel manipulated. Bribery can have the reverse intended consequence. 

Don’t force it 

With 87% of the workforce polling as “disengaged” , it’s important to be realistic about what you can expect from your team. Forcing employees to participate in advocacy campaigns is not the way to improve productivity, motivation, and loyalty.  

“Expecting an employee who is prone to disengagement to act in a happy and exciting way is like forcing them to be someone who they are not. Try your best to be realistic about what people are able to deliver,” wrote Harvard Business Review. 

If someone is producing great work but seems dissatisfied, take more time to see how you could set them up for success. It may be that this professional simply divides their personal and professional lives strongly. Or, it may be that they’re out of their depth of experience. Take the time to learn what they need to feel supported and to understand what motivates them at work. 

How to use employee engagement to boost your brand 

Ultimately, your employee engagement strategy will serve many business goals simultaneously. Employee engagement serves your innovation, sales, and HR goals. And, employee engagement can also boost your marketing efforts.  

As you build an employee advocacy program, it’s important to coordinate your employee’s efforts with your overall brand content strategy. Employee engagement can generate great earned media: reviews, social media content, press, and even word-of-mouth recommendations.  

Earned media has a similar impact to user-generated content. It builds trust with consumers, drives sales and leads, and promotes brand authenticity. Some of the brands that activate their employee advocates also have the highest ratings of customer satisfaction. Harvard Business Review found a “strong statistical link” between companies rated highly on Glassdoor and customer satisfaction. 

Looking for inspiration? Some companies use video testimonials from existing workers to share their employee experiences and provide insight into life at the company. Netflix, as you’d expect, uses videos to share more about its company culture and commitment to diversity. LinkedIn has its own branded hashtag, #LinkedInLife, to encourage employees to post spontaneously about their work.  

To be effective, your employee content strategy should feel authentic and unique to your brand — and be backed up by real benefits and a culture your employees love. 

Get started with employee engagement 

Employee engagement can be tricky to get right without the right tools. Clearview Social is here to help. As you activate your team to become your best brand ambassadors, make sure their enthusiasm is being fully captured on social media, your blog, and beyond. Increase your brand’s visibility with user-generated content from those who know your brand best: your employees.  

Learn more about how to make social sharing easy for your employees. Schedule a demo with Clearview Social today.