- 1 What is an employee engagement strategy?
- 2 Employee engagement – benefits for a company
- 3 Best employee engagement strategies
As an explicitly dynamic industry, the IT sector challenges employers to keep employees motivated and loyal. Many factors influence IT employee engagement and have an impact not only on staff turnover and performance but the general business results. Let’s learn a few top employee engagement strategies that work in IT.
What is an employee engagement strategy?
An employee engagement strategy is a detailed plan of how the company will keep its employees engaged and motivated. It focuses on employees’ feelings towards the organization that reflect in their behavior, actions, and efficiency.
According to Zenefits, 63.3% of companies find retaining employees more difficult than hiring new team members. This is why an employee engagement strategy is critical in modern IT companies and should be an integral part of the talent management plan.
This is increasingly important in the era of remote work when it’s challenging to have complete control over how employees feel about being a part of the company. Employers should then build a solid strategy. It will help them to monitor and motivate all employees, also those who are not physically present in the office.
Good strategies for employee engagement should include:
Measurable metrics that will help you to measure your employees’ current engagement and monitor the results of introduced improvements.
Goals that define and precise the results you want to achieve by implementing an employee engagement strategy.
Action plan and tactics that correspond with the goal.
Budget calculated accordingly to the chosen tactics. In case your budget is lower than required, seeking additional funding or optimizing the strategy is recommended.
Employee engagement – benefits for a company
Why are strategies to increase employee engagement so important? In fact, keeping employees engaged provides companies with a number of business benefits:
High morale means happier employees, and happy employees are more willing to work towards the company’s goals and show their commitment. They typically are more productive, achieve better results, and remain more creative and innovative.
Lower staff turnover and absences
Keeping the employees’ satisfaction high results in higher loyalty and lower staff turnover. This means that keeping your employees engaged will help you avoid never-ending recruitment processes for exactly the same positions. Additionally, it will also decrease the dimension of sick absences.
Better customer experience
Engaged employees lead to more efficient and pleasant customer service and experience. As you assume, this results in higher customer loyalty and, in the end, increased revenues.
When your employees are engaged in their work, they’re also more willing to extend their knowledge, take on more responsibilities, and participate in trainings. This is how they can fuel your team with new competencies and get ready for taking on managerial roles.
Friendly work atmosphere
When your employees enjoy their daily work, it creates a great environment. Engaged employees are more immersed in the company culture and ready to spread the word about it, which makes it easier to attract new candidates for your vacant positions.
Best employee engagement strategies
So how to keep IT employees engaged, and what are the top employee engagement strategies that work? There is a number of options to choose from, for sure. Let’s catch a glimpse of those that are the most effective and worth implementing.
Create a sense of purpose
Everyone would like to do a meaningful job – for them, or at least for anyone. This strongly impacts employee’s morale, motivation, and commitment to work. This means that the organization should ensure that all employees are aware of its vision and mission, as no one will stay productive without understanding why they have to do what they are told to do. In the world of IT, this can be also translated into ensuring efficient project management, working with Agile methodologies, and optimizing workload.
Everyone loves to be recognized and appreciated, and confident that their contribution is truly valuable. In the competitive IT industry, each team member should feel that their work is meaningful before deciding to search for the reward elsewhere. So, pay attention to your top performers, and show your appreciation regularly with simple gestures or bonuses such as gift cards, cash prizes, or additional days off. This will definitely help to keep them engaged.
Trust is the way to empower. Employees allowed to act more freely and independently will be more willing to take ownership and responsibility for more complex tasks and projects. Then, avoid micromanaging, and let your employees make their own decisions, corresponding with their seniority level. This will result in increased productivity, job satisfaction, and engagement.
Promote a culture of feedback
Ensuring space for giving and receiving feedback is crucial in all strategies for employee engagement and the primary factor that helps organizations and individuals grow. Try to promote communication that will encourage giving feedback on all seniority levels.
Conduct satisfaction surveys
Before your employee and candidate engagement grow, first it must be measured. Employee engagement surveys, similar to feedback, will help you to collect valuable information on how your employees feel about the company and what can still be improved. The survey should verify whether your team members:
- are satisfied with the management and flow of the projects,
- feel recognized and valued in their positions,
- have access to all resources necessary to perform their job efficiently,
- are on the way to achieving their career and personal goals and are provided with accurate development opportunities.
Resolving the issues will be an answer to how to increase team engagement.
Provide training and development
According to Gallup’s research, only 33% of employees claim that their work helps them to thrive, while 87% of Millennials say that they value growth and development opportunities provided by their workplace. Investing in employee development is one of the most vital factors that can drive employee engagement.
As the IT sector changes dynamically, there’s no space for reluctance and stagnation. Your employees will surely seek growth opportunities, and the more accurately you address these needs, the more engaged they will remain. Make sure that your company provides them with the expected variety of training in both hard skills and soft skills, and helps individuals create clear progression plans in line with their goals and the company’s needs. Additional budget or days off for education are also highly appreciated.
In the post-pandemic era, we can already wave goodbye to spending our 9-5 in the office. So, the more flexible you will be with remote or hybrid work options or non-standard working hours, the more attractive you will be to employees and candidates. In the IT sector, it is explicitly important, as the workation concept and working from abroad become a new standard in the industry.
Introduce mentoring program
The possibility to learn from more experienced colleagues is the fastest way to increase competencies in IT and often the main reason for choosing a workplace with a specific set of skills and expertise. The opportunity to learn best industry practices on-hands will be highly valued by employers and candidates. So, building a structured mentoring program will truly support your employees’ career progression and achieving their professional and personal goals.
Prioritize mental health
In 2023, employee well-being initiatives are more valued than ever before. In light of the increased risk of burnout, anxiety, depression, and addiction to electronic devices, companies should definitely put some effort into preserving employees’ mental health.
Creating a supportive workplace, promoting active relaxation, and providing them with benefits such as access to therapy or sports will help retain them in the company and increase their engagement. Also, paid holidays and paid parental leave policy will strongly support their work-life balance and prevent burnout and overwork.
Create a friendly space
Last but not least, the workspace plays a role in strategies for employee engagement. A well-organized office should ensure the proper communication flow and undisturbed collaboration, but on the other hand, remain focus-friendly and free of distractors.
Then, if you’re wondering how to keep your employees engaged and motivated, rethink your space and make some improvements if necessary. Also, make sure that your remote-working employees have all resources required to do their job efficiently, and make their life easier by implementing friendly and intuitive online communication tools.
If you’re currently looking for a reliable partner who will support you in your search for top-class software engineers – feel free to contact us. At inhire, we will provide you with the best candidates from European locations ready to get involved in your process. Let’s talk.
If you’d like to learn more about how various benefits can keep your workers even more engaged, check out our article on the importance of benefits!