3 Real-World Examples of Successful Employee Engagement Strategies

Workspace engagement

Every manager wants their team to be engaged, but what exactly does an engaged workforce look like? And how can you achieve it? We look at three real-world examples of successful employee engagement strategies in action.

Employee engagement is a hot topic in the HR world, and for good reason. For starters, the COVID-19 pandemic ended years of gradual growth in employee engagement and self-reported levels of thriving at work. Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2022 report shows that only 21% of workers feel engaged at work. That means 79% of employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged in the workplace. Meanwhile, only 33% of employees feel they are thriving at work.

employee engagement
Source: Gallup

Unsurprisingly, stress is a major factor behind this stagnation of employee engagement.

Related Reading: How to Build Employee Engagement, Satisfaction, and Increase Staff Retention

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, Gallup found that 43% of workers said they experienced a lot of stress throughout the previous day — an all-time high since 2019. This percentage went even higher in 2021, with 44% reporting high stress levels. Whether the stress is caused by work itself or spilling into work is unclear, but one thing’s for sure — stress affects worker engagement levels.

daily negative emotion
Source: Gallup

Maintaining high levels of employee engagement has always been a constant challenge for any organisation. But these latest developments underscore the importance of exploring or reinforcing employee engagement strategies to keep your teams motivated and productive.

What makes employee engagement strategies so important? 

As the adage goes, happy employees are productive employees. In one Oxford study, researchers found that employees are 13% more productive when they’re happy.

This begs the question: What exactly makes employees happy?

While different people have different sources of motivation and satisfaction, an answer that often comes up is engagement. When employees are engaged, they’re more likely to be more invested in their work. In fact, organisations with an engaged workforce have double the rate of success compared to less engaged companies.

Related Reading: How to Build an Employee Engagement Strategy for 2022

Real-world example of employee engagement strategies in action

So what can managers and HR professionals do to boost employee engagement? Take inspiration and ideas from these three real-world examples.

1. Microsoft: Enabling strategic, flexible working

Workers have long lobbied for more flexible working arrangements, touting benefits such as improved work-life balance and higher productivity levels from increased autonomy. But it wasn’t until the pandemic that employers saw the truth for themselves — the traditional 9 to 5 in the office need not be the only way of getting work done.

Our research on employee attitudes in 2021 revealed that 64% of workers in the UK and US want a permanent mix of remote work, in-office work and working in an approved public space — a setup known as hybrid working.

Related Reading: The Hybrid Working Model: What Is It and Can It Work?

Luckily, some of the world’s largest employers have caught on to this paradigm shift. Last year, Microsoft officially announced a shift to hybrid working, with Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella calling it “the biggest shift to how we work in our generation.”

Nadella adds that Microsoft is supplementing its move to hybrid work with new operational policies to increase engagement, such as enhancing one-to-one and one-to-many communications and using data analytics to track well-being and prevent burnout.

2. Google: Supporting employees’ side projects

One way to keep your employees engaged and satisfied is to allow them to work on personal projects using a portion of their time at work. This is a workplace benefit known as “side project time,” and it’s a scheme that’s become increasingly popular in recent years as companies look for ways to attract and retain top talent.

For example, Google’s “20% time” policy allows Google employees to use 20% of their paid work hours (one day per week) to work on side projects of their choosing.

Side project time can be an incredibly valuable benefit for employees, as it allows them to explore new interests, develop new skills, and pursue their passions outside of work.

3. Patagonia: Embedding CSR into their brand DNA 

Much has been said about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and how it demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to its employees, customers, and the environment. For instance, research by PR firm Porter Novelli reveals that 69% of employees wouldn’t want to work for a company that doesn’t have a strong purpose, while 60% said they’re willing to take a pay cut to work for a purpose-driven company.

However, CSR can be a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, demonstrating good corporate citizenship could strengthen your image and reputation. But without a clear set of goals anchored to your organisation’s brand, culture and business strategy, your CSR initiatives could come across as inauthentic, leading to accusations of performative activism and “greenwashing.”

You can avoid this problem by taking inspiration from brands with successful CSR strategies, like Patagonia.

Transparency is perhaps the biggest factor that distinguishes Patagonia’s CSR efforts. For example, the company outlines the provenance of their materials, where their products are made and even the carbon footprint of their manufacturing processes — all of which comprise Patagonia’s environmental footprint. Meanwhile, the brand’s Buy Less, Demand More initiative calls on customers to buy fewer clothes and take advantage of Patagonia’s repairs program.

This authentic approach to social responsibility builds trust with existing and potential employees, making you a more attractive organisation to work for.

Employee engagement is a multi-pronged process

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to keeping your employees engaged. Energising your teams requires a combination of strategies tailored to your organisation and workforce’s needs. Take the time to understand what motivates your people and use the insights from these successful employee engagement strategies to develop your own initiatives.

Find more insights about employee engagement by following the Cloudbooking blog. Get in touch with the Cloudbooking team to learn how our workspace management platform supports flexible and hybrid working in your organisation. Schedule an obligation-free demo to learn more.

Like this article? Spread the word

Want to hear more? Never miss a Cloudbooking post

We promise not to pester so get the best of Cloudbooking straight to your inbox, once a month!

Try Cloudbooking today

Request a free, no-obligation demonstration and let us show you how our system can benefit your organization.