As the calendar turns over to a new year, it’s the perfect time for organisations to reinvigorate their employee engagement strategies.
January marks a fresh start for both employees and employers, offering the opportunity to set fresh goals, foster motivation, and improve overall performance within the organisation.
So, where should we start?
Reflect on the Past Year 🤔
Before diving into a new engagement strategy, let’s take a moment to reflect on the previous year.
- What worked well?
- What didn’t?
- What feedback did employees provide?
- What needs improvement?
Conduct new surveys, gather valuable feedback (and listen to it, don’t just toss it into a drawer where it will be lost forever), and identify areas that need improvement.
This reflection will provide valuable insights to help you shape your new strategy effectively.
Set (and clearly communicate) Clear Goals and Expectations 📢
Start the year by setting clear and achievable goals for each employee and team.
- If you’re a line-manager, define individual and team objectives that align with the company’s mission and vision.
- If you’re managing the wider business objectives, create some transparent communication regarding expectations and objectives of the business. This will empower employees to align their efforts with the company’s vision.
When people have a clear understanding of what’s expected and how their efforts contribute to the company’s success, they are more likely to stay motivated and engaged.
Provide Development Opportunities 📖
Investing in employee growth and development should be a top priority all year-around.
However, January presents us with a great opportunity to look at the wider offer and set a fresh appealing strategy that aligns with business objectives for the year.
Encourage continuous learning by offering training programmes, mentorship and learning opportunities that empower your people to grow both personally and professionally.
When people see a path for advancement within the company, they are more likely to stay committed and motivated.
Foster a Culture of Recognition 🏆
Recognition and rewards go a long way in motivating people.
Consider implementing an employee recognition programme that highlights outstanding performance.
It doesn’t always have to be monetary; simple gestures like verbal praise or small tokens of appreciation can make a significant impact.
Regularly celebrating achievements creates a positive work environment and encourages people to excel.
Additionally, January is an excellent time to set the tone for the year by celebrating past successes and setting new milestones.
Prioritize Employee Well-being 😃
Employee well-being has become a top priority in recent years, and for good reason.
Consider offering wellness programmes, flexible working arrangements, making mental health resources available, and generally and openly promoting a healthy work-life balance.
It’s not a surprise that a balanced life leads to happier and more engaged people.
Foster a Positive Work Environment 😊
A positive work environment is crucial.
- Encourage open communication, teamwork, and create opportunities for cross-functional projects.
- Ensure everyone feels safe and included, train your staff to spot, call out and report biased behaviours (not everyone is aware of their biases but nonetheless their behaviours can isolate and hurt others).
- Ensure that everyone feels valued, heard, and supported in their daily tasks.
When people feel safe, included, rewarded, and connected to their colleagues, they are happier, more engaged, and motivated.
Solicit Feedback and Act on It 🗨️
Create a culture of open feedback where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas.
Be willing to adapt and make necessary changes based on feedback and involve your people in the decision-making process whenever possible.
When people feel that their opinions matter and are considered, they are more likely to engage actively in their roles (and stay with your company).
Regular Feedback and Performance Reviews 👁️🗨️
Implement regular feedback sessions and performance reviews throughout the year, not just during annual appraisals.
Constructive feedback helps people understand their strengths and areas for improvement, guiding them toward higher performance.
Measure and Adjust 📏
Last but not least: regularly measure the effectiveness of your employee engagement initiatives.
Collect data through surveys, performance metrics, and employee feedback.
Create an environment for open dialogue where employees can ask questions, provide feedback, and voice concerns (this could be through a platform, anonymous virtual suggestion boxes, company-wide meetings, direct feedback).
Use the information and feedback gathered to make necessary adjustments to your strategy to ensure it remains relevant and effective.
The above are just a handful of suggestions, there is so much more that you can do and implement, and every company is different, so look at what works for you and your people.
Whatever that approach looks like, let’s all embrace a fresh start and the opportunity to reenergize our employee engagement strategy.
And let’s not forget employee engagement is an ongoing process, not just a January one-off, and continuous efforts are essential for a motivated and high-performing team throughout the year.
So, make the most of this fresh start in January and build a more engaged and productive team for the year ahead!
The Motivation Agency has been supporting businesses in their Employee Engagement journey since 2006.
Our bespoke solutions are tailored to your needs and designed to help you achieve your goals. You can find out more about our services here.
A marketer at heart, Alessandra has built her experience and skills across different industries and countries.
From launching Brands on global markets to analysing consumer behaviour to create the most effective marketing campaigns for TD SYNNEX (a global tech business working with household names such as Google, Apple and Cisco); her approach is led by data and characterised by a true passion for marketing and innovation.
Her creative approach means she will find the best solution to tell a Brand’s story and clearly communicate its values through engaging content and comprehensive strategies.