Last updated on May 22, 2023 at 01:28 pm
In a world where engagement is on the decline, investing in the right employee engagement tools is crucial. We often overcomplicate the concept, assuming that solving it requires costly systems and products. But the truth is: the best tools don’t have to drain your budget. They simply need to be woven into your strategy and fueled by employee input. At our company, we’ve witnessed remarkable results when clients embrace the right engagement tools and tactics, with a strong emphasis on communication.
In this blog, we’ll share a few of our favorite FREE engagement tools. And we’re sharing a variety to help you touch on many components of the employee experience.
What are employee engagement tools?
Employee engagement tools are various types of products and software that help companies connect with their employees and foster higher levels of commitment and motivation.
There are many ways that worker engagement is defined, so there is a large mix of tools to choose from. Some of these tools focus on communication while others focus on leadership or worker development.
Why should you invest in employee engagement tools?
Investing in employee engagement tools is not just a wise decision but a strategic imperative for companies aiming to thrive in today’s dynamic business landscape. These tools offer a myriad of benefits that directly impact the bottom line.
Here’s why they’re a worthwhile investment:
- Boosted retention. High turnover drains resources and hurts morale. By recognizing employee contributions, offering growth opportunities, and fostering a sense of belonging, engagement tools increase retention rates.
- Enhanced productivity. Engaged employees are motivated employees. When individuals feel connected to their work and understand how their efforts contribute to the larger goals, they become more invested in their responsibilities.
- Improved EX. A positive employee experience is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Engaged employees are happier, more satisfied, and more likely to go the extra mile.
- Increased innovation and creativity. Engaged employees are more likely to contribute their unique perspectives and ideas. By providing platforms for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and cross-functional communication, engagement tools fuel innovation.
- Positive Company Culture. Employee engagement tools play a vital role in shaping the overall company culture. When companies prioritize engagement, it creates a ripple effect that permeates every aspect of the business.
From increased retention to an improved experience and company culture, these tools can lead to great success. By placing employees at the heart of the business strategy, companies unleash the full potential of their workforce, leading to sustainable growth and a competitive edge in the market.
Types of employee engagement tools
Because engagement itself is a bit of a nebulous concept, we recommend using a variety of tools to improve employee engagement.
In this blog, we’ll talk about a few different types of tools:
1. Employee engagement surveys
Employee engagement surveys are surveys that ask questions about an employee’s experience and engagement levels. Many companies conduct a long-form engagement survey annually with pulse surveys throughout the year.
These surveys improve engagement by helping you pinpoint areas for improvement. For example, they might help you uncover that manager comms are lacking or that employees don’t have the right tools to do their jobs.
Free Survey Tools: To start using this tactic, all you need is a survey tool. A few options:
Download our free employee survey checklist to make sure you create a survey that gives you actionable results.
2. Employee recognition platforms
Employee recognition comes in many forms. Recognition can be tokens of appreciation (e.g. holiday gifts) or even praise from managers during shift meetings. The point of recognition platforms is to scale appreciation at your company.
This is an important tool to consider because a staggering two-thirds of employees don’t feel adequately appreciated for the work they do. By investing in finding employee stories, regularly giving public recognition, and training your managers to be better at recognizing their teams, you’ll begin to show your teams you do care and appreciate them. A simple “thank you” is arguably the cheapest yet most effective of these employee engagement tools.
Free recognition tools: We understand that you might not have a budget for a platform (e.g. Officevibe). But that doesn’t mean that you can’t start an ongoing recognition campaign.
- If you want to create videos to recognize team members we recommend KineMaster, a free video editing app for your phone.
- To create great visuals to share, you can’t get any better than Canva.
3. Employee resource groups
An employee resource group (ERG) is an employee-led (but employer-supported) group to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace. They are a place where employees can openly share their experiences.
ERGs can boost engagement because diversity, equity, and inclusion are vital to your people feeling like they are accepted and belong. Too many companies don’t make DEI enough of a priority. ERGs can be a good first step—but only if they receive proper support and company sponsorship. If you don’t support your ERGs and the employees who volunteer to run them, you aren’t truly making the situation better for your minority employee groups.
Free Tools: Brilliant Ink has done incredible work gathering resources on DEI, anti-racism, and allyship into one resource center. A few of our favorite guides include:
- Say This, Not That: A DEI Style Guide to Inclusive Communications
- Picture This, Not That! How to Use More Inclusive Imagery in Communications
4. Microlearning Platforms
Microlearning is a type of e-learning that helps expand your growth and development offering for employees. Investing in these bite-sized educational videos can be key to showing your employees that you value them and are willing to upskill/reskill them.
Microlearning improves engagement because all employees want growth opportunities. If there aren’t any development track or training options at your company, employees might have to change jobs to move up. And for many deskless workers, development opportunities are rare. Giving employees training and growth plans will promote their loyalty and performance.
5. Team huddles
A team huddle or shift meeting is when all employees on a team come together. Shift meetings are usually when managers are expected to share company updates and reminders. These meetings often include:
- Talking about goals for the shift
- Areas for improvement
Helping your managers with shift meetings is a great tactic to improve EX. 70% of the variance in engagement is because of the manager (Gallup). That’s a lot riding on their shoulders, and this makes tip four even more important. You have to train your managers to be better communicators and give them the tools they need to have better conversations and positive relationships with their direct reports.
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