Employee engagement

How to encourage employee engagement in your business


Employee engagement is about creating a shift in the organisational culture that establishes an environment that encourages effective staff participation and involvement right across your organisation.

Five Cs of employee engagement

Many experts suggest following the 5 Cs strategy to effectively encourage staff engagement.


Employers and managers must show that they care for their staff. You can do this by ensuring employees have the support and tools they need to do their job. You should also encourage a healthy work-life balance amongst your staff showing that their health and wellbeing is just as important to you as it is to them.

The more you engage with your employees the more you'll understand their individual needs and characteristics. You can then tailor the support and benefits you offer to meet these needs and create a more engaged workforce. Examples of caring can include offering flexible working arrangements and promoting workplace health and wellbeing initiatives.


Building strong relationships across your organisation can be very powerful. To do this you should encourage open communication and provide opportunities for employees at all levels to interact and collaborate. You can also utilise various initiatives and tools to help facilitate connections in the workplace eg mindfulness workshops, virtual chat groups, and social events so employees can get to know one another beyond just a professional level.

You could also give staff ownership of their connections by encouraging the development of staff forums where they can connect with their colleagues and have the platform to identify issues and bring forward suggestions to improve the way they work.


Coaching or mentoring staff to help them reach their full potential can be very effective for developing employees. This can contribute to career progression and staff retention.

When employees receive guidance and support to develop their skills, they are more likely to take on roles with added responsibility. You could offer staff opportunities to work in different teams or alongside managers on a specific project where they are coached through the key responsibilities of the job role. See mentoring to increase staff performance.


Giving staff the opportunity to contribute to how the business operates gives them more meaning to their job. It leads staff to become invested in the success of the business and therefore more motivated and productive. You can encourage staff to contribute through regular staff surveys or encouraging feedback and ideas on particular business problems. For further ideas, see encourage staff feedback and ideas.


To maintain high levels of engagement ensure you recognise and reward staff for their efforts to engage and contribute to the organisation. Develop a culture of staff recognition by thanking them on a personal level when an employee has achieved a significant objective or suggested an idea for business improvement. You could host staff recognition events on an annual basis to formally recognise and reward specific achievements.

Outlined below are areas that businesses should address in order to establish effective employee engagement.

Business strategy

Staff should be made aware of where your business is going, why it is taking the direction it is, and how it aims to get there. This can be achieved through a clear strategic narrative or business story. This helps employees develop a sense of value by understanding how their role fits in with the wider scope of the business and how they contribute to organisational goals. See communicate your business strategy and gain employee buy-in.

Engaging managers

Engaging managers who motivate, challenge, and support employees, treat them as individuals, and seek and respond to their views are key to employee engagement.

Employee engagement starts with managers showing a clear and collective commitment to making employee engagement part of business culture. This means sharing information on business plans and performance, making sure you live your business values, and seeking views and ideas from employees on how to improve your business. Managers who actively listen to employees and act on their opinions and suggestions for improvement, where appropriate, are more likely to encourage effective engagement from other members of staff. See how to be an engaging manager.


Effective two-way communication which listens to employees and involves and consults them in decision-making within your business is important. Communicate business information with staff and urge them to raise concerns and support the way you do business. Make it as easy as possible for staff to communicate and engage with you and management, for example, through regular staff surveys or online suggestion forms. To further encourage staff engagement you could reward ideas that are implemented in the organisation.


Integrity with employee engagement means practicing what you preach and adhering to your business values. There shouldn't be a gap between what the people in your business say and what they do. Build a culture that enables staff to share information and encourages open-mindedness. Respond to employee ideas or suggestions when they are brought forward. Integrity helps build the trust required to enable effective employee engagement.