Five Tips for Employee Engagement in 2020

As we enter the New Year, many of us optimistically create resolutions for the 12 months ahead.  At the same time, many managers face the task of developing action plans to respond to employee engagement survey results.  Here are five tips for blending New Year’s resolutions and engagement change management:

  1. Welcome Employees Back! A lot of employee engagement comes down to interpersonal relationships, so one of the best engagement resolutions you can make is simply to connect with your team.  You may have had a holiday party and cards to close out 2019. Resolve to open 2020 with a welcome back open house and welcome back notes in January.
  2. Decide What You Can Control. Employee engagement reports often include benchmark scores for your industry or larger organization. While these can be helpful data, change management begins with recognizing what you can control.  You can’t always control promotion potential or pay and benefits.  Take ownership for the areas that you can control and want to act on.
  3. Pick Three Things. A long list of resolutions is unlikely to get done.  Focus on three specific areas to focus on in improving engagement.  For example, one organization decided to focus on improving scores related to the availability of professional development opportunities, improving supervisory skills and increasing social interactions at work.  This led to a specific action plan that could be tracked and reported on.
  4. Engage Employees in What You are Doing. Be explicit with your team about what you are doing and why. Share the action plan and your desired outcomes and ask for their input and ideas.  This process is as important as the outcomes themselves and show you are taking feedback seriously.
  5. Tell Them What You Did. Too often, managers implement change but do not link those changes back to the starting point.  Don’t assume employees will see the connection between what you did and what they said.  For example, say: “In last year’s engagement survey, you told us ___. We are rolling out ___ to respond to those concerns.” Connect the dots for them simply and often!

Employee engagement is as much about communication as it is about action. Focusing on these five tips will help you implement and communicate your employee engagement action plan in the new year. Welcome to 2020!