Saying something is worth more than its weight in gold is a cliché. So we will go further: a good employee engagement strategy is worth more than its weight in gold, diamonds, platinum, or any other precious substance you can think of. Why?
It’s all about the results. Employee engagement strategies which work result in happier, more productive workers. And happier, more productive workers mean a better work environment, a boost in overall productivity, and an increase in your profits.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
This is a bit misleading. What we are really saying is too many managers are mistaking a tactic for a strategy. In some cases thinking a tactic has the same value as a strategy.
So what's the difference? Both can be used to increase employee engagement, however one is short term focused while the other is long term.
Tactics can be seen as a single element. It might be the pay, role structure, team conference or a single team event which contributes to the level, or lack of staff engagement. A tactic is a single piece of the jigsaw which makes up the whole picture.
Now a strategy is a little different. An employee engagement strategy is a company’s overarching plan to increase employee engagement. Often, managers like to plan an entire year’s worth of employee engagement events as part of their long-term strategy.
So let’s talk about the importance of both short-term employee engagement strategies (individual events), and long-term employee engagement strategies.
Why do you need a long-term engagement strategy? Shouldn’t employee engagement be a series of fun, spur-of-the-moment interactions mixed in with a decent pay cheque? While that 'flexible' approach is great, it’s not enough for a successful long-term strategy.
Think about it this way. You wouldn’t go off on a holiday and just point your car in any random direction and start driving, would you? No. Unless you really want to get lost, that’s not the way to go about it. You need to have a destination in mind, and – just as importantly – you need to have a concrete plan for how you’re going to get there.
It’s the same thing when you’re planning a long-term employee engagement strategy. You know your goal: you want your group to work together as a team and you want them to be engaged and happy in their work. But how will they get there? A series of random events scattered throughout the year is not going to help. So you need to first identify strengths and weaknesses of your team and plan employee engagement sessions that will harness the strengths and help correct the weaknesses.
To be successful, your long-term employee engagement strategy will take into account that it takes time to build your team and make them happy. It requires small steps along the way. You may even have to start with very small steps. This is all normal.
So yeah, you’re going to have to think about this. It’s too important to leave to chance. That’s why you need a long-term strategy.
This is a great place to start building your employee engagement strategy - Discover the 3 building blocks of staff engagement.
If a long-term strategy is your general route to your destination, then the 'tactics' are the petrol stations you need to stop off at along the way.
It’s okay for each employee engagement event to have a different goal, just as it would be normal for you to have to stop at different times and for different reasons along the route to your destination. But each employee engagement tactics should have some common features.
Is defining your employee engagement strategy worthwhile? Is tailoring it to your workers a valuable use of your time? The answer is pretty clear: yes!
To explore this concept even more you might want to read 4 keys to Successful Employee Engagement Activities.
Mike Symonds is the owner of Interactive Events and Creator of Funergizers. Known as the Chief Funergizer, Mike specialises in helping business leaders create energized, connected and engaging team cultures.
Click here to discover more about Funergizers and to receive your FREE 30 Day Trial of Funergizers DIY Engagement Activity Toolbox.