Employees are one of the most valuable assets to any business. So, it’s crucial that employers do their best to keep them working to the best of their abilities. Effective employee engagement is one of the best strategies for getting the best out of your staff, so we’re here to give you a few tips on low-cost ways of boosting morale, showing you care and retaining a winning team.

What does employee engagement mean?

Employee engagement refers to the emotional commitment that staff members have to the companies they work for. When a business is capable of making all employees feel connected and committed to its organisational goals, workers are likely to be more understanding of their roles, happier, more efficient, better equipped mentally and emotionally and more trusting of colleagues, management, company processes and their future development.

Why should you focus on employee engagement?

Engaged employees are passionate, energetic, innovative problem solvers. They’re loyal and motivated – and who wouldn’t want that? An engaged workforce can also lead to…

  • Enhanced job performance and productivity
  • Increased innovation, ideas and creativity
  • Fewer accidents and safety issues
  • Lower absence resulting from better levels of wellbeing
  • Higher customer satisfaction, retention and recommendation
  • Improved employee loyalty and retention

Identifying low engagement

Looking out for low engagement should definitely be on your agenda as a business owner and employer. Look out for…

  • Reduced effort and performance
  • Negatively influencing colleagues and morale
  • Unfocused and easily distracted staff
  • High absence and lateness
  • General low energy and enthusiasm

If you think you might be spotting any of these signs, manage it with sensitivity to find out what’s causing disengagement and address it quickly.

How do you engage employees in the workplace?

You can make simple changes to improve employee engagement – it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

A great starting point is encouraging your employees to be themselves, rather than making them feel like they can’t express their opinions and personalities – it could lead to them feeling less invested in their work.

The ultimate aim of employee engagement is to help your employees feel appreciated, recognised and understood. You need to see each member of staff as an individual with specific capabilities.

This isn’t just helpful for employee engagement either – it’s a great way to develop your employees, and finding opportunities to grow the capabilities of your workforce is only likely to benefit your business. Plus, employee engagement will make sure you’re clear in your values and vision as an organisation and employees will be able to unite behind that.

Listen to your staff

Encourage involvement and participation in decision making. It’s incredibly valuable for staff to feel part of the decisions, and involvement will mean they are less likely to fight against change. Listening won’t cost you a penny, and you’ll get the input of staff ideas and solutions you might not have thought of.


Managers who are honest and open are more likely to secure trust and support. Being secretive, keeping information from staff and not following up on promises could cause disengagement.


Manage performance and let your staff develop and progress. Sometimes there might not be room for career paths or promotions, but some kind of development is essential – for example, expand responsibilities where you can.

Encourage social bonding

One of the highest reported influences on staff retention is having a friend at work. Employees who have friends at work will stay at one company longer, report lower levels of stress and take less time off work. Allow working in teams of friends, allow staff to take breaks with friends, organise social events (you don’t always have to foot the bill!) and opportunities for team bonding.


Allow your staff freedom and discretion over their work and show confidence and trust in them. Don’t micromanage! Give responsibility where possible, providing challenge and stretching potential.

We’re here to help

Think of HS Direct as a one-stop shop for all things HR – and as we all know, robust HR leads to higher employee engagement. With the help of our smart software solution First for Employment, you can create all the policies you need to build employee engagement and create a framework for your employees and your business to thrive.

Plus, you’re probably already aware that poor mental health can have an impact on productivity, attendance and morale, but did you know that we’ve got an Employee Assistance Programme that can help you out? With our BUPA-powered EAP, your employees will have access to 24/7 practical and confidential advice from qualified counsellors.

Want to find out more about how we can help? Just give us a call on 0144 244 4461 or use our contact us form.