5 Things Managers Can Do to Increase Employee Engagement & Well-Being

Written by Kayla Brehm | Nov 9, 2015 8:53:55 PM

A recent study by Gallup revealed that the addition of well-being to corporate programs enhanced the benefits of employee engagement. You already know that you want engaged, happy workers. You want a team that shows up excited and that cares about each other, the product, and the customer. But Gallup uncovered that only 32% of US workers are engaged in their jobs.

That means 68% of US workers don’t feel connected with their work. 

So what can leaders and companies do to improve the balance and reactivate their workforce? Gallup suggests spotlighting well-being (or wellness) programs.


What exactly is well-being/ wellness?

From gym memberships to healthy lunch options, many companies today focus on promoting physical health as corporate wellness. But corporate wellness is so much more than a gym membership. Gallup breaks it down below in five categories: Purpose, Social, Financial, Community, and Physical.

A study by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health shows that organizations with highly effective wellness programs report significantly lower employee turnover than do those whose programs have low effectiveness (down to 9% vs. 15%). The benefits are endless.

Employers have to think about the whole puzzle, and not just one piece. Here’s how.


1. Evaluate your culture

Yes, corporate culture is a huge buzzword; but it’s talked about so often for a reason. It describes who you are as a team and company. What are your values? How do you communicate?

The business team at Help recently sat down to create our team core values. One of our most popular values: We over-communicate intelligently and thoughtfully, indicates a focus on wellness. Why? We want to make sure everyone knows what’s going on at all times. We know what makes each other tick- and how they work best. Is your environment supportive?

Ask yourself:

  • How are you handling employee engagement and wellness now?
  • What’s working?
  • What’s not (look at employee turnover for insight)?
  • What are your goals?
  • Is there a gap?

To make sure we’re communicating thoughtfully each week, Help implemented 15five, a tool that helps managers celebrate team wins, review roadblocks and discover great ideas in minutes each week.


2. Ask your employees what they want

Poll your employees to get an idea of what benefits/ programs they care about most. You may be surprised about what you find out.

We recently surveyed our team to figure out what they valued most in our existing corporate programs. I thought our team would place food top of mind (most are pretty vocal about their likes and dislikes); but it was actually pretty low on their priority list.

What was most surprising? Some didn’t know we had a gym in our building that was open to use. The root of the issue was communication. Moving forward we committed to a more thorough onboarding process that lets each new team member know and understand the benefits offered to them.

Be proactive. If you offer stock plans for your employees, host informational sessions so that your team understands what’s available to them. Make sure your employees know what’s available to them.
3. Implement recognition programs

Impressed by your recent hire’s report? Say so!

Let your employees know that you think they’re doing a great job. The number one reason why most Americans leave their job is that they don’t feel appreciated. According to the Global Workforce 2015 Employee Recognition Report, 90% of those surveyed said that recognition positively impacted employee engagement and 88% said that it made a happier workplace. Invest in employee retention.

Help’s managers use 15-five to let each employee know that their work is appreciated. Platforms like AnyPerk and YouEarnedIt are also great options if you want to offer additional perks for great performance.


4. Include wellness in goal setting sessions

Does your team create individual goals each quarter? Have them include wellness goals and help them track their progress.

Give them the option. Letting them know that you, their manager, are interested in personal improvement is paramount.


5. Offer a variety of options

One of the worst things you can do as a manager is force your employees to participate in events that won’t benefit them or that don’t interest them. Listen to what they want. If you have volunteer days, let them choose where they spend their time.

Are you thinking of offering a gym memberships? Think about using a subsidy instead, letting folks choose which gym suits their personal needs best.


Moving Forward

Gallup’s study reveals what most of us already know- we want an engaged workforce. But how do we get there? Make wellness and employee engagement programs a priority. Talk to your team to discover what they think about your status quo, and learn what you can do to improve.