4 steps to building employee engagement

Published: 10/05/23

Companies with highly engaged employees tend to be 21% more productive than their counterparts who merely feel “satisfied” at work. 

Illustration of happy employees working together.

Throughout our case studies on employee engagement, we outline how our experience with these initiatives have helped increase profitability for our clients. In this post, we take a look at the top 4 steps you’ll need to start improving engagement:

1. Establish or update your employer branding

Is it possible for employees to feel invested in a company that is unclear about its values, mission and purpose? If your company hasn’t invested in an employer brand, chances are strong that your employees are under-engaged.

Remind them who your company is, what it stands for and what you’re working together to achieve. Make it routine to share news, insights and celebrate success. You can support these initiatives by establishing a meaningful employer brand and improving internal communications.

2. Make communication part of your culture

2020 and adapting to working during a pandemic gave companies a unique opportunity to flex their internal communication strategies. Employers who communicated regularly throughout the pandemic and customized communication needs for virtual employees, saw a higher-level engagement with their employees than those who didn’t.

Honest, frequent and personal communication creates a bond between management and employees at every level. According to the 2021 Gallup State of the American Workplace study, “Clients who have increased their percentage of engaged employees to 70% or higher have seen their workplaces completely transform, with corresponding improvements in growth and profits.” 

3. Drive alignment

If you don’t have an employer brand, establishing one will create a guiding light for alignment. Every value and goal must cross all areas of the business, including employees, partners, vendors and consultants. When you’re all working together towards a common goal, employees are more likely to feel they’re working toward a collective purpose.

4. Build a meaningful company culture

This is the measurement that separates the winners from the rest of the pack. It’s the lifeblood of your internal brand, and it matters to your employees. According to Robert Half's research, “More than one-third of workers in the U.S. (35%) and Canada (40%) wouldn't accept a job that was a perfect match if the corporate culture clashed.” Communicating, reinforcing and celebrating culture are crucial to keeping your team engaged and on track.

Fostering employee engagement at one of America’s largest retailers

Macy’s engaged Sanger & Eby to solve its challenge of efficiently and effectively communicating company news and other information with more than 125,000 employees across the United States. Having traditionally relied on printed internal publications, Macy’s understood they needed a better way to engage a nationwide workforce.

With the four steps above as our guiding light, we helped Macy’s establish its new priorities around the topics employees would find most valuable and how new communications should be delivered. From there, we set out to build a new content strategy to inform a brand-new, interactive digital experience for all employees — from office workers at corporate headquarters to those on the retail floor.

Read the full case study to learn more about how we helped one America’s most iconic brands foster better employee engagement and a stronger company culture.

Now’s the time to improve employee engagement

Don’t wait until the dust settles to create or establish your company culture. Times of transition create the perfect opportunity to re-align and build a strong path forward that keeps employees engaged and retained.

Ready to start building employee engagement and creating a brighter future for your organization? Let's talk.