5 Tips to build an employee engagement action plan

Written by: Officevibe team | Edited by: Nora St-Aubin | Illustrated by: Officevibe team
Published on: August 23, 2021 |  Reading time: 6m

Every great manager wants a team full of motivated, engaged, and hard-working employees. According to Gallup’s most recent Q12® Meta-Analysis, businesses with high levels of employee engagement saw moderate increases in profitability, productivity, and customer loyalty, while also seeing significant decreases in employee turnover and absenteeism.

But employee engagement doesn’t just happen. It comes from spotting what’s working well and what’s holding people back, then working to emphasize the positive and improve the negative. This shows employees that you’re dedicated to keeping them happy and engaged, and empowers them to show up and do their best work. This is your employee engagement action plan.

What is an employee engagement action plan?

In short, it’s a plan put in place by an employer to better engage the people who work for them. As a manager, you can create an employee engagement action plan by assessing where engagement might be falling short on your team, and then developing strategies to improve those areas.

Sending your team a regular employee engagement survey is a great way to understand their experience and get their feedback. When you analyze the results from these surveys, you get a clearer picture of what’s bringing employee engagement up, and what’s bringing it down. You may even spot some areas you didn’t know your employees were struggling. This is the crucial knowledge that helps you build an excellent employee engagement action plan.

How to build an employee engagement action plan

  • Review the data, and identify which areas to prioritize. You might prioritize the lowest-scoring metrics from your engagement survey, or any area that’s a current pain point for your team.
  • Engage employees in action planning for these challenges. Your team knows their dynamic and workflows best, and have valuable insights on how they might improve things.
  • Determine your goals and your endgame. Having a vision of where you want to end up gives you a clearer idea of how to get there. Make sure these goals are realistic and actionable.
  • Get your team members involved. Have employees take on some responsibility in carrying out the plan. This makes it a shared initiative and encourages leadership.

No employee engagement strategy is going to be one size fits all, so your plan will depend on your company context and team challenges. And just like teams, business goals, and strategies evolve over time, so do levels of employee engagement. That’s why a great employee engagement action plan isn’t just a one-time thing. Once you start taking action to improve engagement on your team, it becomes a regular part of maintaining team health.

Building an action plan for engagement is an important step in improving employee morale and job satisfaction. Create the best engagement plan for your team with the tips outlined below.

5 Tips for building an employee engagement action plan

1. Don’t focus on too many things at once

Once you’ve sent out an employee survey and collected your employee feedback, your next step is to analyze the results. Look through your survey results and choose a couple of areas to emphasize. This way, you can zero in on specific metrics that could go a long way for your team members, rather than spreading your focus in too many directions.

Remember that less is more when deciding which metrics to prioritize. The narrower your focus is, the more opportunity you have to make positive, impactful changes. If you’re unsure where to start, pay attention to the results that have the highest and/or lowest percentages, or focus on the metrics that tend to fluctuate more.

2. Make the process a team effort

You can’t make a great employee engagement plan without the help of your team. It’s important to get them involved early because many employees feel a disconnect between their experience and their manager’s perception.

1 in 4 employees don’t feel that their manager is aware of their pain points.

Officevibe Pulse Survey data

Start by working together to understand the engagement issues the team is facing before tackling them. From there, you can brainstorm solutions together and have everyone take on some action items in your plan. Developing an engagement action plan can help you foster a sense of togetherness and understanding in your team.

You can dig deeper into issues by discussing survey results in one-on-one meetings with employees. This helps you understand the employee experience and follow up on action items you set together. Officevibe helps you do this easily by turning engagement metrics into one-on-one talking points. 

3. Once you’ve got everything together, make a plan

Now, it’s time to put your employee engagement initiative into action. With data from your employee surveys, a better understanding of your team’s experience, and ideas you came up with all together, you’re ready to build your plan.

A complete employee engagement plan includes:

  • A list of well-defined, realistic goals.
  • Ideas for initiatives and activities that allow for greater employee engagement.
  • A timeline for carrying everything out, and deadlines for your team members’ individual tasks.

It’s important that all hands are on deck to get the most out of your engagement plan. Give your team members the opportunity to take on action items for themselves or volunteer to carry out certain tasks. Balance this with their regular workload so no one gets overworked.

4. Regularly follow up on the plan’s progress

For any manager, excellent communication with your employees is key. As you roll out your engagement plan, keep your team posted on your progress and ask for their feedback on an ongoing basis. If you hit roadblocks together or things don’t go according to plan, make it a discussion and see how you might readjust or try something else.

Keep in mind that you may need to continue refining and changing your approach. Sometimes when one engagement area is addressed, another focus area emerges. This is normal and precisely why you want to maintain ongoing communication with your team.

5. Keep measuring employee engagement metrics

Above all, remember that improving employee engagement doesn’t have a finish line. These plans are designed to be ongoing, and further evaluations and adjustments will eventually need to be made. Don’t be afraid to reevaluate your engagement plan every month or two, and set new goals and tackle new metrics.

Sending out employee pulse surveys that cover the same metrics and ask the same engagement questions helps you see how much positive change has resulted from your plan. Pulse surveys help you easily spot any fluctuations or trends, because they measure the same metrics over time. Officevibe‘s surveys are quick to answer and reports are easy to read, so they never take time away from you and your team doing what you do best.

An employee engagement action plan for the long-term

You can always take quick steps to improve employee engagement on your team. But the best action plan is one that can be deployed long-term. This doesn’t mean it has to be a significant investment of time, effort, or money — it simply means it’s something you tend to over time and adjust as needed. And with a sidekick like Officevibe to automate most of the work, you’ll be well-equipped to develop a plan for your team that really works.