4 Ways to Improve Your Employee Engagement

I met a successful business owner at airport security several years ago, both of us were travelling to our branch offices when I asked him this question:

“What makes a company successful?”

He replied, “It’s all about good people”

Fast forward to 2022, there is lower unemployment than we’ve ever seen, and its taxing employers and managers to figure out how they can:

  1. Retain the great staff they have
  2. Attract and recruit great new people to build their business

As a company focused on products that make people feel valued, and with the benefit of feedback from many blue-chip organisations we have a few opinions on how you can do this better.

So, how can you improve employee retention?

Yes, it’s the number one priority in most businesses: if you’ve got great staff, work out what they need and want, and hold on to them.

So, what are the top employee motivators these days?

  • To feel valued and appreciated
  • To have flexibility around how and when they work
  • To have a clear direction (a career path)
  • To feel they belong
  • To do meaningful work
  • To connect with their employer’s values (some call it a culture fit)
  • To work for a company with a corporate social responsibility commitment 
  • To be looked after, in their physical health and their mental wellbeing

The more employers can demonstrate they believe in employee retention and make their intentions individual to their employees, the better they will hold on to the great team members they have.

It’s WIIFM: What’s In It For Me? 

Everyone is different, so to make this amazing you must personalise it amazingly.

Just consider the difference between employees who have children and those who don’t; the difference between those who have pets and those who don’t. Or between those who work in a lorry compared with those who work in an office. What makes their roles and lives different – how do their priorities, worries, and delights differ?

The recognition that every one of your team is different and motivated differently will help you find what really makes them tick. It doesn’t take much consideration to realise that it would be easy to hit or miss the mark when it comes to choosing branded gifts. There are simple branded merchandise products that will either bring a smile to your employee’s faces or draw a blank response instead.

10 employee milestones where branded merchandise can help

When you consider the cost of wages for most companies and the percentage of a company’s costs this expense line represents, it seems logical that more effort is put into inspiring, training, providing feedback, and ensuring the health and happiness of this amazing investment.

Imagine if you had an item of plant and machinery in your building that cost as much as your entire wage roll every year! Don’t you think you would spend significant money maintaining it, servicing it, and ensuring there was absolutely nothing that would hinder its production capacity?

This, for leaders and managers who care about their employees’ engagement and well-being, can make a huge difference to the productivity of their ‘employee machine’.

For example, what would be the impact if you celebrated just some of the following milestones?

  • New job acceptance
  • Passing probation
  • Birthday
  • Work anniversary
  • Long service milestones, 5, 10, 15 years, etc.
  • Weddings
  • Christmas
  • Personal best accomplishments
  • Mental health awareness week
  • Maternity/paternity leave

The impact is enormous, and the incredible thing is no one ever gets fed up receiving branded gifts. If employers unlock this secret of maintaining employee engagement at minimal cost, they can massively increase productivity, profit, and culture.

And the good news is these kinds of conversations, and the gifts that go with them cost very little in proportion to the cost of the wage roll for any business.

View Corporate Gift Boxes

How much does it cost to give regular employee merchandise drops?

The average UK full-time salary is around £38,600 currently (excluding National Insurance, Pension, and other employer costs) so let’s look at how much regular branded gifts cost as a proportion.

A 6-monthly merchandise pack costing approx. £40 twice per year, that’s £80 divided by £38,600. That’s only 0.002% of an average employee’s annual wage.

Looking at the bigger picture- It’s tiny!

It will hardly register on your budget statements and employers we speak to are recognising they must do something to stop the costly and damaging roller coaster of regular levels of attrition.

Alongside quality manager training and regular clear communication, there’s an opportunity for leaders to be more generous with their teams and secure ambassadorship to the company brand.

It’s all about engaging employees throughout their entire employee lifecycle. Gifting branded merchandise is a simple yet proven effective way to do this.

How to improve your recruitment strategy

If you put senior people in recruiting (as senior as possible) you will genuinely make your candidates feel more important.

Suppose a director was to phone up a candidate within half an hour of them applying and say “I just received your application, your CV looks excellent when could we meet?” don’t you think you would make an impact as an employer that was doing something special?

Then during the interview, using experience-based questions to find out what they have done not what they ‘would do’? Countless sources confirm that previous experience is the best predictor of future success and if a candidate can’t answer the question, it’s worth querying whether they are capable of the role.

And if applicants are as hard to secure as most employers seem to be found, why not give them a branded merchandise pack or product at the end of an interview to show you appreciate them coming – and to leave a lasting impression of your brand in their hand?

It’s all about standing out and it’s not all that hard to be better than the average company out there!

And once they accept your job, what next?

One of the biggest things that have changed is the choice that candidates have, which means once you’ve finished your recruitment process and made a job offer you can’t even be sure they’ll even turn up on their first day! What is your strategy for keeping in touch while they work their notice period and maybe get a counteroffer to stay with their current employer?

If people have a choice, you’ll benefit from being quick, and we have an idea that when we receive a great application, we lift the phone and talk to them. Emails and texts are good and they’re super easy to copy and paste but people are people and if you want to make an impact, prove you are a real employer by phoning them.

The best idea we’ve seen is sending these new starters a branded employee welcome pack. the effect is not only that it makes the person feel valued before they start, but time and again we see them posting images of their welcome pack on social media saying how welcome this has made them feel and how excited they are to be joining this amazing company very soon.

And if the welcome pack includes a personal, handwritten note (even if it’s printed) the employee will feel connected to a person, feel valued, feel welcomed and you will massively improve your chances of them turning up for their first day at work.

Quick summary of our 4 strategies

  • If you’ve got great employees, be serious about holding on to them with regular engagement and touchpoints
  • Celebrate milestones and life events with personalised merchandise
  • Regular merchandise drops are inexpensive; around 0.002% of their wages
  • Be fast to respond to job applicants, use experience-based questions, and make the interview memorable
  • An employee welcome pack says a lot about your value of people and creates an emotional tie that excites candidates about their new job 

Contact our experts to discuss your own employee retention strategy and how we can help.