Employee engagement can be challenging.

Your staff are the lifeblood of your business so you need them to engaged, loyal and passionate about helping you achieve success.

But how do you achieve that? Particularly when you’re busy doing so many things.

We’ve put together 20 simple ideas to increase your employee engagement, so you can boost your business.

1.   Appoint An Ambassador

You’re busy, and so are your staff, but you have a bunch of different hats to wear. You’re also a master delegator, so you can appoint an Employee Engagement Ambassador.

This person can come up with creative ways to increase engagement amongst the staff. Make sure you choose someone with a positive, can-do attitude!

2.   Encourage Them To Speak Up

Make it clear that employees can speak their mind without fear of judgement or criticism. It takes courage for employees to do this, so be supportive when they take action.

3.   Let Them Get to Know Each Other

The better you all know each other, the closer you’ll feel, and the more you’ll want to help each other out.

Try injecting some fun into this by playing some games – they can be quick. You might get everyone to guess someone else’s favourite TV show or favourite meal.

4.   Become A Mentor

When you notice a team member is less engaged, invest the time to mentor them. (Click to Tweet) Set aside some time to help and support them so you can bring out their best.

Remember, the best way to get staff to do what you want is to inspire them to do what you ask.

5.   Reward Them For A Job Well Done

It’s important this isn’t a token gesture – reward those who truly deserve it or this will be a waste of time. Pay close attention to who has made progress and be sure to make it clear why you’re rewarding them.

Also keep in mind that ‘rewards’ don’t have to be financial. They can be a public thank you, a certificate or a token gift. Keep the rewards appropriate to the achievement, and to your business.

6.   Focus On Collaboration

People who stick to themselves tend to have lower engagement, so focus on ways you can get your team to collaborate. Maybe they back each other up on the job, or become understudies for each other so they can each take time off.

7.   Encourage Positive Health And Wellness

This just makes sense, particularly in a dental practice. You want a healthy team so everyone has less unplanned leave, and takes better care of your patients.

Try setting a good example by taking care of your own health.

8.   Clarify Goals And Responsibilities

Staff experience stress and become unmotivated when they’re unclear on their goals and responsibilities. Make sure each of your team understands their roles.

This isn’t about working to rule, it’s about having a good handle on their tasks. Even if you think your people know this, it’s worth checking in and making sure.

9.   Perfect Onboarding

Around 50% of people decide whether or not they’ll stay in a job within the first month of starting. Some people make their minds up on the first day.

So getting onboarding right is critical. (Hint: Use our Onboarding Staff Checklist to save tonnes of time).

10.        Be Flexible

Flexibility can make a huge difference to your team, and your business. When you demonstrate flexibility and have a ‘give and take’ mentality, people are more likely to go out of their way to help you.

11.        Create A Unique Environment

Your business is unique – it has to be to stand out in the crowded marketplace. The environment you create should be based on the values that underpin your business

Values-based businesses have greater staff engagement and greater success.

12.        Hire The Best Traits And Attitude

Cultivate a culture of professionalism, positivity and can-do attitudes. Start by ensuring you exhibit those traits because they’re contagious.

Our Cheat Sheet for Hiring Stellar Staff will make hiring the right people easy, too.

13.        Make Fun A Priority

If you’re not sure how to make fun a priority, try reading Fish! Tales: Real-Life Stories to Help You Transform Your Workplace and Your Life. It’s the story of four businesses who use the Fish! framework for making their workplaces – and customer service – exceptional.

14.        Celebrate Them

Celebrate wins with your team – make them a team event. It doesn’t matter who was responsible for the accomplishment, the important thing is that you’re celebrating as a team.

As well as celebrating goals and achievements, make sure you also celebrate birthdays.

15.        Encourage Recognition Cards

Peer recognition is a great way to boost employee engagement. Implement recognition cards, where staff can write down exactly what they think another person has done well.

16.        Encourage “Side-by-sides”

Side-by-sides are periods of time when one staff member shadows another. This helps you create fully trained understudies for each critical role, but it also gives staff critical insight into another person’s working life. This insight builds engagement.

17.        Hire From The Inside

If you’re able to hire from the inside, or even encourage staff to apply for positions that become available, it breeds loyalty and engagement. Staff feel special like they’re part of an inside club.

18.        Hold An Awards Night

Holding an official Awards Night is a great way of celebrating your team and their efforts. You can create categories of awards – some more serious than others.

You might have the winner of the warmest smile, or the person willing to go the furthest for great customer service.

19.        Have A Potluck Lunch

A potluck lunch is where everyone brings along a dish and shares. You can structure it if you like, by asking one person to bring a salad and another person to bring a dessert, or just go free-form and see what happens.

20.        Have A Photo or Video Contest

Have a contest to see who can capture the essence of your business or a fun behind-the-scenes shot, or teamwork in action. The bonus here is that you might be able to use the submissions in your social media feed – people love informal, behind the scenes shots!


How to Boost Employee Engagement

Here’s the bad news. It’s not always what you do, it’s the way you do it.

You see, I know that there are some organisations who have great policies and processes – some that have won awards for their employee policies, but have the unhappiest staff in the world.


Because they’re not genuine. They talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.

The key thing you need for improving engagement is to be genuine. Authentic. Trustworthy. (Click to Tweet)

You can’t fake that. It has to come from the heart. You have to genuinely care for your staff and want the best for them.

Your employees need to be a bit like a family. If you see them that way, it will start to filter through your organisation, your business and your patients.

Implement these engagement strategies, but do it because you care, not because you want a tool to build loyalty.