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Build an employee engagement action plan in 3 steps

Build an employee engagement action plan in 3 steps - cover-min
Employee engagement is a crucial aspect of any thriving workplace. High levels of engagement lead to increased productivity, lower turnover rates, and a more positive company culture. For HR professionals, it's their role to create an environment where employees feel valued, motivated, and committed. 

Stuck on how to improve employee engagement? An employee engagement action plan provides you with a clear roadmap on employee engagement strategies, and the steps to take to ensure a more connected, mobilized, and satisfied workforce. Here’s how you can get started. 

Step 1: Setting employee engagement goals and gathering feedback

Setting clear engagement goals

The first step in creating an employee engagement action plan is to set clear, achievable goals. These goals will serve as the foundation for your engagement strategy and provide direction for your efforts. Here are some tips to consider:
  • Align goals with company objectives: Ensure that your engagement goals align with the overall objectives of the company. For example, if the company aims to enhance its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, setting goals around improving employee engagement can focus on volunteerism. This can indirectly lead to better collaboration and morale.
  • SMART goals: Use the SMART criteria to set your goals. They should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For instance, instead of setting a vague goal like "increase employee satisfaction," aim for "increase employee satisfaction scores by 10% in the next six months."
  • Diverse goals: Consider setting a mix of short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals can provide quick wins and keep momentum going, while long-term goals will contribute to sustained engagement.

Gathering feedback through surveys

To understand what truly engages your employees, it's essential to gather their feedback. Conducting surveys is an effective way to hear directly from your workforce about their needs and preferences. Here are steps to take:
  • Designing the survey: Create a comprehensive survey that covers various aspects of employee engagement, such as job satisfaction, work-life balance, recognition, skills-based volunteering interests, and development opportunities. Ensure that the questions are clear and unbiased.
  • Anonymity and confidentiality: Guarantee anonymity to encourage honest feedback. Employees are more likely to share their true opinions if they know their responses won't be traced back to them.
  • Analyzing the results: After collecting the survey responses, analyze the data to identify trends and common themes. Pay attention to both the quantitative data (e.g., satisfaction scores) and qualitative feedback (e.g., open-ended comments).
  • Communicating findings: Share the survey results with your employees. Transparency is key to building trust. Highlight the areas where the company is doing well and acknowledge the areas that need improvement.

Step 2: Centering employee engagement around workplace volunteering

Build an employee engagement action plan in 3 steps - 1-min

Implementing an employee volunteer program

One of the most impactful ways to boost employee engagement is by creating opportunities for employees to give back to the community through volunteering. A well-structured employee volunteer program can enhance morale, foster team-building, and create a sense of purpose. 

Catchafire’s employee engagement software connects Fortune 500 employees to thousands of nonprofits with open volunteer projects. Employees can lend their talent and expertise in areas such as marketing, financial management, and strategic planning.

Here’s how to get started, and how Catchafire can help:

  • Identify causes and partners: Collaborate with employees to identify causes they are passionate about. Catchafire’s platform offers nonprofits from 24 different cause areas, including areas such as education, housing, and youth development. These nonprofits have been vetted by Catchafire, reducing the burden on your staff for any administrative work around sourcing and logistics. This ensures that the volunteer opportunities are meaningful and resonate with your workforce.
  • Provide diverse opportunities: Offer a variety of volunteering options to cater to different interests and schedules. Catchafire offers virtual and in-person skills-based volunteering options ranging from 15 minutes of microvolunteering in written form, one hour consultation calls, full-length projects, and board service. Employees can use their professional skills to benefit nonprofits based on their skills, interests, and availability. This ensures that volunteering is on employee terms and engaging rather than being burdensome.
  • Promote the program: Communicate the details of the volunteer program clearly and frequently. Use multiple channels such as emails, intranet, team meetings, and newsletters to ensure all employees are aware of the opportunities available.
  • Incorporate volunteer time off (VTO): Consider providing VTO as a part of your benefits package. This allows employees to take paid time off to participate in volunteer activities. It shows that the company values community involvement and supports employees in their efforts to give back.

Encouraging charitable giving

Build an employee engagement action plan in 3 steps - 2-min

In addition to volunteering, providing options for charitable giving can further increase employee engagement. Here are some ideas you can leverage on Catchafire:
  • Donations: Employees can donate to organizations and causes they care about directly on Catchafire.
  • Dollars for doers: Provide rewards for your employees’ volunteerism and community work. Consider giving your employees money to donate when they reach one of your company volunteering benchmarks as an incentive.
  • Workplace giving campaigns: Distribute money to your employees to donate to a nonprofit of their choice. Consider a monthly stipend, or providing employees with money to donate during initiatives like Giving Tuesday, Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Pride Month.
  • Employee rewards and recognition: Provide money to your employees to donate for their work-related achievements, like exceeding company benchmarks or as part of an annual bonus. 
  • Board service: Employees can pursue professional development on a deeper level by joining the board of directors of a nonprofit organization on Catchafire.
  • Volunteer events: You can also utilize Catchafire to host volunteer events for your team. Catchafire's signature volunteer events are typically brainstorming sessions where teams of employees meet with nonprofits to work on a real-life challenge. These events can be a fun way to bring employees together while raising support for good causes.

Step 3: Setting metrics and developing reporting

Build an employee engagement action plan in 3 steps - 3-min

Establishing metrics to measure engagement

To ensure the effectiveness of your engagement efforts, it's crucial to set metrics and track progress. Here’s how to establish meaningful metrics:
  • Define key performance indicators (KPIs): Identify the KPIs that will help measure the success of your employee engagement activities. These could include metrics like employee satisfaction scores, participation rates in volunteer programs, employee retention rates, and overall productivity levels.
  • Regular monitoring: Continuously monitor these metrics to track progress. Use tools like employee engagement surveys, feedback platforms, and reporting software to gather data regularly.
  • Benchmarking: Compare your metrics against industry benchmarks to gauge how your company’s engagement levels stack up. This can provide valuable insights and help identify areas for improvement. 

Developing comprehensive reporting

Effective reporting is essential to understand how your engagement efforts are performing and to communicate the impact to stakeholders. When it comes to employee engagement and volunteerism, Catchafire provides comprehensive reporting: 
  • Metrics: Access a custom dashboard with real-time insights and reports. Catchafire includes information such as employee hours donated, volunteers registered on the platform, project match information, and dollar value of impact created, as well as a nonprofit breakdown of needs supported, cause areas, communities served, and DEI demographic data. 
  • Impact stories––hear from your employees: Our impact stories page provides you with instant employee stories and testimonials as projects and calls are completed. This helps you provide regular updates on the engagement metrics to leadership and employees. Leverage monthly or quarterly reports, town hall meetings, or internal newsletters.
  • Activity tracker––download engagement data instantly: You don’t have to wait for an official report–dig into the impact being made by employees at any time. We make it easy for you to share your impact in the boardroom and out in the community.

Build an employee engagement action plan in 3 steps - 4-min

Utilizing the data and sharing real-life examples of how engagement initiatives have positively impacted employees can be motivating and reinforce the value of your employee volunteer program. Focus on providing actionable insights in your reports. Highlight areas where the company is performing well and areas that need attention. Offer recommendations for improvement based on the data.


Request a demo of Catchafire’s employee engagement software 

Building an employee engagement action plan is a strategic process that requires thoughtful planning and execution. By setting clear goals, gathering employee feedback, centering engagement around workplace volunteering, and establishing metrics and reporting, HR professionals can create a dynamic and supportive work environment. This not only boosts morale and productivity but also fosters a culture of engagement and purpose. Start implementing these steps today to create a thriving workplace where employees feel valued and motivated.

Discover how Catchafire can provide employee engagement solutions and request a demo today. 

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