Employee engagement begins with culture. By shaping your organisational culture with the right values, you are simultaneously affording your business every chance of developing an ‘engagement culture’. These values include loyalty, accountability, teamwork and integrity.

A good place to start is to ask your team members about what they value and prioritise the most – this allows them to feel invested in the business and its vision. By being invested, they are more likely to put extra effort in not just for their own sake, but for their colleagues and the overall goal of the business.

Supportive team culture

To foster a strong and supportive workplace culture with high employee engagement, management and senior staff need to lead by example to ensure all employees feel more valued at work and do not experience excessive fatigue or burnout in the role. It is also important to take the health and wellbeing of staff seriously.


Implementing a strong and supportive culture may be achieved by:

  • Fitness incentives (subsidised gym memberships, afford extra flexibility around breaks so staff can exercise during their lunch hour)
  • Encouraging a mentally healthy workplace (zero tolerance bullying and harassment policies, speaking openly about mental health)
  • Encouraging regular use of annual leave to maintain a healthy work/life balance, and use of sick leave when required to ensure adequate rest and minimisation of spreading contagious illnesses
  • Organising periodic staff social functions (such as team dinners).


Opportunities for growth

A high performing employee will rarely stick around if they feel they have plateaued in their role. Look for any reasonable opportunity to provide growth and development to your employees. This could include extra training, tertiary education or CPD courses. Consider introducing development plans for your employees so they can feel they are on a path of professional development, as well as the possibility of upward mobility within the business.

Financial incentives for high performance

Establishing a system of recognition and reward will ensure high performing employees feel valued and appreciated, and financial incentives still very much play a strong role in rewarding employees.


A common arrangement is to pay employees a higher annual salary or hourly rate, and another is to give bonuses to reward performance. Correlating financial bonuses with strong performance objectives can impact both employee engagement and morale as well as the business’ own bottom-line in a hugely beneficial way.


Please note that performance bonuses should be linked to objective criteria as far as reasonably possible. This allows employees to know clearly where they sit and ensure they don’t feel unfairly treated. Financial rewards that are not based on clear criteria and that are subject to bias can be flawed and have a negative impact on employee morale.

Flexible working environments

External pressures can infringe on an employee’s ability to remain engaged in the workplace. They may be very motivated to perform their role, but health issues obstruct their ability to perform at a high level, or they have family caring responsibilities that mean they’re often late for work.


Don’t wait for an employee to formally request flexible working arrangements – get on the front foot and discuss with them what they need to succeed. As an example, this might mean performing earlier shifts so they can be home in time to look after school aged-children.


Ask your employees

Ultimately, your employees themselves will know the best way to keep them engaged and productive in their role and consulting with them can provide you with the answers you know will address employee engagement. Remember that all employees are different and you will need to adapt your approach for each employee.

Benefits of high employee engagement

  • High level performance – with engagement comes a motivation to do well and go the extra mile in their role
  • Job satisfaction – where an employee has a deeper, internal sense of purpose in their role, such as sharing in the business’s values and vision, their job satisfaction will skyrocket
  • Reduced turnover – when an employee is committed to the business and its values, they are less likely to be tempted to move elsewhere. This minimises the recruitment costs required to replace previously high performing employees
  • Low absenteeism – this minimises the disruption to day-to-day operations
  • Overall benefits – highly engaged employees will provide a better experience for customers and clients, and function as model employees to improve recruitment results.

More information

Creating and maintaining high employee engagement can pay dividends in the long run for your business, minimising operational costs and driving individual and company growth.


For more information about this article, please contact the APodA HR Advisory Service on 1300 620 641 or hrhotline@podiatry.org.au. A suite of online resources is also available for members 24 hours a day, seven days a week here.

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