People Over Policy: HR’s Vital Role in Employee Engagement - Netchex

How do you turn your workforce into the best trailblazing problem-solvers in the galaxy? Jean Luc Picard said it best: “Engage!” Employee engagement is more powerful than caffeine, and you can imagine how much your whole office would struggle without coffee.

Engagement means feeling connected with the company mission, coworkers, and clients. More than 60% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and most workers will keep clocking in just to keep up with living expenses. Engaged employees do more than “show up” for work–they put real effort into helping the whole company succeed.

So, why is employee engagement so important? How can your company better engage with its employees? And what role does HR play? 

Why is employee engagement so important?

More than an ideal to strive toward, employee engagement is essential for running a successful business. As long as we’re dealing with human workers instead of robots, people need to care about the work they’re doing, where they do it, and how they do it. Without engagement, inattention and indifference lead to wasteful mistakes.

Minimize turnover

Workers who feel connected to their job and their colleagues are less eager to find jobs elsewhere. Reduce turnover by putting your people first.

Increase productivity

Motivated workers are more alert and energized, going beyond the bare minimum. Disconnected workers may show their discontent by things like “quiet quitting.”

Improve profitability

What if your whole team worked as hard as the peak performers at your company? Engaged workers “go big” until it’s time to go home, and they return to go big again tomorrow.

Boost innovation + creativity

For all its impressive potential, AI can’t replace human logic and experience. When they’re engaged, your employees have the insight to identify inefficiency and problem-solve.

Ensure better customer service

Customers can be hard to satisfy, and they’ll notice when your staff doesn’t seem to care about the company’s reputation. In industries like HR software, customer service has to be excellent.

Key areas HR affects employee engagement

Managers might affect the day-to-day of their direct subordinates more, but HR staff is uniquely positioned to boost engagement throughout the company and for the long-term. Here are just a few of the areas where HR can make a huge impact.


Use multiple channels and stay connected throughout the employee lifecycle. HR staff needs to communicate clearly, but you also get to set the tone for workplace communication. Keep messages simple while also friendly, and stand behind your words with meaningful action.


Use a human-first approach to recruiting and hiring to make connections from the beginning of the first interview. Some employers treat applicants and new hires like they’re easily replaceable, which doesn’t encourage feelings of job security or loyalty.


Instead of just checking off required paperwork, use this time to make a PACT with new employees. Your company’s relationship with employees should be mutually beneficial, and onboarding should explain to new workers “what’s in store for them.”


When employers provide only the bare minimum of training to staff, it might suggest a culture of settling for “good enough.” You can change how workers think about training with meaningful learning programs. Ongoing professional development and cross-training strengthen the whole company while rewarding your most motivated staff.


Pep talks and bonus incentives have their place, but you’ll need to get organized to boost performance in the years ahead. Different workers need different types of guidance and motivation. Build a company-wide strategy for performance management with 9-box reporting.


Specific and timely kudos make your employees feel “seen” and appreciated. Make sure your leaders understand the importance of employee recognition for engagement and productivity. Coming from the right person, a sincere “thank you” or “good job” means a lot.


It’s tragic when you first hear about preventable problems in exit interviews or while offboarding. Conduct stay interviews to get ahead of turnover and protect your high-performers. Identify pain points and communication issues before they escalate. Set expectations and make sure you listen carefully to feedback and concerns.

Employee well-being

Some disengaged workers are just feeling overwhelmed or distracted by struggles in their personal lives. Go beyond traditional benefits by developing a wellness program with mental health resources. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) connect your workers with legal services, relationship counseling, childcare, and financial services.

Conflict resolution

Workplace drama produces entertaining gossip, but it tends to distract from real productivity. Take the initiative by developing clear policies, especially when it comes to office romance and reporting sexual harassment. Specific boundaries protect everyone’s safety and make it easier to focus on work.


The right tools make every job easier, and that’s even more true with HR software. Simplify evaluations and talent management with NetEngage. Empower your team with greater access to self-service portals and automation that reduces annoying mistakes on payroll.

Career growth

Help employees set their own SMART goals. (That’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely). The review process feels less arbitrary when it includes professional development and coaching toward the employee’s own goals. 

Company culture

Use HR surveys to create a culture of employee feedback. People want to have their voices heard, and your employees have valuable insights to offer. Be prepared to reconsider your priorities and policies when confronted with new information. When serving as the liaison between employees and upper management, HR staff need to stay connected with the concerns of workers.

Discover how Netchex can help your HR department increase employee engagement:

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