HR on a budget: building an employee engagement strategy

6 Nov 23 | Blog

Ping pong tables and beer fridges. 

Gym memberships and health insurance.

Bonuses and awards ceremonies. 

Whatever your take on employee engagement activities, they all come at a cost. And it’s not just the initiatives themselves that require a budget, it costs time, money and effort to measure it too (and hot tip: if you skip that part, then you might not choose the right programmes anyway). 

For resourced-strapped HR teams, this means building an employee engagement strategy isn’t easy. Thankfully, we’re here to help.

Why employee engagement matters, even on a budget

Employee engagement is not a new concept – which means there’s a lot of evidence for why it’s important. That didn’t stop us doing our own research, though. We found that organisations with high engagement are:

  • 4.6x more likely to have high growth
  • 10x more likely to have high net promoter scores
  • Quicker to adapt than their competition 

    Even for under-budgeted HR teams, employee engagement matters. It has a huge knock-on effect on the organisation’s general success, and the success of your specific HR programmes – so it’s worth taking seriously.

    That might sound easier said than done. 61% of HR professionals are worried about the impact of budget cuts on employee engagement, and 50% don’t think their leaders prioritise their people – meaning getting sign-off on those engagement-boosting activities is a challenge. But we have a solution…

    How to design employee engagement programs on a budget

    The secret? Prioritisation. And there’s 4 steps you should follow to do that…

    1. Reflect, by assessing your existing people data

    What’s going on in your organisation? First things first, look at your HR data to spot any emerging trends – like attrition – in particular departments or demographics, or the business as a whole. Then you’ll know WHY you need to boost engagement, and in which groups. 

    Sounds tricky? Our platform makes that part very, very easy. Easily integrate your HRIS, and we pull and analyse the data for you. No really, that’s it. People analytics, made easy (and free, if you sign up for a trial!).

    2. Measure, using affordable employee engagement tools

    The famous ‘employee engagement survey’ still has a place in this process. At Qlearsite, we know a thing or two about sending an effective engagement survey – and we’ve built it all into our affordable, easy-to-use platform. 

    Years of organisational science knowledge. Reams of research. Industry expertise. And an engagement survey that’s designed to drive high response rates and useful insights, and is ready-to-send in minutes… it’s an essential step in this process.

    3. Strategise, by layering HR data and text analytics

    Data and feedback, salt and pepper – some things are just the perfect pairing. Along with your engagement score (broken down into departments and demographics, of course), you see what specific things are driving engagement, and the most-discussed topics people focused on in their feedback.

    Did ‘leadership’ come up a lot, in a negative light? Or did people keep picking up on ‘tools’? Whatever it is, you can quickly narrow your focus on the engagement activities that will have the biggest impact on your people.

    4. Plan, with data-led employee engagement activities

    Attrition trends, predicted risks, engagement scores, feedback focuses – all of that comes together to give you a clear way forward. Once you’ve decided what specifically is going to boost engagement in your organisation, you can make your case to your leadership team – evidence on hand, with the data and insights you’ve found.

    Try Qlearsite today, get started for free

    Engagement makes you money, disengagement costs you money. We’re ready to help stretched HR teams build strategies that make an impact, without too big a dent in their budgets. Sign up today for a free trial of our People Analytics Platform, and get immediate insights based on your existing HRIS data. It’s fast, easy, and affordable – what are you waiting for?


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    "Qlearsite’s platform is a really helpful tool to push through OKRs – it’s easier when you have statistics and concrete evidence to back up initiatives."