Improving employee engagement: actionable tips from client success

Improving the experience of your people

Leveraging the voice of your employees


Secrets to Success – Insync’s Virtual Roundtable

In November 2022, Insync hosted a virtual roundtable with a range of people from community services organisations. The purpose of the session was to learn from the experiences of two organisations that achieved top-quartile or top-decile employee engagement in spite of the many challenges facing the sector. Our 3 guests were Shelley Micale (Anglicare WA) and Kieren Kearney and Karly McCaskill (Workways). Briefly summarised below is what our guests shared about how they lifted employee engagement and what advice they would give to others.

Our virtual roundtable ‘Secrets to Success’ will be hosted bi-annually discussing important issues affecting those in this sector. If you wish to be involved, please contact us.

What have you done in response to your employee feedback, and what results have you seen?

“We’ve focused on innovation. We’ve introduced innovation units in the organisation and unlocked fantastic ideas from our people. We’ve pursued that consistently and had a big increase from 43% to 72%.” – Shelley Micale (AnglicareWA)

“We have over the course of the last five years shaped our values and changed them. We’ve made them a bit more unique to resonate with more people and to push what was already quite a high sense of pride, a little bit further.” – Shelley Micale (AnglicareWA)

“We worked a lot with the board on redoing our values and then embedding those values. It’s all very well to do the work on changing your values and making them better related to the culture that you want, but actually embedding those and making sure that the staff felt some connection to them and were living them was important.” – Karly McCaskill (Workways)

“Making an absolute point of sharing the bad news as quickly as we share the good news, so that staff are actually buying into the whole of the organisation, not just the good news stories, has been key in how we’ve engaged and improved communication the organisation.” – Kieren Kearney (Workways)

“We’ve redeveloped our learning and development strategy, invested heavily in induction to make sure that staff not only knew what they needed to do, and what the expectations were, and what the values and culture were of the organisation, but to welcome them. So, you know, from day one, they felt like they were part of the team and they felt connected to the team.” – Karly McCaskill (Workways)

What are you tips to improve employee engagement?

“One point of advice would be don’t try and focus on everything, pick some things, and really focus and hone in on those. We focused on culture, communication and capability development in particular, which had a knock-on effect in a whole range of other ways.” – Shelley Micale (AnglicareWA)

“What was also important was making sure we were communicating improvements back to the business, so staff knew that the feedback they gave us was being taken on board. There’s no point in doing this unless you’ve got an action plan that you can deliver on, so that was critical to engaging our staff throughout the process.” – Karly McCaskill (Workways)

“Ensuring that everybody’s part of the solution – making sure there’s ownership from the frontline staff, right to the executive, and everybody plays a part in improving the workplace.”– Karly McCaskill (Workways)

What techniques have been successful in keeping your workforce engaged?

“Keeping people engaged is a challenge, but it comes back to a simple thing of trust. If people have told you something in a survey, and then you’ve come back and asked for their views and you say you’re going to do something then you need to follow through on it. It’s as simple as doing what you say you’re going to do.” – Shelley Micale (AnglicareWA)

“Making sure that staff are part of the solution and the solution-making process and that they can see that there are things they can do at a local level to own the solution is important. It’s about the whole organisation owning the problem and coming up with the solutions.” – Karly McCaskill (Workways)

Create high performing teams

Uncover insights to help you increase your employee engagement. Learn more here.

Related insights

6 retention strategies to hold onto experienced employees

Through analysis of over 40,000 employee survey responses we uncovered what makes people stay, along with 6 strategies to improve employee retention.

White paper: Why do so few employees feel appreciated?

Only half of not-for-profit staff feel truly appreciated. Our whitepaper outlines 6 main themes that are strongly related to feeling valued along with a good ...

Team leadership white paper: The 5 traits of an effective leader

Here are the five traits that are demonstrated by high performing managers and a self assessment guide to provide leaders with further guidance and focus areas.

Cutting through the noise for better internal communication

Less than half of employees are satisfied with internal communications. How can this be? Why does it matter? And what can be done about it?