In our last blog, we discussed some New Year’s resolutions you could make to enrich your workplace in 2019. This week we’re taking a more in depth look at employee engagement and how this can benefit your office.

Employee engagement is a concept used in business to keep staff motivated in order to increase employee retention, enrich the office culture, and ultimately improve business results.

Senior HR Business Partner, Hannah Royall, and the HR Department have been working on an employee engagement project at Tchibo Coffee International and here she shares her top tips on how to create a happier workforce.

Hannah says “We felt the best place to start when evaluating employee engagement was with our employees. We sent an anonymous engagement survey to all colleagues to ask their thoughts on how we could improve their overall working experience. 86% of our colleagues gave us feedback using the survey, which we’ve used to implement various new initiatives. In positive news, the results showed an 82% engagement score”

HR Business Partner

1. Encourage employee recognition

The survey results revealed that our colleagues felt more focus should be placed on reward and recognition, both individually and within teams.


“One of the ways we addressed this was to launch an Employee Benefits Portal. This portal is an open platform where our colleagues can recognise each other publicly” Hannah says. “Nearly all of our employees are registered on the portal and since its launch nine months ago, we’ve had a massive 4,240 recognitions!”


Top Tip! Encourage recognition in your workplace by implementing a scheme for acknowledging great work. You can do this by integrating an online portal, or do it for free over email, or pin words of thanks to a noticeboard for all to see.


2. Applaud results

Hannah recommends celebrating great work as a way of improving engagement between colleagues. “It’s important to communicate news, progressions and successes to the whole business, which is why we have regular quarterly meetings as a company. At these events, all colleagues are invited to a business update from our Group Managing Director, Paul Chadderton, as well as a presentation of awards to employees to recognise and reward great performance.”

Top Tip! “Don’t forget to keep your staff in the loop on business developments and call out individuals on their great work. You don’t have to shell out on a lavish event; you can simply call the team together for an extended coffee break and business update.”

3. Ensure a good work/life balance

At Tchibo Coffee Service we all work very hard, but in order to have a healthy personal and social life, we need to find a balance.

Hannah says “Following feedback on working hours from the survey, we were delighted to be able to offer an early finish on Friday afternoons. This has been an extremely popular initiative and means everyone gets an extended weekend!”

Tchibo Coffee Service also recognised that an area for downtime during the working day was needed, so the staff breakout area was turned into a fab new Smokin’ Bean café, complete with TV screens, table football, electronic dartboard, Nintendo, board games and a coffee machine.

smokin bean cafe

Top Tip! Hannah’s advice is “Don’t neglect breakout areas for your colleagues. Offer them a comfortable space when they aren’t at work, give them good coffee and encourage them to leave work on time. This way, you’ll get the best from them.”

4. Cultivate great leaders

“We recently ran Leadership and Management training for all of our people managers” says Hannah. “We recognise how important it is to equip our managers with the tools to develop themselves and their direct reports, so I recommend investing in training your employees”

We also believe that it’s essential for our business leaders to operate an ‘open door policy’ in our business. By this, we aim to encourage our colleagues to stop by and speak to management whenever they need to ask questions, raise concerns and make suggestions. We believe that this encourages collaboration and openness.

Top Tip! Implement this in your workplace and communicate out to your staff. If you can truly demonstrate that management are open to feedback and conversation, employees will feel valued and involved.

5. Offer great perks to your employees

Did you know free tea and coffee is the top office perk? Or that 50% of people are not happy with the coffee provision at work?

angry office guy

“We asked our employees what their favourite things about working at Tchibo are and almost all mentioned the great coffee” Hannah noted. “You shouldn’t underestimate the power of this as a company benefit.”

Top Tip! Ethically sourced, sustainable and traceable coffee is also increasingly important to consumers, alongside reducing wastage, so tie this in with your coffee offering to tick all the boxes, and position your business as a responsible, environmentally friendly organisation.

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Employee engagement is ongoing

Hannah has some final words of wisdom; “Keep continually improving and asking your colleagues for feedback. We will send a follow up survey later this year to find out if the changes we’ve implemented have made a positive impact. We also hold regular focus groups that anyone can attend and raise points for consideration, which I recommend to anyone wishing to improve and manage employee engagement in their business.”


Nielson (2015) Allegra, Reed, Livestrong (2017), New Food (2018), ISIC (The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (2017) & Market Inspector (2018)

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