Engaged employees are much happier and more motivated at work, and it shows in their performance. A Gallup survey reported that highly engaged teams are 21 percent more productive on a daily basis—and that’s not all. Research shows that employee engagement makes teams more profitable, reduces voluntary turnover, and leads to better outcomes all around.c
What’s more, unengaged employees cost organizations something like $450 billion to $550 billion a year. Employee turnover is also at an all-time high, which has pushed many employers to explore innovative ways of engaging team members to keep them from jumping ship. But although most employers today recognize employee engagement as a top priority, improving and maintaining it can be challenging. That’s why companies are always looking for new, creative ways to engage employees and focus on prioritizing better employee retention rates.
What activities can you do to promote employee engagement that are fun but still effective? We’ve put together a list of 21 ideas that you can include in your employee engagement strategy that your team members will enjoy.
Recommended Reading: How To Increase Employee Engagement in 7 Easy Steps
Guest speakers encourage engagement by throwing a bit of intrigue about the place. If you bring in someone that's well-known in your industry, it can pique your employee's interest and get them on the edge of their seats hanging on their every word, drinking it all in.
Make sure you have enough communication tools to keep your employees connected and engaged during the onboarding process and beyond.
You can drive increased engagement by enhancing your digital workplace with new employee-collaboration tools like Slack, Pingboard’s live org chart software, Asana, Google Workspace, Notion, etc. to get people working together and building relationships. Technology makes work more convenient and improves communication, aiding employee engagement.
Recommended Reading: How to Onboard New Employees [+ Onboarding Checklist]
Create activity days where your team gets together to solve puzzles or perform other tasks as a group. It generates engagement as you take them out of the workplace and get them doing more fun and entertaining things. At the same time, they're still working as a team, developing relationships that translate back into the workplace.
Keep your employees engaged by telling them when they've done a great job. Actively acknowledge achievements, making your staff feel valued. This encourages them to be even more focused as they know they will get validation from you. It's a good idea to reward accomplishments as well, adding an extra incentive.
Office cubicles can make employee engagement challenging as your workers feel cut off from one another, making them feel like another cog in the machine. Removing these and improving your office design can make a huge difference. There are plenty of work environment design ideas that aid engagement.
Employees are more engaged if they know new opportunities are on the horizon. Offering professional development opportunities for staff lets you improve them as employees, opening the door for new roles in the future. They'll be overjoyed by this as they've got something to work towards!
A lunch and learn is where you provide a free lunch for your employees, alongside some training sessions or presentations. The idea is to offer a chance to collaborate and learn in a more informal setting. It can bring your team together, increasing engagement at the same time. The informal event makes people more inclined to pay attention as it's a distraction from the monotonous job they usually do.
With a mentor program, you take individuals and assign them as mentors to either individual employees or small groups. The idea is they provide guidance and help that the employees can use to get better at their jobs. It removes communication barriers, can help your employees feel valued, and gives them a chance to develop. This leads to more engagement as they have someone in their corner who's always there to provide advice whenever necessary.
This can be seen as a form of team-building as you encourage your employees to head out of the office and volunteer together. Set up a system where one person picks a cause to volunteer at each month, and the team goes out and does it. You get people working together and helping those in need. It boosts team morale and solidifies relationships, both of which translated to a more engaged team in the office.
Don't just focus on accomplishments that happen at work, celebrate your employees when they hit big goals within their personal lives as well. Again, it's all about creating a sense of worth for the individual, showing them that they are valuable and highly thought of even when they’re outside of the work environment. It builds a sense of community, and when someone really feels part of a community, they're more likely to be engaged.
Start a wellness program at work to encourage your employees to be healthier and reach wellness goals. In fact, Forbes states that this is highly beneficial for employee engagement as it boosts employee morale by creating a strong company culture and bringing employees together. As a result, office morale is high, leading to more engagement in the workplace.
Wellness programs can help reimburse employees for anything from gym memberships, massages, and meditation apps, to yoga equipment purchases or meal planning subscriptions.
One of the best ways of learning how to make your employees more engaged is by seeing why they aren't engaged to begin with. Request feedback from your employees to know where you could improve. Likewise, provide them with feedback as a way of acknowledging them and helping their personal development. Both forms of feedback can increase engagement as employees feel more valued, you make improvements that they actually asked for, and they learn where they can improve. Again, it boosts employee morale!
Shared values basically mean that your employees have common work attitudes and principles with one another. In turn, this develops a feeling of friendship as they can easily relate to the shared interests. Research has shown that stronger social connections at work can boost productivity and passion, having a knock-on effect on engagement levels.
Staying in the same place for your career can be very demotivating and lead to a lack of engagement. By letting employees move to new departments, it gives them a fresh perspective. They feel more motivated and engaged, which should also make them more productive.
Once more, this plays on the idea of valuing your employees rather than making them feel like another number in a database. Setting tasks can be monotonous and it's easy for people to become disengaged. But, if you give them responsibilities, it shows you trust and value them as employees. Make them responsible for overseeing something rather than outlining the specific tasks they need to do. It creates an element of freedom that boosts engagement levels at work.
The standard 9-5 is a killer for motivation, productivity, and engagement. Instead, implement more flexible office hours that encourage employees to be more engaged. Studies have shown that individuals who work remotely at least once a month are 24% more likely to be happy and productive. Similarly, 73% of employees say that flexible working hours increase work satisfaction. In short, if you create more open and flexible office hours, you end up with happy and satisfied employees, which always means they're more focused.
According to a survey from SHRM and Globoforce, a massive 90% of companies say that peer-to-peer recognition programs have a positive impact on employee engagement. These programs mean that coworkers publicly give positive feedback to one another, creating a thriving and wholesome community in the office. People are rewarded for good work, but it's even more rewarding for the person if they have been recognized by their peers.
Recommended reading: How to Start a Peer-to-Peer Recognition Program
Use a music streaming service and encourage your employees to contribute to shared music playlists. This boosts engagement in two ways, mainly thanks to the sense of friendship it creates. It's a chance for people to express themselves through their music tastes, enjoying banter with fellow employees for songs that they're added. This also gives employees time to establish common interests with fellow workers, such as shared music tastes.
Additionally, with services like Spotify, you can listen along to the same playlist as a group. Again, it really builds a sense of community and belonging at work, which makes people feel like they're part of something special. It gets your employees happy and excited to go to work, which raises engagement levels across the board.
Provide incentives for your employees to complete specific goals. This is one of the easiest ways to boost engagement as they instantly have something to gain from completing a goal. Before, the goal was simply something they could work towards. Now, they know that the sooner they reach the goal, the sooner they will get the reward. It supercharges productivity and leads to more focused employees.
An employee committee is a group of employees who meet to provide input on various issues relating to the employer-employee relationship. In essence, your employee committees can meet and talk about problems that might stop them from feeling engaged at work. As a result, you will learn what needs to be improved to help them focus.
Finally, encourage your employees to take on projects or enjoy different activities together outside of work. You're trying to create a workplace that's full of people who have positive relationships with one another. As mentioned earlier, friendship leads to engagement, and this is one way of achieving great team morale.
Looking to improve employee engagement at work? Pingboard has a whole host of tools that can help you come up with the best ideas to do just that.
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Increasing employee engagement doesn’t have to be boring or cheesy—in fact, it shouldn’t be! The right creative ideas can transform your corporate culture and ensure your employees are happy, productive, and engaged at work.