Forbes is calling 2022 the year of the employee. This is based on the sheer number of resignations every month. Companies have to find better ways to keep their employees engaged and inspired while getting the most out of them. Businesses need better employee engagement ideas to do this.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement refers to the inspiration and desire to work that someone feels towards their job and company. The reason businesses want to drive employee engagement is because employees will be more productive when they are engaged, and they are likely to enjoy their jobs more, thus reducing attrition.
With hybrid work becoming a norm across the world and industries, this has become a rather daunting task.
Why is employee engagement important?
There are a host of reasons. One of the most important ones was highlighted in Gallup’s report, which stated that companies that have more engaged workers are likely to have 23% higher profitability. Another one is that such companies are looking at 188% higher productivity levels.
Engaged employees are less likely to:
- Ditch work
- Leave for other opportunities
- Pilfer from employers
They are more likely to:
- Take safety around the workplace seriously
- Help increase customer loyalty
How do you measure employee engagement?
How do you know if your employees are engaged? You have to take the time and effort to measure employee engagement to understand where you stand.
Let’s learn how to measure employee engagement:
- You have to start by clearly defining your employee engagement goals. You need to understand what they are and so do your employees.
- The next step is to use the right KPIs and track their progress over time, but keep in mind, it has to be done regularly, not just once a quarter.
- Ensure there is as much transparency as possible. Let your employees see the tasks they need to complete and their progress.
- Surveys are a great way to understand what’s going on, but make sure they are specific, short and to the point.
- Ensure you take the time to have one-on-ones with workers to get a clear idea of what they are going through and what they expect.
- Employee appraisals are a great way to get more out of your team.
- Also, keep a constant tab on employee productivity. If there are sudden drops, you need to find out why.
- You also need to keep a tab on employee retention and conduct thorough exit interviews.
21 employee engagement ideas that work
Here is a list of great ideas that work to boost employee engagement:
Feedback is the first on the list for an excellent reason. Employees who feel that they are being listened to and given constructive and meaningful feedback always feel more engaged. The more an employee feels that a leader or the company is invested in them, the more connected they feel.
2. Employee of the month
This is a great activity for the entire team. It spurs productivity, and workers get the recognition they deserve from leadership and their peers. ‘Employee of the Month’ programs tend to be very effective; however, HR needs to be consistent and clearly define what the best employee should do to get that honor.
3. Host potlucks
Food always brings people closer and creates excellent vibes, and helps break down walls. The saying families that eat together stay together has a lot of depth to it. Make sure that leadership gets super involved and talks about their favorite dishes. Even if the CEO isn’t a great cook, bringing a casserole to the party makes a great impression on employees. (Even if they don’t like the dish)
4. Encourage passion projects
Not everyone is lucky enough to be doing their dream jobs, many still hold a lot of regrets and constantly wish they had more time to do what they love. Give your employees a little time to focus on their passions. You could give them the motivation to pursue their projects by offering financial support. If the projects turn out to be feasible, they could add value to your business too
5. Flexibility at work
This isn’t so much activity but a perk. Let employees choose how they work, when they work and where they work from. You will find that they are eternally grateful.
6. Get personal
When it comes to milestones, birthdays and special occasions, get super personal. Make every member of your team feel valued and recognized. Let them see that you care about their success and their progress.
7. Personalized welcome cards
Get your team to give new-hires personalized welcome cards as part of your employee onboarding program. Welcoming a new team member will help reduce first-day jitters and also gets your relationship get off to a great start!
8. Hand out gift cards to daily performance toppers
Most employees would choose the option to pick out whatever they want rather than receive a cool but not-really-their-style gift. Regardless of your budget size, there are several kinds of gift cards you can buy to connect with your people and have them feel appreciated without having to spend a ton of money.
Remember, a $5 Starbucks gift card can spark the same level of appreciation as buying someone a latte!
9. Create a powerful mentorship program
A mentoring program will help engage employees who are keen on career development and looking to improve their skillsets. Veterans who are actually doing the mentoring, might enjoy the benefit of learning to adapt to modern changes and methods. It's a win-win!
10. Start succession planning early on
The benefits of a succession plan are multifold. First, your employees get a sense of transparency and their path for growth in the company. Second, it might help them learn about their skill gaps and actively work towards getting to the next level. Finally, it makes people feel valued and empowered.
11. Give your employees a chance to volunteer for a cause
Doing good and giving back to charities and people you care about helps the giver feel great and gives them a sense of accomplishment. It is important that employees feel successful outside work as well.
12. Encourage wellness initiatives
Incentivize healthy behaviors that can contribute to a strong workplace and build the company culture. This could be anything from Bring a Bike to Work Day, a company step challenge, or a healthy food cook-off!
13. Set up relaxation break rooms
Relaxing break rooms are a great way to help employees unwind for a few minutes during a hard day’s work. Consider setting up spaces such as a mini library, a snack bar, a coffee station, or a quiet room where one can simply rest and recharge.
14. Meditation sessions
You may not get everyone on board, but the more employees you spend meditating, the more positive vibes and good energy you will have around the office. Let your employees take the first ten minutes of the day to meditate and get into the zone.
15. Weekend office trips
Or even better, a day trip during a workday, can be a great morale booster. Your team likely never spends much time with each other outside work. It’s an excellent chance for your team to get to know each other and get closer.
16. Exciting trophies
Trophies are a great way to keep your people having fun. They don’t all have to be serious trophies for their professional achievements. You could hand out fun trophies, such as “Team Mom” or “Wise Owl.”
17. Separate the personal from the professional
Work matters are always a priority but sometimes you will truly be able to build strong relationships with people only when you connect with them on a personal level. Create an atmosphere where everyone can share their feelings and personal stories. This helps the team come together, they begin to see each other as people and not just co-workers.
18. Bring Your Pet Day
This is a great way to get people to be more comfortable at work. Pet parents often share a close bond with their animals. Sharing their experiences and connecting with like-minded people is a great way to keep your employees engaged.
19. Gamify work
Easily one of the more accessible and engaging activities you could implement in your office, gamification is a must-try. Daily leader boards showcasing performance or goal achievement are a fun way of getting your team to be more productive. Gallup states that you could be looking at a 147% increase in productivity.
20. Boost training and development initiatives
This is the best investment you can make for your employees. It shows them that you value them enough to invest in their skills. What you get out of it is a more skilled workforce, which ultimately shoots up productivity.
21. Rewards and recognition
Rewards and recognition are an integral part of employee engagement. Employees that are rewarded appropriately tend to work harder to achieve rewards and spur healthy competition amongst their peers. Make sure your rewards are meaningful and add real value to your employees’ lives.
These are the 21 best activities that you can run at your company to ensure you boost employee engagement and retain the great talent you have. The word spreads fast, and you will see that the happier your existing employees are, the more candidates you get knocking on your doors.
With hybrid and remote work turning into the new normal, how do you make your employees feel valued and recognized in real-time? See how to recognize people and give them feedback with the best performance management software.