61 Innovative Employee Engagement Ideas

By Victoria Ellison - Published on March 12, 2020
Article Gives Ideas How To Engage The Employees

We’ve all likely heard the phrase, “the weekend really flew by” which is always uttered by the dreaded employee who hates clocking in. Often times the redundancy in work can lead to even the most passionate of employees becoming unmotivated, unenergized and simply complacent.

How can we overcome this? A finding by Gallup(1) states that, “Companies with high engaged workforce are 21% more profitable.” Building a workplace where employees are appreciated and empowered will lead to an incline in performance and employee retention.

Here are some employee engagement ideas to save your employees from burnout.

  • Employee appreciation emails

    One way to combat burnout and increase employee engagement is to simply show employees that you care. Appreciation emails communicate how grateful employees mean to the company and in turn, feel valued and important.

    Appreciation emails can help build a family environment that helps employees feel comfortable working in. It can lead them to take pride in their work when they know they are appreciated.

  • ‘Employee of the month’

    The ‘Employee of the Month’ status recognized team members for their efforts within the company and serves as a standard for other team members to work hard. Someone once said, “What gets recognized gets reinforced, and what gets reinforced gets repeated.”

  • Welcome gifts to new hires

    Welcome gifts communicate to new hires that the company is grateful to have them on board. Welcome gifts are a personalized approach to showing new employees that they matter and ultimately set the tone for an open door and an inclusive work environment.

  • Incentive goals

    When employees have a specific goal to work towards, it boosts motivation. Incentive goals can be something employees work towards other than their paychecks. Setting incentive goals can promote teamwork and unite the workplace when all the employees are striving for the same cause.

  • Work from home policy

    Because of new technologies, telecommuting has become more and more popular leading to the desired work-life balance. Allowing employees to work from the comfortability and safety of their own homes is another idea to engage employees and increase productivity.

    Working from offers freedom and flexibility to employees to make their own schedules at their own pace in their own personal environments.

  • Working remotely

    It allows employees to be more effective and increases the quality of life to the point where employees will look forward to working lowering employee turnover. Teleworking policies can also be beneficial to single parents and can become useful for employees with mild illnesses.

  • Nap times

    Another activity some companies could start to implement in the workplace is cat naps. After taking a nap people are rejuvenated and reenergized ready to take on and accomplish new tasks. Because the workplace is a stressful place, naps can alleviate the pressure that comes with meeting deadlines or unruly bosses.

    Naps could be the break employees need to boost their creativity and productivity in the workplace. Employees are no help to anyone when they are overly fatigued. Incorporating nap times ensures all workers are maximizing their time efficiently and are working to the best of their abilities.

( Also Read: Best Employee Engagement Strategies and Its Challenges )

  • Meditation time

    Burnout among employees is often the result of a work-life imbalance. Employees can overwork themselves to the point where both their mental state and work-life are suffering. While burnout and exhaustion are common, it can be lessened if employers incorporate regular meditation times in the workplace.

    Meditation can help employees deal with busy schedules and release stress from their bodies. The tools learned during meditation can become useful for employees to find peace and remain calm in intense, stressful work situations.

  • Office trips

    Remember those long road trips you used to take every summer with your family? Initially, you couldn’t think to be in the same car with your annoying brother and overbearing dad, but by the end of the trip, you were laughing and leading the sing-along? Office trips can have that same effect and can also be great for team building.

    Being around your coworkers outside of the normal work setting can allow your employees to connect on a more personal level and really get to know each other. Office trips can increase loyalty in employees and boost morale in the company. It can be a way for employees to collectively release stress as a team.

  • Sports Events

    Whether its March Madness, the Super Bowl or the NBA playoffs, sporting events are very popular pastimes. Sports will continue to be a part of workplace discussions and debates. Companies can use this to their advantage as a way to cross-departmentally engage employees.

    Attending sporting events or tailgates as a team is a great way for coworkers to get involved and simultaneously act as a way of team building.

  • Birthday celebrations

    Unfortunately, most birthdays will fall on a weekday, and work is most likely the last place a person wants to spend their favorite day. Acknowledging and celebrating employee birthdays every month can suggest to employees that they are cared for and make them feel special.

    Although companies can’t throw massive bashes for every single one of their employees, it’s a nice and thoughtful gesture to announce a colleague’s special day. Celebrating birthdays can also be a fun way to engage coworkers in the celebration festivities.

  • Team building games

    Team building games may be one of the obvious and effective activities employers could implement for employee engagement. By playing games, coworkers will have to work together to achieve a common goal and learn skills such as leadership, respect, and trust to become a better teammate which they can thus transfer into actual work projects.

    Games on Fridays will encourage collaborative efforts, improve communication and can be a way for employees to express their creativity in a fun, playful way.

  • Assign company values

    Assigning company values can set the standard for employees so they understand what’s expected of them. When working closely together on a team it is necessary for everyone to be on the same page. Values can be established so staff knows what mindsets and behaviors to uphold and strive towards.

  • Have teams create their own values

    Having values with teams will help hold all teammates accountable for their goals and behavior.  Assigning code of conduct and values as a team can be a relationship-building exercise and you could use this at the opportunity for engagement.

  • Encourage personal projects

    Outside projects can reignite the passion within complacent workers and promote individuality. You can identify new strengths that are outside of their normal job description that wouldn’t otherwise be highlighted.

    The freedom of running, planning, and managing a project all on their own can showcase traits needed to take on more responsibility. The ideas that employees may be working on in their personal projects could be transferred and used in improving the company.

  • Create a goals roadmap

    Employees can visualize their goals and the steps needed to prevent stagnation and prompts them eager to achieve them. Through a roadmap, the staff member can put into perspective all the things needed to accomplish within a measurable and determined time frame.

  • Assign a mentor/buddy for every newcomer

    Connecting new employers with a buddy is a perfect way to ensure they are familiar with everyone in the office and that they know the rules of the office. Mentors are a perfect way to mirror and learn from experienced professionals.

    It would be helpful to them to get advice and be around someone willing to answer questions. When newcomers are often intimidated and nervous mostly about starting a new job.

  • Show employees how their work advances the company’s vision

    Showing your team members what the big picture looks like shows them that they matter and highlights their individual importance to the company. Ultimately illustrating employees job performance can reduce the feeling of being disposable into actually cared for and recognized.

  • Find what your team members are passionate about

    Whether it’s helping the less fortunate or learning something new everyone is passionate about something. You can learn what your employees are driven by and transfer that into the workplace to ignite excitement into their jobs.

  • Make sure new hires know the whole team

    It is important when trying to maintain a safe, family-oriented work environment, that everyone is cordial and comfortable at the least to coexist and work together. The more trust there is within an office the better the quality of work when attempting to work in groups.

  • Promote transparency and collaboration

    It is likewise important to create an open-door policy and a free environment so that miscommunication is avoided. False assumptions can ruin a positive office culture.

  • Emphasize and encourage work-life balance

    An unbalanced work-life is often one reason employees become complacent and unproductive in the workplace. When stress and deadlines begin to take an overbearing effect on an employee’s life, stress will too affect work-life and attitude. Employers should encourage   a healthy balance by denying overtime and mental health.

  • Remind employees of the company’s mission and values

    When there is a lack in productivity and energy in the office, it could be the perfect opportunity to review your company’s mission statement. That way staff is reminded what they’re striving towards and the type of team a part of.

  • Include health and wellness program

    When you look good you feel good. Improving a workers’ wellness can have a positive effect or work performance by boosting attitudes and energy and thus creativity.

    Employees can perform at their best when their health is in order, employers should include company gyms and a healthy lifestyle by offering healthy foods in the work fridge or vending machines and encourage mindfulness and mental health.

  • Employee surveys

    Anonymous surveys are a useful tool for the purpose of gathering honest and insightful feedback that employers can use to make adjustments regarding the office. By addressing negative situations, problems or helpful suggestions to make it a better place for everyone to perform in. Surveys that aren’t anonymous can alter how the truth is displayed leaving less honest feedback and just more socially acceptable answers.

( Also Read: Everything About Employee Engagement Survey )

  • Continuous coaching and training

    To ensure everyone’s skillsets are flourishing and employees continue to progress, training, coaching, and offering courses would encourage personal growth. A great way to combat a lack of initiative from employees is to make sure it is communicated there is always room for improvement and progression.

  • Lateral movement within the company

    When employees can’t excel in a company, frustration from stagnation will drain their motivation and pride in their work. When employees are unable to receive promotions or more responsibility, their work will suffer. Denying promotions from within can leave employees discouraged and unappreciated.

  • Give your employees more responsibility, not just more work to do

    Rather than loading up your employees with useless work, important duties and obligations will have employees taking a sense of pride in their work. Busy work will have the complete opposite effect of engagement on employees. Work that they don’t feel is beneficial for the job or is a good use of their time will result in subpar work and unpassionate attitudes.

  • Start a learning club

    Starting clubs and courses is a good way for employees to stay sharp and keep them excelling in their careers. Learning clubs can be a way for employees to connect in a different way. Discovering a new way of doing things and handling situations as a team can build a sense of comradery and togetherness.

  • Start a newsletter

    There’s nothing worse than a workplace where no one is one the same page and different employees are confused on different things in the office. With bad communication, chaos is certain to ensue. Keeping everyone in the know about the changes in the office with be crucial for a cohesive environment and a newsletter could be a great way to implement that.

  • Let different employees lead weekly meetings

    Allowing employees to lead weekly team meetings can be a great way to showcase leadership qualities in employees throughout the workplace. It can increase attention spans to give variety to the ordinary meetings by putting different leadership styles on display.

  • Bring in guest/motivational speakers

    Speakers are a good way to reignite the ambition and fire in your employees they had when they first started the job. Fulfilling and motivational speakers will Improve employee engagement and retention by refocusing them on their goals and ambitions.

  • Take team photos

    Office photos can bring a sense of unity and family atmosphere. Pictures should establish trust and strengthen relations within the team. Pictures could be used in the office to remind employees that they’re included and a part of something bigger than themselves and communicate that employees are happy to have them.

  • Sponsor a charity event

    Charity events are a unique way to bring employees together and get them involved in reasons bigger than themselves. Getting the team involved in a giving back experience can encourage volunteer work and reiterate and reinforce the company values.

  • Brainstorming sessions

    There should be open and free sessions where everyone can be heard on new thoughts and ways office life could be upgraded. There are many ideas that employees may have that upper management may never know otherwise if not without these sessions. Unique ideas could be shared on how to improve work-life or that the company can implement and generate.

  • Gamification

    Increasing employee competitiveness through games can be a way to lighten a stressful environment at work. Team building games can be a way to create the perfect work-life balance and after a job well done and a game well won, team building can boost morale and unite a company.

  • One-on-one meetings

    It could be one way to connect with new employees and reconnect with seasoned employees. Meetings can boost work-life by getting to know the people who you work with, analyze their strengths, and give advice on where they’re lacking.

  • Potluck lunch

    This can be a great team-building event that can let you know more about your employees. Food is one constant worldwide in every culture and it could be a great way to explore diversity and inclusion throughout the office.

  • Bring in band/singer

    Let employees work a half-day and spend the afternoon having fun. Bringing in live bands/singers can change and lighten the mood and also be a switch from the dull environment employees may be tired of and complacent to.

  • Social areas in the office

    Creating safe spaces within the office will encourage a warm safe environment and can keep your employees comfortable. Social areas will limit the need to get away from the office if there are places created for employees to relax within.

    Being around your coworkers outside of the normal work setting can allow your employees to connect on a more personal level and get to know each other.

  • Employee ran event planning

    Another inviting activity that employees would be beneficial to help get them involved is leading event management. Employees take pride in being in charge and control and it will make them excited to be working on something different than work.

    Planning as a team strengthens morale within the organization and lets them enjoy the event, even more, when their planning comes into fruition.

  • Get answers from employees

    Reaching out to employees for answers or insight on their area of expertise implies that you trust they’re feedback and in turn, make them feel appreciated. Employees are more likely to want to work in a place where they feel appreciated and a part of the team and asking them for clarification will only make them feel important.

  • Show respect

    Mutual respect is crucial in a thriving work environment. When respect is given, it will be reciprocated and there will be peace in the office. It is easier to build relationships when there is mutual respect.

  • Give and receive feedback

    Feedback is important in learning and excelling and essential in career advancement. It can highlight areas for improvement and keep everyone’s best foot forward. Positive feedback can reinforce what employees are already doing well and can instill confidence in their work.

  • Empower your employees

    Making sure your staff feels heard and appreciated is key to keeping them empowered. Giving workers more responsibility and authority over more busywork will make them feel important and needed. You should also make sure to recognize employees for the accomplishments to reassure they feel able.

  • Define core values

    Describing core values will dictate how everyone should behave and perform in the workplace. Values set and known will remind staff what is the correct way to perform and what is unacceptable behavior. Companies and employers should try to hire candidates who already have similar values and behaviors as the organization.

  • Act on feedback

    Hearing advice is one thing but acting on it and putting those ideas into motion is different. It’s important to implement new ideas by reason of a work environment can only improve. Offices should utilize suggestion boxes to receive new concepts that could benefit the workplace.

  • Show them the “people” results of their work

    Show employees the impact and the direct results of their work. This can help to boost their productivity when they know exactly how they are affecting the team and customers.

  • Use Glassdoor to your advantage

    Company review sites can be a great way to learn from the mistakes of other employers. The insight reviews on Glassdoor bring, could give companies suggestions on what employees look for to see what new ideas to implement.

  • Have themed office days

    Themed days can lighten a dull, repetitive day to day structure. A couple of days throughout the year were costumes and color coordination is accepted can make the office a more interactive, fun place to work. This is an interactive idea that can change a stressful environment into a lighthearted and comfortable place.

  • Attend conferences

    Attending conferences is a great way to encourage personal growth and keep everyone in the office sharp and at their best. They serve as a different learning opportunity that employees can take advantage of. Employees can use conference opportunities to network and grow their careers.

  • Serve as a mentor

    Mentors could be a great way to keep your workforce encouraged by holding your team members accountable for their performance and behavior. The guidance a mentor gives can hold the guarantee of reaching goals. Mentors can also assist in feedback which can in turn, improve the quality of work.

  • Host team lunches

    Team lunches can drive employee engagement and is a great way to get your workers together. Enjoying a meal as a unit can boost morale and improve how they work together. Bonding and communicating over food is a great way to enhance social engagement. Hosting lunches can be a way of showing appreciation to your employees.

  • Host team events

    Hosting company outings like happy hours or team nights can be a helpful idea when trying to connect and build a deeper relationship with your team. It is important for employees to share a level of trust, for brainstorms, projects, and collaborations, etc., and trust can only be built spending time developing relationships that you may not have time for during regular work hours.

  • Budget for team celebrations

    Celebrating your employees is one of the main ideas that this article is trying to convey. Creating a realistic budget will put these engaging activities and ideas into fruition. Building a budget can be a great way to encourage and motivate your employees.

  • Have yearly awards at company parties

    Everyone likes to be recognized for the hard work that they’ve achieved. Yearly celebrations will communicate that all the deadlines, overtime and stress weren’t in vain. It is important to celebrate employees for their work so they can feel appreciated. In the long run, the little notoriety given to your employees will build loyalty and solid relationship.

  • Raise salaries

    For some, paychecks are the drive and the bottom line for many employees who come to work every day. Promotions, bonuses’ and salary raises can make employees content in their positions and it can give them an incentive to always put their best foot forward. Raising employee salaries could ensure employee retention and loyalty.

  • Get rid of set holidays and add them to vacation time

    Communicate that your company values family and add set holidays to vacation time. A policy that allows employees more rest time will make them energized and refreshed and more willing to come to work. Adding holidays to vacation time can promote mental health and wellness that will help overall productivity.

  • Build relationships at work

    The most important part of having your employees working in harmony is to build trust. Trust is only formed when there is a solid relationship foundation built among everyone in the office. It could favorable to operate on a first-name basis and break the ice with newcomers to give a relaxed feel to the office and tensions are low.

  • Set ground rules for emotional intelligence

    The ability to control and manage one’s emotions is important especially when in a team and trying to collaborate. Employees that know their strengths and weakness and motivations can affect other team members and how they produce work.

    Emotional intelligence(2) will affect how they react to things and to criticism all of which should be handled effectively in the workplace.

  • Pet-friendly office

    Employers should be informed of the relaxing properties that come with support animals. In a workplace that can be overwhelming and stressful for some, having an office that welcomes the relief that animals bring could be constructive to your staff.

Final Thoughts

The word “Job” may have a negative connotation associated with it for some, but it doesn’t have to. Investing in employee engagement will increase both productivity and efficiency in the workplace as well as improving morale and employee retention which is critical to a company’s success. Adopting these ideas and activities will keep your employees engaged, and most importantly, keep them from dreading Mondays.

Victoria Ellison | Victoria Ellison is a copywriter intern at TechFunnel.com, a top B2B digital destination for C-level executives, technologists, and marketers. Previously, she worked as a copyeditor for PR Showdown, an academic competition in Lubbock, Texas. She studied at Texas Tech and graduated with a degree in public relations.

Victoria Ellison | Victoria Ellison is a copywriter intern at TechFunnel.com, a top B2B digital destination for C-level executives, technologists, and marketers. Prev...


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