30 Effective Employee Engagement Activities and Ideas

Employee engagement continues to be a challenge for organizations in today's dynamic society. Luckily for you, there are some effective tips to increase employee engagement.

Organizations are doing their best to increase employee engagement but they are failing because they treat employee engagement as an one off activity rather than an ongoing process. To successfully increase employee engagement a company should set up recurring employee engagement activities through out the year and measure responses rates. We came up with 30 activities you can introduce in your organization to increase employee engagement:

Tips to increase employee engagement

1. Show flexibility

Employees are increasingly expecting flexible benefits at work, but you don’t have to offer every possible option under the sun. Just proving that you’re willing to take responsible requests into consideration will build buy-in and rapport.

2. Ask for feedback

If you’re not already promoting a culture of 360° feedback, it’s a great time to start! Remember to request feedback on how departments and management are doing to gain actionable insights. Making it easy to give feedback will increase participation.

3. Use feedback

Getting feedback and not using it is like leaving money on the table. Even if some good ideas for improvement aren’t immediately doable, acknowledge the issues and show the feedback has been received.

4. Share results

You don’t have to offer stock options to make employees feel like they have a stake in the company. Include them in the company performance, both good and bad, to show accountability and connectedness.

5. Be Social

Incentive internal networking. Hosting small events that encourage people to know who they are working with can help build lasting relationships. Make it easy to find and connect with others by using internal profiles that highlight both work and extracurricular interests.

6. Provide Essentials

It’s probably not surprising to you that 92% of workers say not having access to technology to do their jobs makes them dissatisfied with their work. Being able to do the work asked of them effectively is one of the first steps to getting engagement.

7. Provide non-essentials

Some employers go all out in providing office amenities, but it can be as simple as offering healthy snacks. Not only does this promote healthy employees, it takes away the minor inconvenience of running out to find something.

8. Recognise your employees

We all like to know our work is valued and integral, so find ways to give recognition for doing a great job. Recognition badges are a great start and can be linked to perk programs, physical trophies and more.

9. Take away inconveniences

Minor annoyances add up over time. Take a pulse survey occasionally to see what minor issues are contributing to workplace unhappiness. Loud environments, parking issues, even the temperature in your building can make the day-to-day that much harder.

10. Offer perks that matter

Tying perks to performance or recognition is a great way to incentivize hard effort, but it’s important to make sure the perks you offer are actually desirable. Think beyond the gift card and include multiple choices that offer everyone a little something.

11. Focus on building teams

There are many types of teams that may be formed for work. And while sometimes they come from necessity, the teams that form organically around a common cause are likely to form long term relationship and foster a spirit of collaboration.

12. Make interactions easy

With the increase of de-centralized work spaces, it’s even more important to make communication easy. Tools like Slack or Microsoft Lync can make us more available but also consider conference rooms and capabilities.

13. Share goals

Do your employees know off-hand what your business objectives are for the quarter? Do your managers know what each direct report is working on? Make goals transparent across the organization can help motivate everyone to do their part.

14. Make reviews collaborative

One-sided review can be perceived as management being secretive or heavy handed. If you want engagement, why not ask the person who’s being reviewed how they feel about themselves?

15. Remind them of the why

Your mission, values and principles should be in the forefront of the work you do. Remind employees of how their individual efforts support the company objectives and how achieving those objectives benefit them and the community.

16. Help them set goals

Setting goals is important, but not always easy. Working together to make goals that combine both work skills and interest help make tasks have more purpose and feel less like “work.”

17. Make time for face time

It’s easier to send an email, but they will never replace the connection from in-person conversation. This small investment of time can reap big benefits.

18. Be responsible (socially and corporately)

At the end of the day, your business output might not be something that an individual can relate to. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t engaged if they feel the organization is doing what’s right. Support causes that matter to employees and consider what makes you proud to work where you do.

19. Consider the physical environment

Everyone wants work-life balance and if the work environment feels rigid and uncomfortable, we’re not doing our best work. Just like providing the technological essentials is key, having a space that supports employees will help them do what they need to do.

20. Consider the work environment

Before anyone can be fully engaged, they need to feel safe. Intimidating tactics, harassment and other inappropriate behaviour should have no place in the work environment and strict policies and enforcing will help create a safe space to work.

21. Encourage staying late

If you have an awesome work environment, why leave? Schedule events in the workspace that aren’t work related. If we associate the place we work positively with more than just doing our job, it can be easier to get up and come in in the morning.

22. Treat employees like customers

Measuring your NPS? Why not an employee NPS? Employees have as much, or more potential to promote your brand and business if they feel positively about their experience. Just like potential clients, employees need nurturing throughout the employee lifecycle.

23. Manage your managers

For many employees, their manager is their first line of interaction/intervention and the relationship they have with their manager heavily mirrors how they feel about the organization as whole. Good employees aren’t always good managers but you can help develop good managers via extra training and mentoring.

24. Be transparent

Engagement starts with trust - there’s no way around it. If you want someone to do their best, they need to know that you have their interests in mind. Your internal audience should be the first to know good news and bad.

25. Have fun

Work is work, but when there’s a chance for it, show everyone that it can be enjoyable too. Common experience and positive association when things are going well can carry through two crunch time as well. What’s something small you can do in 5 minutes time to make someone smile?

26. Encourage innovation

It’s easy to get wrapped in assigned tasks and end up overlapping efforts by doing our jobs inefficiently. Workplace innovation requires time to reflect, a supportive environments to new ideas, and a good understanding of the “why” behind work tasks.

27. Open up your roles

The corporate ladder is dead. Compensation and promotions are important considerations, but adding fulfilling work that may fall outside a typical role structure not only makes our jobs more interesting overall, it can match hidden talents you already have internally to key business requirements.

28. Communicate and then communicate some more

No one likes to be left out of the loop or look they missed an important memo. Use tools that share relevant news and deadlines to teams, departments and the whole organization effectively.

29. Promote learning

Educational opportunities rank high on prospective employees’ consideration list. Consider how investments in workshops or even just time-off to develop relevant skills can reap benefits longterm. If you have experts in-house, you can offer 'lunch and learns' and other internal opportunities to share knowledge.

30. Provide clarity

Ambiguous or contradicting work expectations lead to frustration and turn-over. Explaining work requirements clearly allows for input from both parties and when we agree over what must be done holding everyone accountable is much easier.

How difficult is to implement them?

We have also assessed how difficult it is to implement these activities in your organization and also how often you should do it:

For the difficulty part we have used a rating of high, medium and low.

  • Low represents low effort and low resources (minimum investment)
  • Medium represents medium effort from management and some investment will be required to achieve successfully the activity
  • High represents activities that require significant investment in resources and time

The frequency represents how frequently these employee engagement activities should run within the company.

Engagement ActivityDifficultyFrequency
Show flexibilityEasyOngoing
Ask for feedbackMediumMonthly / Quarterly
Use feedbackHardQuarterly
Share resultsEasyQuarterly
Be SocialEasyDaily
Provide EssentialsMediumMonthly
Provide non-essentialsEasyMonthly
Recognise your employeesEasyMonthly
Take away inconveniencesMediumMonthly
Offer perks that matterMediumQuarterly
Focus on building teamsMediumMonthly
Make interactions easyEasyMonthly
Share goalsMediumQuarterly
Make reviews collaborativeMediumQuarterly
Remind them of the whyEasyMonthly
Help them set goalsMediumQuarterly
Make time for face timeEasyMonthly
Be responsible (socially and corporately)MediumMonthly
Consider the physical environmentMediumMonthly
Consider the work environmentMediumMonthly
Encourage staying lateHardMonthly
Treat employees like customersMediumDaily
Manage your managersMediumDaily
Be transparentMediumMonthly
Have funEasyDaily
Encourage innovationMediumMonthly
Open up your rolesMediumQuarterly
Communicate and then communicate some moreEasyEasy
Promote learningEasyDaily
Provide clarityEasyWeekly / Monthly

Employee egnagement activities should help to strenghten the company culture in your organization. They need to fit the ethos of your business in order to be effective and boost the engagement of your workforce. Listen to your employees and include them in the activities in order to create a plan that trully fits your company.

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