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35 Creative Employee Engagement Activities And Ideas

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How Does Employee Engagement Increase Motivation?

There is an inseparable bond between engagement and motivation. On one side of the coin, we have disengaged employees who tend to be unmotivated to do their work, and on the other, unmotivated team members who are disengaged from their roles and overall company objectives. Autonomy and determination are the two main pillars of motivation, making one’s work enjoyable and entertaining. On the other hand, engagement is closely connected to job complexity and how enthused and challenged employees feel about their day-to-day responsibilities. Maintaining a thriving foundation among all these factors can be daunting, which is why companies must think of unique employee engagement activities to capture everyone’s interest.

Strategies To Sustain Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a never-ending journey, and the effort to sustain it can never stop. The first step is to create clear job descriptions and set expectations and other performance indicators from the beginning. Provide an example of what a role looks like and give certain autonomy so people can prioritize tasks based on urgency. All these aspects require open, constant, and transparent communication. It’s the foundation for fostering trust, loyalty, and inclusion across every team. Arrange regular meetings, inform employees of company decisions, and encourage the exchange of feedback and dialogue. Such strategies show that you genuinely care about someone’s work and well-being. Offer your support whether employees are facing an obstacle or not. Additionally, companies must make acknowledgment a norm so that people feel valued and appreciated for their hard work. Finally, development opportunities assist employees in improving themselves and achieving even higher results.

35 Fun Activities And Ideas To Increase Employee Engagement

1. Workplace Parties

Most companies throw parties throughout the year, whether it’s for Halloween, Christmas, or anniversaries. Organizing two events yearly is enough to show appreciation to your staff and invite them to relax and enjoy themselves. However, ensure that you make these events inclusive and allow each person to take their families, significant others, and friends with them.

2. Employee Competitions

Games and competitions are great activities for employee engagement since they build a sense of camaraderie. For example, you can invite everyone to a “bake-off,” where they bring something they prepared at home, and everyone has a taste and chooses their winner.

3. Sporting Events

A wonderful employee engagement activity would be to organize a friendly basketball, soccer, or baseball match and invite all employees to participate. If this is a big expense, you may opt for something different. Many cities organize marathons, so you can encourage everyone to participate and join the run as a team.

4. Bar Nights

Companies whose entire workforces share a location may arrange drinks once a week. This is a great opportunity for everyone to bond in a relaxed setting. You may opt for lunch or dinner if part of the team prefers not to drink.

5. Picnics

During spring, you may arrange a barbeque or picnic for your workforce out in nature or at your company’s terrace, if that’s available. Such a fun employee engagement activity will help everyone feel refreshed and avoid work-related headaches.

6. Appreciation Programs

Simply handing an Employee of the Month award isn’t enough to recognize every member of your team. Ensure that you keep track of each person’s achievements and find small ways to acknowledge them. A simple card and discount at a local store is enough to show your appreciation.

7. Coffee Breaks

Whether your teams are on location or remote, you can encourage small coffee breaks as a simple and quick employee engagement activity. You may designate a lounge at the office so people can go for a few minutes and decompress.

8. Cultural Events

Not every employee shares the same background. So, make it a goal to celebrate different cultures. For example, ask employees to bring traditional foods to the office and share unique stories and traditions. As a result, everyone feels included instead of being left on the margins.

9. Collaborative Music Playlist

Ask your employees to pick their favorite songs and create a playlist that everyone can access. Choose one or two genres of music or let everyone pick completely different styles that best suit their preferences.

10. Company Updates

This may not be an activity for employee engagement, but it’s an initiative that highlights each week’s news, success stories, and individual milestones. In these updates, which can be sent out as emails, organizations may even include the refreshed music playlist based on new song additions.

11. New Hire Buddy

Some companies assign an experienced employee for every new hire as their guide within the company. The “buddy” shows new team members the office, explains how things operate, and may even go on lunches together to bond.

12. Local Guides

Not everyone may be familiar with the location of your company, especially people from out of town. Prepare a guide and suggest employee engagement activities. These outings can be weekly or monthly, from visiting local museums to supporting local businesses.

13. Theme Days

How about asking everyone to come to work wearing their favorite color from top to bottom? Different themes create a more relaxed and entertaining atmosphere. Don’t wait until the holidays to dress according to a theme.

14. Internal Promotions

If a manager leaves your company, don’t hire a new one. Promote an existing employee to the position and make it evident you value and reward hard work. Therefore, everyone will try to improve and reach higher positions.

15. Hackathons

Brainstorming sessions allow everyone to share their thoughts and bounce ideas off others. Such a practice can create necessary changes around the office and even lead to art installations that become the center of attention.

16. Suggestion Boxes

Not everyone is confident enough to express their feedback verbally. So, an old-fashioned suggestion box helps employees stay anonymous while still sharing their viewpoints. Make sure you pay attention to it and take suggestions into serious consideration.

17. Employee Surveys

This measurable employee engagement activity provides statistics regarding job roles, satisfaction levels, and happiness with leadership. These surveys can be distributed weekly, monthly, or annually.

18. Pet-Friendly Offices

Employees should feel free to take their pets with them on certain days. So, designate an appropriately equipped pet room where people can leave them while they’re busy or allow them to keep them next to their desks.

19. Office Game Rooms

Ping-pong tables, video game consoles, and darts are all great employee engagement activities that help everyone decompress for a few minutes while bonding with their colleagues. You can also add bean bags and comfortable couches to the mix.

20. Sabbaticals

Extended periods outside of work allow people to explore hobbies and interests and focus on their overall well-being. You may provide this benefit for employees who have been with you for over two years.

21. Flexibility

Some days may be harder than others, and people’s personal lives should be a priority. Allow your team members to work flexible hours on these days and take a half day off. The more balanced they are at home, the more engaged they’ll be at work.

22. Podcasts

Podcasts are amazing for shining light on each professional and their unique story. Invite different people on each episode and share insights regarding their journeys. Maybe this is a great time for your company to properly introduce itself to its workforce.

23. Dress-Down Days

Dressing in formal outfits every single day can be exhausting. So, arrange one day every week or month where people can dress according to their style instead of the company dress code. Quite a few companies have incorporated Casual Fridays in their strategies.

24. Lunch And Learn

Smaller companies seem to love the idea of gathering everyone for an hour-long lunch while watching a webinar or listening to an expert talking. The more relaxed everyone is, the more they participate and care about a subject.

25. Team Goods

This idea may be quite pricey, but if your budget allows it, give out free company merch to your team. From a coffee mug to a hoodie they can wear outside and a tote bag they can go shopping with, everyone feels like part of a cohesive team.

26. Field Day

How about you give everyone a Friday off and take them on a field trip somewhere nearby? Colleagues can play games, get to know each other better, and relax instead of worrying about clients and responsibilities.

27. “Random News” Channel

On top of the usual work-related communication channels, create one where everyone can share random, funny stories. It can be anything from satirical videos to cute animal videos and memes.

28. Volunteering

How great would it be if your team visited a forest and planted a few trees or cooked and distributed food to those in need? Such employee engagement activities bring everyone closer and create a common purpose.

29. Send Treats By Mail

You don’t need a reason to send a mystery treat box to your employees, but maybe you want to celebrate their anniversary or wish them a happy new year through a box filled with delicacies.

30. Q&A Sessions

Being transparent means answering every question people may have. Through these sessions, you get to understand everyone’s concerns and struggles and offer answers. If possible, Q&A sessions should happen regularly through web conferencing software for easier access.

31. Set Goals

Each employee must be aware of their short-term and long-term goals to work with a specific purpose in mind. Confusion is your company’s biggest enemy, while clarity drives great results and corporate success.

32. Well-Being Programs

Work-related stress seriously impacts employees’ overall health, and professionals often need breaks. By offering perks like gym memberships, free doctor’s appointments, or healthy snacks, you can show appreciation for everyone’s contributions.

33. Forgive Mistakes

Mistakes are often costly, but no one ever went through life without making one. Forgive employees, offer them honest and thoughtful feedback, ask for their perspective, and give them a chance to improve.

34. Send Digital Gift Cards

When your entire team has achieved massive milestones and company goals, send out gift cards so they can splurge a bit. Or you may implement this as a monthly or annual bonus for grocery shopping.

35. Training And Coaching

Onboarding should be an ongoing process, where employees are provided with a coach and continuous training opportunities. This way, you show that you care about their development and value their progress.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your employees and managers engaged means that they are trustworthy and perform at the top of their abilities every single day. Career development opportunities may not always be enough. This is where creative ideas and employee engagement activities come into play, offering a more relaxed approach. As a result, your company stands out and attracts top talent thanks to the reputation and brand image you’ve built.

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