It's no secret --- happy employees are more engaged and productive employees.
It's why "employee engagement" has become such a hot topic, with companies of all sizes clamoring to create and implement new employee engagement activities.
But, despite some companies' best efforts, employee engagement has remained flat since 2000 according to Gallup, who started measuring engagment 15 years ago. In 2015 the percentage of U.S. engaged employees was 32%, in 2014 it was 31.5%
A new book from Gallup, foreward by Jim Harter, PH.D, aims to help managers and organizations measure and increase engagement. ''First Break All the Rules: What The World's Greatest Managers Do Differently,'' produced 12 simple statements that distinguish the strongest departments of a company from all the rest.
Ready to start your employee engagement activities today here are six ideas:
Team Building Exercises
Try as you might, but sometimes departments get siloed and people don't collaborate, or even talk, as much as you'd like. But with team building exercises, you can enhance communication, improve teamwork, and foster closer relationships. Forget about trust falls, though, you want your exercises to be fun and engaging, and, more importantly, they need to have an end goal (boosting morale, destressing, etc.). Check out these team building exercises and games from Wrike, and incorporate them into your employee engagement activities.
Every now and then it's a good idea to shake things up and break the monotony of day-to-day office life. Special days can mix things up and give employees something to talk about and look forward to. Craft your days around your employees' specific interests, but you could try things like bring your son, daughter, or pet to work days, dress down days, Margarita Mondays, or Karaoke Fridays.
Giveaways and Awards
Recognizing and rewarding employees is one of the best ways to drive engagement. Whether you do it daily, weekly, or monthly, take time to praise employees for their efforts. Level the playing field and equally recognize and reward individual efforts, regardless of what a person's title or pay grade is. Give away small prizes or or tokens of appreciation, or channel your inner Michael Scott from the television show, The Office, and host a full-blown awards ceremony and hand out trophies. Or, let employees recognize each other like SnackNation does with their weekly "Crush-It Call," where each employee calls out a colleague for embodying the company's values.
Social and charity initiatives are amazing employee engagement activities because they make your employees feel great and you foster goodwill by giving back to your local community or a world-wide charity. Again, collaborate to determine which charities are nearest and dearest to your employee's hearts. You can do a simple fundraising effort, but an even better idea is to actually get involved. Team up with a local nonprofit organization and give people the time to volunteer.
Getting everyone out of the office for a day of fun is another employee engagement activity. This one is great because employees can just unwind and enjoy themselves without thinking about work at all. You could get tickets to a local sporting event, go to an amusement park, charter a day cruise (if you're near water), or play a game like laser tag or whirly ball. Want to really up your game? Rent a house and take your team on a weekend get-away. Or, if your company doesn't have quite that much in the employee engagement budget, you could do picnic in the park, where you grill out and play games.
Perhaps your office environment is a little more formal and office games and outings just don't fit your culture. In this case, brainstorming sessions and learning lessons can be the best employee engagement activities. Get your team in a room together and let their voices be heard. Share ideas and empower employees to think outside the box. Let them know that there are no wrong answers and that their ideas will be reviewed and potentially implemented. These meetings don't even have to be about the company or for training purposes, either. At Bit.ly, the entire company gathers together on a weekly basis for Lunch and Learn meetings, where one person is given the floor to talk about anything --- a subject they're interested in, a cause they care about or a side project they're working on --- while the rest of the company sits back and listens while enjoying a catered lunch.
These six employee engagement activities are just the tip of the iceberg. There are countless ways to engage employees, including concierge services, customized workspaces, and employee discount programs. So get started today and see what your people react to. Before you know it, you'll have a full-scale employee engagement program in place and productivity and morale will be boosted!
At viperks, maximizing employee happiness is at the heart of everything we do. Our employee discount and appreciation program optimizes employee engagement, putting smiles on your staff members' faces and boosting your company's bottom line.
Want to learn more about how you can help your employees be happier and more productive? We're here to talk.