Engaging a workforce can result in increased emotional commitment, higher morale, and more productivity. Yet, despite trying, you’re not reaping those benefits to the max. The problem isn’t with your execution – rather a lack of creative employee engagement ideas.
There’s more to employee engagement than board games and annual feedback surveys. The secret behind motivating employees is engaging them from different angles.
Continue reading to learn the importance of employee engagement, or jump straight to our list of engagement ideas to inspire your creativity.
What is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is a concept that focuses on the practices and steps a company carries out, as well as, the culture they create, to form motivated, dedicated, and happy employees.
Such results can be achieved through providing unique incentives to employees, making efforts to progress their professional and personal development, promoting healthy, open communication, and a number of other tactics.
The purpose of employee engagement is to raise morale and keep employees genuinely happy and interested in staying with the company.
As a result, a company can experience a lower turnover rate, increased productivity, and higher profits.
For modern day talent, a company that prioritizes its workforce and comes up with unique employee engagement ideas is no longer an option – but a necessity.
Employee Engagement in Numbers
If you’re skeptical about engaging your employees, consider the following statistics:
- Companies that focus on employee engagement perform 202% better than others in terms of revenue-generation.
- On an annual basis, disengaged employees cost US companies $450-$550 billion.
- The chances of employees staying with an organization are 4.6X higher if they’re heard/acknowledged in the workplace.
- More engaged teams can generate 21% higher profits than less engaged teams.
- A 10% increase in employee engagement efforts/investments can increase revenue by $2,400 per employee.
Considering the figures above, it’s safe to say that employee engagement is where many success stories start.
The Significance of Creative Employee Engagement Ideas
There are some tried and tested tactics to engage employees. However, at times, managers need to step outside the box and be creative.
The following chart compares companies that implement creative employee engagement techniques (Company A) vs. those that don’t (Company B):
|Company A||Company B|
|On average, experience higher productivity on a consistent basis||Find it difficult to maintain productivity levels|
|Experience higher employee retention rates||Find it more difficult to control turnover|
|Report higher satisfaction levels||Report lower employee satisfaction levels|
|Enjoy a strong corporate culture||Struggle with developing a solid culture|
Ultimately, companies that implement effective employee engagement ideas tend to perform better than those that don’t.
Engaging your employees with exciting tactics can help you transform your company into a productivity powerhouse.
Let’s jump right into our list of 99 employee engagement ideas – classified by purpose – to give your creativity a boost:
- Professional Growth
- Personal Growth
- Fun & Games
- Company Culture
- Team Building
- Health & Wellness
If you want to invest in the professional growth of your team, consider implementing the following employee engagement ideas:
1. Plan One-on-One Sessions
One of the best ways to connect with your employees on an emotional level is to conduct one-on-one sessions – either for feedback, mentoring, or both.
Here are some tips on holding one-on-one sessions without compromising your productivity:
- Designate 1 or 2 hours in a day (every two weeks or month) for meetings (and advise other managers to do the same).
- For remote employees – instead of using various chats – conduct these one-on-one sessions via video calls.
- Keep in mind what you want to discuss with an employee before conducting the session.
- Allow employees proper time to discuss their own feedback for the company.
Ultimately, establishing a personal connection will help both, employer and employee, develop trust and boost engagement.
2. Provide Industry Exposure
Apart from providing incentives and one-on-one sessions, a great way to drive engagement is to increase an employee’s awareness of the industry.
Here are some tips on how to do that:
- Arrange in-house seminars/workshops and invite industry experts to speak.
- Send employees to different industry conferences.
- Ask employees to follow influencers and leaders in their fields for consistent insights.
Encouraging employees to familiarize themselves with industry experts will help them assess and improve their skills, and stay up-to-date with the latest trends.
3. Set Up On-Site Training Programs
Providing on-site, hands-on training to your employees is yet another tried and tested way of enhancing their skills, and engaging them in the process.
Here are some tips for implementing a training program:
- Discuss the long-term benefits of training programs with your employees and motivate them to participate.
- Partner with authorized and relevant training providers.
- Divide training sessions into different time slots so that it’s more convenient for any employee to attend.
Apart from engaging your employees, an effective training program will ensure that your workforce remains ahead of the competition.
4. Provide Access to High-Level Courses
Considering the day-to-day professional obligations of your employees, it may be difficult for some of them to attend training sessions in certain time slots, or invest in professional development on their own.
To overcome this challenge, give your employees access to high-level online courses that they can complete at their own pace.
To do so, consider the following:
- Invest in a cloud-based learning management system – one that allows users to create custom training/course plans.
- Check out different sources for online courses – like Udemy, PluralSight, and Coursera – and purchase them for your employees.
In essence, providing employees access to high-level courses will help polish and retain top-talent.
5. Focus On Individual Skills
Discuss the professional/skill-related challenges that your employees face on an individual-level, and offer help to develop them.
Here are some tips to help you improve the individual skills of your employees:
- Gather feedback and look for a common problem (for example, if a significant number of employees are struggling with a certain software, arrange a training session).
- If certain problems are faced by only a handful of employees, provide them access to a relevant online course.
Focusing on the individual skills of your employees will help you make it clear that their voice is heard.
6. Provide Career Counseling
It’s normal for an employee to feel lost in their career from time to time and be attracted to another professional path. You can use this opportunity to engage them by offering some guidance.
Here’s how you can go about doing that:
- Keep an open-door policy and encourage employees to come to you for professional advice.
- Allow them the opportunity to explore other career paths with cross-departmental collaborations.
Assess the skills of your employees and provide honest feedback so that they can make better decisions related to their careers.
7. Provide More Responsibility
If you want to empower your employees, give them more responsibility – this will not only engage them, but will also contribute towards their professional development.
Here’s how you can give your employees more responsibility:
- Encourage employees to volunteer in different community service/CSR projects.
- Allow employees to participate in projects of their choice.
- Consider particular challenges a company is facing, and have specific employees analyze them for solutions.
Remember – you don’t want to overburden your employees with more responsibility than they can handle. With the right balance, you can increase workplace-morale and satisfaction.
8. Discuss Potential Clients Before Bringing Them Onboard
A progressive approach of engaging your employees is to discuss potential prospects/clients before bringing them onboard.
Doing so can not only improve your company’s success-rate, but will also help you establish a healthy bond of trust with your employees.
Here are some tips to help you discuss prospects with your employees the right way:
- Conduct meetings with the relevant team(s)/department(s) and request their input and opinions.
- Discuss if what the prospect/project demands is achievable; considering the given time frame, skill sets of the team, and possibly, the team’s level of interest in the project.
Having this sort of open-communication is also great for staying up-to-speed with your company’s capabilities and identifying skill-gaps.
9. Let Departments/Teams Finalize Efficient Processes
Instead of creating a set of standard operating procedures without involving your employees, empower them by allowing your teams to design their own processes.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Instruct team leads/managers to involve their employees in any development processes.
- Provide assistance whenever needed, but don’t interrupt or enforce the ideas of top-management (unless necessary).
- Encourage employees to analyze their day-to-day tasks for any inefficiencies.
Ultimately, giving this level of responsibility and freedom to your employees will boost motivation and engagement.
10. Conduct Company-Wide Feedback Surveys
Employee satisfaction/feedback surveys are great for hearing the opinions of your workforce, and gaining a bird’s-eye view of where you stand in terms of keeping your employees satisfied.
Here are some suggestions for designing an effective feedback survey:
- Include questions related to workplace environment, management style, career development, and compensation management, among other things.
- Go with a 4 or 5-point Likert scale, as it’s easier to use and evaluate. An example of a Likert scale question would be, “On a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied are you with your current supervisor?”
- Add open-ended questions as well, such as, “What advice, if any, would you like to give to the upper-management?”
Once you receive the feedback, don’t just sit on it – but take action to show that you care.
11. Have the Founder Hold Company-Wide Meetings
Apart from conducting surveys, have the founder of the company hold company-wide meetings to discuss challenges, highlight accomplishments, and gather fresh feedback.
Here are some benefits of doing so:
- Teams/departments can raise their concerns with the person running the show, face-to-face.
- The founder can get a clear view of their company’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Such meetings increase engagement.
Conversing with the founder is, ultimately, good for morale, making company-wide meetings great for employee engagement.
12. Force Employees to Take a Day Off
At times, it’s easy for managers to recognize signs of burn out. Whether the employee requests it or not, force them to take a day off work every once in a while, and recharge their systems.
To help employees feel refreshed and ready to produce more results:
- Understand and recognize signs of burn out, and take measures to help employees get back on track.
- After completion of daunting projects, massive workloads, or otherwise draining tasks, force employees to take a day, or few, off from work.
This shows employees that their efforts and contributions are recognized and valued.
13. Seek Customer Testimonials
When it comes to employee engagement ideas, the goal is to compel your team to want to give their all.
One sure way of doing so is giving your employees the chance to hear the positive things customers say about them.
To utilize customer feedback:
- Seek out customer testimonials after they have come in contact with your employees.
- Seek out stories of how your employee has made a customer’s life easier.
Once employees see the effect they have on customers, they’ll be motivated to strive for even better results.
14. Recognize & Encourage Innovation
Oftentimes, a project comes together well due to valuable input from employees.
An employee might turn a low-end project into a high-end one, bring about positive change in the office, or generally improve efficiency in business processes.
To develop a culture of innovation:
- Always listen to new ideas and tips from employees.
- Ask them to actualize those ideas if they seem achievable.
- Recognize and appreciate them publicly.
- Adopt the Kaizen philosophy.
Fostering a culture of thinkers, and encouraging the creation of new ideas, will result in engaged employees.
15. Conduct Stay Interviews
Stay interviews are conducted with employees while they are still employed, to discuss career development, goals, and opportunities.
It’s also an effective tool against employee turnover.
To conduct stay interviews the right way:
- Try and conduct at least one stay interview per year. Ask employees specific questions to find out their future goals, expectations, and what they think needs to be changed.
- Try and set up meetings with executives so employee feels valued.
- Implement necessary changes to meet the employee expectations discovered in stay interviews.
Stay interviews will always provide insights into the career goals of your employees, making it easier to retain them.
16. Help Employees Build Online Profiles
To engage employees, consider helping them build their professional profiles online.
Many people are inexperienced when it comes to building their profile, therefore, help your employees realize the importance of building a personal brand, and teach them how to do so.
You can do this by:
- Help them build a solid LinkedIn profile and connect with the right people.
- Teach them Twitter etiquettes.
- Help them build online resumes on other professional sites.
- Encourage them to begin writing content (in their field of expertise) on various social platforms.
Employees will appreciate you for helping them build their careers and will hold you in high regards – making it yet another excellent employee retention strategy.
If it’s personal growth you’re after, the following employee engagement strategies/ideas are your best bets:
17. Promote and Help Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
According to one source, more than 80% of millennials significantly consider how a job would affect their work-life balance.
To keep up with these changing preferences, employers need to promote a healthy balance between work, and life.
Here are some tips to help you achieve that:
- Create/Approve processes that allow your employees to finish their tasks during their shifts and not take work home.
- Don’t bite off more than your employees can chew – before bringing in new clients/starting a new project, consider your company’s capabilities.
- Ensure a fair division of work among individuals (for example, don’t let one designer handle all the collateral, don’t allow one HR to interview all of the potential candidates, etc.).
Remember – overburdening your employees and pushing them towards burnout could drop satisfaction levels and increase the company’s employee turnover rate.
18. Empower Their Passion
Another progressive approach to send engagement through the roof is to find out what your employees are passionate about, whether professionally or personally, then provide them with different resources and/or incentives to further explore their passion.
Here’s how you can go about doing so:
- Conduct special surveys to understand and acknowledge what your employees are passionate about.
- For career-related passions, invest in the necessary training resources/sessions.
- For areas unrelated to your employees’ career paths (general things, like gaming, art, music, etc.), provide small incentives like gaming stations, books, etc., or courses on how to master that specific field, etc.
By investing in the passion of your employees, you can increase engagement, and reduce turnovers.
19. Create a ‘Challenge of the Week’ Activity
To further empower your employees and help them push their limits, you could have them overcome a challenge every week.
A challenge could be anything – ranging from something professional (i.e., securing a specific number of leads) to personal, such as, completing an online course or overcoming a fear.
Here are some tips on how you can implement a weekly challenge:
- Designate an area, and hang up a whiteboard where managers can write down a challenge of the week.
- Conduct a quick survey and gather a collection of professional and personal challenges, directly from your employees.
- Create a list and randomly select a challenge every week to give your employees.
Encouraging your employees to achieve one goal at a time will result in higher satisfaction and engagement.
20. Allow Time During the Work Day to Progress on Personal Goals
Encouraging your employees to achieve their personal goals is a great way to build engagement, but you should also allow them time during regular work hours to make progress.
Consider allotting at least 25-30 minutes (or more) each day during which employees can work on their personal goals.
By having the opportunity to pursue their personal goals during work hours, your employees will feel less overwhelmed.
21. Encourage Employees to Start a Blog
Nothing says employee development like the expression of thought, and the best way to do that is by starting a personal blog.
Encourage your employees to start a blog (or contribute to the company’s blog) and motivate them to share their thoughts on various matters.
Here are some benefits of your employees starting their own blogs:
- It will help them express ideas better, which will improve their communication skills.
- It can help you identify potential thought-leaders within your company.
- Analyzing your employees’ blogs can give you a better understanding of their emotional-wellbeing, skills, abilities, thought process, etc.
Expressing themselves on a blog will not only make your employees better communicators, but it might also encourage them to learn about various other topics (that they read about).
22. Put Them in Charge of Projects
You can recognize potential leaders within your workforce by allowing employees to use their abilities in a leadership role. Giving them charge of different projects is a good, practical way to do that.
Here are some tips to give employees charge without affecting their performance:
- Start small – don’t put an inexperienced employee in charge of a major project. Instead, assign them something small like an office party, video game tournament, movie night, etc.
- Play to employees’ strengths i.e. put them in charge of projects related to their own department.
The opportunity to flex their leadership muscles will motivate employees and make them feel their decisions are appreciated.
23. Promote Self-Evaluations
Self-evaluation is an engaging exercise for employees to reflect and improve upon their skills.
For employees, the benefits of self-evaluation include:
- The opportunity to be honest with themselves.
- A fresh perspective on their professional capabilities.
- A chance for you to see how your employees view their strengths and weaknesses, and act on them.
- Recognizing areas of improvement, and potentially turning them into strengths.
Ultimately, employees who are honest with themselves are bound to see better career growth.
24. Say ‘Thank You’ More Often
At times, all an employee needs to hear is a ‘thank you’ from their superiors, to get their motivation back.
Make a habit of saying thank you whenever:
- An employee completes a task assigned to them.
- An employee reaches a goal or target.
- An employee puts in extra effort on the job.
Regardless of the size of the achievement, receiving thanks shows the employee that their efforts are valued by management.
25. Praise/De-stigmatize Mistakes
Mistakes are inevitable and learning from them can not only help employees avoid them in the future, but also make better decisions in similar scenarios.
To make the best of any mistake:
- Remind your employees that mistakes happen, and that they are part of the work experience.
- Motivate and help employees find ways to avoid said mistake in the future, instead of outright scolding them.
- Guide them on how they can further learn from the mistake and use the experience to their advantage.
- When discussing their mistake with them, place more emphasis on what they did right.
When employees realize that they’re not under constant scrutiny, they feel relaxed and tend to work without worry. This leads to fewer mistakes due to reduced pressure.
All in all, the goal is to establish a culture where mistakes are met with positive reinforcement and constructive feedback.
26. Conduct Motivational Speaking Sessions
Instead of bringing in motivational speakers from outside, encourage your employees to come forward and inspire their team(s) with their own stories.
By doing so, you can:
- Give your team an instant boost of motivation.
- Get them motivated by the people who are closest and most relatable to them.
Motivational speech (regardless of the subject), can have a holistically positive effect on the human psyche.
Attending a motivational session can improve not only an employee’s mood, but it may change their life as a whole.
27. Send Out ‘You Matter’ Notes
An interesting activity to make employees realize their (positive) impact on the organization, is by sending special ‘You Matter’ notes every once in a while.
Here’s how they work:
- Write a note or an email addressing the employee like, “Dear X, You Matter because…”
- List all the reasons that you feel make the employee important to the company (and their team). It could be their professional achievements, their personality, or how they contribute to the company goals.
- Write a brief post on your social profile, like LinkedIn or Twitter, directed to your employee, commending them on a recent accomplishment or job well done.
Receiving these small reminders or acts of acknowledgement/gratitude can send workforce morale through the roof.
Looking to engage your workforce with unique incentives? Consider the following employee engagement ideas:
28. Set Up Creative Employee Incentives
Paid vacations and free snacks are great, but in 2019, you need to be a bit more creative with your employee incentive programs.
Here are some clever incentive-based, employee engagement ideas:
- Provide in-house entertainment (gaming consoles, movie screenings, and/or board games).
- Create ambient rest and relaxation rooms for employees.
- Offer health and wellness consultations with experts, along with gym and club memberships.
By offering the right incentives, you can ensure higher satisfaction and talent retention.
29. Offer Financial Incentives
Without an effective set of financial incentives, you’ll have a hard time retaining your employees.
Here are some suggestions to help you create financial incentives, suitable for the modern workforce:
- Offer student loan repayment assistance.
- Implement a profit-sharing model within your company (work with your finance department to develop a sustainable model).
- Provide unlimited medical insurance coverage to your employees.
- Provide vehicle financing/auto insurance coverage.
- Offer financing for consumer goods (a trend that has caught on in recent years).
Companies such as FutureFuel have tailor-made student loan repayment assistance plans for a workforce of any size.
Combine this monetary incentive with other flexible benefits plans to take debt-related burdens off employees’ shoulders.
30. Look Beyond Money for Rewards
According to recent findings, natural motivation can increase an employee’s likelihood of getting promoted. This means you have to look beyond monetary rewards and offer other incentives, as well.
Here are some interesting statistics that demonstrate just how important it is to have the right balance of incentives:
- About 65% of employees prefer non-cash incentives.
- A well-structured incentive program can boost performance by as much as 44%.
- According to one survey, 65% of employees stated that they were more likely to remember merchandise and traveling-related rewards than financial incentives.
Putting some thought and time in creating an effective incentives program will pay off in the long-run.
31. Allow Flexible Work Hours
Flexibility in work timings is growing in popularity worldwide. According to one study, 77% of millennials agree that flexible hours can increase workplace productivity.
Here are some tips to help you create flexible working schedules:
- Gather feedback from your employees about their preferred working schedules.
- Define time slots for work throughout the day and let your employees choose from them (or better yet, let each employee define their own schedule).
Allowing flexibility can encourage employees to give a hundred percent during work hours.
32. Allow Remote Work
Depending on the nature of the work, allow your employees to work from home or any corner of the world.
Here are some compelling stats in favor of remote work:
- According to a Stanford University study, allowing employees to work from home increases productivity and retention.
- In 2018, US companies that allowed their employees to work remotely saved up to $5 billion in employee-related costs.
- According to one source, employees who are allowed to work from home at least once a month report higher satisfaction and lower stress levels.
Remember, you’re not paying for in-house seat-warmers. As long as an employee is getting their work done, it shouldn’t matter if they work from home, or the office.
33. Offer Free Vending
An attractive perk for your employees is adding vending machines with free snacks and drinks.
To cater to your employees’ snacking needs:
- Partner with a certified vending machine service provider (Champion Vending USA, Global Vending Service, etc.).
- Ask your employees what snacks and drinks they’d like to add to the vending machine.
Installing a free vending machine can give employees the impression of free snacks available at will.
That, in itself, will make them appreciate the workplace more.
34. Provide Painting Classes
Painting is a peaceful yet engaging activity that can help employees take their mind off work and bring out their creativity.
Help your employees channel their inner Bob Ross by:
- Providing free access to online painting courses.
- Providing live painting classes in non-office hours.
- Dedicating a small section, on-site, for recreational painting.
This can also be helpful in an environment where creativity is part of the job, such as advertising/marketing, design and animation, architecture, etc.
35. Reward Your Employees with Escapes
When it comes to employee engagement ideas, escapes and paid vacations are some of the most attractive incentives that you can offer.
Here are some ideas for exciting and memorable paid trips:
- Sponsor trips to Disney World.
- Send employees to an all-expenses-paid cruise with a person of their choice.
- Sponsor trips to historical landmarks (pay for gas, hotels, etc.).
To avoid overspending on one employee’s vacation versus the other, set aside an annual vacation budget as standard for all employees, and plan their trips accordingly.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull employee. Here are some fun employee engagement ideas to keep that from happening:
36. Make the Workplace More Upbeat
It doesn’t hurt to put work aside and lighten the mood from time to time.
Here are some suggestions for making the workplace fun:
- Set up a video gaming console and allow employees to blow-off steam whenever they want.
- Arrange office movie nights or Netflix binging sessions (on weekends).
- Have office game nights (Pictionary and Cards Against Humanity, among other board games).
Consider your workforce demographic and think of other creative ways to make the workplace more enjoyable.
37. Gamify Work
The trend of gamification at the workplace has caught on over the last decade. Gamifying certain aspects of work (project milestones, feedback, etc.) has been known to increase productivity and engagement.
Here are some tips to help you gamify company processes:
- Invest in programs that gamify day-to-day tasks. For example, cashiers at Target can evaluate their performances via a software that shows how fast they check out customers, which allows them to challenge themselves and perform better.
- Turn it into a competition – create an internal ranking system based on the performance of your employees, and reward top performers.
- Invest in an LMS that allows employees to create avatars, track their performance, and jazz up their avatars with items they can purchase via points they gain through completing courses.
By cultivating an environment of friendly competition using the power of gamification, your company can see a clear rise in engagement.
38. Start Clubs
A great way to have fun and connect employees through common interests is to start clubs in the workplace.
The clubs can be about anything, including:
- TV shows
- Comic books/Manga
- Video games
Once you’ve set up the club(s), allow employees to hold meetings and partake in club-related activities every week.
39. Create a Memory Wall
Designate a wall in the office where employees can pin their favorite photos, write down their favorite moments, or just place collectibles that bring them joy.
Here’s how you can benefit from creating a memory wall:
- Reading about what makes colleagues happy can reduce work-related stress.
- It improves interpersonal communication and overall bonding between employees.
Having a memory wall is a cost-effective way to keep employees engaged.
40. Keep a Telescope in the Office
There’s no better way to humble yourself than by looking at the vast sky and observing the universe in all its glory.
There are side-benefits to it as well – it’s fun and engaging, especially for budding stargazers.
If you have night shifts or late-sittings, keeping a telescope in the workplace can make things interesting.
Here a few tips to start observing the night sky:
- Place the telescope in a position from where most of the sky is visible (a wide window or balcony).
- Keep an astronomy/star-gazing manual that helps employees observe the stars the right way.
Alternatively, you can invest in a digital SLR camera with a large zoom lens.
This way, employees can take, and keep, images of the night sky for themselves.
41. Plan Company Outings
Being cooped up in the office for extended periods can affect morale. To avoid that, plan frequent company outings to provide your employees with some relief, while strengthening their relationships.
Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Take the team out for lunch or (after work) drinks.
- Go to the movies.
- Arrange trips to the beach or a water/amusement park.
At the end of the day, enjoying some fresh air with your employees is a great way to engage them.
42. Have a ‘Bring Your Pet to Work’ Day
One employee engagement idea that is gradually becoming the norm, is designating a day every year when your employees can bring their fuzzy friends to work.
However, before you do so, make sure that:
- No employee has pet allergies (if they do, allow them to work from home or take the day off).
- The office environment is safe and accommodating for all pets.
- The pets are docile and trained to handle social situations.
- There is plenty of pet food/treats and cleaning supplies to last the day.
Allowing employees to have fun with their pets at work is a perfect way to reduce stress.
43. Have Video Game Tournaments
Are your employees into gaming? Have them bring their A-game to an annual, or bi-annual, video gaming tournament at work.
Here are some tips to make things interesting and motivate your employees into participating:
- Keep the tournament open to everyone.
- Have your employees compete in various game categories (Role-playing, strategy, shooters etc.).
- Reward the winners with exciting prizes (such as a company-video-game-tournament certificate).
These sort of tournaments are good at creating a competitive, yet friendly, spirit at work.
44. Have Themed/Costume Parties
Test the creativity of your employees by having yearly themed/costume parties (Halloween is a tailor-made occasion for it).
To do that, consider:
- Setting special themes (medieval, the 80’s, cyberpunk etc.)
- Giving a ‘Best Costume’ award.
A themed party is a good alternative to regular get-togethers, as they encourage creative thought during costume prep – they’re also talked about long after they’re done.
45. Have a Karaoke Night
Having karaoke nights is a fun and engaging way to bond with your colleagues and have a good time while at it.
Here are some tips to make office karaoke nights memorable:
- Have employees draw sticks with the names of songs they have to sing.
- To make things more interesting, turn it into a competition and give the best team/singer a prize.
Make sure not to pressure anyone into participating, since it can be embarrassing for someone who doesn’t want to step onto a stage.
46. Work on Creative Team Projects
It’s always nice to spice things up at work and work on fun and creative projects with your team.
These may be:
- Profitable projects (strive to keep a few that your teams enjoy working on, regardless of how much revenue they generate).
- Team building projects (a sculpture or a collaborative painting).
- Volunteering projects (beach cleanups, tree plantation drives, etc.).
Working on the same projects over and over can lower morale.
In other words, try to keep things interesting at the workplace if you want to engage your employees.
47. Allow Employees to Personalize Their Desks
Encourage employees to personalize their desks/workstations with photos, posters, and other items (as long as they’re appropriate).
Here are some benefits of doing so:
- Working in an environment that ‘feels like home’ can reduce stress.
- It can diversify the workplace and inspire creativity.
Allowing this creative freedom is good way to reinforce the notion that you respect your employees’ decisions and appreciate their personal space/preferences.
48. Place Figurines or Collectibles Around the Office
To lighten the general mood in the workplace, consider adding collectibles or figurines around the office.
Here’s how you can do that:
- Set up bobble-heads and/or action figures on shelves, conference tables, etc. FunkoPop and LEGO are two of the most popular brands to consider.
- Allow employees to bring their own figurines.
This idea works well for companies with a younger employee demographic.
49. Forget Dress Codes for a Day (Or Entirely)
Strict dress codes and compulsory accessories can be uncomfortable and borderline annoying.
It’s best to give your employees a break every once in a while and have a dress-code-free day.
You can decide on days when employees can:
- Wear their sweatpants to work.
- Wear their favorite character costume.
- Wear their worst/funniest outfit.
- Wear just about whatever they want.
It’s no secret that any employee would work better if they were comfortable. Plus, the opportunity to wear what they would at home/at a party, will make for a fun office-wide activity.
50. Have a Dance Party
Whenever the office starts to feel dull, set up some speakers, play some music, and let your employees dance their boredom off. A sudden change in pace will always be engaging.
Execute the perfect dance party by:
- Taking a vote on the perfect playlist through a survey.
- Having an employee take over DJ duty, or hiring a professional DJ.
- Providing enough space for groups of people to dance comfortably.
Taking the edge off work and dancing to well-known tunes will help employees get back on track and boost their moods.
51. Play ‘The Price is Right’ in the Office
Certain game shows like ‘The Price is Right’ are popular with most people. Playing a version of them in the office always ends up in a fun day for everyone.
To play the Price is Right in the office:
- Grab some items from around the office and gather them in one place.
- Assemble your employees in the same way as the show.
- Make them guess the price of each of the items.
- Whoever guesses right, or the closest, wins.
Ultimately, playing company-themed versions of popular game shows make for unique, fun activities for employees.
52. Office Minute to Win It
‘Minute to Win It’ features mini-games and challenges that need to be completed in under a minute.
To develop your office Minute to Win It:
- Create mini-games and challenges using only supplies in the office.
- Divide employees into pair.
- Get a stopwatch.
- Have each pair take their turns on the activities.
- Whoever completes all of them (or most of them) wins and gets a reward.
The idea is to have fun and get employees to work together on different challenges – improving comradery in doing so.
53. Encourage Meme Culture
Memes are now incorporated in our lives, and using them in the office is a fun way of looking at things.
To build a meme culture:
- Encourage employees to make memes on what happens in the office.
- Incorporate memes into your work (insert memes into infographics, make presentation featuring meme characters etc.)
- Feature the ‘Meme of the Day’ on a bulletin board
- Share relatable memes on team social media groups.
The line between being professional and casual at the workplace is slowly vanishing and it’s better for companies to embrace it.
Such a culture will help employees ease up and break additional barriers to communication.
54. Get a ‘Distracted Jar’
It’s common for employees to get distracted or run out of inspiration from time to time.
To overcome this problem, consider adding a ‘distracted jar’ – one that contains snippets of hilarious inside jokes, motivational quotes, and puns employees can read to get their mood up.
To make things more fun, you can:
- Ask employees to add new snippets to the jar every month.
This type of simple, yet fun, activities are crucial for maintaining a positive and stress-free environment at work.
55. Have a ‘Bring Your Family to Work’ Day
‘Bring Your Family to Work Day’ is a fun take on ‘Bring Your Pet to Work Day.’
Ask your employees to bring their children, spouses, parents, or siblings to work and socialize with one another.
To add some family fun to the mix, you can have activities like:
- Family members share embarrassing (yet appropriate) stories about the employees.
- Paying for catering for a lunch party.
- Highlighting key accomplishments of employees to give their family members a reason to be proud.
This social activity can provide a fun, engaging escape for everyone involved.
56. Play Office Musical Chairs
Musical chairs is a timeless game. The best thing about it is that it’s appropriate for any setting – even an otherwise professional one.
Make it more fun by:
- Turning it into an annual competition that employees look forward to.
- Awarding the winner with a title like ‘King/Queen of the Chair’ and giving them a winner’s prize.
It doesn’t hurt to channel your inner-child, and connect as a team.
57. Play ‘Never Have I Ever’
Another fun way to connect and engage your employees (and maybe spill a few funny secrets in the process) is by playing ‘Never Have I Ever’ – a popular drinking game.
In case you’re not familiar with it, here are the rules:
- Players take turns asking others questions that begin with the phrase ‘Never have I ever’, followed by things a normal person would do. For example, “Never have I ever sent an email without any subject line.”
- People who have done this, would respond by taking a drink.
Since it’s a drinking game, it’s best to play it with non-alcoholic beverages in the workplace.
58. Send Out Some Monday Motivation
Monday blues can kill engagement and drain the fun right out of work.
To prevent a weekly problem, start sharing some fresh motivation to help your employees start their week off right.
You can do this by:
- Sending a motivational quote every Monday via email blast.
- Writing/sticking a motivational quote somewhere prominent
By making this little effort, you can inspire your employees and raise productivity levels.
59. Have Annual Sports Competitions
Don’t have all the fun indoors – set up an annual sports competition and let employees go at it in their favorite sports.
Some good team sports (that double as fun activities) include:
- Flag Football
To encourage employees to participate, reward the winning team/winners with an extra day off.
60. Have an Office Scavenger Hunt
Nothing says ‘engaging fun’ like a scavenger hunt – that too, in the workplace.
Here’s how to set one up:
- Divide all participating employees into two teams.
- Have each team find miscellaneous objects hidden around the office. You can use existing office items, or plan custom-themed items in advance.
- The first team to find it all, wins.
Scavenger hunts are great for encouraging employees to interact, cooperate, and connect with one another.
61. Have a Monthly ‘Clean the Workplace’ Day
Once a month, you can ask your janitor to take the day off and have your employees take care of the clean-up process.
To motivate employees to participate:
- Lead by example and have other managers clean up as well.
- Offer drinks and/or snacks afterwards.
Remember not to force any employee to participate. Instead, recognize and acknowledge those that come forward.
62. Start an Internal Newsletter or Magazine
If you already haven’t, consider launching an internal newsletter/magazine that’s relevant to your company and the industry.
Here’s how to do that:
- Create an editorial team from within the company (anyone with basic Photoshop skills)
- Ask employees to contribute to the magazine (anything, ranging from inside jokes to informative content related to work)
- Feature top contributors by name and picture.
An office newsletter or magazine can help inspire creativity and bring your teams closer.
Establish a strong company culture by implementing these fun and creative employee engagement ideas:
63. Be Transparent
If you want your employees to trust you with strategic decisions, be as transparent as possible.
To build trust with your workforce, consider:
- Communicating your company goals to your employees from day one, and reminding them from time to time via meetings.
- Be comfortable with discussing organizational challenges (skill gaps, technological limitations, etc.) with your employees.
- Don’t hold back from sharing any relevant information about your clients. For instance, you can share their origin, how much they’re paying, etc.
Being acknowledged and trusted with such information will drive engagement and motivate your employees to go the extra mile.
64. Celebrate Birthdays and Holidays
To connect with your employees on a personal level, celebrate their birthdays. You can also celebrate holidays like Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s Day, and Independence Day on office premises.
Don’t be overwhelmed – you can make things easier by:
- Creating a special calendar that has all the birthdays and holidays marked, so that you can start planning in advance.
- Have a separate budget for birthday cakes and other celebratory items.
By remembering birthdays and making an effort to celebrate holidays, you can show your employees that you care.
65. Encourage Volunteering
Establish volunteering as a standard virtue for every employee. Doing so will not only engage employees, but will also promote the spirit of cooperation.
Here are some tips on how to do so:
- Lead by example – help your employees whenever you can and participate in various charitable activities.
- Allow employees to volunteer in the causes they care about.
- Set up a monthly soup kitchen at your local homeless shelter.
Volunteering regularly can help establish a company culture based on cooperation and mutual respect.
66. Encourage Donating to Charities
Encouraging your employees to donate to charities – like the previous idea – promotes a spirit of selfless contribution.
To do that, consider:
- Running a survey to decide which charities to contribute to.
- Attending different fundraiser events as a team.
Donating to different charities as a team is yet another great way to cultivate strong relationships among employees.
67. Keep an Open-Door Policy
Apart from the physical environment, company culture, etc., the mental condition of employees plays a significant role in engagement.
A great way to avoid tensions and frustrations is to promote an open-door policy.
Here’s what that means:
- Allow and encourage employees to approach you regarding any problem, at any time.
- Eliminate most (if not all) formalities and red tape involved in approaching the top-management.
- Never allow yourself to be (or at least, express that you are) irritated in front of an employee who has come to you for advice.
- Instruct/advise other managers to adopt the same policy.
Knowing that they can seek your guidance whenever needed, your employees will approach all tasks more confidently.
68. Involve Employees in Hiring Decisions
A sure-fire way of creating an effective onboarding strategy is to have your existing employees participate in the recruitment process. Involve them in interviews and ask for their opinions regarding potential candidates.
As a result, you can:
- Ensure that the values of new hires align with that of the company’s.
- Empower employees and prepare them to make other, more important decisions related to their work.
It will also help you gain valuable insights and a fresh perspective on future candidates.
69. Throw Farewell Parties for Exiting Employees
Not all goodbyes have to be painful. You can ensure that every exiting employee leaves on a positive note by throwing them a farewell party.
A farewell party could include activities such as:
- Lunch, dinner, or drinks.
- Having other employees share favorite moments about the person, along with reasons why they’ll be missed.
- Asking the exiting employee to make a speech.
Such parties can help remaining employees understand the value of mutual respect and strengthen their bonds (while also retaining them).
Effective team building is the hallmark of a successful organization.
Consider the following employee engagement ideas to encourage cooperation and friendliness in the workspace:
70. Create a Formal Onboarding Process
You can’t expect to engage employees early on if you don’t have an effective onboarding process in place.
Here are some tips to help you create one:
- Create an onboarding manual that includes all of the information a new hire needs to understand their duties, what to expect on an average day, and other relevant do’s and don’ts.
- Arrange one-on-one meetings with various managers.
- Introduce the new hire to the whole team (or better yet, throw them a welcoming party).
By onboarding your employees (the right way), you’ll engage them from day one and keep them motivated throughout their time with the company.
71. Plan Company Events
To stop things from going stale, plan company-wide events from time to time.
These could be anything, including:
- An annual company dinner.
- An awards ceremony for high performers.
Going to such events will give employees the opportunity to talk about something other than work – perfect for bonding.
72. Work Towards a Cause
According to a report, about 94% of Millennials want to use their skills to work for a cause.
Here are some popular causes that you can promote among employees:
- Environmental protection (promote planting a tree ever month).
- Animal rights activism (promote volunteering at/donating to pet shelters).
- Education (encourage tutoring at children’s shelters).
- Healthcare (encourage volunteering at charity/free healthcare centers).
You can partner with local charity groups and have your employees volunteer in different activities.
73. Help Employees Get Acquainted with One Another
It’s important for employees to know who their colleagues are – doing so creates a sense of familiarity in the workplace.
Here are some tips on how to familiarize employees with one other:
- Conduct fun ice-breaker sessions every few months – have two employees ask each other questions that are prepared by other employees.
- Allow for inter-departmental mingling. Avoid social silos while at work.
Remember – the first step towards effective team building is acknowledging each other.
74. Encourage Employees to Network
Don’t stop your employees from intermingling and expanding their networks. In fact, regularly promote such a mindset.
Here are some benefits of doing this:
- Employees can share resources and learn from one another.
- It can cultivate positive experiences in the workplace.
Networking can also help employees in their personal lives – they can find help for certain tasks through other employees, while increasing engagement in the process.
75. Hold Group Brainstorming Sessions
While discussing new ideas/projects, include all the members of the team and advise other managers to do the same.
Brainstorming sessions are great for:
- Encouraging collaborative thinking among employees.
- Discovering great new ideas (and some out-of-the-box ones).
- Creating a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses among different teams.
Allowing everyone to contribute to a discussion/brainstorming session can motivate employees to come forward, share their ideas, and feel appreciated.
76. Assign a Mentor/Buddy to Every New Hire
Assigning a mentor (or a ‘buddy’) from your existing workforce to every new hire can be an effective onboarding tactic.
The main responsibilities of a mentor could include:
- Providing all relevant assistance to help the new employee understand the nature of work, culture, and the company’s policies.
- Ensure that the new employee has everything they need to get started (stationary, tech, etc.).
- Introduce new employees to the rest of the team(s).
Mentor/Buddy programs are also great for experienced employees since it provides them the opportunity to interact and bond with new employees, and make them feel welcomed.
77. Encourage Team Members to Share Their Personal Accomplishments
What’s better than celebrating accomplishments? Celebrating them with your team.
Here’s how you can encourage your employees to share their victories with the rest of the gang:
- Put up an ‘accomplishment board’ on which employees write their personal or professional accomplishments.
- Place an old-school metal bell in the office which employees can ring to announce their victories.
These brief ‘victories,’ and the resulting acknowledgement from colleagues, will make your workforce more confident overall.
78. Involve Employees in Decision-Making Processes
Don’t make all the important decisions (for example, investing in new technology, moving to a new location, etc.) by yourself.
Involve your employees in the process and ask for their opinions via company-wide meetings, feedback surveys, and/or one-on-one sessions.
The benefits of doing so include:
- Employees feeling engaged, empowered, and trusted.
- Fresh ideas and insights regarding strategy.
Involving your employees in the decision-making processes will strengthen your relationships with them, enabling them to trust you more.
79. Praise Employees Publicly for Their Wins
Don’t let your employees’ accomplishments go unnoticed – show them that you appreciate all their hard work through public praise, awards, and/or acknowledgement.
As a result, your employees will:
- Feel motivated to work harder.
- Feel more satisfied with their work/managers.
- Be less likely to look for another job.
For certain employees, intrinsic rewards (like receiving praise and being recognized) are far better than tangible ones.
To that end, it’s best to come up with creative employee appreciation ideas to keep your workforce engaged.
80. Switch Places for a Day
It is important to develop a culture of mutual respect among employees so they can respect each other’s positions.
To help employees realize the worth of their peers and colleagues:
- Allow them to switch places for an hour (make your accountant oversee the production line, have the line manager oversee accounts).
- Have them discuss the experience, any challenges they faced, etc.
Allowing your employees to step into one another’s shoes (albeit, briefly) will help them gain insight into the responsibilities of fellow employees – leading to them appreciating the role each of them play in the company.
81. Conduct Meetings Outdoors
Meetings can be boring, redundant, and can make employees sleepy, therefore, it’s best to rethink how you conduct them.
For a change, try:
- Conducting meetings outdoors (on the rooftop, in a park/restaurant nearby, etc.)
- Conduct one-on-one meetings with employees outside for privacy.
Ultimately, employees will appreciate these mini-outings and may even begin looking forward to meetings.
82. Home Cooking Competitions
Set up a home-cooking competition where employees bring something they cooked at home to the office, for everyone to try.
To set up such a competition:
- Gather all participating employees and ask them to cook their best dish at home.
- Ask them to bring their dish to the office so everyone can try it.
- Have a panel of ‘judges’ (one from each team) compare dishes and rate them.
- Whoever accumulates the most points, wins.
This provides employees with the opportunity to impress others with their cooking, while encouraging a culture of sharing among team members.
83. Arrange Random Lunches
The concept behind this idea is to make random employees go to lunch together.
You can go about this in the following ways:
- Choose 3-4 random employees, give them a lunch voucher, and ask them to go to lunch together.
- Select a manager and some other team leads, and send them to lunch, as well.
- Choose employees from different departments and ask them to eat together.
The goal is to develop relationships between employees who would have little to no interaction otherwise.
84. Try Out-of-the-Box Employee Engagement Ideas
Small changes around the office can have a substantial, positive effect in the long run.
While major changes are obvious, it’s the small changes that employees praise and talk about.
Some unique employee engagement ideas are:
- Host an eating competition.
- Give your employees custom coffee mugs.
- Customize company keychains for everyone.
Employees are moved by the little things you do for them – it keeps them happy, motivated, and wanting more, even if it’s just a small souvenir.
85. Have an Office ‘Show and Tell’
Who says ‘show and tell’ is just for elementary school?
You can have your employees share their hobbies, inventions, or simply tell a story every month/year.
Here are some benefits of having these annual show and tell events:
- Employees receive a platform to discuss/showcase what they’re passionate about.
- Colleagues get to connect with one another.
It’s always nice to give employees an opportunity to express themselves and their interests.
86. Have a ‘Hot Seat’ Activity Every Month
Every month, have an employee or a manager sit somewhere in the middle of a conference room, and have other employees and managers share one thing that they like about them the most.
This hot seat activity can result in:
- A boost in confidence and self-esteem.
- Increase in mutual respect between the employees.
This is also a good platform to extract positive feedback, and future changes, from.
87. Start ‘Anxiety Parties’
‘Anxiety parties’ is a fancy name given to group counseling sessions (for people suffering from workplace stress or anxiety stemming from personal issues).
Encouraging employees to offer emotional support to one another can create a stress-free environment at work.
Here’s how you can start this trend:
- Encourage employees and managers to offer support to each other whenever possible.
- Allow calming music and comfort food during these sessions.
Remember – fewer ‘anxiety parties’ means that you’re successful at creating a pleasant work environment.
If you’re looking to promote a healthy lifestyle in the workplace, consider the following employee engagement ideas:
88. Offer On-Site Fitness Classes
Nothing says engagement like arranging fitness classes for your employees.
Designate a few hours every week for yoga, Pilates, or Zumba sessions, and invest in professional trainers.
Some important things to remember are:
- The classes should be open to everyone.
- There should be ample space for exercise.
- If possible, arrange facilities where employees can freshen up after working out (swimming pool, steam room etc.).
Some employees tend to struggle with maintaining a workout regime due to a lack of time – they’ll be thankful if the workout comes to work.
89. Offer (Free) Healthy Snacks
Offering free snacks and drinks in the workplace is yet another employee engagement trend that has caught on in recent years.
However, that trend is shifting towards healthier snacks.
Here are some tips:
- Offer gluten-free items (nuts, energy bars, dried fruits, yogurt, etc.). Ask if anyone’s allergic to certain items, and avoid them altogether.
- Companies like SnackNation deliver healthy snacks to offices, so consider partnering with such companies.
Many employee love to snack during work hours, so consider making the snacks healthy for a change.
90. Provide an In-House Gym Facility/Offer Gym Memberships
The ultimate way to guarantee fitness is to hit the gym regularly.
You can ensure this by either building an in-house gym facility, or providing free gym memberships, to keep employees fit and active.
Doing so can:
- Encourage more employees to take better care of their fitness.
- Motivate health/fitness-conscious employees to remain within your company.
Create a budget, evaluate your options, and ask your employees what they’d prefer in terms of equipment and facilities.
91. Sponsor Employees in Marathons/5K’s
Physical activity is always a plus for everyone and is a proven way of improving one’s mood and health.
To foster a culture of physical activity:
- Sponsor your employees in marathons, half-marathons, and 5K’s.
- Design and print t-shirts, caps, and provide employees with running shoes.
As a result, employees taking part in such activities as a team will create unity and build bonds.
92. Encourage Rudimentary Medical Training
It’s important to have, at least, basic medical training that can help in different situations.
Providing your employees with that training can reiterate your desire for their safety.
Here are some medical training ideas:
- Give CPR/basic first-aid training to the entire workforce.
- Teach your employees how to do the Heimlich Maneuver.
- Show them how to check blood pressure, heart rate, and sugar levels.
- Teach them about the symptoms of common diseases and how to identify them.
This will not only allow your employees to learn new skills, but will also prepare them for medical emergencies (should any occur during or after work).
93. Start Team Walk/Jog Sessions
To further boost team chemistry, while promoting healthy habits, encourage your employees to have weekly team walk/jog sessions.
Here’s how your company can benefit from such an activity:
- You’ll promote a healthy lifestyle.
- As a group, more people will be willing to walk/jog and hit their cardio targets.
- Your employees will bond over raised heart rates and burned calories.
It may be difficult to get employees onboard at first, but once you do, the team walk/jog sessions can become the norm.
Consider the following employee engagement ideas to enhance your workplace environment:
94. Create the Perfect ‘Modern’ Environment
The current global workforce consists of mostly millennials and Gen Z, therefore, to accommodate this demographic, consider modernizing your office(s).
Here are some tips to help you get started on the modern workspace:
- Provide various seating options (cubicles, traditional desks, standing desks, etc.)
- Decorate the office with indoor plants, modern art, LED backlighting, etc.
- Improve the ambiance with optimal air-conditioning and decent air fresheners.
A pleasant environment can decrease stress levels, increase focus, and reduce workplace absenteeism – especially for younger workers.
95. Provide Employees with the Best Equipment
All things aside, if your employees don’t have access to the best equipment (computers, printers, or even coffee machines), you may have a hard time engaging them, and motivating them to go the extra-mile.
Here are some simple ways around such a predicament:
- Allot a portion of the overall budget for new equipment.
- Do a market survey to find the best vendors (i.e., who you can partner with).
- Invest in all necessary workplace equipment.
When employees have access to the best tools money can buy, they’ll always bring their A-game to work.
96. Keep an Employee Suggestion Box
Let’s face it, waiting for survey results can be frustrating.
Sometimes, an employee may feel like providing feedback, but can’t, as there is no process or feedback collection system in place.
To overcome this, place a special suggestion box where employees can submit their suggestions/feedback via notes.
Here’s how you can benefit from such an addition:
- Employees will receive another medium to give feedback, resulting in greater satisfaction.
- You’ll have access to fresh suggestions from your workforce.
In the end, make efforts to act on/address whatever suggestions you receive.
97. Create an Epic Book Shelf and Reading Area
When it comes to inspiring creativity, improving performance, and eliminating stress, you can never go wrong with some good old-fashioned reading.
To leverage the mental healing power of books, designate a quiet area in your office for reading, complete with a book shelf, couches, coffee tables, or beanbag chairs.
While creating the perfect reading area, remember to:
- Collect both fiction and non-fiction books of all genres (sci-fi, fantasy, philosophy, business, etc.) to cater to all kinds of readers.
- Select a spot/room that’s quiet through most of the day.
- Get comfortable furniture.
- Encourage your employees to read and contribute to the shelf with their favorite books.
A dedicated reading area can give all the bookworms another reason to show up to work.
98. Play Some Soothing Music
There’s no better way to de-stress an environment than by playing some soothing tunes. Better yet, you can install a decent sound system and let your employees choose the playlist.
Some genres that are calming and best-suited for work include:
- Ambient Music
It’s not recommended to play music throughout the day, as some employees might find it distracting.
The best time of the week is Friday afternoon, when everyone’s already looking forward to the weekend.
99. Create a Rest and Relaxation Room
Create an entire room where employees can relax, de-stress, and unwind.
A perfect rest and relaxation room includes:
- Sleeping bags and/or hammocks.
- Bean bag chairs.
- Noise cancellation headphones and eye masks.
Allow your employees to use this room whenever they’re exhausted, so that they can come back feeling refreshed.
Employee Engagement Ideas Made Easy
Don’t feel overwhelmed by all of these employee engagement ideas – you don’t have to implement every single one.
Instead, create an effective engagement strategy for your company by picking the ideas that you feel are best-suited to your people, environment, and culture.
Remember: The goal is to find a balance between keeping your employees happy and the business up and running – needless to say, engaging your employees will result in increased performance across the board.
Gather feedback, experiment with ideas, and enjoy the rewards of working alongside an engaged, motivated, and dedicated team.