Simple and Effective Employee Engagement Ideas

Want your employees to look forward to work every morning, love the company and especially their jobs? We share employee engagement ideas to improve productivity and increase motivation.

Everyone wants their company or business to succeed. Achieving positive results and improving sales month or even year after year is the top priority in every business, however it is your employees that you need to look after as they are the reason to your profit or loss (hopefully not!).

Your employees are the backbone of your company, so naturally you need to work on engaging your employees in order to increase their productivity at the workplace.

In this article, we share 17 super effective employee engagement ideas that will absolutely help you and your company when it comes to getting your team engaged at the workplace.

17 Effective Employee Engagement Ideas

Perfect your on-boarding process

Being a newbie in a company can be a very stressful experience, but the more help a new employee gets, the better they definitely will be at their job. Help them through their on-boarding process by having a laid-out plan and schedule.

Management should make themselves available when new employees join the team as this will help to ensure any issues that arise are attended to as quickly as possible. This is one of the simple and effective employee engagement ideas before any new employees get to judge the company culture.

You can read this article for more ideas in preparing a perfect on-boarding process for your new employees.

Assign every newcomer a ‘buddy’

One of the simple and effective employee engagement ideas is assigning all newcomers a ‘buddy’ for a week. It can be quite nerve wrecking when you are a new team member at a department and especially when it is your first day.

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Have someone assigned to your new employees as part of the on-boarding process, showing them around and introducing them to their colleagues in the department.

Building a trustworthy relationship with their buddy in the company can help the newcomer get adjusted really quickly. By doing so, the new hire can adapt better and faster to be part of the team.

Gather and celebrate new hires

Get the whole team together and welcome the newcomer by having a simple tea time session in the office. This way, the new person can get to know everyone in the department when everyone is not at their desk working.

You can even play a small game and get the newcomer to remember the names of their colleague’s when first being introduced and try to recall their position title.

Photo: S3ISOR, Flickr

Photo: S3ISOR, Flickr

Speak your mind

There will be times when some of your employees feel uncomfortable with the idea of speaking their minds. Whatever the reasons may be, the main thing is to ensure employees that it is acceptable to voice their opinions and encourage them to get it off their chest.

Send out emails or try reaching out to your employees to remind them that management’s doors are always open if they have something on their mind that requires attention.

Remember that by keeping an “open-door” policy, it encourages your employees further by having a discussion in which they can talk about that may be on their minds at the moment. This is definitely one of the simple and effective employee engagement ideas that your company should practice.

Reward employees for a job well done

Another one to add to your simple and effective employee engagement ideas would be rewarding the employees, but not just to any employees who completed a task. Reward an employee who only does a good job at a project or a task which they have been struggling with from the beginning.

Rewarding employees is something that you should do from often, but not all the time. Pay close attention to your employees’ progress. When rewarding, let them know why they are being rewarded as you will effectively help to increase employee engagement.

Provide healthy lunches and snacks

Have a day where your company encourages healthy food for lunch. You could get your employees involved in a potluck and each bring a healthy dish to share during lunchtime. Employees get to have a variety of lunch selections and they get to have lunch with their colleagues, bonding with each other closer than just through work.

If organising a potluck lunch event is difficult, you can try and encourage your employees by eating healthy by stocking healthy snacks in the pantry for employees to turn to if need be throughout the day.

It may be a little step towards a healthy lifestyle but when employees realise that management is not only concern about making profits for the company but also interested in their employees personal health, employee engagement level will definitely improve.

Allow flexibility

Be accommodating to the shifts or office hours without losing too much control and provide employees the flexibility they deserve. You could allow them to work from home or take a personal day if need be. So long as they keep up their end of the deal when it comes to the work that they are supposed to get done, there should be little to worry about.

Even though is it a fixed Monday through Friday position, you can be flexible to the time they are to report to work or leave for the day. In the current era, nine-to-five positions are no longer an issue, and employee flexibility is a big plus.

Allow flexibility by informing employees that they could come in to work earlier in order to leave earlier as well or allow them to take the morning off if you know that they have been working overtime the day before.

Be casual

This is another of our simple and effective employee engagement ideas. Instead of having your employees to address you by Mr Xxx or Ms Xxx, go casual by going on a first name basis. In some parts of the world and culture, this may be considered as rude as it means not respecting your seniors or the higher management.

Address someone by their first name does not mean disrespecting them but then again, ‘a rose by any other name will still smell as sweet’. However by doing so, it creates a different atmosphere at the workplace as it reduces the tension of seniority.

Get to know each and every employee on a personal level can be quite a challenge if you are managing a large pool of people. It may take quite a while to remember everyone’s name, but the important thing is when employees realise that you are trying.

Your employees will appreciate the fact that their employer is putting in the effort to get to know them on a more personal level.

Be even more casual

Another one of the simple and effective employee engagement ideas would be having one casual dress day a week, best on a Friday where all your employees are starting to wind down and look forward to the weekends. Get them out of their suit and tie and allow them to be casual by wearing Khakis and a polo shirt or even T-shirt and jeans, whatever they feel most comfortable wearing.

Dress code can have a big impact on attitude; who likes to be in shirt and pants all day long? Even though dress code at the workplace helps maintain a sense of professionalism, by allowing a casual dress day let your employees feel more relaxed and comfortable throughout the day.

Every company needs its own sense of company culture and the way in which people dress can have a dramatic impact on your work environment. If you are worried that your employees might get a little out-of-control when it comes to dressing down, have a guideline to what is acceptable.

Emphasise that it is a ‘casual but presentable’ type of dress code. Trust your employees in coming to work looking good, regardless of what type of style they might have.

Photo: Nitish Kumar, Flickr

Photo: Nitish Kumar, Flickr

Cultivate ‘Fun’ at work

Whoever said that the word ‘fun’ and ‘work’ could not exist in the same positive sentence is wrong. You should encourage fun at work in order for your employees to not feel drained or having to drag themselves to work every morning.

There are a number of ways to incorporate fun at the workplace and the benefits that doing so can increase the employee engagement level and productivity within your organisation are countless.

Organise simple events such as having a lunchtime movie session by playing documentary, which are short and interesting. It does not have to be work related and it could even just be a funny video. Do take note that having fun at work not only help to break the monotony of the day, it can also help to improve employee engagement levels.

Celebrate your employee

One of the simple and effective employee engagement ideas, which should be encouraged in all companies, is celebrating your staff. Celebrating your staff is essential. Most management realised that they should put effort into recognising their employees for the work they do but that is work related.

Celebrate simple personal events like birthdays, their work anniversaries, the birth of their new born, or major professional achievements. When employees feel like they are getting the attention, they typically tend to be more engaged as possible in their work as they feel the importance of their existence in the company.

Plan employee engagement activities

Employee engagement activities are a great way to keep your employees engaged. Not all employee engagement activities work for every department or company. So you might want to try out a couple of activities before finding the right one that fits the bill. Start off by asking your team what they like to do for fun and then experiment with those activities.

If you are having problems searching for one, read our article on some fantastic ideas to encourage team spirit and employee engagement.

Hire internally first

This is for those large organisations or companies that have different departments and over a hundred of employees. Most employees are concerned with the possibilities of promotion within their department. There is nothing more discouraging than working for a company that tends to hire from the outside only.

Hiring internally before outsourcing comes with a number of benefits for both the employee as well as the employer. Firstly, the candidate will already have an understanding on how your company runs. Also, the fact that there will already be strong working relationships with their colleagues is a great thing.

Mostly, when hiring someone from within the organisation, it increases the level of engagement and encouraging a more positive work environment.

After hour sessions

There is a high chance where employees get disconnected from their colleagues because they are only focused at work and when the time comes to head off, they leave right away. It is the management’s duty to help your employees to get to know each other better.

Organise a happy hour at the end of the workweek and encourage them to stay and mingle with the rest of the team. It is a great way to get your employees to connect with each other on a more personal level. Head to a bar or the pub and get the company to pay for the first round. Then again, who does not want a free round?

There will be a clear separation between those who are fine with this and those who are not. So do keep an open mind and be sensitive to those who do not drink. Instead of shunning them away, invite them and suggest a non-alcoholic drink and do not forget the nibbles!

Encourage a healthy lifestyle

We cannot emphasise enough on how important a healthy lifestyle is to everyone. Encouraging a healthy lifestyle within your company does not have to be hard. Some companies provide their employees with gym memberships while others plan after work activities such a wall climbing or even having a mini-golf tournament.

When you get your employees together as a team in some team building activities, it forces them to get away from their desk and having them to work together out of the workplace and on a personal level.

Putting effort into employee’s healthy lifestyle can encourage better teamwork, increased productivity and reduce sick leave. Read our article on the great ways to encourage better employee health.

Photo: Ted Eytan, Flickr

Photo: Ted Eytan, Flickr

Encourage lifelong learning

Be a great employer by encouraging and supporting your employees when it comes to getting them to learn new things, develop or improve their skills or even take up a new course. Not only will you have motivated your team but you can see an increase in employee happiness and employee engagement.

Employees feel honoured when management are interested in their employees’ personal advancement and this will make them feel important both at work and on a personal level. Encouraging continuous learning is a great habit for everyone to build.

Remember that at times, giving simple advice and providing some alternative suggestions to your employees shows that you as a manager really care for them and want them to advance in their career.

A good employer is one who is there to help their employees reach their goals even if that means they may someday leave the company. However, if you want to improve employee engagement, you need to show your employees that you are there to help them. For all you know, they would not even leave the company when they realise that the company cares for them.

Employee awards

It may seem like a crazy idea at first, however there is something to gain from holding an awards ceremony as it can be a great time for you and your employees to get together and celebrate a year’s worth of achievements.

Organise a night out with your employees and have a small award ceremony, highlighting and acknowledging those who have done so much for the company. Provide a small trophy for the award winners so that they can place it on their table for their colleagues to admire.

Some examples of fun employee awards includes ‘Best Achievement’, ‘Best Department’ (This one is for the larger organisation) and it can also be something amusing like ‘Best Dressed Employee’, ‘Mr Smiley 2019’ or ‘Ms Congeniality’.

Make your awards ceremony a hit by catering some food, play some simple music for entertainment or you could just book a restaurant. Whatever the plan is, remember to be creative with the awards categories!

In Summary

Employee engagement is built upon the positive mindset of employees and even employer at the workplace. Work is not all about being serious, chasing the dollars and meeting the monthly sales target. When your employees are not engaged at work and they lose focus, the company productivity dwindles.

Having and practicing simple and effective employee engagement ideas help to boost the morale at the workplace and keeps your employees engaged and it also increases the productivity level in your company.

Good luck trying these simple and effective employee engagement ideas out!

Lauren Clarke

Lauren Clarke

Lauren writes for 6Q and a number of other blogs from her home office in Australia. She spends her time writing, reading and changing US to International English on many articles that she edits.