Innovation is the keyword today everywhere, in every field and it becomes a dire need especially in fields like human resources.
It’s really a competitive world out there and hiring and retaining capable employees have become harder than before.
Hence it has become imperative that HR departments do not just stick to interviewing and hiring but implement innovative ideas to engage employees so that the workplace is happy, inspiring, innovative and motivating which will not only help retain employees but also attract more fresh talent.
Though Employee engagement helps the employee to feel relaxed and get de-stressed, there are few other things connected to it. The employee engagement activities should be carefully planned by the management or the people responsible for it.
Not only providing fun activities but the the company should also work towards development and growth of the employee. They should help the employee by leading with great ideas, motivation and challenges that can help them grow professionally as well as personally. This in turn will help them work for your business more effectively.
Why is Employee Engagement so Important?
Employee engagement activities act as a trigger to improve employee performance. But most of the employers fail to keep up the employees happy at work. Though it is something very difficult but is definitely not impossible.
Higher employee engagement surely increases the company performance and productivity.They also help in development in other sectors like
- Customer satisfaction
- Health and safety
- Reduced Sickness and absence
- Turnover and well being.
So overall, better employee engagement is like a win-win solution for both the employee and employer. Careful implementation of employee development strategies need to be used along with continuous monitoring for checking how they perform. As planning in the wrong way would lead to wastage of resources, money and time.
Employee Engagement Activities:
Here are few employee engagement activities that you can start doing now
- Always include employees in your business planning
- Motivate and introduce better learning opportunities
- Hang out with employees in social manner
- Allow them to develop a on boarding process on their own
- Build an internal magazine
- Participate in social and charity activities
- Ted x
- Make the on boarding process enjoyable
- Introduce newer opportunities to your employees
- Inform them about upcoming projects
- Pay them well
HR Activities for Employees in Workplace:
The following mentioned are few hr activities for employee engagement or activities to engage employees.
1. A Google example:
Google is no doubt the leader in many IT technologies but it is also considered as one of the best places to work with.
It came up with a unique plan for better engagement with employees called as the 20% Project.
It motivated employees to work on any pet projects that they might have in mind for which they could utilize 20% of their working hours. This idea gave a boost to employees’ morale and it also became a tool to attract new talent.
2. Direct communication:
This was a tool practiced by ABC Supply, a reputed roofing distribution company based in the US.
The then CEO of the company, Ken Hendricks believed in direct communication for which he set an hour aside daily to talk to managers to know their inputs and issues and he also made it a practice to throw parties for his employees every week where he could communicate with them informally.
This made the employees feel acknowledged and appreciated. He also kept yearbooks with photos and names of employees and goals of each office across his office locations.
3. The offer to leave:
This is by far one of the most innovative acts of any company. Zappos, an online shoe store boasts of a highly engaged employee team and no wonder that the company is also listed as one of the best places to work with.
Zappos has a foolproof hiring system that comprises telephone interviews, lengthy personal interviews and other detailed processes. This is not all.
Once the candidates are selected, they have to attend informal events such as happy hours or lunch events to check how they mingle and mix with the company staff and culture.
The ones who pass through these are given an on-board training. At the end of the training process, these candidates get a strange offer – $3000 to leave.
Around 3% does take up the offer but who choose to stay, are the ones that actually understand the company’s vision and culture and they do have a long-term association with the company.
4. Motivating employees to be a part of the vision:
Every company has a vision and mission and it is important that employers share the vision so that employees too become stakeholders in the mission. That’s what Reebok tried and succeeded at.
Reebok shoes are meant for those who practise a healthy and athletic lifestyle. So, they set up a CrossFit Workout Center wherein employees were motivated to sweat it out.
It was found that the center not only helped employees shed their extra pounds but also made them see the importance of Reebok’s vision which in turn helped the employees engage in their duties more passionately. Thus Reebok in a simple and innovative way walked the talk.
5. A paid vacation with no work but only ‘me’ time:
A fun vacation can recharge batteries and make one fresh and more energetic, many studies and experts have reiterated this.
Even companies have started practising it and they say that this has been not just an innovative but also an effective step to maintain their efficiency and positivity of employees.
FullContact, a firm dealing with contact management gives its employees an allowance of $7500 to take a vacation. It is compulsory that they take the vacation once a year and also they have to completely disconnect from their work during the period.
The company discovered that this disconnect was proving to be fruitful for the company as well as employees who now took active steps to pre-pone work and share knowledge and returned rejuvenated to work.
6. Personalize relationships:
Though workplace is considered to be a formal place with formal relationships, it needn’t be so always.
Getting to know the employees, their hobbies, their liking and even their family can help companies establish a deeper contact with them. That’ what TPC or Technology Professional Corp attempted to.
The company gathers information about their employees, their lifestyle and families and not just that, the company pitches in if any of their families need any help. This is a way of rewarding employees and which in turn reinforces employees’ trust in the company.
7. Asking employees their worth:
Another innovative activity by TPC has been where they asked their employees to find the market value of their skills and accordingly quote an amount for their annual raise.
Such innovative steps actually help employees connect with their company and strengthen the relationship.
8. Allowing employees to create their own prosper plan:
This is as unique as it can get. Mertzger Associates, Inc came out with a unique ‘Live Long and Prosper Plan’ where the employees had to come up with ideas that will help them lead a healthy lifestyle.
Accordingly the company set up a fund and allotted money for physical activities, outdoor life, relaxation and education. If you thought this plan added to the cost, then think again.
The company’s retention rate increased and made the employees engage with the company more efficiently.
9. Creative ways to help employees:
It is not necessary that the company always has to spend money or resources to help the employees. Any creative idea that will help the employees break from the routine and make them more active are welcome.
For example, Eze Castle Software, a firm, took a kindergarten route to motivate its employees. Inspired by a kindergarten activity of giving ‘milk and cookie’ treat, the company too started giving a 20 minute break to employees to organize the office and also to communicate and interact with each other.
10. A post-it thank you:
Though emails are often sent to appreciate employees, another innovative way to appreciate employees is through post-it notes or just a small note in writing.
It not only sends across a personal message that the efforts are being acknowledged. It can be just a ‘thank you’ on a post-it note or ‘good’ or ‘well done’ written on the report.
11. Fun activities to cut a drab routine:
The daily routine can dampen the spirits of even highly motivated employees. So, there can be fun activities to just bring in little relief and spread cheer.
There can be themed days such as 60s look or a colour day or the company can arrange for a 20-minute fun break or there can be after-office get-together where the whole team can go for a dinner or coffee or bowling or indulge in any sports. This not only uplifts moods but also helps strengthen team spirit.
12. A power nap can rejuvenate:
It is an accepted fact that afternoons, especially after lunch, can be sleepy. If you find employees snoozing instead of working in a quiet afternoon, it is not their fault and it is not as if they are going to spend hours sleeping.
A nap room can come to your aid. Let the employees who feel tired and sleepy take a 10 or 20 minute nap.
They will return to their work refreshed and may even sit little later to complete their work for the day.
13. Offer the employees the flexibility they need:
When the company bends a little to help their employees, the latter will turn 360 degrees in return.
During occasions when there is a family crisis and the employee needs to be with his family, the company can offer telecommuting.
When the employees see that their organization is offering them a hand during an emergency, they will feel more connected to the company and will prove to be better and more loyal employees.
14. Mixing personal and professional goals:
More often than not, the personal goal and professional goals can be interlinked.
For example, if a sales person wishes to save money to buy a home or car, the company can motivate him to work on his sales strategies to boost sales, and then give him additional incentives for each target achieved.
Thus the employee is not only working for the benefit of the company, he is also striving to achieve his personal goals. This is an innovative idea that works benefiting each other.
15. Celebrations make workplace happier:
It is a common practice for companies to achieve professional milestones but at the same time, celebrating personal milestones too can go a long way in strengthening the faith and trust of employees.
Why not celebrate birthdays, anniversaries or even the day of completion of any work-related course an employee had taken up?
A little celebration and small cake cutting can bring back the zing.
16. Charity and work can go hand in hand:
With CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility becoming a common practice, companies can engage their employees in causes they believe in.
Employees can give suggestions on which causes to take up and this can help a passionate involvement from their side.
17. Awards and rewards:
It is not necessary that all the awards have to be work related. Why not have fun rewards?
For example, there can be an award for the silliest tie or the most stylish dresser or even one for the funky hair style.
These fun moments help in stress removal and keep the environment energetic, fostering employee engagement.
18. Ownership activities:
Why not have specific activities named after an employee?
More often than not, when it comes to work achievements, many feel they are not given their due credit.
When there are specific work targets named after employees, the success is also focused on them, which makes others too strive in to get their names included and this will definitely encourage them to take up new hr initiatives ideas and challenges.
19. Mentor interactions:
When there are mentors in the office itself to help an employee not just progress in their professional life but also overcome personal setbacks, the employees feel oneness with the company and they tend to develop a stronger bond of trust with the organization.
20. Weekend rejuvenation:
Even if Saturdays and Sundays are holidays, the company can take the employees on a monthly trip to any resort or spa or have Saturday parties with families or even organize a party in office to relax on Friday evenings. These hr fun activities at work make Mondays cheerful ones and not dull.
Employee engagement is not just necessary for ensuring high productivity but it also helps foster a good relationship between employees and employers.
Employee Engagement Ideas:
Employee engagement strategies are not an formula based science. The complete concept usually will be developed by on Human resource and company management, positive psychology and business models. This helps in bringing the company’s talent towards a productive success culture.
Here are few top employee engagement programs
- Assign company values
- Encourage personal projects
- Have themed office days
- Play the Happiness At Work card game
- Encourage volunteering
- Remind people your company’s mission and values
- Celebrate achievements
- Give and receive feedback
- Show respect
- Encourage learning
- Make sure that people have all the resources they need
- Ask your employees to provide answers
- Try and try again
- Build long-term engagement
- Take help from people who are good at employee engagement
- Get social
- Provide authorization to your employees
- Try different employee engagement strategies
- Celebrate people
- Identify and motivate innovation
- Raise salaries
- Support charity
- Take team photos
- Help a newcomer with a buddy/mentor
- Motivate the teams develop their own set of values
Few Awesome Employee Engagement Ideas & Activities for 2018
- Align your company with a purpose
- Offer healthier options at your workplace
- Get your health and wellness program in order
- Give your people “inside” information
- Celebrate personal wins
- Emphasize work-life balance
- Praise your coworkers
- Bring in an in-office motivational speaker
- Have more fun
- Make your team proud of by standing for something right
- Find out what your team members are passionate about
- Promote perks that boost mental and physical well being
- Make your employees give you a honest feedback
- Ditch the Cubicles
- Provide ongoing coaching and training
- Open consistent lines of communication
- Capture the magic of your team’s “I’s”
- Make sure new hires get to know the whole team
- Show employees how their job advances the company’s vision
- Allow employees to move laterally within the organization
- Give your employees more responsibility, not just more tasks to do
- Know your company culture and hire by it
- Encourage volunteering
- Celebrate your team
- Hold office hours
- Build more trust
- Send out some Monday Motivation
- Create a roadmap to achieve professional goals
- Incentivize goals
- Have a weekly food day
- Take weekly song requests
- Let someone else lead weekly meetings
- Start a learning club
- Start a newsletter
- Ban emails for a day
- Show them the “people” results of their work
- Always act on feedback
- Consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
- Use Glassdoor to your advantage
- Let them experience a day in the life of (desired position at work)
- Bring in a specialist
- Engage employees through gamification
- Let them ditch a task
- Stop before you start
- Demonstrate genuine care
- Have completely open brainstorms
- Have problem-solving meetings
- Give them ownership of event planning
- Start an office design committee
- Define what employee engagement means for your company
- Put someone in the hot seat at a meeting
- Have show and tell
- Get employees involved in long-term projects
- Set ground rules for emotional intelligence
- Talk to them about their schedules
- Believe in the power of explanation
- Offer points for taking work-related open source courses
- Start a “distracted” jar
- Start a “vent” box
To Wrap Up:
Today, the emphasis is not just on business but also on interpersonal relations and it is necessary that employees feel relaxed and acknowledged at work so that they are motivated to put in their best everyday without falling to the trap of daily routine.
These innovative human resource hr engagement activities keep the adrenaline going and in turn make workplace better and valuable.