5 Employee Engagement Activities to Try Today

By Simpplr Marketing
Employee engagement - three employees working together in an office
The evidence is more compelling than ever. If you want your organization to succeed, make sure your employees are happy and engaged. It takes preparation, planning, and long-term vision to implement an employee engagement strategy.

You may be thinking it’s easier said than done. Or maybe you’re having trouble putting your plans into action. Whatever is holding you back, here are five employee engagement activities that will get you started in the right direction.

Try these 5 employee engagement activities today

1. Get closer to what employees are thinking

Town halls and company meetings are an effective method of communicating big messages, but you are not likely to get inside your employees’ heads in this forum. Instead, invite small groups to lunch or create open forums on the company intranet. After setting the expectation that employee communications must be professional, create a say-anything atmosphere. Ask probing questions to understand what is going well and what could be going better.

2. Create 0pportunities for empowerment

Managers are pulled in so many directions that it is hard to focus on employee development. Delegating projects takes team members away from their primary responsibilities, and it adds to your workload as you have to train and provide support along the way. Do it anyway. Permitting your team members to partner with you on stretch assignments grows their capabilities and their confidence — and you can be sure that your demonstration of faith in their abilities will grow their engagement levels.

3. Build out development programs

The opportunity to improve skills is a significant factor in engagement, and this is especially important in entry-level jobs that are known for low levels of engagement and high levels of turnover. Employees who don’t have a passion for their current responsibilities can only feel engaged if they know they are working toward something better.

Employee engagement - excited employees share their passion with their peers

Find ways to support their skill development, even if you can’t spare them for projects outside of their current role. Know their passions and identify company-sponsored programming, free online classes or courses eligible for company tuition reimbursement that will support employees on their journey towards their career goals — a ripple effect that improves engagement levels company-wide.

4. Constantly communicate company priorities

Generate enthusiasm for your organization by sharing big-picture information. Create employee intranet articles or a company newsletter that keeps employees engaged and aligned with company goals. Employees who are excited about their company influence team members to share their passion.

5. Make recognition a priority

When budgets are tight, many managers believe that they cannot recognize employees in any sort of impactful way. However, this perception is based on the faulty assumption that financial rewards are the only method of showing true appreciation. In fact, employee engagement levels increase when leaders practice basic money-free recognition practices, such as mentioning good work during team meetings, giving an on-the-spot compliment for above-and-beyond effort, and simply saying thank you for a job well done.

Employee engagement - Simpplr banner: 5 employee engagement activities to try today

A recent study on the relationship between recognition and engagement levels shows a strong correlation, with these four key findings:

  1. Recognition not only significantly improves engagement but also creates a more human culture.
  2. Employees’ attitudes toward change and optimism for the future correlate with recognition efforts and efforts to build a more human digital workplace.
  3. Employees trust colleagues most, but employees need to trust leaders most to have the biggest impact on culture
  4. Recognition and a human workplace are drivers of employee well-being and happiness.

Remember — recognition is far more than awarding a bonus, even when you have a little extra to spend. Google discovered that recognizing staff members by providing experiences instead of cash was extremely successful, with employees reporting that their company-sponsored trip or adventure was 28 percent more memorable, 28 percent more fun and 15 percent more thoughtful than the previous bonus-based recognition program.

Increasing employee engagement is more than a splashy one-time presentation or event. It is a series of small actions that occur consistently over time, eventually transforming the fabric of the company culture. Daily focus on listening, empowerment, development, communication and recognition leads to long-term success.

As you implement your employee engagement strategy and try out various activities, it’s your job as a leader to determine what’s working and what’s not. This is not a definitive list of employee engagement ideas, but it is a great starting point for fostering communication and collaboration between you and your employees. Remember – even the smallest changes can reap big benefits.

If you have tried one of these activities, did it work for you? Maybe you have your own ideas to add to the list. We’d love to hear from you!

What is employee engagement, who is responsible, and how do you measure it? Learn the answers to these questions and more in this informative how-to guide.

Get the eBook: Strategies to Improve Employee Engagement

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