Employee Engagement Activities: How to Make Work Exciting
How would you like to work at a company that offers on-site medical and dental facilities, free oil changes, and free gourmet breakfast, lunch, and dinner on a daily basis? It is no surprise that Google is ranked by Fortune as the #1 best place to work in 2014. You know how they got there? By keeping their employees engaged by providing opportunities to grow, communicate, and have fun during work.
However, if you do not work or manage staff at Google, don’t fret. There are plenty of employee engagement activities that you can organize if you are a manager, or suggest, if you are an employee. A strong and successful company is one with happy employees, so let’s take a look at some great employee engagement activities that will get workers excited about clocking in.
First, let’s take a look at some statistics. If you think that most employees feel engaged in the workplace, think again.
In a study about Americans in the Workplace, researchers followed workers for 3 years to gain more than 350,000 responses to assessing how Americans felt about their jobs. Here is what they found:
- Only 30% of employees are engaged during their work hours.
- A disappointing 52% of employees are disengaged.
- 18% of employees say they are actively disengaged.
Ideas for Employee Engagement Activities
Knowing this, let’s get into how you can help improve the overall feel of a workplace by incorporating these employee engagement activities into a normal work routine.
Company Lunch: Have a weekly company lunch (or more often if possible), where lunch is provided for the employees and everyone can mingle. Divide employees into groups and have them brainstorm work related questions, problems, and thoughts while eating. You can do this easily by numbering plates or creating table markers for each person. This is a great way for employees to meet people in other departments, discuss any issues they may be having, and to discuss interests or hopes for the company. These can be as casual as you like to encourage relaxation and free-thinking.
Visit Other Departments: Have a day where employees are able to follow another person around a different department. This can help other workers see what other departments do and how they are integral to the overall productivity and function of the company. This is a great way to develop understanding throughout different departments within a company and for curious employees to explore other career paths or areas that they may be interested in contributing to.
Encourage Collaboration: To keep people engaged throughout the day, set up comfortable and inviting collaborations spaces that can act as a sort of “conference room” for employees to meet and discuss projects or ideas. Set up these spaces with couches, snacks, and drinks to make things inviting. Do not let employees take snacks to their own cubicle to encourage them to interact and mingle with other employees.
Set up Work Book clubs: Reading is a great way to get people engaged with each other and to discuss their ideas and feelings about certain issues. Consider setting up a work book club and have employees choose books that they feel would be useful to helping them with their jobs or their growth in the company.
Set up Ice Breaker Activities: Meetings don’t always have to be boring! Before a meeting gets started, have an ice breaker activity. These are helpful if you are forming new teams or partnerships at work so that employees will be able to get to know one another better.
Provide Mentoring Opportunities: Mentoring is a great way to help bring in new employees and get them inspired and situated with fellow co-workers. You can try one-on-one mentoring, as well as group mentoring. Mentoring is also useful and engaging for people who have been at a company for awhile to get to learn new skills and approaches to different ways of working, and to develop new relationships with co workers.
Organize Company Softball Leagues or Sports Teams: A great way to get employees interacting with each other on a regular basis and outside of work is to create sports teams or leagues. This gives employees the opportunity to have fun and engage with one another after work, as well as keeping them healthy and helping to burn off some steam. Get creative and have teams create shirts or hats to get them excited and involved.
Hold Company Fitness Sessions: Especially with desk jobs, sitting all day can be tiring and strenuous on an individual’s body. Promote healthy and happy lifestyles in your employees by holding weekly fitness activities for your employees. For instance, there can be yoga classes at noon, group walks after lunch, or a weekly 3k or 5k at the end of the work day. This gives employees the opportunity to work towards a fitness goal with each other outside of the office.
On-site Activities: Take a few days each month to schedule different fun activities that all employees can engage in. These can be team building activities such as cheese making, cooking classes, or crafting activities. Get employees involved and engaged by having someone, or a team, plan and help execute these activities
Organize Employee Family Activities: Each month have a fun activity on the weekends that employees can bring their families to. This can help employees develop friendships outside of work, which will help for team building and collective efforts in the work place. Some fun ideas are: summer picnic lunches, movie nights, or tail gating parties.
Keep Communication Open: Remember that in order to keep employees engaged, there has to be proper communication. Each contributing individual in the workplace should be able to free express their views, feelings, and opinions on certain subjects so that they will feel heard and vital to a company.
Get Everyone Involved
With these fun and interactive employee engagement activities, you can help develop happy and productive employees. Remember that satisfied employees will relay their positive energy to everyone around them, and this will work to create a more productive and strong working environment for everyone involved. Check out some fun and engaging teamwork and team building activities here to learn how to build high performing teams in the workplace.
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