20 Employee Engagement Ideas to Boost Morale and Happiness

Heather Harper

Written by Heather Harper

Dec 5, 2022  - Last updated: Dec 8, 2022

In today’s corporate era, where employers and managers are concerned with ongoing employee retention struggles and keeping employee satisfaction high, keeping your workforce engaged has never been more important.

When employees are engaged at work, they’re more motivated, more committed to their tasks, and more likely to stay loyal to your company. And to boost employee engagement, you need a combination of the right employee engagement ideas.

This is where we step in with our tried and tested 20 employee engagement ideas to boost morale and happiness in your company.

Chapters

What Is Employee Engagement?

20 Employee Engagement Ideas

Benefits of Employee Engagement

Frequently Asked Questions

Final Words

What Is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement denotes how much employees are devoted to their jobs, aware of the company culture, productive, and committed to the company/organization.

Of course, some workday requirements might keep some people more engaged than others. But by encouraging your workforce to regularly engage in interesting activities, you can increase the employee satisfaction levels in your company and with that, have better-performing individuals and teams.

To help you out, we selected versatile ideas and activities that’ll inspire your new employee engagement program. But before we dive into them, let’s first take a closer look at some empowering employee engagement statistics.

Employee engagement statistics

Here are six employee engagement statistics to help your employee engagement strategy:

  1. Disengaged employees are said to cost the US economy $350 billion every year.
  2. Just 32% of US employees are engaged employees.
  3. Organizations that have engaged employees are 21% more profitable than organizations that don’t have such an engaged workforce.
  4. 71% of top managers rank employee engagement as crucial for securing an organization's success.
  5. High-turnover companies deal with 59% less turnover if they have engaged employees.
  6. Employee engagement has a positive correlation to business ROI.

20 Employee Engagement Ideas

There’s a plethora of activities to help engage your employees, but not all of them work equally well among different work environments, new employees, and team members and managers with distinct workday priorities and job descriptions.

That’s why we included versatile employee engagement activities that are effective ways to take your employee engagement strategy to the next level.

Let’s begin with the first one.

1) Make time for fun

Hard work, meeting deadlines, and accommodating clients may be your employees’ priorities, however, having fun in the office every now and then wouldn’t hurt.

In fact, it will make your team much more productive, fulfilled, and devoted to their job responsibilities.

There are many ways to have fun with your employees - from informal after-work gatherings to hosting entertaining team-building activities. It’s all about what you and your team resonate with.

Here are some fun employee engagement ideas:

  1. Have a games area in the office.
  2. Go out together from time to time.
  3. Share photos of children and/or pets in your preferred app’s group.
  4. Do some icebreaker games before meetings, brainstorming sessions, long discussions, product launches, and so on.
  5. Bring some beers to the office on Friday and stay to chat after everyone’s done with their work responsibilities for the day.
  6. Organize a movie night in the office or go to the cinema to enjoy a nice change in scenery.
  7. Host a karaoke night, or go to a bar instead.

2) Keep communication open

Keeping the communication channels open between you and your employees is one of the most important employee engagement ideas you can ever implement in your office.

Effectively communicating with your team is the best way to see how they’re doing, what they’re working on, whether they need help, what bothers them, and so on.

The more organic this communication, the better the overall interaction. We recommend that you keep your authenticity and whatever it is you say to your employees, make sure that it resonates with your business philosophy, mission statement, and company culture.

Finally, encourage communication between everyone on the team - employees, managers, freelancers, etc.

Here are a few suggestions on how you can keep communication open:

  1. Provide regular employee feedback (and ask for one too!).
  2. Create more avenues for talks and discussions.
  3. Create a Slack group to discuss ongoing matters
  4. Have an open-door policy.
  5. Reply to your employees’ emails promptly.
  6. Listen to what your employees have to say and try to understand their unique perspectives, even if you disagree with them.
  7. Insist on face-to-face interaction whenever possible, but don’t undermine the power of online communication.

3) Know your employees

According to Jeremy Bedenbaugh, the founder and CEO of ReCreate Solutions, some of the best ways to support your employees is by getting to know who they are as people. It’s things such as knowing their names, their kids’ and pets’ names, their ambitions, and values, along with what may be blocking such things.

And getting to know your employees is a process. It’s not like taking a look at their CVs and getting a general understanding of who they are as professionals. This personal bit takes a while and it’s ongoing.

In general, getting to know your team members makes them feel seen, valued, and special. When employees feel like they are approached as people first and foremost, and not just part of the workforce, they’re much more willing to commit to the company they work for and be truly engaged.

Icebreaker questions can be used in many contexts and situations, and getting to know your employees is one of them. Here are our suggestions for awesome get-to-know-you questions you can use for your next icebreaker session:

  1. If you could take a week off from your regular life to immerse yourself in learning something new, what would it be?
  2. If you could go back in time ten years and tell yourself something, what would you say?
  3. What is the most interesting thing you have ever tasted?
  4. What Disney/cartoon character were you inexplicably afraid of as a kid?
  5. Who has inspired your career path most in your life?
  6. What is your favorite country you have visited?
  7. What is the strangest product you have ever seen?
  8. If you could shrink down any animal and carry it around in your pocket, which one would you choose?
  9. If you could have one song play every time you entered a room, what would it be?
  10. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?

Organizing such sessions is important because it allows everyone to not only share something about themselves, but also hear what their peers have to share and say.

4) Create opportunities for collaboration

Create plenty of opportunities for your employees to work with their colleagues and engage in teamwork.

For example, you can have new hires observe long-standing employees and take notes. Or assign employees from different departments to the same project (as long as that’s a feasible strategy, some departments may not really have anything in common). You can also invite your remote employees to visit your office premises and organize a special retreat where everyone can mingle, but also prepare for an upcoming collaborative task.

There are many ways to approach this. Be open to your employees’ suggestions too.

While teamwork and collaboration are a good thing, there are certain tasks and requirements that call for employees to step up and take matters into their hands without relying on fellow team members, so make sure to balance the two.

5) Set up a “distraction” jar

This is one of those creative employee engagement ideas meant to help your employees get back on track when they lose focus.

Set up a “distraction” jar and fill it with riddles, puzzles, cards, self-reminders, quotes, inspiring ideas, or whatever helps your team unwind so that they can concentrate later and continue with their work. All an employee needs to do when they feel distracted is dip into the jar, pick one item, and reflect upon it.

By setting up such a jar, you show your team members that It’s ok if they lose focus from time to time; You’re empathic about it; You want to assist them with getting their distractions out of their systems so that they can have a productive workday; You have a good sense of humor and want to make them laugh.

Please note that this distraction jar concept works only if you set a maximum time limit for using it. You don’t want your employees to get way too immersed in it that they forget about their workday responsibilities.

6) Prioritize work-life balance

Making work-life balance a priority is high on the list for many organizations, yet few manage to go through with it in practice.

Securing a work-life balance reduces stress, prevents employee burnout, helps people keep their mental health in check, and allows employees to be more productive. Put simply, work-life balance is important for one’s overall life quality.

And when this balance gets disrupted, there can be negative consequences. Engaged employees become disengaged, a healthy work environment becomes toxic, new ideas don’t flow with ease, interaction with colleagues is difficult, and so on. People may also struggle with their sleep schedule, communication with family members, and enjoying the activities that used to bring them happiness, to name a few.

There are many ways to help your employees achieve this balance, which will, in turn, boost morale and happiness at the office, and below we suggest some of them.

Here’s what you can do to encourage a healthier life-work balance in your office:

  1. Ensure employees use lunch breaks for lunch and socializing with their colleagues instead of doing more work.
  2. Allow hybrid work and introduce more flexible working hours. Arrange the details with each employee separately.
  3. Don’t encourage overworking, working during the weekend, or people staying in the office long after their regular workday hours. Of course, such things may happen from time to time, but when they do, make sure to provide your employees with overtime pay.
  4. Provide paid leaves.
  5. Be interested in employees’ personal lives and situations. This will help you better manage their workday schedules, responsibilities, projects, and task assignments.
  6. State your views about work-life balance openly. However, be open to receiving suggestions and employee feedback about how you can make things even better.
  7. Teach your employees to ask for assistance when they need it.

7) Offer growth opportunities

Offering your employees versatile opportunities for growth helps your company grow too. By improving their skills, applying and expanding their knowledge, seeking out new experiences, and getting new responsibilities, both your employees and your company will experience many benefits. Some of those benefits include:

  1. Higher levels of employee satisfaction.
  2. Improving self-confidence and self-esteem.
  3. Better work performance.
  4. An improved sense of well-being.

Here are some methods you can use to provide different opportunities for growth in your company:

Give work promotions. Of course, not all the time and to everyone - monitor your employees and the work they do, and when the time comes, you’ll know when to act. You might increase their salary, provide them with a more senior position, or do both.

Consider allowing employees lateral mobility within your company. This gives those who work hard a competitive advantage, as they’re probably already performing quite well in their current job position. Plus, it’s perfect for younger employees who are keen to try new things and haven’t quite figured out the career path they should follow.

Offer coaching and mentoring. Connecting your employees with people who they can learn from can be a great investment for your business. You might hire managers for this or people who aren’t part of your company.

Offer tuition reimbursement. Of course, not all companies can afford to cover such expenses for their employees, but if you can, by all means, consider sponsoring your employees’ going back to uni for a master’s degree, a Ph.D., or whatever degree they might want to sign up for.

Organize courses outside of working hours. Even if you can’t sponsor someone’s degree, you can still do a lot by allowing your employees to attend courses that qualify them for certification.

Give employees additional responsibilities. This will make them feel valued and allow them to explore new skills, great ideas, and fresh challenges.

Host company retreats. This is a chance to bond with your employees and see who’s ready for more corporate growth.

8) Offer wellness perks

When employees are in good mental and physical health, they are naturally happier, more engaged, and can deliver optimal performance, which helps drive the whole business forward. Not to mention their lifespans will be prolonged and they have a lower risk of developing many illnesses.

On the whole, investing in the well-being of your employees is one of the best investments you can make both for them and your company.

Creating a wellness program for your employees or simply providing them with various wellness perks is much more than them showing up for a health screening to get a money-based incentive or to avoid a potential financial penalty.

So here are some suggestions that can help you start implementing some wellness changes in your office as of today:

Start choosing your workplace snacks much more thoughtfully. Replace the candy and chips with healthy snacks, fruits, and vegetables.

Remind your employees to leave the office and go for a walk to get some fresh air at least once during the workday.

Set up several hydration stations where your employees can fill water. To make things more visually appealing, offer lemon, cucumber, mint, or strawberries as an addition to the water. If you really want to take things to the next level, consider creating company-branded water bottles and distributing them to your employees.

Invite a yoga instructor to your office and hold a few sessions per week early in the morning before work starts. You can also consider pilates, meditation classes, stretching, or some dance sessions.

Organize wellness events such as walking, running, nutrition programs, health coaching, and so on.

  • Create a healthy work environment. For instance, start by making your building a tobacco-free workplace if this is something you still haven’t done, letting some fresh air in at regular intervals, and enriching the office with plants.

Give your employees access to resources they can use in their own free time such as online training programs, webinars, lectures, newsletters, various useful websites, and so on.

Don’t neglect your employees’ mental health. Encourage everyone to speak openly about their problems and concerns. And don’t forget to follow your own advice and recommendations.

9) Encourage time off

Some people can’t wait to schedule their summer holiday, and then there are those who regularly stay overtime.

To encourage employees to take time off, set up a clear leave policy and be transparent about sick days (it may be a good idea to extend this to include mental health days too). More importantly, set up rules to encourage people to use their holiday days, even if they aren't keen to do so.

All in all, it’s your job to make sure your workforce understands why taking time off is beneficial not just for their personal lives, but for their workday contributions in the office too.

Some employees may believe their employers, managers, and peers could perceive their “leave” as “running from work” or skipping workday responsibilities, or they fear being judged when they combine public holidays with their vacation days, so they postpone asking for it. Therefore, lead by example and break the ice by taking some time off yourself first. This will encourage the others to follow suit.

10) Integrate new hires

Integrating new hires means helping them get used to the new job responsibilities, interacting with peers, and learning how things work in the company. This also helps new hires feel much more comfortable expressing concerns, voicing ideas, and sharing opinions.

After all, if new employees don’t feel like they fit in and aren't part of the collective, it’s more than likely they won’t feel engaged and motivated to do their work or bother to develop long-lasting relationships with their peers. This may also negatively affect their overall mood.

Moreover, ensuring seamless integration benefits your company as well. Namely, smooth integration increases job satisfaction which in turn ensures longer employee retention. An effective onboarding process also fosters a great positive impression and increases the likelihood that new hires will assimilate into the corporate culture and their new position.

Here are some suggestions to help you provide smooth integration for your new employees:

Make sure their workspace and tech-related stuff are prepared well in advance. This includes the following:

  • Overall workspace;
  • Work equipment (laptop/computer, cell phone, software);
  • Supplies (such as paper, staplers, pens, pencils, and so on);
  • Keys/pass cards or codes;
  • Email account;
  • Business cards, and so on.

Monitor them closely but without making them feel uncomfortable (let them know you’re here to help, not trying to catch them doing something wrong).

Respond promptly to their requests and suggestions.

Give them ongoing feedback so that they know whether they’re on the right track with things. Assign them an office buddy to help them at the beginning.

Provide them with the necessary training.

Remind them of their job responsibilities and your expectations.

Prepare a detailed new-hire checklist to make sure you address all the necessary aspects of the onboarding process.

11) Praise your co-workers

Praising your coworkers for a job well done is another way to boost morale and happiness among your employees and let them know they’re on track with things. Plus, they’re much more likely to be motivated and engaged in their work once they’ve been praised for their contributions.

That said, you can praise your employees for many things, such as:

  • A successfully completed task/project;
  • A really big win;
  • Their skills;
  • Showing excitement for their work;
  • Helping other team members;
  • Handling a difficult client;
  • Coming up with great ideas, and so on.

Finally, there are many ways in which you can approach this praising - you might mention them in your company newsletter, give them social media recognition, praise them in front of everyone in the office or a group email, and so on.

Never praise coworkers just for the sake of praising them. In other words, do so when there’s really something meaningful and worthy because if you praise them all the time, the actual praise will lose value and your employees might not perceive it as something special any longer.

12) Lunch & Learns (hosted by employees)

Lunch and learns are great opportunities for people to get insights into certain topics while enjoying a warm meal with peers and managers.

And while you can organize lunch and learns in many ways (or leave the organization bit to your employees, as our title suggests), there are certain commonalities worth covering.

Decide whether you’ll hire a catering company, order delivery, or have all employees bring their own lunches, which you’ll then share.

Next, for the actual learning bit of the event, the options are truly versatile and endless. You can focus on introducing new skills and great ideas to people from different departments, focus on employee development, growth, and team bonding, or something else, depending on your goal.

What’s more, there are some companies that use these events to introduce people to concepts that aren’t related to their work at all, such as photography, gardening, cooking, meditation, dancing, and so on.

All in all, lunch and learns are sociable events that support a culture of learning. They provide room for employee development (hence the learning bit) without neglecting people’s need for interaction and relaxation (hence the lunch bit).

Regardless of whether you or your employees/managers end up hosting a lunch and learn event, here are some general suggestions to help with the planning bit:

Always go with topics that your employees are fond of.

Find a suitable venue in your company for the event.

Schedule the lunch and learn event in a timely manner and invite everyone.

Ask your employees for feedback after the event’s over.

13) Invest in an employee experience platform

Many employers nowadays rely on technology to keep their employees connected and engaged. And no wonder - after all, investing in a high-quality employee experience platform enables employers to:

  1. Conduct pulse surveys and other employee surveys
  2. Manage all their workday tasks and monitor projects
  3. Have a fun way of interacting with peers
  4. Help boost the employee engagement levels and morale in the office
  5. Recognize specific team members’ achievements
  6. Provide both private and public feedback

All in all, employee experience platforms keep employees engaged and more organized while allowing them to have fun and interact with peers in a friendly way.

1) PulseMate

If you want a truly great employee experience platform, go ahead and check what PulseMate has to offer.

The platform helps you gather employee engagement data, either anonymously or openly, as well as enhance your team members’ spirits and boost their overall productivity levels. You can also expect to increase employee retention, improve morale, measure any changes in your teams’ mood, and receive direct reports.

You can use a set of ready-made questions or add custom ones. You can automate the process and choose how often you want employee surveys to be sent out too.

Finally, users also choose it because they provide clients with the same pricing, regardless of how many team members a company has (the platform costs $49 per month).

2) QuizBreaker

If you want a more creative platform experience for your employees and are looking for something that will help you break the ice on an ongoing basis, you might consider QuizBreaker.

It’s an awesome online tool that allows team members to get to know each other bit by bit over time (especially useful for companies and organizations dealing with remote employees and new hires).

What makes QuizBreaker so great is that it’s fully automated - your employees are notified every time they need to answer some questions, and you decide how frequently that is. As was the case with PulseMate, here you can also opt for ready-made icebreaker questions or create custom ones. The weekly leaderboards help you measure the employee engagement levels over time.

14) Bring in an in-office motivational speaker

A motivational speaker can make your team feel like they can accomplish anything and approach all job-related tasks with fierce passion and devotion by connecting with them on a personal level. This is usually done by them sharing personal stories, great ideas they’ve come up with, successes, professional development opportunities, and perhaps even their failures. Motivational speakers aren't affiliated with your company - therefore, it’s likely everything they share with your employees is going to be new and interesting to them.

A good motivational speaker has knowledge, expertise, and more importantly, relevant experience in the industry. This helps them connect with your employees in different ways, understand your company values and mission statement, take into account the needs of your business, and highlight important things your employees should remember.

Moreover, since motivational speakers aren’t fully familiar with what’s going on in your office on a daily basis, they can see the bigger picture and be more objective about your company. Their presence in the office can shed light upon great ideas, different ways of handling workday tasks, providing better employee experience for your team, establishing rapport with managers, boosting new skills, and so on.

And since these events usually take employees away from the office (perhaps a meeting room in your office building?), this change of scenery may prompt employees to come up with new ideas, meet with people from different departments, and talk about important things.

All in all, organizing a meeting with a motivational speaker can push your company in a new direction, bring positive vibes to your work environment, stimulate people to work harder, and allow employees to contemplate both their professional and personal lives.

To keep your employees motivated long after the in-office motivational speaker is gone, we suggest picking inspiring quotes, printing them out, and hanging them on the office wall, or putting them as desktop wallpapers on the people’s computers. Here are five awesome quotes you can use:

  1. “If we were all determined to play the first violin, we should never have an ensemble. Therefore, respect every musician in his proper place.” — Robert Schumann

  2. “You don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note.” — Doug Floyd

  3. “Individual commitment to a group effort: That is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” — Vince Lombardi

  4. “Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprang up.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

  5. “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

15) Treat mistakes as a lesson

No matter how professional your employees are, there will be some mistakes along the way. Depending on how you handle them, they can either become lessons or major roadblocks.

We urge you to opt for the former.

No employee responds well if they’re criticized, blamed, or called out in front of peers. And mistakes can vary - it can be something as simple as sending an email to the wrong client or slightly more serious such as missing a project’s deadline.

Of course, each mistake requires a different approach, just don’t come across as condescending. The whole point is to identify how the mistake occurred in the first place and find ways so it doesn’t happen again.

That said, whenever an employee keeps on repeating the same mistakes or a whole team of employees can’t seem to get things straight, there’s a deeper issue going on that needs addressing. Spending time to resolve such issues helps everyone avoid similar situations in the future.

16) Hold trivia nights

Trivia nights are some of the best employee engagement ideas you can come up with. They’re educational, fun, easy to plan and host, and allow employees to bond in a meaningful way.

Also, as these games are played in teams, they’re great for boosting morale, improving the company culture, and encouraging healthy competition.

Trivia games usually require a plethora of questions. You can either look for ready-made trivia games online, or create your own using platforms such as Quiz Witz, Trivia Maker, or Kahoot!.

Whichever option you go with, know that you’ll need to do some planning and set the rules. In addition, decide whether you’ll host the trivia event yourself or hire a professional host.

And don’t forget to prepare some rewards for the winning team(s)!.

If you’re looking for awesome trivia questions, check out TriviaNerd. There, you’ll find a huge library of trivia questions from various trivia categories, including but not limited to history, lifestyle, politics, science, business and tech, books, history, and so on.

Each category comes with its own subcategories; for example, if you pick Business and Tech, some of the subcategories include Brands Worldwide, Dutch Tech & Science, Design Objects, Pioneers and Inventors, World & Work, Technology, Internet, and others.

Using the trivia questions is absolutely free (along with the cool Random Trivia Generator tool), however, if you want a more extensive experience, you can always sign up and create a paid account. It costs $11.99 per month ($143.99 per year), and you get friendly customer support whenever you need it, access to host up to 200 team players per game along with scoring and leaderboards, and a 30-day money-back guarantee if you feel like TriviaNerd isn’t quite your cup of tea.

17) Try an escape room or murder mystery challenge

Playing escape room games is a fun activity that includes people solving complex puzzles, analyzing clues, coming up with new ideas, linking various pieces of information, and completing different tasks. The whole idea is for the players to escape the room within a certain time limit, which is how they win the game.

Besides boosting employee morale and happiness levels in the office, escape rooms are great for team-building purposes too.

You can play such games both in-person and online. When played in person, they come with a game master or a game host who leads the whole escape room event.

Murder mysteries are yet another example of a fun activity for your employees. Just like escape rooms, they can be used for team building, breaking the office monotony, and allowing your employees to socialize in an entertaining way.

In these games, people are expected to solve a murder mystery by identifying clues, interviewing suspects, collaborating with other team members, and the like. There’s also a complex plot, detailed instructions and guidelines, and a lot of characters. What makes murder mysteries so awesome is the fact they require costumes, special IT equipment, choosing themes, and interacting with each other while being in character.

These games can also be played both in-person and virtually.

All in all, both escape rooms and murder mysteries allow employees to strengthen their creativity and communication skills, as well as listen to their peers’ great ideas.

There’s a plethora of great escape room games and murder mysteries on the Internet. But we want the best ones for you and your team members.

Therefore, we suggest that you first check out Lost in the Arctic (keep in mind that this one can be played only virtually, so it’s great for remote workers or even team members who want a break from regular face-to-face gatherings).

With the game, there’s access for 3-5 team players at a time, as well as hints, clues, and a game guide to provide you with an engaging game experience. The game costs $49 and can be played on any video conferencing tool, such as Google Meet, Zoom, and others.

When it comes to murder mysteries, we recommend Blood, Gold, and a Night of Jazz. The game costs $49 and you can play it time and time again with team members. Here’s what’s also included: a ballot and a costume guide, a template invitation you can send to everyone, a host guide for 4-14 players, a detective guide, evidence files, and audio playback files.

The game can be played online and adjusted for in-person contexts (there are detailed instructions within the game’s host guide).

18) Volunteer for nonprofits

Many studies suggest that volunteer programs can improve productivity, boost employee engagement levels, and improve employee retention. Moreover, research suggests that the more people volunteer, the better they perform their workday tasks.

So, devise a philanthropic mission, and be ready to follow through.

Here are the steps that can take you and your team there:

Make the volunteering experience meaningful. This is the only way to create a natural draw for your employees. You don’t want them to perceive volunteering as another task they need to tick off their working list.

Take into account your employees’ interests and preferences. Focusing on projects and volunteering opportunities that appeal to them on a personal level will give them a sense of meaningfulness and deeper purpose, so provide versatile choices. You can go even beyond non-profit organizations and get more creative.

Provide paid time off for volunteering purposes. This will definitely maximize interest and effectiveness in volunteering. Plus, not all employees can afford to volunteer off the clock.

Provide recognition for their volunteering contribution. You can give them a personal thank-you speech, public recognition, write an email to all employees mentioning specific team members, publish a social media appreciation post, and so on.

Here are some volunteering ideas:

  1. Assembling care packages;
  2. Helping homeless people;
  3. Going to elderly homes and providing the necessary assistance there;
  4. Sponsoring a youth sports team;
  5. Growing a community garden;
  6. Taking an eco-friendly challenge;
  7. Volunteering at animal shelters;
  8. Helping the disabled in your community;
  9. Collecting and donating school supplies in your local school area;
  10. Creating a community newsletter.
  11. Making birthday cards for kids in orphanages, and so on.

Finally, encourage your employees to make use of their everyday work skills even when they volunteer.

19) Promote healthy competition

Promoting healthy competition in the office improves productivity and performance, improves employee morale and motivation levels, allows for versatility, and dispels office monotony.

There are many ways to introduce friendly competition in your company, such as:

  1. Offering non-monetary rewards (cash-based incentives might create division among team members),
  2. Team activities,
  3. Brainstorming sessions,
  4. Setting up a peer-to-peer recognition program,
  5. Creating a diverse workforce and focusing on inclusion,
  6. Stimulating people’s leadership potential;
  7. Giving everyone the chance to succeed, and so on.

Some might believe that competition as a concept can be detrimental to the office and create a hostile work environment. However, we believe that competition that brings about hostility in the office is no competition but rather rivalry.

That is certainly something you want to avoid at all costs. If you have reasons to believe there’s rivalry in your company rather than healthy competition, by all means, do intervene and make the necessary changes to restore the “corporate peace” among your team members.

20) Start a “vent” box

Many employers may find the concept of a “vent” box intimidating, as they’re afraid of what people may write. However, that’s precisely the point - allowing people to write what they want anonymously.

The box should include complaints about anything that’s work-related or happens during work hours in the office. It can be as random as “can’t stand my new yellow chair” to matters such as “someone keeps taking my food from the fridge” or “new hires don’t approve of my mentoring style”.

A “vent” box is pointless unless you take action and share your findings with your employees. There are a few ways you can go about it - for instance, you can gather everyone in a meeting room and go through all the complaints discussing them out loud. Again, keep anonymity sacred, and talk about matters in a general manner.

Of course, you should always invite employees to come to your office and discuss specific matters in person. If someone’s ready to let you know it’s been them that wrote a specific complaint, be open to hearing them out and helping them afterward.

Benefits of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement comes with many benefits both for the company and individual team members.

Below, we discuss the most significant ones.

1) Increased productivity

Employees who are actively engaged with their job responsibilities are much more productive than their disengaged counterparts because they’re motivated beyond some personal factors.

They’re focused and have the success of the overall company in mind in addition to growing with it. They go above and beyond to complete projects, meet deadlines, collaborate with peers, and deliver exceptional results.

2) Higher retention

Higher employee engagement levels mean higher retention levels. And as employee retention includes improving an employee’s overall work experience so that they remain for as long as possible within the company, employers should identify the evolving needs of their workforce.

Apart from identifying the needs, employers need to meet them to ensure talent retention. This allows your company to grow because when everyone’s satisfied within the same organization, there’s room for progress and devotion to ongoing matters.

3) Increased revenue

According to a Gallup study, having highly engaged employees leads to 20% higher sales and 21% higher profitability.

In essence, when your employees are engaged, motivated, and everything in the company seems to be running smoothly, they feel empowered to perform their best work.

4) Low employee absenteeism

An engaged workforce translates into lower absenteeism levels in the company.

Put simply, engaged employees take days off in a structured way for holiday purposes, sick days, and so on. They’re not using them as an excuse to run away from challenging projects, launch days, deadlines, important meetings, and so on.

5) Stronger communication

Communication is key to securing genuine employee engagement in the office.

Strong communication is concise, accurate, easy to engage in, and beneficial for all parties that take part in it.

Providing employees with neat instructions and prompt feedback helps them understand their responsibilities, avoid mistakes or delays, and give them a sense of clarity.

Plus, any opportunity to communicate with your employees is a chance for them to state their ideas, views, suggestions, reasons behind certain decisions, and so on.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main drivers of employee engagement?

To boost the employee engagement levels in your office, you first need to understand what motivates your workforce and drives them to be invested in what they do.

Usually, the main drivers of employee engagement are:

  1. Meaningful work (but also workload requirements);
  2. Career growth;
  3. Empowerment;
  4. Training and coaching;
  5. Flexibility;
  6. Belonging and a sense of purpose;
  7. Feedback and recognition;
  8. Leadership;
  9. Fulfilling work relationships;
  10. Management;
  11. Collaboration and teamwork;
  12. Environment;
  13. Compensation and benefits;
  14. Company performance, and so on.

That said, it’s worth noting there are no universal drivers of employee engagement. In other words, they vary from one company to the next. Plus, even within the same company, different team members are motivated by different drivers.

What’s more, these drivers can change over time due to some external factors or changes in employees’ priorities, preferences, work expectations, and so on.

That’s why it’s important to identify the main drivers for the time being - it’s the only way to help move your company toward the desired goal and outcome, and help everyone reach their potential.

How do you measure employee engagement?

Measuring the employee engagement levels in your company can be tricky, as engagement is an abstract notion.

However, doing so is far from impossible.

Here are some steps you can follow to measure engagement in your organization:

  1. Determine your engagement outcomes first so that you know what it is you’re trying to measure.
  2. Perform a drivers analysis.
  3. Develop a continuous listening strategy.
  4. Use pulse surveys but don’t survey just separate teams or departments - focus on the whole company.
  5. Conduct eNPS (employee net promoter score) surveys.
  6. Conduct one-on-one meetings.
  7. Conduct stay interviews and exit interviews.
  8. Analyze the employee turnover rate.

Finally, develop an employee engagement strategy that works for your company and run it by your managers and HR team. See what they have to say about it, and whether they’d add something (or exclude). They might share some insights that you may not have thought about until that moment.

Which department is in charge of employee engagement?

In general, the HR department, along with senior leadership, is in charge of the employee engagement strategy. However, there’s no single party with all the responsibility - all of them have different, yet equally important roles.

However, HR professionals are considered the most significant because they work as mediators between employees, managers, and executive leadership. Once the employee engagement framework comes from the top (from the employer/CEO), the HR professionals are usually responsible for the implementation details.

That said, we can’t neglect the managers’ role in all this. Namely, according to Gallup, 70% of the variance in a team’s engagement is related to their management. This is so because managers are the ones who create conditions meant to keep employees engaged, motivated, and committed to their daily workload.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that no matter which department may be responsible for driving the employee engagement strategy forward, there can be no success unless all departments and parties are willing to cooperate and follow.

Final Words

We hope you enjoyed our detailed article about 20 employee engagement ideas and use it to boost morale and the overall satisfaction levels in the office.

Even if you’re familiar with some of them and may have tried them in the past, we dare assume you’ve learned some new things as well.

And while there are no shortcuts when it comes to devising a solid employee engagement strategy, our list will certainly give you a headstart.

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Heather Harper

About the author

Heather Harper is a psychology student from the University of Lincoln. She currently works as an intern for WorkStyle and is studying a Masters in Occupational Psychology at the University of Manchester.