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Topic: Engagement

Employee engagement activities your people will love

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Learn how to engage employees with multifaceted activities that will keep your people happy and thriving at work.

Many companies approach employee engagement like fishermen going after an elusive catch: they bait their hooks with flashy lures (like soda machines and foosball tables) and wonder why the fish keep moving on to other streams.

This explains why a recent study revealed only 16% of surveyed employees felt “connected and engaged” by employers. What their companies failed to realize is that employee engagement isn’t earned by a single gimmick—it’s earned by an engaging culture.

Rather than approaching employee engagement like a fisherman, approach it like a gardener—one who knows it takes healthy soil, fresh water, hard work, and plenty of sunlight for things to grow. In other words, instead of trying to make your people engage, cultivate a culture that makes them want to engage.

Use these comprehensive employee engagement activities to raise your engagement levels by developing a culture where your people can grow, flourish, and thrive.

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Purpose and personal-growth activities   


Engage your employees from day one
Rather than making new hires sit through an all-day lecture on company procedure, get a little creative on initiation day. Create a trivia quiz, hold a scavenger hunt, or incorporate company policies into ice-breaker games. It’s also a great idea to involve current employees to help them get to know their new coworkers.

Create a learning hub at work
Learning doesn’t stop just because you got the job. Help your people develop their skills and talents by creating a learning hub where employees can access educational information—and make sure to actually give them time to study!

Give your people a purpose
Our research shows that when leaders connect their people to a purpose, employees are 747% more likely to be highly engaged. One fantastic way to do this is to host volunteer days where your entire workforce helps a charity or nonprofit whose services reflect your company’s purpose.

Show your people they make a difference
Hold monthly celebrations where you show team members how their work has directly contributed to fulfilling your company’s purpose. This will help them see that their individual contributions are recognized and appreciated. Remember to provide food and free time so they can celebrate their accomplishments together!

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Empowerment and opportunity activities


Hold regular brainstorm meetings and hackathons
No one wants to be just another cog in the machine. Empower your employees by holding regular brainstorming sessions and hackathons. These events have the double benefit of letting your people flex their problem-solving muscles while giving you innovative ideas to improve your company.

Offer employees the chance to lead
A recent survey shows that when employers empower their people to take ownership, make decisions, lead, and innovate, there is a 78% increase in engagement. Even if you start with small tasks, giving employees authoritative responsibilities shows that you have complete trust in their leadership capabilities.

Get your people excited about upcoming opportunities
Most people spend their days working within their small sphere of influence. You can expand your employee’s worldview by sharing new opportunities (for both your company and people). This will help your employees better recognize the potential for growth in your company.

Encourage teams to set goals for themselves
No one knows the ins and outs of a job like the people who do it every day. Instead of setting your team’s objectives, empower your people by letting them create their own goals—and the rewards for reaching them. You’ll find that employees who feel ownership of their goals are more likely to actually meet them.

Team-building activities


Hold get-to-know-your-coworker days
When teams have strong bonds with each other, there is 42% greater odds their members will feel they have high autonomy—which leads to more engagement. This is why letting your team connect as people is an important part of building a healthy company culture. Make sure to include everything from team-building games to employee talent shows.

Share a meal together
Something magical happens when people take the time to sit down and share a meal. Bring your employees together by holding a Friday lunch where you celebrate successes, tell stories, and play games. You can also help people look forward to each week with a hot breakfast every Monday morning. 

Get a little competitive 
Nothing re-energizes people like a little friendly competition. Hold quarterly events where your team competes at laser tag, paintball, video game tournaments, and other team-building activities. Afterward, take them out for lunch and let them connect over the day’s experiences.

Let teams teach each other
Keeping teams separate only inhibits growth and innovation. Promote communication across your company by holding monthly workshops where teams present project updates and provide optional cross training. It’s incredible how many operational kinks straighten themselves out when teams just talk to each other. 

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Just-for-fun activities


Get out and do something exciting
You should take employee engagement seriously, but not all of your activities need to be serious. Places like trampoline parks, escape rooms, and obstacle courses offer fun activities for employees that will help your people let loose after a long day at work.

Make an office scavenger hunt
You don’t always need to leave the office to have a good time. Shake up the day-to-day monotony by surprising your employees with an in-office scavenger hunt, complete with creative clues and unique prizes for the winners.

Take regular board game breaks
An O.C. Tanner poll revealed that 40% of employees are experiencing moderate-to-severe burnout. This is why taking breaks is so important—since employees who feel less pressure to power through the workday are less likely to burn out. Provide a selection of board games so your people can socialize, re-energize, and take their minds off of work.

Explore the interesting areas around your office
Many people commute to work and back—and that’s the extent of their interaction with where they work. Help your employees feel more familiar with their work’s location by taking them out to lunch at a local eatery, holding a meeting in a public park, or having an office field trip.

Infuse engagement throughout your culture


Remember, improving employee engagement is not about finding one perfect thing to hook employees; it’s about creating a culture that employees want to engage with. Like a garden, it takes hard work, dedication, and time—but the results are completely worth the effort. 

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