If variety is the spice of life, the employee engagement activities of most companies are boiled potatoes. Sure, organizations that sponsor employee engagement activities of any kind are to be commended, but if you’re going to do it, why not add some heat? Aside from just making things more interesting, there are a couple of great reasons to try a bunch of different types of engagement drivers. First, not all approaches appeal to all employees and you want as much engagement as you can get across the board. Also, not all employee engagement activities serve the same purpose. Yes, the goal is engagement, but that can be focused on a number of different outcomes that will help your business and your employees develop. Here are a few:
Employees who feel engaged report feeling connected to their co-workers, supervisors, and top leadership. In many companies, collaboration and connections are strong between employees on teams that work together every day, but connections become weaker as you move across departments, locations, and levels in the organization. Employee engagement activities that create connections help strengthen collaboration across the origination and can lead to unexpected innovation. Cross training is an excellent example of creating connections. Letting employees from different departments train each other on certain aspects of their work helps each see the value the other provides to the organization and enhances personal relationships.
Building a Community
Sometimes, the best employee engagement activities don’t have anything to do with work at all. Participating as a team in a community development project or fundraising effort can cut across departments and unite employees who would otherwise have little interaction. It is a great way to develop a sense that defined goals can be accomplished if everyone works together. What could be better than building your internal community while giving back to your external one?
Creating a Learning Culture
It is likely that your company has a program to train employees on skills, technologies, and other specific information they need in order to do their job, but what about encouraging learning just for learning’s sake? Learning about different subjects helps your team see the world from different perspectives. Seeing the world in a different way can allow people to adapt to changes and realize how to work with people whose minds work in different ways. You might sponsor formal education or organize non-job-related lessons like cooking classes, language instruction, or golf lessons on an occasional or regular basis.
Employees who report feeling engaged often cite recognition for their contributions as a key factor in their willingness to expend discretionary effort toward company goals. But when considering employee engagement activities, keep in mind that recognition does not always have to be a top-down affair. People love to be recognized by their peers. For an example, watch this video in which Corey Cormier, CEO of Legal Monkeys, explains how the medical records gathering firm uses a simple empty frame and a magic marker to give employees the opportunity to show appreciation for each other and how sharing this recognition on social media creates a sense of pride and camaraderie that pulls the team together.
Hopefully thinking about these different types of employee engagement activities will help you come up with some creative ideas that are unique to your business. With a varied approach you can work toward different outcomes and offer something that will excite and inspire every member of the team.
For even more ideas, download this free eBook: