Most business leaders and managers easily agree that a high level of employee engagement is a crucial factor in business success. Employees, after all, are your greatest source of innovation. They bear the responsibility for providing your customers with an outstanding, safe, and valuable relationship with your company. However, creating a team of engaged employees can be more challenging than it sounds. We’ve rounded up a few examples of leading brands that have applied out of the box thinking to come up with some fantastic employee engagement ideas. Even if these particular programs don’t make sense for your company, they may provide some inspiration to drive your own engagement initiatives.
Full Contact – Paid for Vacations
Every year the software firm Full Contact offers employees $7,500 to go on vacation. They believe that employees who actually go away for vacation, (disconnect and don’t work are requirements of the offer) come back more energized and ready to advance the company’s mission. In addition, the program eliminates the “I’m the only one who can do this,” thinking that creates a point of failure in many organizations.
Zappos – The Offer
Zappos is widely known as a company with a culture of customer service and as a great place to work. How do they do it? One way is to ensure that every employee actually wants to be there. If, after four weeks of training, an employee wants to leave, Zappos will pay them $2,000 to do so. They believe that it is far better to help employees who aren’t a great fit leave than fail to engage people who only stay because they feel stuck.
Salesforce.com – 1,1,1
Salesforce.com leverages 1% of the company’s product, equity, and time to improve communities around the world. Contributing to the greater good is an important value for many employees, especially millennials. That’s why Salesforce makes grants with a focus on employee-inspired giving, including team volunteering activities and matching gifts.
Legal Monkeys – Appreciation Board
Legal Monkeys (a legal record management company) found a simple, yet effective approach to employee appreciation. The Appreciation Board is an 8x10 picture frame. When one employee wants to show gratitude to another, they simply write a note on the glass with a dry erase marker and present it. The recipient is then free to keep the board on their desk until they are ready to appreciate someone else. Each time the board is passed on, a photo is posted to Facebook so that the achievement can be shared.
Hubspot – No Door Policy
We’ve all heard of the “Open Door Policy,” but Hubspot takes it even further. They believe in sharing everything unless there is a legal reason not to, so they have adopted a No Door Policy to provide open access to every single person in the company.
Atlassian – The Pre-cation
One California tech firm, Atlassian, offers employees a two week paid vacation to be taken before a new hire starts. They believe that changing jobs is an important shift and that people need to recharge and spend time with their family before jumping all in. Employees come to work on day one more relaxed, productive, and energized.
Of course, not every company can implement these employee engagement ideas, but the same logic can be applied to invent policies and programs that will work for your own organization. When you invest in your employees, you’ll be rewarded with reduced turnover, higher productivity, better customer service, more innovation, and the extra energy that accompanies true engagement.