[HRM Tips]: 65 Practical Employee Engagement Ideas for 2021

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It is a proven fact that employee engagement provides more profitability to the organization and higher retention rates.

The organization that performs employee engagement activities also gets more retention, and their customers are more satisfied. Employee engagement is the involvement of the employees in the organization.

The emotional, physical, and mental engagement of the employee toward the collective goal is the only thing that can make the organization outperform the competitors in the highly competitive environment.

Employee engagement makes the employee invest their emotional, mental, and physical resources for the betterment of the organization. When you perform these activities in your office and organization, you are making your employees part and parcel of the whole structure. All the individual components of the bigger machinery do their parts, and you get more profits, better customer response, and the place of a leader in the industry.

(Fun fact: The organizations which have sent a care package to the employees at their home during the pandemic have witnessed 16 to 17% growth in their productivity).

Let’s start the list of the innovative and practical ideas that will engage employees, and you will get all the performance measures breaking the psychological barriers of achievement and productivity.

  1. Have some fun

Employees having fun

This might seem out of context initially, but it is a proven fact that when the employees get the chance to have fun on the office day, they get more relaxed. They tend to involve emotionally with the environment, colleagues, and the organization. Have some outdoor activity like a scavenger hunt or paint-ball you will get the morale and productivity higher than ever before.

  1. Employee experience platform

When you have a platform that reveals the employee experience and performance to all the people inside the organization, things take a productive turn, and people love to appreciate others for their performance. This, in turn, will make them motivated to perform more and have accolade.

  1. Show them their value

When you show your employee their contribution to achieving the values and goals, you are making them feel important and necessary. It will help them know more about their impact on the success of the organization. When you know your real value, you outperform your previous months and strive to grow more and take the organization one step closer to the vision.

  1. More responsibility than tasks

People are goal-oriented, and they perform great when they are focused on their goals. Giving your employees more task will decrease their productivity and morale. But when you provide them with more goals and projects to complete, you will get everything done efficiently and effectively. From the employee point of view, it is a whole new picture as it makes them responsible for their goal and projects.

  1. Send them gifts

When you send gifts to your employees to appreciate their performance, it will keep them motivated. Employees who receive physical gifts from their employers get the idea that their performance is being evaluated and acknowledged on a higher level in the organization. This feeling will involve them more toward achieving personal and organizational goals.

  1. Provide them with a career ladder

When your employees don’t find themselves growing and thriving in the career path, they get demotivated and leave the organization. When you involve the employees and show them the career ladder and help them climbing every step to the top, they will perform more and will become more productive for the whole organization.

  1. Health and wellness program

Acceding to the experts and gurus of employee engagement, you must focus and invest in the health and wellness program for your employees; it will relieve them from the job’s stress, and in turn, you will get higher employee retention and higher engagement with productivity. Choose any famous ones or fabricate your own; you will see the difference in real terms.

  1. Accentuate work-life balance

This seems an impossible thing to achieve both for the managers and subordinates. But when you talk to your employees and know them what it means to them, you will get to know the factors which would help them get closer to the balance. This will help them perform more and enjoy their life to the fullest.

  1. Show them your trust

When you show your employees that you have trust in them by sharing the inside information, they feel connected to the higher command and try to solve the issues faced by the higher management on their individual and collective level.

  1. Measure employee engagement level

It is always a good thing knowing the result of your past efforts so you can devise new strategies to outperform the previous results. Use the survey tools and tests to measure the real-time level of your employees and devise strategies accordingly.

  1. In-office motivation

On a busy Monday, start the day by calling all the employees to the team-building seminar inside the office. The newness of the day and the activities will enhance their motivation, and they will feel more connected and engaged towards the organization.

  1. Make them feel proud

Show your employees that you are providing something valuable to the community, people and employees, of the organization when you make your employee feel that they are working for a change in the world and they would love to do more.

  1. Save them from scary Sundays

When employees have a burden of the mammoth workload on Monday, they will suffer the nightmare on Sunday whole day and night. But starting the first day of the week with a healthy activity will make them love to come to the office and have a great day.

  1. Value recognition

Create a program built on your core values and recognize the value provided by the employees’ performance. You will make them see how valuable they are for the environment, and they will get a higher engagement level.

  1. Mutual appreciation

When your employees get motivation from their seniors and colleague, the engagement and performance level increases daily; a slack bulletin board is a good example of this phenomenon.

  1. Assign buddies

Employee groups

Your new hires don’t know what to do and how to perform well. But when you provide them with a buddy for the first week or two, you are increasing their engagement level along with the performance right away.

  1. Introduce new members

If the new team member doesn’t have to introduce him or herself to everyone around and all the people know the person by name, he will feel more connected and associated with the organization and people.

  1. Team-building

Employees drawing together

Individual teams working on separate projects need to enhance the communication and associations with every team member. Providing them with the team-building opportunity will benefit them.

  1. Desk allowance

Giving a small allowance like a plant or some fancy gadget for the improvement of the desk will make the employee feel cherished and perform more for the betterment of the organization. They will love to do overtime and enjoy the extra hours.

  1. Potluck party

Host a party that allows the employee to bring their favourite food and a chance to share their cooking recipes, ideas, and routine. This will bring them together, and they will become more infused, and you will get a productive team.

  1. Wellness activities

A personal treat of massage or some meditation activity paid by the organization will make employees happiness to the top level of satisfaction and motivation. When they learn that their organization is more concerned about their well being and health, they will feel more connected with the organization and love to perform more.

  1. Crunch time tradition

This activity is for the manager and team leader. The end of the month will make everyone stressed out towards achieving the goal and completing the number. But when the leader or the manager brings some crunch on lunchtime, this will relieve the stress, and employees would realize that their boss is the leader who is striving towards the goal and make them perform more.

  1. Personalized appreciation notes

When you give them a personalized note on their success through email or a note on the bulletin board, the employees will stay motivated to obtain the next objectives and goal. Your employees will become filled with fervour and energy after the personal appreciation from the leader and goals.

  1. Flexible scheduling

If you have task-oriented and goal-oriented jobs that employees can do whenever they want before the deadline, things become easy for both the employee and employer. When you have a factor of trust and your employees are striving to ache the goals before the deadline, providing them flexible working hours will increase the retention rate and their engagement towards the organization.

  1. Celebrate their wins

When you treat the employees with care and celebrate their personal and professional wins in life, you make them feel that the organization and their manager are treating them as a person. They are not a number in a significant place. Rather, they would think that they are significant for the organization and will perform more and more.

  1. Fun-filled summer Fridays

During summer, when you provide them with the Friday filled with fun and joy, you would see significant increases in their productivity, performance, morale and retention. A Friday filled with outdoor activity will make them engaged in the organization. And you will get a powerful team of robust achievers.

  1. Points-based rewards

Providing rewards on the base of achievement and goals achievement is also a motivating thing for the employees. But offering them the point-based reward system will make them involved with the activities and operations to get more points and redeem them for their rewards and financial goals.

  1. Acknowledge good work

The best way to increase the engagement of all the other employees in the organization, whether in the same or different offices, is to acknowledge the individuals’ achievement on a public basis or the organizational channels. When everyone sees the achievers on every channel, you don’t need more to motivate them.

  1. Team rewards

Happy Employees

When you want to increase engagement working on every individual will become a tiresome task if you have a bigger organization to look for. Build teams in the departments and offer rewards to the teams on their achievements. The team mentality will increase the employees’ engagement, productivity, and performance, and it is a win-win for both.

  1. Surprise them

Let them leave before time or offer them with small treats like brownies or cupcakes without any reason is the key behind motivation and appreciation of every individual in this way, you are engaging and improving the conditions of non-achievers and achievers alike to make them involved and work for the betterment of the organization.

  1. Support their growth

The high achievers and ambitious people need something more from the organization to stay engaged and motivated. When you provide them with opportunities to attend the seminars or take courses on technology and skill enhancement, they will feel more fulfilled. You will help them grow their career and organization.

  1. Offer them tangible benefits

Providing your employees with child care is the most helpful reward that will make them engaged and know that their organization cares for them in everything that happens at the individual level. A gym pass or a pass to some healthy activity will make them feel happy, healthy and motivated.

  1. Annual employee function

An annual function in the organization that allows every employee to bring their family and have fun together is the perfect way to end the calendar. When you cherish their achievements and tell others about their growth in front of everyone, everyone will feel engaged and motivated towards the organization and their goals.

  1. CSR initiative

Corporate social responsibility is practiced by most of the organization, but when you conduct a survey and know about your employees’ motivators, infusing those motivators with CSR is always a healthy initiative for your employees, organization, and society. Involve employees in CSR and see the magic happening before your eyes.

  1. Lunch with the boss

When high achiever teams get the monthly lunch opportunity with the higher authority, they feel more connected with the organization. You are making them realize that their efforts matter more to you and the organization. It will help them talk to you openly, and transparency will improve productivity and performance.

  1. Share their contribution to society

Involving your employees with CSR is the one face of the picture. When you show the real statistics to your employees regarding their results in the community, their efforts and operation in the environment will make them feel valued. They will feel proud to be a part of the organization and society.

  1. Bring your pet day

the fastest way to win the hearts of the employees is to allow them to bring their pets to work. If you allow them to bring their pets to work every day, that would be awesome. But if you can’t afford that daily you can manage a day every month to spend some quality time together in the office premises to have fun and joy together.

  1. Place a suggestion box

There are a lot of things which your employees want you to change or improve. The suggestion box will make them tell you more things in loud and clear ways. Manage some time to read the suggestion, and when you implement the suggestions, the results will make you say waao!

  1. Recognize their personal achievements

When someone has earned accolade outside the work environment, the 5-minute appreciation in the office will make them feel more valued and appreciated in both work and life. A hobby and an athletic achievement may not provide anything to the organization, but appreciating it on the official platform will make them feel engaged and motivated by doing the simple act of acknowledgement.

  1. Engaging onboarding experience

Employee engagement starts from day one. You can do a lot of activities to create and maintain employee engagement at a higher level. You can help them with a buddy in the first week, and later you can provide them access to the necessary resources. A clear cut communication always adds to employees’ engagement and satisfaction in the organization even after years of continuous work.

  1. Spice up more

When you add beauty to the work environment by providing simple changes, the office life becomes more spicy and fun. Calling the meeting in their favourite restaurant will make them feel more connected with the bosses and organization. The flexible work hours and one-on-one meetings with a coffee are the best things you can give to your subordinates and have fun.

  1. Strengths assessment

Sometimes it happens that you place the right person on the wrong job. The best approach is to look for the strengths of your employees and assessing their knowledge. When you have a complete profile of your employees, you can make them involved in more productive activities, and it will also make them feel more productive and happy.

  1. Be a motivating coach

When you want to engage your employees, the best way is to motivate them by being their coach. The studies have found more than a 20 per cent rise in employee engagement and productivity when they are motivated by their boss in the office and organization. When you coach and nurture your friends, you help them grow and thrive along with the organization.

  1. Let them write their job description

When you impose the job description on the employees, everything becomes a burden, and they will feel that they are haunted by the statements written there. But when you make them write everything regarding their job description by themselves, the best thing that happens is an increase in productivity and engagement towards the organization and a healthy response towards the job.

  1. Ask them for advice

This is something different that will make your employee feel acknowledged and appreciated to a greater extent. There are various people in your organization with varying skill sets. When you have learnt about their skill set, you can involve them in decision making and ask them for advice in their respective domain to help them thrive and feel more valuable in their work life.

  1. Let them shine individually

When you consider and treat everyone the same way, the performance level and the engagement will decrease drastically. The most productive way to increase employee engagement is exploring them and getting know about their personal achievements, favourite teams and their joyful activities on the weekends. When you treat them individually, you will get maximum value and productivity in return.

  1. Discourage overworking

Employee Fatigue Reduction

When people don’t get time on weekends to spend with their families, things become out of hand, and productivity decreases to the abyss. When you manage and enhance the schedule that encourages them to have free time to spend with friends and family, their mind will remain relaxed and free from the burden. The results will be astonishing and organizational engagement will break the chart.

  1. Get out and have fun

Employees enjoying drinks

Every month or two, a company holiday outside will show you the most dramatic results in productivity and performance. Your employees will feel nurtured and loved more when they spend company holidays outside doing parties or having fun. You can also incorporate learning and skill management activities in these holidays for their career growth as well.

  1. Provide them with, culture coach

Sometimes it happens that the employees don’t feel involved and accepted in the culture. The cultural coaches can make new hires or some existing ones to be part of the grapevine and the environment in the organization. The more they are involved in the culture, the more they will feel connected, and this is what you need to enhance employee engagement.

  1. Take advantage of failures

When there is a failure in achieving the goals on the employee end or the leadership level, this is the best time for you to involve everyone on board and provide them with the chance to learn from the situation and look for the mistakes that lead to the failure. When there isn’t any blame game and everyone strives to make things better, the results are astonishing and enthralling.

  1. Opportunities to work remotely

When the circumstances are favourable, provide the opportunities to you employees of working from home or some other area of their choice. This will increase the trust level, and your employees will feel more connected with the organization and strive more towards finishing the job before time. But make sure that you are providing adequate resources to them in this regard.

  1. Going-away parties

When your employee leaves the organization, and you throw a party to celebrate the work and value they have given to the organization, you are making the existing employee now that you value every single one of them and allow the employees to go anywhere they want, this will make them love the organization, and you will be fostering the engaging and healthy culture.

  1. Foster a feedback-safe environment

If the employees feel that they will suffer repercussions on behalf of the feedback they have provided, it will make them disconnected from the organization. In such a case, they will tell you everything is all right and would focus on the opportunities in leaving the organization as soon as possible, which will result in an enhanced turnover rate.

  1. Recognize employees as they please

Every person requires a different kind of recognition from the organization and their boss. There are some people who love to be cherished publically, and some shy people would appreciate a personal note or email. People suffering from financial instability will love to be awardee monetary rewards. Conduct surveys and recognize everyone as they want to increase employee engagement every single month.

  1. Cherish your champions

When you have an employee who has done something extraordinary in their work-life or has given some idea that has revolutionist the work, conduct a ceremony for those people and cherish the champion by bringing them to the limelight. This will make everyone motivated and engaged in the organization, and they will also make great efforts to be at that place next month.

  1. Quick socializing break

Assign the areas which serve as a socializing platform to the employees in the lunchroom or the bank of the couch, which allows the employees to engage with each other on a cup of coffee, will make them more engaged and connected with everyone in the organization. The environment will become more light, connected and helpful for everyone.

  1. Information access portal

When the employees get the information readily available regarding their work and project, the performance and engagement increases by leaps and bounds. The information portal will help them learn more and perform their job more easily to reduce the turnover rate and enhanced productivity with employee engagement.

  1. Organizational Olympics

The most wonder-full employee engagement activity that all the employees love to have the organizational Olympics. When you have created teams and presented the champions with a golden and silvery medal, the struggle to win will foster a healthy environment, and they will feel engaged to the organization or the rest of their lives even if they had to leave your company and go somewhere else.

  1. Give them the right coffee

coffee break

Knowing the taste of the employee regarding coffee and placing the different brands in the office will let them enjoy coffee breaks and get energetic within minutes. When they get a cup of coffee in their office, which they could have only in their house or favourite restaurant is a treat every single day. It would make them fall in love with the management with a slight touch of taste.

  1. Ban emails for a day

Ask your employees in the same office not to send emails to the people on the same floor. Rather, go to them personally and discuss what you have to share. This way, you will enhance the infusion and culture of the organization in all the employees, and this opportunity will make them connected with every single person.

  1. Fun magazine

A quarterly fun magazine that is made by the employees in the office is a fresh burst of wind that will make them connected and engaged in the organization. Ask the employees to share funny pictures and joyful columns about their experience or memories with their colleagues. You can have a printed magazine or an online version as you please.

  1. Vent box installation

The opposite of the feedback box is a vent box. Most of the times, employees have various complaints to the management, and to protect their identity and status, they are afraid of telling these to them. The vent box that allows the employees to put the printed or handwritten complaints without mentioning their name will make their catharsis, and you will get the chance to remove those factors or fulfil their demands.

  1. Team walk

Just like team lunch and dinner, an occasional and surprised team walk will make everyone connected with the other members of the team, and it will also help them share their ideas and thoughts with the team leader and other members of the team. This will increases communication, engagement, productivity and performance on a sudden basis.

  1. Employee show and tell

Make the quarterly function of employee show and tell, which offers the employees share their views, opinions, solutions and methods that will revolutionize the workflow, processes or operations in the organization. The employee will prepare with the intention of increasing the productivity of everyone in the organization that will result in going closer to the vision and goals of the organization.  This event and employee appreciation will give you increased employee engagement, performance and productivity.

Over to you

You need a vision that makes you evolve into employee responsive organization that is focused on providing better work conditions for the employees.

The activities and ideas we have shared above provide a strong ground and base for the leaders, managers, and CEOs to increase employee engagement without investing in thousands of dollars of activities that may or not provide you with the results you are looking for.

Choose any single or mixture of the activities and ideas we have mentioned, and you will get the increased level of employee engagement with the high-performance level.

The important thing is to look for the culture, requirements of the organization and expectations of the employees. Offer them the activities they want deep down inside.

You will get positive results right away. After implementing the strategies, measure the results and evolve your approach accordingly.

(Published in partnership with Zoe Talent Solutions.)