15 Awesome and Creative Employee Engagement Ideas to Keep Your Team Bonded and Inspired

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employee engagement ideas

According to a recent survey, highly engaged work teams show a whopping 21% more profitability for the business they work for. In order to skyrocket your productivity, you need to establish some new employee engagement ideas for more of a team-like atmosphere in the workplace. 

A great leader understands that company culture is the glue for productivity and begins from the core, which is the staff. When employees feel that their voice is heard, they are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.

When a company focuses too much on external success, they will crumble because of the foundation (employees) are not feeling valued or included.

So, with so many convoluted ideas out there, which employee engagement activities will actually boost productivity and happiness in the workplace?

Keep on reading to learn the top 15 most beneficial employee engagement ideas for better productivity and a more inspired workplace.

Let’s get started!

1Encourage Health and Wellness

According to a recent study, nearly 1/3 of workers say that work causes extremely high-stress levels for them. Stressed out employees will plummet your productivity with absence due to illness and emotional symptoms of stress. 

The number one combat of stress is exercise and wellness, so creating a corporate wellness program in the workplace will not only boost your productivity but also make for healthier and happier employees all around.

Focus on mental, physical, and emotional health with activities such as:

  • Meditation classes
  • Yoga classes
  • Bootcamp in or out of the office
  • Giving them journals
  • Nutrition classes
  • Healthy eating challenges
  • Healthy potlucks where everyone brings their favorite healthy dish to eat

Keeping your staff healthy and happy will result in a more positive and inspired environment at work. Depression causes businesses about $70 billion a year on average, so these activities will also save you a ton of money. 

2Encourage Your Employees to Share Their Opinion

This is where the big difference between being a boss and a leader comes in. A boss will dictate how everything plays out, and a leader understands the importance of company culture, encouraging the employees to speak up and voice their opinion. 

When employees feel that their opinion is not valued, they will not speak up when they could be sharing very valuable ideas on how to propel your business further.

In order to do this, you must establish an “open door policy” so that people will feel encouraged to speak up without fear of criticism or judgment. This must go straight across the board and also include punishment for employees that bully others for speaking up.

3Reward People for Who They Are and Not Just How They Perform at Work

Awarding people for their work accomplishments is great, however, it can make them feel that their worth to you is solely dictated on how they perform at work. 

Start to do things that will make them feel appreciated as they are, such as celebrating their birthdays, or certain accomplishments outside of work. This will make your employees feel less like a number and more like a valued person! 

4Start Having Themed Office Days

Break the boring and monotonous routines of the 9-5 workplace by creating some fun themed days at the office. For example, you could celebrate April fools day, international taco day, have a potluck, wear jeans to work day, or even work in pajamas day! 

The options are limitless, and remember to ask your staff their input on some themes to enjoy together.

5Encourage Team Bonding Activities

In order for your staff to get to know each other better, you must incorporate employee engagement activities for them to establish a bond and team camaraderie. Some activities include but are not limited to:

  • Escape rooms
  • Soccer games
  • Pub crawls
  • Happy hours on Fridays
  • Bowling
  • Breakfast parties, make some smoothie bowls together
  • Photobooth
  • Go to a sporting event
  • Kayaking, hiking, etc
  • Games nights.
  • Karaoke Night

All of these activities involve interaction and socialization which is the perfect setting to get your team to bond and establish relationships. Once they do, they will start to feel like the team is a family and employee retention will also go up.

6Start off New Employees Right

There are not many things more intimidating than your first day of work. It is comparable to your first day of a new school, you do not know anyone, and yet they all know each other. This can lead to a lack of engagement and productivity from that employee.

Instead, on their first day introduce them to everyone in a creative way such as grabbing some drinks, playing some games, introducing each other in a circle, or a fun initiation. 

7Help to Upgrade Their Education 

Every employee’s nightmare is having their best employee move on to a new career, however, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. In order to help with engagement, show your employees that you care by helping them to upgrade their professional development.

Send your staff to a workshop for a day in something that will sharpen their skills, and you would be surprised how much they will appreciate and stick around because of these gestures.

8Help with Personal Development

Nothing bonds people more than holding an open space for people to share their pains, passions, and personal development. By simply hiring a life coach for a day, or sending your staff to a personal development program such as Landmark Worldwide, you could literally change their lives for the better.

While they are sharing with each other, they will build a bond stronger than ever before, new friendships will blossom, and employee retention will get much better as well.

9Decorate the Office

The repetitive life of going to work Monday through Friday, 9 till 5, can get quite mundane after awhile. Switch that up and make your office exciting by either getting your staff to decorate it, or hire some decorators to come in and freshen it up once in a while. 

Dodge the dull office by adding some fun artwork, dishes, wall decor, or even getting an office pet! The more you switch it up, the more exciting it will be for your employees to go to work and talk to each other about what you changed up the last time.

10Do Not Separate Fun from Work 

Of course, it is essential to maintain a level of professionalism in the workplace, but being professional does not mean it has to be boring! The more fun your staff has at work, the more energy they will have which will boost your productivity.

Create fun activities for break times such as games, exercise, making smoothies, and encouraging staff to talk and learn from each other, can all be quite fun activities. You may be even able to help them cut down on their coffee consumption because of the higher energy levels with the fun they are having!

11Create Office Contests

Perhaps one of the best employee engagement ideas you could come up with is a little friendly competition in the workplace. Contests are motivating, and they do not always have to be about work-related activities! This can be done by either team contests or individual competitions.

Team Contests

Once the team reaches a goal together, help them celebrate with a free lunch or a bring in a keg to have some drinks together (providing they are not driving home!).

Individual Contests

You can also spark some friendly competition within your staff and give the award to one individual person. Award them with free parking for the month, a week of free coffee, gift card giveaways, pay for a month of their child’s daycare, and so on.

Employee of the Month

This is a very creative strategy that involves friendly competition, and if done right, can really boost your productivity. Everyone wants to be recognized by their boss and by their co-workers. 

This has to be done carefully or else there may be accusations of favoritism. In order to do this properly, have each staff member vote for each other, that leaves you and the managerial staff out of it and there is no room for complaining.

Put their name up on a plaque on the wall for the month, and keep adding a new name every month.

12Ask for Feedback

While it is true that you may be the creator of the company or work in a really high position, but let’s be honest, your business would be nothing without your hard working employees.

Your staff is like the glue that holds the business together, and they know what is happening in the core of your company.

Create a survey or questionnaire, and get their feedback on what could be done differently, what is working well, and get as much feedback from each individual that you can.

Depending on the size of your company, you can also set up a mini meeting with each staff member, so you can get to know them and their input at a more intimate level.

13Get Everyone to Volunteer together

Volunteering may be the most productive of all employee engagement ideas because not only will it bond your employees, but it will also look very good on your company to be giving back.

According to research, people who regularly volunteer with their workplace have a much higher level of satisfaction and gratitude with their career. 

A recent report done by Network For Good quoted that “Employee engagement through cause is a vital means by which to strengthen employee relationships, enhance employee morale and even build critical skill sets and expertise. Plus, employees are hungry for ways to get involved in a cause”

Talk to your local charities and see what events you can do to help. This could include volunteering at a local soup kitchen, a food drive, bottle drive, help at the local animal shelter, volunteer at local events with a cause, or even donate to a far away charity such as supporting a family in need in a developing country.

14Gifts or Words of Gratitude

The simple act of practicing gratitude can lower stress, raise happiness, establish bonds between strangers and so much more.

An easy and impactful way to establish gratitude in your workplace is to place a gratitude jar in the office. Beside the jar, have colorful pieces of paper and pens, and tell your staff to write down something they are grateful of within the office.

This could be “I am grateful for ______ because he/she had the patience to help me with a problem today”. 

Or, “I am grateful for my comfortable office chair, it helps me to focus more on work and less on my back pain”.

There are no rules with gratitude which makes this simple, and yet so profound.

15. Celebrate Small Victories with Your Staff

If one of your employees has a birthday, celebrate! Suprise them with a small work party with cake, balloons, and recognition from the rest of the staff. It doesn’t need to stop at birthdays though, celebrate the birth of a child, work anniversaries, or other personal and professional achievements.

This could also mean celebrating some of the wacky holidays during the year, such as St. Patricks day, Valentine’s day, international cupcake day, pizza day, and so on. 

Learn More Employee Engagement Ideas to Keep Your Staff Inspired and Productive

Try out these creative and proven employee engagement ideas to create a more bonded team within your workplace. Immediately you will notice a boost in workplace happiness and productivity.

Check out more articles on our blog for more information on employee engagement programs, and feel free to contact us at any time to help you establish more employee engagement in your workplace.

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