Busy managers and employers work towards continuous improvement in running their companies. Employee engagement activities are often overlooked but can make a big difference with a small investment. Sometimes, it’s difficult to get engagement right. For example, providing pizza lunches when a majority of employees are on a special diet or giving tickets to local sports teams games and events when many employees commute in to work from a good distance away. The wrong type of employee engagement activities can have the opposite of the desired effect.
Keeping high employee engagement levels can be challenging. But there are things you can do that will have an immediate impact on levels of engagement in your organization. The most effective employee engagement activities are incorporated into the daily workday for an ongoing, cumulative effect.
Mentor New Employees
Start engaging employees from day one to keep them with the company and keep high levels of engagement by partnering them with a mentor. If your new employees have a guide or built-in support with a member, they’re less likely to leave or start looking for another job within the first three months. Mentors can help new employees become familiar with the office, with systems and equipment, and with customers. Senior employees can partner with new hires to work with seasoned employees to help them with company culture, employment brand, and sharing information. Working with a mentor the first week on the job will streamline onboarding, help new employees focus on productivity, and prevent frustration.
Listen to Employees
Employees want to contribute, feel valued, and share their ideas. Some of the best employee engagement activities give employees a voice and let them know they are valued. Invite employees to regular brainstorming activities that are fun but also business related. Incorporate ideation on the company Intranet to share ideas and get information going back and forth. Or use the Intranet to post contests. They could be as simple as a crossword puzzle for everyone to do, or as complex as coding for a new project.
Whatever brainstorming you implement, make sure it’s fun, and don’t neglect to set goals and keep focus. You’ll see results the first week.
Put Them in Time Out
Make a plan to put employees in time out. Many employees come in early and stay late, either out of dedication or fear. They won’t take time out unless you can carve it out of the work week for them. Take a few hours one Friday a month to close operations for a private party to celebrate the week’s accomplishments and recognize outstanding efforts. Make Mondays long lunch days to counteract the extra stress of that first day of the week. Or provide special early morning coffee service for everyone. Make it worth their while to take some extra time out.
Let Them Hack It Out
Help employees get out of their routines and get some fresh perspective by throwing a hackathon. Challenge them to power through a work challenge such as a big project or a business problem in one big team effort. Hackathons aren’t only for programmers anymore. Almost any subject, problem, or issue can be hacked, within the company or in the wider community. NetSuite’s Hackathon4Good tackles needy nonprofits and builds them online solutions. Schools are adapting the hackathon for classroom learning, like Taylor & Francis Online marketing Markathon to kickoff and engage an introductory marketing class.
Whatever employee engagement activities you come up with, make sure they will make an impact so you see results right away. The best employee engagement activities are fun for employees, get results quickly, and make an immediate impact.
Andrew Greenberg’s roots in recruiting date back to 1996. He has experience both on the agency-side and corporate-side of the staffing business, with a focus in the financial services space at companies like Bloomberg and UBS. He also has core experience with information technology staffing, and has worked for major software companies such as SAP Business Objects and IBM/Informix Software. To get in touch with Andrew, you can reach him by email or by phone at (800) 797-6160.