9 Ultimate Employee Engagement Ideas

by Daniel Hannig

What does employee engagement look like? If you’re currently at work, take a sneaky look around your office. I’m sure you will be able to spot some of the following co-workers:


Busy Guy/Gal Forever swamped with work, the busy guy or gal only replies to your emails after an immense amount of hours. Always doing the “most important thing,” and the Auto Reply message is permanently the same: “Hi, it may be a little while until I get back to your e-mail, but that doesn’t mean I forgot about you.” And you hope they don’t.

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The “Cool” Boss Cool boss wants you to know he or she likes you. Cool boss isn’t hung up on official “titles” and is always there to fill you in with the latest news of some hipster newsletter subscription he or she bought. Cool boss is also known for using unfamiliar foreign words. Très cool, right?

The Social Butterfly Also known as the event planner, or PR guru, the social butterfly loves planning all of the team member activities. From happy hours to office barbecues, the social butterfly is too into making the office a more enjoyable place to be. Their onboarding strategies or employee recognition ideas are usually some of his/her favorite things to talk about.

IT Guy The guy that loves to represent the company by wearing the business’ apparel. The hoodie-clad body is recognizable even from a far distance. You listen to him talk about LARPing because who else is going to reset your computer?

The Millenial Intern “Growth and learning” is the intern’s motto. When they run out of things to do, they anxiously wait or ask for the next assignment. They are fast to catch on to the internet’s ever-changing trends through means of communication and get extremely relieved when they don’t have to get coffee or do photocopies.

And what do they all have in common? They all want RESPECT. (Really, that simple) Treat your own employees the way you would like to be treated, a very straightforward rule of thumb that you can use and will guarantee your employees stay engaged, even the introvert from your office.

The emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals is what employee engagement is all about. This emotional commitment stands for employees that care about the company and value their work. We are here to help you get started with simple and unique ideas that you could use to motivate and keep your team engaged. Keep on reading!

1. Encourage Positive Health and Wellness


Lately, there was a debate about whether workplace health promotion programs, more commonly known as wellness programs actually work.

That’s similar to asking if reviews, employee feedback and/or other company initiatives are effective for worker performance.

A survey made by Business News Daily noted that employees who eat healthy are 25 percent more likely to have higher job performance. The same survey also found that employees who exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times a week, are 15 percent more likely to have higher job performance.

Now, not all of your employees have to be gym rats or fitness buffs, but making and encouraging wellness as a part of their daily lives could make a big difference.

It was also found that healthy employees help reduce health care costs. According to Willis, 61 percent of employers say employees’ health habits are a top challenge to controlling health-care costs. As the statistics show, promoting a healthy environment and having healthy employees is very important to the work culture, productivity and cost containment. Here’s what you could do to improve workplace health programs:

  • Stock your kitchen with healthy snacks.
  • Provide membership discounts to a local gym.
  • Encourage stress-relief breaks
  • Offer exercise classes led by a team member (to help with cost)

Remember that you are what you eat. Even at work.

2. Clarify Responsibilities and Goals


Every team member has a set of goals and responsibilities they want to work on. Helping employees set and achieve goals is a manager’s key responsibility. By clarifying responsibilities and goals, you improve your employee engagement strategies. After all, a staff member cannot be simply engaged if they don’t understand what their role is.

When assigning tasks, clearly assign them one at a time to avoid confusion. Clearly state what should be done, when it should be done and describe the expected results. To avoid any confusion:

  • Clearly explain the tasks.
  • Provide any necessary instructions on how to do the task.
  • Explain the priorities for different objectives or responsibilities.
  • Set specific goals and deadlines for the important tasks.

Whenever you kick off a new project or delegate an assignment, it is essential to give out the necessary details regarding the task. You will save yourself several headaches.

3. Be Flexible

giphy.gif There are several ways to let your employers know that you are going to give them the flexibility they want/need.

Flexibility at work builds trust and is good for business. It helps build commitment, helps attract new talent and keep key talent. With that being said, we should note how much of a difference it makes to allow someone a bit of flexibility at the workplace; it can make an impact on the employee’s performance and level of engagement.

Not sure how flexibility works? Let’s take at how Amazon deals with flexibility. While you may order from the online marketplace on a frequent basis, did you know the company created 5,000 new jobs for this year? In a press release, Amazon’s Vice President for Worldwide Customer Service, Tom Weiland, said:

“There are lots of people who want or need a flexible job — whether they’re a military spouse, a college student, or a parent — and we’re happy to empower these talented people no matter where they happen to live.”

Flexibility at work is all about adapting yourself to a changing environment. You need to show a willingness to learn new techniques and take on new roles through your own initiative.

4. Master Onboarding Strategies


What’s more depressing than a manager hiring someone who seems they will be an excellent fit for the job, but only to find out, they aren’t as engaged as they thought they would be?

Sometimes, the issue is not only from the individual, rather the way they were onboarded. Joining a new company can be vers stressful and nerve-racking but the more help the new employee gets, the better they will be at their job. The onboarding process doesn’t have to be lengthy or strenuous but it will be if you don’t help move things along.

It can be tempting to leave your employees to fend for themselves but it will only do more harm than good.

5. Create an Unique Office Environment

Who wouldn’t want a fun and friendly vibe to reflect your work site? If your office walls are dull and gray, only illuminated by fluorescent light and cubicles that remind you of warships – it’s time for a makeover!

  • Add Color! A study done by the University of Texas revealed that gray, white and beige offices induce feelings of sadness and depression. Similar scientific studies have shown that colors don’t just change our moods, they also profoundly impact our productivity, for better and for worse. That’s why it’s best to decorate your workplace with a vibrant medley of stimulating hues that increase output and spark creativity.
  • Plants The humorist Erma Bombeck once said, “Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.” And the same goes for your workplace. Plants offer physical and psychological benefits, helping boost your office productivity. Not only do they provide the air you breathe, but they also keep you alert. Plants can even muffle distracting noises and help relieve stress. A study conducted in 2010 by The University of Queensland said that one plant per workspace can increase creativity by 15%. One theory suggests that plants being present invoke our ancient instincts that there is food nearby (berries, fruit etc) and so we relax, become calmer, are happier and more creative. Thinking about getting a plant? Cactuses are currently on sale at IKEA.
  • Rugs Are Fun Just like plants, rugs are a great way to add color to any space AND they are great coverups for that unwanted/uninviting surface or cold concrete floor.

The moral is, that if you are decorating your office space, make sure you are having fun with it. Showcase your workplace’s culture and connect with your coworkers while doing so!

6. Allow Time for Development

The workday can be long from time to time and it can be very difficult getting through the day if your employees are also trying to work on their own personal enrichment.

By allowing time to develop, you’re increasing team morale and building a strong business.

It’s important that your employees continue to learn and grow professionally. According to go2HR, 40% of people who receive poor employee training leave within the first year. Employee development not only benefits the individual, but it will benefit your company as well.

“Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

7. Hold Regular Brainstorming Meetings


Ideas are like water.

When things are flowing and going the way they are supposed to, the benefits are as clear as the day, and everyone is in an awesome mood.

However, a lack of ideas is like a drought, starving dessert and your business could be potentially in stifling progress when the ideas are simply not coming in.

The best way to keep ideas flowing and going is by holding regular brainstorming sessions where you can promote candor and easy conversations. No discussions, nor criticism.

Make the objectives crystal clear from the beginning. Allow everyone to have a say and avoid any comments like, “I don’t like that” or “that’s just a bad idea.”

All it takes is someone that will listen and pay attention to your suggestions and you will not miss out on the creative potential your coworkers have to say.

8. Have a Relaxed Dress Code


We have all heard the term “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.”

First things first: Remember that is better to be overdressed than underdressed. Dress with the company in mind and for the client.

A relaxed or casual dress code allows room for self-expression and practicability. Companies that support casual dress codes send positive signals to employees. However, casual doesn’t mean sloppy, which means flip-flops and distressed jeans will always be a no-no and the same goes for crocs.

And when in doubt, always wear a blazer. And say no to knit caps!

9. Take Your Team Out for Ice Cream

giphy.gif Who doesn’t LOVE ice cream?

Take advantage of the sunny and warm weather and treat your team out for a stroll in town. Get the inside scoop on how your hardworking team members are doing. Connect, catch up and chat about things that may be too personal to talk about at work.

It is a very low-cost method that will not only refresh your team members but also will have a positive effect on engagement levels.

Over To You

So these were our ultimate employee engagement ideas. Employee engagement shouldn’t be a chore. It never hurts to go out of your way to give your staff a break from the pressure. Apply them and notice the impact! What do you think? Do you agree? What are some of your employee engagement ideas? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!


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