70 Employee Engagement Ideas that Work Wonders
Want the good news or the bad news? This year, according to Gallup, companies throughout the US measured the highest percentage of employee engagement in the last 20+ years. That sounds like great news!
So, what do we think is this record percentage of the engaged workforce? 80%? 50%? Well, the data from Gallup tells us the result is a rather disappointing…34%.
This means that only a third of employees are actually invested in what they do.
Let’s look at the data.
The chart points to the fact that over half of the workforce in the United States is simply unengaged. What’s really scary is the 13% that are actively unengaged and maybe even resentful of their workplace!
Given the fact that companies with an engaged workforce can see a 65% less turnover of key staff, it’s plain to see that any marginal increase in employee engagement can have a dramatic effect on business.
So what are some of the employee engagement ideas that any organization, big or small, can use to boost engagement, promote team productivity, improve company culture, and reach company goals faster and in a more sustainable way?
How do we increase employee engagement and decrease employee turnover?
Employee turnover rates in the job market have risen massively in the last couple of years.
A strong global economy, has created an employee’s market, making it much harder to retain talent.
From 15% in 2013 to over 18% in 2017, the statistics are not looking good for employers.
Employee turnover costs businesses money.
Until recently, CEOs and Managers have seen great management as the only solution to this problem.
However, if you look at the data, it’s traditional “good management” practices that is leading to an increase in turnover rates.
That’s because managing your employees is simply not enough anymore.
Focusing on better management means focusing on getting more compliance from your staff.
This is effective if your goal is to have your employees performing simple tasks at peak efficiency.
However, complex and creative 21st-century work follows a completely different set of motivating factors.
Employees don’t want to be “managed”.
Nevertheless, management is still a crucial part of all organizations.
It’s just that the things that motivate employees have changed.
The New York Times best-selling author Daniel Pink famously said that management is not a tool for getting people motivated.
He also loves asking his employees this one question…
Who is the best boss you’ve ever had?
When you ask an employee this question, do you think that the answer will be “Someone who manages his employees well?”
“Someone who breathes down my neck all the time and tells me what to do?”
Quite the contrary, the “bosses” who drive organizations forward, are the ones that give employees the freedom to be themselves, express their views and opinions, and have a role in the company’s bigger picture.
When we look at things realistically, we find that management is not the right tool to use if we want to increase employee engagement.
The tool we need to increase employee engagement is self-direction.
Today, we’re looking at 70 employee engagement ideas that any organization, big or small, can use to:
- Make the shift from compliance to self-direction.
- Skyrocket employee engagement!
- Reach company goals faster.
When it comes to employee engagement ideas, forget about management. Self-direction is where it’s at.
1. Use the if-then mindset for simple, short-term work.
People love rewards. Moreover, people love materialistic rewards. However, when it comes to motivating them with such rewards, this is only possible when tasks are analytical and algorithmic.
In other words, you can’t dangle a carrot in front of an employee and expect that they will produce complex, creative work every day.
That’s why you should only use the “If you do X, you get Y” method for simple tasks.
When an employee sees that reward, they can easily zone in and focus on the task at hand until they get it done perfectly.
2. Use the self-direction mindset for complex, long-term work.
Employee engagement comes down to one thing – self-direction.
If you want your team to be produce high-quality creative work, if you want them to search for answers to unobvious problems, and if you want them to have the courage to do things no one has ever done, you need self-direction.
The majority of the tips you’ll see in this post do exactly this – teach you how to go from if-then rewards to self-direction & self-actualization rewards.
3. Research what gets people engaged, not what gets them to comply.
As we said earlier, management is all about getting people to comply.
On the other hand, self-direction encourages employees to become more engaged.
That’s why you shouldn’t be focusing on controlling your employees just to get them to comply.
Instead, you should always be looking for new ways to get them engaged and interested in the workplace (and the work itself.)
4. Turn more work into “algorithmic” work.
If doing a task is as simple as 1-2-3, it’s way easier to find the motivation to do it.
The more you can chop tasks down into simple algorithmic work, the more the “if-then” rewarding system will work. In other words, if your job is a mathematical equation of “do this, get this,” people won’t have trouble motivating themselves to do it.
You can do this by improving the way you brief your tasks. Turn every job into a step-by-step process to success. You can even get away with turning creative tasks into algorithmic tasks if your briefing is simple and straightforward.
5. Pay your employees well
Look around the marketplace. If Company X is paying its employees 20% more than you are, you will have a motivation problem.
We already know that unengaged employees cost you money.
That’s why you shouldn’t hesitate to pay your workforce more than rival companies.
Would you rather pay an employee more (and therefore motivate them more) or have to deal with the costs associated with employee turnover? The fee you pay your recruiter, the time your HR department spends on screening, signing bonuses, the costs of training new employees, all of these things add up.
You can save yourself a lot of money (and trouble) by simply paying your employees more. On top of that, you’re boosting their motivation, which is invaluable.
6. Management creates resentment. Self-direction creates accountability.
This isn’t even a question of employee engagement. It’s a question of basic human psychology.
Psychologists often talk about what makes people (children and adults) misbehave. Can you guess the number one reason why young teenagers start smoking cigarettes? It’s because their parents told them not to. Same rules apply in the office.
Trying to control people makes them resent you and their workplace. Giving them freedom and direction produces accountability.
7. Be a mentor, not a boss.
Do you remember our “best boss I ever had” question? Nobody wants to work with a boss who is breathing down their neck all the time, telling them what to do, and expecting results from them. It makes people miserable!
Helping people, listening to them, and giving them freedom creates an atmosphere of mentorship and teamwork. That’s what you should be aiming for when it comes to management-employee relationships.
8. Employee engagement is not a goal; it’s a process.
These employee engagement ideas will only get you so far if you implement them once.
You have to remember that employee engagement isn’t something you reach once and then forget about it. Ironically, that’s the “if-then” mindset at work.
Instead, turn it into a process that has no end.
The goal of the dance is not to end; the purpose of the dance is the dance itself. And who doesn’t love dancing?
If you want your employees to be engaged, they need self-direction, not management.
Now that we have the fundamental engagement concepts down, it’s time we take a look at how we can apply them practically.
We now know that employee engagement comes down to self-direction, so how do we start applying more self-direction in our workplace?
Let’s learn how.
Improve Employee Engagement by Showing People They Matter!
When it comes to employee engagement ideas, one of the best things you can do is to show your staff that you care for them – both as individuals and as a collective.
Firstly, if you’re here, reading this, you do care. Secondly, you do want to know how to make your workplace more fun. Thirdly, you do want to *show* them that you care. That’s all that matters.
In a way, every tip and idea on this list will show your employees that you care about their level of passion and engagement at work.
However, showing them you care is one thing, but showing them that they matter is something else.
9. Emphasize employee safety.
Nobody wants to work at a place where their safety is not valued.
Not to mention, if an employee does not feel safe at work, chances are they’re not going to care about getting work done productively.
You can emphasize employee safety by improving your onboarding process, providing everyone with work safety tools, and taking the time to educate everyone. Involvement is key.
10. Create a healthy work environment.
This plays a role in safety, but it deserves a section of its own.
You can start creating a healthier environment in your workplace by providing everyone with more physical space to do their job. You can also give away gym passes, put air filters around the office to clean the air, and take more preventative measures against illness and discomfort.
11. Let employees know what’s expected from them.
Accountability is a byproduct of responsibility. In addition, if someone’s duties aren’t clear enough, they simply cannot be held accountable.
Why would you hold someone accountable in a situation where his or her task wasn’t clear and straightforward?
Make sure everyone knows exactly what their role is, what their tasks are, and what results they’re expected to produce today, in a month, in three months, and so on.
12. Make sure employees have the resources to perform their job correctly.
Providing your employees with all the tools and resources they need to perform their tasks is not a plus; it’s a must.
Imagine you’re sitting at your desk, ready to do your job. Suddenly, you realize that you’re missing copy paper, a pen, or even a sticky note. Naturally, you decide to get up and go get what you need. But it’s not there. The result? You’re annoyed, you’re distracted, but at least now you’ve got what you need to do your job.
Remember: information is also a resource. Make sure everyone has the necessary tools they need to do their job well.
13. Let them know that their job is important to the organization.
If someone is treated as an unengaged worker, that’s exactly the role they will fill in the company.
Make sure employees at your company know their role not only in day-to-day tasks, but in the overarching goal the company is trying to reach.
This will make them feel that, without them, the company will not be able to perform at its full capacity. (It really won’t.)
14. Show employees the results of their work.
If a creative at your company came up with a great ad or an accountant managed to save you a ton of money, let them know that you appreciate this.
This makes employees feel like they’re making decisions that alter the big picture of the company. Therefore, they will be way more motivated to keep making such decisions.
15. Show employees that you value their work-life balance.
Everyone defines work-life balance differently. Someone might want an extra day off, while someone might prefer the option to work from home on certain days.
To increase employee engagement, the best way to show employees that you value their work-life balance is to provide them with a more flexible schedule.
By doing this, you’re also encouraging autonomy, and you’re giving them the chance to work on their own terms. Chances are, they’ll get a lot more done in a lot less time.
16. Challenge them.
Employees love challenges. Scratch that. Employees love living up to challenges.
Challenges can be anything from complex tasks to fun in-house office competitions. Testing people’s skills helps them understand that you *value* their skills. It also helps them earn opportunities to grow. In addition, while there are people who love being *given* opportunities, everyone loves *earning* these opportunities with hard work.
17. Find out their individual passions.
How are you going to show people that they matter if you know nothing about them?
One of the best ways to learn about someone is to find out what drives them to do what they do. What are the fundamental desires and passions this person has, and how can you align them with your company’s purpose?
Take the time to answer these questions. Your employees will love you for it. Plus, you can gain dozens of new employee engagement ideas just by finding out people’s goals.
18. Create a company roadmap and include them in it.
When you’re creating a company roadmap, you’re essentially creating the “big picture” for your company.
In addition, if every employee can start feeling like they’re part of the bigger picture of a company, your results will skyrocket.
Everyone, from janitors to senior execs, should know their place in the firm. Not just that they *have* a place.
19. Invest in your employees with courses and resources.
Your employees are your biggest investments! Moreover, it only makes sense that you would invest in their growth.
By providing them with courses, resources, and valuable information, you’re not just helping them grow as individuals. You’re also helping them grow as a part of your company.
If your employees are learning and growing all the time, your company will grow too – it’s a law of nature.
20. Set department goals, and include employees in it.
Whether it’s marketing, administration, accounting, or any other department in your company, that department should have its own goals to chase as part of the bigger picture.
That’s why it’s so crucial including all of your employees in your department roadmaps.
This way, they have a big picture to chase within an even bigger picture. This not only makes chasing milestones easier, but it also helps them create a sense of identity within your company.
And if that identity is of someone who matters, they will do anything to protect that identity.
21. Align your company’s purpose to your employees’ passions and desires.
Once you know all your employees’ passions and desires, aligning them to your company’s purpose is easier than it sounds.
Think about Maslow – he is a great source of employee engagement ideas. He says that people have this one underlying, fundamental concept rooted in their head – to be happy, I need to fulfill my needs.
More often than not, employee goals and company goals are much of the same.
You just have to find the words necessary to align the two and let people know that their vision is what drives the company’s purpose – not the other way around.
22. Find your superhero employee.
You’ve seen those “Employee of the Month” badges some companies have but have you thought about why that’s even a practice?
It seems superficial, but it’s actually one of the most effective ways of setting work standards at your workplace.
Your superhero employee is one that follows company culture and has aligned his own goals with the company goals.
The idea is that, once you set this perfect standard, everyone who wants to grow within the company will have to follow (and exceed) that standard.
This isn’t superficial – it’s not a matter of control. It’s a matter of rationalizing self-direction.
23. Celebrate employee birthdays and achievements!
When it comes to employee birthdays, anniversaries, and achievements, the question isn’t “Should we celebrate them?”
The question is, “How do we celebrate them?”
Did you know? Birthdays are one of the three days in a year when employees are most likely to quit their jobs.
In addition, with turnover at an all-time high, birthdays are becoming one of the best chances for employers to show their employees that they’re valued and appreciated.
Therefore, you should make celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and other similar events part of your company culture.
Your employees will love you for it. Plus, it’s a ton of fun.
24. On-going coaching programs.
Signing up your staff for ongoing coaching or hiring a motivation expert to work in-house at your company is one of the best ways to show people they matter.
Here, it’s not about the employees’ performance that matters. It’s about the employee’s engagement, education, and growth.
Great ongoing coaching programs are usually company-specific. Therefore, it’s hard to give advice on the exact ways you should approach this. Think of material that combines the company’s goals with the employee’s desires for mastery in a certain field.
25. Throw going-away parties.
If you’re always celebrating employee birthdays and achievements, but you’re not paying the same attention to the people that quit your company, this will rub off on everyone.
The best way to show employees you appreciate them (and their time at the company) is by throwing going-away parties.
At this point, when someone has decided to quit, there could be no possible self-interest. It’s a completely selfless way to show people that they matter to you and your company.
26. Find ways to measure employee engagement.
Finding ways to measure employee engagement will not only show people that you care about how much fun they have at work.
It’s also a way to gain valuable insights into the collective mind (and individual minds) of your staff.
You can do this by scheduling one-on-ones, using poll surveys, or using an employee management platform.
Such platforms not only collect data, but they also format it in a way that helps you better understand what “engaging work” means to your employees.
27. If an employee wants an unscheduled day off once in a while, give it to them.
Some companies even go as far as letting employees schedule their days off by themselves. That’s a great employee engagement idea, but it’s not so easily applicable due to the fact that it may be abused.
That’s why an excellent way to show you’re humane and understanding is to just give people the day off when they need it.
Chances are, your company won’t crumble under its feet because you gave someone a day off.
On top of that, this fuels self-direction. The result? More appreciation and accountability.
28. Giving growth opportunities improves employee engagement.
Ideas, ideas, ideas. People have them all the time. Ideas about themselves, ideas about your company, and everything in-between.
That’s why you should *not* let your employees stay in one place for long. This limits their creativity, ruins their motivation, and hinders their productivity.
When employees have ideas, they want to be listened to. Let them have that chance. This lets them earn more opportunities to grow and allows them to freely express their creativity before “management” shuts it down.
Use this sparingly. Only give opportunities to the people that work hard and earn those opportunities by providing great ideas. Otherwise, they’re not really *growth* opportunities.
29. Know the schedule of every employee.
This will not only help you from a management perspective, but it will also let employees know that their time (both on and off work) is valued.
Answer questions such as:
- When do they usually get home?
- What do they like to do in their spare time?
- Do they go to bed late or early?
Little things like that will help you get to know a person on a profound level.
Do not use this information to control your employees.
Instead, use this knowledge as a way of connecting and understanding your team members.
30. Encourage mastery – help employees grow daily.
People love getting better at things that matter.
In the Far East, a concept known as Kaizen (改善) is regularly implemented into company culture. This is the concept of doing small things every day that add up to big results. Encourage your employees to perform at least one task a day that gets them closer to mastery in the skills that they (and your company) value.
If you’re a software firm, let people code whatever they want for an hour.
If you’re an ad agency, allow people to create ad concepts that they know clients would hate, but they would love to see happen.
This will only make them better professionals in the long-term.
31. Employee engagement surveys!
The best way to let someone know that his/her opinion matters is to ask for it and then act upon it.
Schedule regular surveys on completely random topics. How do you feel about management? How do you feel about your tasks? What ideas do you have that could benefit the company?
Anything that helps employees use their self-direction to express their opinion and creativity will work wonders.
Not to mention, surveys remain one of the best ways to gain insights into employee thinking and behavior.
- Showing employees you value and appreciate them is the first step to creating an engaging work atmosphere.
- Employees need to know that you not only value them as a collective, but also as individuals.
- The best way to show employees that they matter is to help them grow, ask for their opinions (and act upon them), and include them in company goals and roadmaps.
Encouraging Autonomy – The What, the Why, and the How.
32. Give employees more control over the 4 T’s.
The 4 T’s are pretty well known in the world of management and HR. They can also be an endless source of powerful employee engagement ideas.
They stand for Time, Technique, Task, and Team, and they’re the best indicators of autonomy in the workplace. Self-direction serves as the byproduct of autonomy.
If you want to give your employees autonomy, you need to give them control…
33. More control over who they work with. – Team.
Never force employees to be in a team.
Let people choose who they want to work with.
More often than not, management techniques put two people with complementary skills next to each other while disregarding the relationship that these people might have.
Don’t make that mistake – give people more control over their teamwork decisions.
34. More control over what they do. – Task.
To an engaged employee, tasks are not chores. Moreover, if you want to create that atmosphere, an atmosphere in which people love doing what they do, you have to give them at least a slight ability to control their tasks.
The best way to get someone to do something is to make it easy for them. And if you want to make it easy for them, give them a little more control over it.
35. More control over when they do what they do. – Time.
A flexible schedule means more autonomy. It also projects self-direction. Not to mention, it *screams* accountability.
Slowly start giving your employees more control over their schedule and see how they react. Do they start delivering on time and being more accountable? Or do they ditch work and start missing deadlines?
Even though the flexible schedule is one of the best ways to drive self-direction, it should only be given to those who earn it.
36. More control over how they do what they do. – Technique.
Have you heard of Zappos? They’re a retailer known for having one of the best customer service teams in the US.
They gained this incredible reputation by giving people more autonomy.
When it comes to their sales force, they have a simple approach.
They just put their employees through a short sales course, put them on a desk, and told them “sell your own way.” Now that’s self-direction!
As a surprise to absolutely no one, they were ranked 23rd on Fortune magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For.”
In other words, giving people control over how they do what they do is one of the best ways to motivate them. Zappos is a living, breathing (not literally) example of that.
37. All of your employees were kids once.
Isn’t that shocking? Pardon the obvious statement, but looking at things from this perspective might very well change your entire company. Think about it.
Children are never innate. Children are free, wild, creative, and they are *never* unmotivated. All they want to do is to play, discover, and grow.
However, when you start neglecting them and taking away their freedom, they become resentful. They start hating authority.
Every employee you have is a grown-up child. Reflect on that thought for a while.
38. Let employees advise management on crucial decisions.
Remember that picture from a couple of years ago where Barack Obama bumped fists with a custodian? What did everyone say back then?
He’s so humble, he’s so humane, he’s so understanding.
We can turn this into an employee engagement idea.
Bring that back to company culture.
If you’re the CEO of a company and you ask an employee for advice, this puts you on equal grounds.
It shows the employee that their voice matters. Believe it or not, the best ways to improve your company are held within the minds of your employees.
Use that to your advantage.
39. Let them ditch a task once in a while.
Yes, you read that correctly. Out of all the tasks that people don’t like to do, there is that small percentage of tasks they absolutely *hate* doing. Don’t ignore that fact.
Give people the freedom to throw away the tasks that make them outright miserable.
They will thank you for this with more productivity, accountability, and motivation.
40. Let them have a say in how other departments work.
Don’t treat departments as separate entities, regardless of how big your company is.
Companies are created by people, and people always have ideas. If someone from accounting has an idea of how to improve management, listen to him.
If someone from the creative department believes there are ways to use finances more efficiently, listen to him.
Especially in a workplace full of engaged employees, everyone will be working toward the same goal. Never ignore the advice of an engaged employee.
41. 20% Time!
You know Google, right? They’re a pretty big company.
Google has a 20% rule. This means that 20% of their time at work is dedicated not toward their tasks, but to side-projects that they think will benefit Google.
This even relates back to cross-department work. It’s one of the reasons why Google has enjoyed such immense levels of creativity and innovation.
Small businesses will find it difficult to implement 20% time in their company, but this can be replaced with other ways of promoting autonomous work.
The fact remains – giving people freedom leads to immense business results *and* drives employee engagement.
42. The Yearly Day of Autonomy!
This practice is becoming more widely adopted by the day.
Here’s a study done by Cornell University. They researched the management practices of 320 small businesses.
Can you guess what they concluded?
Companies that gave their employees more autonomy grew, on average, four times faster than companies that utilized only traditional management methods.
In other words, even though the yearly day of autonomy is just another way to give people more freedom over their work, it’s a really good one. It *always* results in more innovation, cool advancements, employee engagement, and faster business growth.
Why *wouldn’t* you do it?
43. The Genius Hour!
Columbia Credit Union is another company that loves autonomy.
A few years ago, they hired a really young HR director that absolutely transformed the company with this really simple practice.
They called it “the genius hour.” It essentially meant that employees could ditch the sales calls for an hour every week and go think about ways that they can improve the company.
This, to no one’s surprise, resulted in many new branch innovations and quickly became one of the company’s biggest growth tools.
The underlying cause of it? Autonomy!
44. Employee engagement rarely happens in cubicles…
The same company that became famous for the “do it your own way” selling.
Part of the reason this worked is that they forgot about the old “cubicle next to cubicle” way of office management.
Instead, they put sales reps on their own desks and gave them the space they needed to express themselves freely.
This is a driving factor of autonomy. More physical space directly translates to more freedom. More freedom basically means more autonomy.
Are your sales reps still working in small cubicles where they barely have enough space to breathe? If the answer is yes, take a lesson from Zappos.
45. Hold regular brainstorming sessions!
Brainstorming sessions are so powerful. As we said earlier, the idea that could absolutely transform your company is sitting somewhere in the mind of one of your employees.
Besides, by holding regular brainstorming sessions, you’re letting everyone in the company have a voice. Not a lot of companies do that.
However, the statistics remain – over half of all employees on LinkedIn say that being able to openly express their creativity helps them develop a sense of belonging at the workplace.
So gather everyone in one room, set a few ground rules, forget about outcomes, and just brainstorm.
- Giving employees more control over their work is one of the most powerful ways to drive self-direction.
- Employees value autonomy. People love doing things their own way, and the statistics stand firmly behind this.
- Companies that implement autonomy tactics like 20% time and “The Genius Hour” experience rapid growth in innovation, productivity, and employee engagement.
Increase Employee Engagement by Improving Communication!
46. Always be understanding.
Imagine going to your supervisor and asking for a day off for the first time in months.
You get yelled at, rejected, and damn-near laughed out the room. They didn’t even want to hear your reasoning.
Is this a company you’d like to work at?
No. Nobody would.
Always take the time to listen to your employee’s reasoning. Regardless if we’re talking about asking for a day off or performing poorly at a task.
Just by listening to someone’s reasoning, it will be easier for you to understand where they’re coming from.
47. Congratulate them on great work.
*Never* hesitate to congratulate and reward people for great work. Why would you?
If you see that someone is going above and beyond for the company, they deserve all the praise and rewards you can give them.
After all, 70% of the workforce isn’t even engaged. In this day and age, working extra hard should be rewarded – no questions asked.
48. Teamwork translates to more employee engagement.
Two heads are better than one, and four hands are better than two.
Encouraging teamwork in your company won’t just improve your performance as a collective. It will also teach employees how to work well with other people, and this benefit compounds.
It creates a workplace of understanding, enthusiasm, and mutual growth. Never underestimate the value of teamwork.
If you follow the tips outlined in this post, you’ll have no problem creating this sort of workplace environment.
49. Talk to them about their strengths.
Every once in awhile, you should jump on everyone’s favorite topic – themselves.
Talk to them about that time they did really well on a task.
Tell them how you really liked that thing they did “that one time”.
People are in constant search of self-actualization. A constant search of themselves.
Talking to them about their strengths helps them identify with those strengths and mold them into real parts of their personality. Use that.
Allow them to bask in the glory of their best qualities. This will fuel them to develop these strengths further.
50. Talk to them about their weaknesses.
However, talking to your employees *only* about their strengths will not motivate them to improve.
You have to be honest with people and tell them where their skills are lacking.
Talking to people about their strengths helps them develop on where their skills lack, while talking to them about their weaknesses helps them overcome them. Don’t take away this privilege.
Many people have a tendency to be nice to everyone, but that’s not really a common trait among managers. Remember to always be honest, even if this means being *too* honest.
51. “I have a best friend at work.”
The statistics prove this – having a best friend at work multiplies the amount of effort and productivity people put into their work.
“Women who strongly agree they have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged (63%) compared with the women who say otherwise (29%).”
In the conducted research, this resulted in more profit for the company, fewer incidents at work, and of course, a highly engaged staff.
Encouraging close friend relationships is an incredibly powerful way to increase workforce engagement.
You can do this with more teamwork tasks, more social endeavors, and of course, better employee communication.
52. Manage gossip.
Many managers tend to turn a blind eye to employee gossip. Sometimes, they even participate in it.
The result? Poor office culture and a toxic work environment.
Learning how to manage workplace gossip is crucial to maintaining clear communication and a positive atmosphere at work.
Luckily for you, this is easier than it sounds.
When gossip gets to the point of disrupting business or hurting someone’s feelings, it’s time to end it.
The best way to end gossip is to address it.
However, this is not just a job for the management. It’s your job to address (and therefore destroy) gossip anytime you hear it.
53. Encourage them to speak up.
One of the most common complaints we’ve heard from HR specialists is that people who have incredible qualities don’t have the courage to express them.
This might be the case in your workplace.
Therefore, one of the best ways to improve communication in your company is to make “speaking up” a part of your company culture.
If your company loves “management,” this often means that employees perceive it as a controlling power structure. This stifles people.
Reward people for speaking up. Reward people for expressing themselves. Give them the freedom to know that, even if they say something that’s not right, nothing wrong will happen.
54. Build your company’s social media channels and groups.
In this day and age, what better way to improve communication than to improve your company’s social media channels?
In a perfect company, every team and every department has its own group where people can freely share and discuss ideas. Don’t take away that freedom – encourage it.
Not only does this result in better communication and more friendships, but it also means that information will get to where it needs to much faster. Win-win!
55. Work on solving employee differences.
Anywhere where there are people, there will be conflict. As a member of the managing staff, it’s your job to address any conflict that arises and stop it in its tracks.
The easy 3-step process to solving employee differences is as follows:
- Listen to what both sides have to say about the problem.
- Find a win-win solution.
- Only interfere if the two sides cannot solve the problem by themselves.
Improving employee communication will help employees deal with conflict. Dealing with conflict will help improve employee communication.
It’s an endless cycle that always leads to positivity, but it starts with addressing the conflict.
56. Make sure new employees are acquainted with the whole team.
Every new employee should get to know everyone else on the team.
As part of your onboarding process, encourage your hires to get acquainted with everyone from their department before moving on to other departments.
This will immediately spark a sense of belonging in them and help them start working at peak efficiency faster. Not to mention, it does wonders for improving communication.
57. Always keep everyone informed about company/department news.
Not only will this improve productivity (by giving employees all the information they need to work), but you can also avoid some awkward workplace situations.
There are a couple of ways you can do this. Social media channels and groups are just one of those ways.
You can also start a company newsletter. Or use an employee engagement platform. Either way, don’t look at this as a plus. Look at it as a must.
58. Give employees honest feedback on their work.
Statistics show that one of the best ways to keep employees engaged and motivated is to provide them with honest feedback on their work.
Feedback should have three characteristics:
- Related to specific tasks or projects.
Nevertheless, if employees can always receive feedback on their work, they will always know what their strengths and weaknesses are.
Therefore, they’ll always know what they can do to improve. They’ll also be driven to do so by self-direction.
59. Use an employee engagement platform.
Without a doubt, the best way to improve workplace communication is to use an employee engagement platform.
Such platforms have the goal of developing company culture, keeping employees informed, measuring engagement, and bringing together the goals and values of people and organizations.
They’re created for the purpose of improving communication, so automatically, they’re the best possible solution to that problem.
- Showing employees you value and appreciate them is the first step to creating an engaging work atmosphere.
- Employees need to know that you not only value them as a collective but also as individuals.
- The best ways to show employees that they matter are to help them grow, ask for their opinions, and include them in company goals and milestones.
Skyrocket Employee Engagement by Having More Fun!
60. Make Mondays Fun!
Many companies implement Friday parties as part of their schedule. Why not flip that around and make Mondays fun?
Always send out some Monday motivation to your employees.
You don’t have to throw parties at work or anything like that. Just start chipping away at the “I hate Monday” mindset by making the first day of the week a fun one!
This is bound to spark up work motivation for the entire week and destroy the whole culture behind “Oh, it’s Monday, it’s time to work again, how horrible…”
If you make employees look forward to Mondays, many organizational problems will be solved like *snap* that.
61. Create an office mascot!
Every team has one. Why not yours?
Mascots are a fun and creative way to bond your team together. They’re the target of a lot of inside jokes and humorous remarks, and they’re bound to become a favorite among your colleagues.
How about a little plush monkey? Or a bear? Or the animal you use in your logo (if any)?
A mascot will give your entire office so much more personality and a fun, goal-chasing, sports-type atmosphere.
62. Company holidays!
Company holidays are a great way to have some extra fun and emphasize your company culture’s personality.
You can pick any of the hundreds of random, silly holidays out there. Like June 14th – the national “Pop Goes the Weasel” day. Or September 2nd, national blueberry Popsicle day! You can even create your own little company holiday and put it on the calendar. Every fun & random holiday can serve as an employee engagement idea.
The idea here isn’t to make this a “no-work” day. The idea is to play around with office culture and sprinkle a bit of fun on your company calendar.
63. Office parties!
Have you ever watched The Wolf of Wall Street?
The movie is notorious for its party scenes. In addition, a company that’s well-known for its high sales numbers and high levels of employee autonomy.
However, getting drunk might not be your idea of an office party. (For some people, it is though).
Regardless of what your ideal office party looks like, you have to let your employees decide!
Let them have the freedom of turning the office into a completely fun-related place every once in a while.
64. Comedy/Art Workshops!
Workshops are not just a great way to have fun at the office.
They’re also great when it comes to showing off your employee’s secret talents, learning more about them, and displaying massive amounts of creativity!
Pick a day of the year when you create one of these workshops. Your employees will be looking forward to that day like it’s their high school talent show.
65. Take your employees to events.
You could go to charities, sporting events, live comedy, bowling, have a weekly day for the foodies, or anything else that you feel will take the stress off your staff.
You can do this on the weekends or Fridays. These sorts of company get-togethers will bond and entertain your entire team. (Not to mention, they will turn you into the coolest boss ever).
66. Game night!
If you don’t have the resources to party every Friday night, you can schedule in-office gatherings where all the employees can get together and play games!
Some great ideas for games you can play are musical chairs, apples to apples, and board games.
They’re guaranteed to take the stress off, help people spark a bond, and have a little friendly competition.
67. Use music!
There’s no doubt about it – there’s a place for music at any office.
Like the office of Jerry Foxhaven, the director of the Iowa Department of Human Resources.
He made headlines for his weekly “2Pac Fridays,” in which he and his team enjoyed a little gangster rap every Friday at the office.
A little music at the office never hurt anybody!
68. Realize that “all work, no play” makes people disengaged.
We all love having fun. That’s obvious.
What’s not obvious, though, is why so many workplaces around the world are simply not having fun!
If you don’t make an effort to have fun… work turns into a chore.
Friends turn to colleagues. Mentors turn to bosses. And that’s the exact reason why so many people are disengaged at work.
So make that effort!
Don’t be the company that dangles the money carrot in front of people to get them to work. Be a good company that hires good people and creates good things. You can’t create good things if you’re not having fun.
69. Encourage team fun outside the office.
You don’t need to be taking your employees out to parties every week.
However, you do need to be emphasizing the importance of having fun.
You do need to be treating everyone as a team that works and grows together. *Not* as a group of employees that’s there to get the job done and get paid.
Encourage these out-of-office relationships and activities and you *will* see a spike in productivity at work – that’s guaranteed.
70. The final tip we have is… Stop taking management so seriously!
We all know how important management is.
However, we cannot deny the fact that it’s simply not enough.
You simply cannot rely on it to improve employee engagement.
Like we said earlier, management gets people to comply. It will only get you so far.
The tool you need to drive employee engagement is called self-direction.
Self-direction helps employees to feel motivated and excited about what they do.
Neglect it, and you’ll become a company with no soul and disengaged employees.
Use it, and your business will be catapulted into the stratosphere.
- Management is a tool that gets people to comply. Self-direction is a tool that gets people to engage in what they do.
- To get people to engage, use self-actualization rewards. To get people to comply, use materialistic rewards.
- The roots of self-direction are autonomy, fun, communication, and a workplace atmosphere of mutual growth and belonging.