It’s that time of year again, when the seasons are changing and employees could stand to have a little boost of engagement in the office.
Here at Ving, we have a lot of fun while we’re being productive throughout the workday, so we’ve compiled a list of our top 21 employee engagement ideas that get our creative juices flowing. There’s sure to be something on the list for all of your unique employees!
1. Office Games
Playing board games in the office is one of my favorite employee engagement ideas! In our office, we always have a game of Catan going. (If you aren’t familiar with this board game, it’s like Monopoly set in the middle ages.) We take turns on our lunch break, and make out-of-the-game trades like ice cream cones for a few resource cards. It has been a great way to break the ice with new team members, and is something we all look forward to every day.
2. Bring Your Pet to Work Days
Another favorite idea of mine for increasing engagement is having a pro-puppy policy in your office. It can have significant benefits in several different business areas. First, it makes everyone happier to see their furry friends at work, and leads to more positive office interactions that wouldn’t have occurred otherwise. Second, studies have shown that people make fewer errors in their work when their dog is present! Finally, it gives employees an outlet for mental breaks throughout the day, making them more productive.
3. Group Yoga
Yoga has so many benefits, increased focus is just the cherry on top! Doing yoga before work can improve your whole day — making you more aware and alert. Hold a yoga class in the morning before the office opens and employees will start their day feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to take on the work day.
Increase motivation and ensure strong company commitment with these fun and simple employee engagement ideas.
4. Community Service Project
Getting involved in the community is a great opportunity for your team to give back. It’s always a mood booster to help others, and getting together with coworkers to do something positive is a great team builder. Another benefit from service projects is networking with other people in the community who may become clients or customers in the future. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
5. Visit an Animal Shelter
Another way to give back, animal shelters are always looking for volunteers to walk dogs and play with other animals. Being around furry friends can reduce stress in employees and increase their feeling of accomplishment. If there’s a shelter near your office, employees can even go walk a dog on their lunch break!
6. Canned Food Drive
Encourage employees to bring canned goods into work each day for a set period of time and donate the canned goods to a local food bank. A fun service project like this gets your team involved as a group outside of the normal work routine. You can even make this into a competition between departments for a little more excitement.
7. Spinning Class
I’m a big fan of encouraging employees to lead healthy lives in and out of work. Group spinning classes once a week after work can be a great networking and team building activity. The healthier your employees are, the more productive they will be.
8. Office Book Club
Professional development doesn’t have to happen on an individual basis. Starting an office book club is a fun way to boost everyone’s knowledge on key topics within your industry. Pick a different book for your team to read each month and schedule a meeting to discuss key takeaways as a group.
9. Skill Development Workshops
Working at a business incubator, we’re spoiled with the amount of insightful, useful workshops available to us here at Ving on a regular basis. From vamping up a LinkedIn profile, to marketing basics there’s usually a workshop for everyone. Plan a few workshops throughout the year for employees to build their professional skills.
10. Guest Speaker Series
Invite thought leaders in your industry to lead a talk with your employees. Ask them to speak on a certain topic that you are focusing on, to give employees a different perspective of knowledge. Even asking leaders within your own company to give presentations on relevant topics can be a way to engage your team.
11. Family Holiday Parties
The holidays are a great time to renew employee engagement because there is usually so much going on outside of work, that sometimes your employees can become distracted. Tis the season to host a holiday party for employees and their families! This can be a great way to show you appreciate all of the hard work they’ve done and deserve to have a good time.
12. Casual Fridays
Here at the Ving offices, we have a casual Friday policy of no “graphic” graphic tees. As long as it isn’t offensive, laid-back attire is encouraged on Fridays to make everyone feel more relaxed. It really boosts productivity at the end of the week when employees might be feeling drained, and don’t want to waste energy on dressing up for work. Brain power is conserved for work :)
13. TED Talk Lunches
During lunch, pick out particularly inspirational or compelling TED talks to show employees. Even better, cater a lunch once a month to encourage high attendance. TED talks are fun to watch, and boost engagement.
14. Walking Meetings
Staying active helps to increase productivity, and what better way to be more productive than in a meeting? We are strong supporters of walk-’n-talk meetings here at Ving. Not only is it refreshing to get outside of the office and walk around our beautiful downtown, it oftentimes makes meetings more compact since walking meetings usually only last about 15 minutes. Plus, we’re all more engaged with a cup of java which is a regular pit stop on our walking meetings.
15. Achievement Recognition Parties
Everyone likes a pat on the back every once in awhile. It’s important to give employees positive feedback and recognize accomplishments on a regular basis, but having a company-wide event to highlight exceptional overachievers can have a positive impact. Making a point to recognize your star employees will also have a positive effect on the rest of the team, too. They will be inspired to do better in hopes of being called out for their efforts in the future.
16. Potluck Lunches
“Food makes the rockin’ world go ‘round.” Wait...maybe that’s not how the song goes? In my mind, food is a big motivator. People love to eat, and chances are your employees are no different. If you don’t have the budget to cater a lunch for your team, host a potluck lunch instead! You can choose a fun theme like breakfast foods, or tastebuds passport, or just ask everyone to bring their favorite dish. Engagement will be through the roof whenever food is involved.
17. Company Tailgates
Fall is football season. Embrace this by hosting a tailgate or watch party for your employees. Our building downtown is having a tailgate party for the first home game of our local university next month. Everyone will bring their own beverages and a dish to share. We’ll all be decked out in collegiate gear, too. Fun events like this give employees something casual to look forward to, and don’t require very much budgeting.
18. Weight Loss Competition
Especially after the typical big feasting holidays, everyone seems motivated to get in shape and lose a few pounds. Hold a ‘biggest loser’ contest for your employees, and give winners of weigh-ins fitness related incentives.
19. Increased Responsibilities
Employee satisfaction and engagement increases as responsibilities increase. When people have greater responsibility, they tend to feel more in control of their job, and therefore more connected to outcomes.
20. Small Project Team Groups
When you create smaller project groups, employees feel as if their contributions have more weight than when placed in large teams. How big is ‘small’? Experts say if you have to order more than one pizza for the brainstorming session, the team is too big.
21. Comfortable Office Gathering Area
This is such a simple way to increase employee engagement in the office. Create a common area where employees can gather comfortably to collaborate with coworkers. Giving employees a space other than their desks or offices can create a sense of team and positive energy. In our office, we just placed two new arm chairs in a corner of the office with a floor lamp, potted plant, coffee table, and ottoman. So far, it’s been a creative hub where fresh, fun ideas have been born!
Do you have any other employee engagement ideas to add to our list? Share with us in a comment below!