These 4 employee engagement activities will help you make a difference in the world, and show your kids what kind of change they can make in themselves and in the world!
April 23 is quickly approaching, and on this day more than 37 million employees will bring their son or daughter to work (Forbes). Besides the joy of sharing your work world with your kids — while they are normally spending their day in school — it’s a great opportunity to participate in this national movement! I have to confess that I do not currently participate in this, but that is because i don’t have children, yet.
Take Your Son or Daughter to Work Day is accepted by more than 3 billion companies in the U.S., and for good reason.
In 1993, Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation for Women created the Take Our Daughters to Work Program. This program was created in response to the increasing concern that girls lack confidence. This lack of confidence contributed to the dropout rate in the 8th graders. A low-confidence and self-esteem still exists today. “7 in 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members,” according to dosomething.org.
The Take Our Daughters to Work Program has transformed into Take Your Son or Daughter to Work Day. While your office doors are open to young visitors, keep these principles in mind. These principles will not only help build a better work environment for your office today, it will set an example for your employees of the future. Some engagement activities are brief, completed in 30 minutes or less. On the other hand, Inviting daughters/sons into the workplace is an all day event. Try to embrace the day and not equate it necessarily to a “loss of a days work” or “decreased productivity.” Allow your team the chance to bridge the gap between family, work, and their childrens’ future.
As we all have learned, it is not just girls struggling with body image. While girls are worried about their body shape, weight, hair, clothes, and skin dosomething.org tells us that boys are concerned with building body mass — many of them are using protein supplements as early as junior high school. While your office is swarming with kids, take the chance to remind them that they are still young and growing. Show them that not everyone looks the same, but everyone on your team plays an important part in helping your company succeed. There isn’t a stereotypical body type for success in your Sales department. You don’t have to be a size 6 to be the best on your Marketing team. Great ideas come from people of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. This is the first of your 4 employee engagement activities for the day. Gather your team and allow the parents to show just how different everyone on your team looks. This will quickly display to the kids that great people all look different.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Let this be one of the ongoing employee engagement activities.
Give everyone a blank name tag. Instead of writing your first name on it, allow your young visitors the opportunity to share something about themselves and describe something that they love. For example, my name badge would say crafty or laughter. These are two things that make me — me. From the time I was little, I have always had a unique laugh. My laugh is louder than most. The majority of the time, once I start laughing — I just can’t stop. My laugh embarrasses me sometimes, but then I stumbled upon this quote from Emerson. It is a constant reminder that my laugh makes me unique. It makes me stand out in a crowd.
Now my laugh didn’t get me my job. My laugh does not pay the bills. It did not get me into college, however, my laugh — along with lots of other things — makes me, me. Every kid, and adult, in your office today has something about them that makes them — them. Encourage each and every one of them to be true to themselves. You are sure to find, not only will the kids gain from this message, but your employees will love the reminder too. They will be encouraged to be unique, that it is okay to color outside the lines occasionally — sparking new creative ideas for your team!
Confidence is something that you truly learn and develop as you have new experiences. At some point you grow into your own skin and you become confident in what you do. This is not just a skill to teach your office full of kids, this is something that their parents, your employees, may need to hear as well. Building confidence is directly related to self-esteem. According to Psychology Today, a lower level of confidence is correlated with negative life events. This could be anything from divorce to losing a job to negative comments being made in the lunch room. We all have a certain part of our lives that are “over guarded” and when someone negatively affects that area — our confidence is shot.
Allow your team, and their children, 10 minutes to think about one thing in their life that they worry about. What is the one thing in your life that you hope no one mentions? Is it the way your knees look? Do you worry about your skill level? Have everyone write their worry on a piece of paper. Once everyone is ready, explain the importance of a positive work environment and how we all play a part — you don’t have to be great at everything! Then tell everyone to rip up their paper. Say goodbye to your worry or concern. Say hello to a new more confident you! Okay, they probably won’t gain confidence that quickly, but this is one of many employee engagement activities that will remind your employees they are not alone and everyone in your office is working to improve their skills by working together.
Before you release the kids to follow their parents around the office, share this video from Kid President, A Letter to the Future From Kid President. Kid President talks about what the future has in store for us — if we all make a difference. It is about believing in people. Believing in each other is a chain event! There are over 2 million people in the world, under the age of 20, it is time we start believing in them.
We hope your office uses these employee engagement activities during Take Your Son or Daughter to Work Day and make a difference. It’s time to be the change you want to see in the world, and as Kid President says — Be Awesome!