Employee Engagement Ideas To Keep Your Teams Happy
Employees are the pillars of any successful organization. They’re the face of the company interacting with your customer base and driving all aspects of operations. It should go without saying that keeping your employees committed, comfortable and motivated in your organization should be at the main goal.
Of course, failing to employ an effective and appropriate measure to gauge employee satisfaction will only create more problems to an organization. Thus, employee engagement should be any company’s main focus in engaging, examining and acting upon the employee concerns and feedback collected to maintain a happy working environment.
1. Give Employees the “Inside” information
Team members, irrespective of one’s position within a company, employees feel more valued when included in the all decision-making process. When topics like organizational directions and goals, performance, hiring or even leadership challenges — traditionally all such conversations are held behind closed doors; However if openly discussed with other employees, they will feel included and experience a greater sense of belonging.
2. Celebrate and Recognize Success
Positive recognition drives human behavior excellence across all aspects of life — it is no different at the workplace. When a team member completes a complex project, accomplishes certification or meets a sales target, celebrating as a team or making an announcement regarding the accomplishment, can help motivate all employees and make them feel valued and engaged.
Small or big, they are the proof that the work people are putting in has some meaning. No one can go through tasks and assignments for months, or even years without burning out. Refill their energy with recognition and celebrate their hard work with the entire company. This is also a great way to glue together teams.
3. Collect Anonymous Feedback
Employees are never comfortable voicing their honest opinions and true thoughts due to the fear of repercussions. They feel more comfortable giving anonymous feedbacks through any channels. For this reason, an anonymous voice board or surveys can play an important role in overall employee engagement system.
However, as important as it is to implement anonymous feedback tools, such systems will have no advantage unless the resulting data is quickly transformed into actions.
4. Receive and Give Feedback
Yes, most people know about it, almost every leader talks about it, but it is hard to implement. While dealing with people’s work, their position and emotion, it is in fact dangerous to mix with wrong feedback. Keep it simple and layout a framework which employees trust and give and receive feedback honestly. Managers and Management should show in a way that the employees are important and herd by acknowledging their feedback and acting upon it.
5. Encourage Innovative Thinking
Interactions between employees regarding improvements, are often the foundation for innovation and creativity that can transition the company into a successful future. By collecting and acting upon these wellsprings of innovation, companies will often realize an increase in motivation, morale, productivity and problem-solving. Organizations should be seeking feedback frequently and asking their people for their insight into improving various aspects of the organization.
6. Cross-Training Opportunities
Successful employees want to broaden their skill set and knowledge, sometimes for career progression, and other times just out of curiosity and desire to learn. Challenge and support employees in learning and developing their skills, this will not just help building a motivated workforce, but companies will see an increase in employee engagement and happiness.
7. Be Open to Internal Transfers and Lateral Moves
Many times, departmental cross-training, as well as team members new to a company or early in their career, may find themselves more interested in other positions than their own. Allowing employees to make internal transfers or lateral moves allows them to feel more successful in their career and demonstrates an important flexibility from the company. Once employees understand that an organization is open to such moves, it creates an environment where employees feel important, engaged and fulfilled within their roles.
8. Happiness at work / Internal Networking Events
Internal networking doesn’t have to be anything more than a simple happy hour, lunch or casual get-together. No matter the time or place, these events allow team members to spend time together outside of the normal work environment, getting to know each other on a more personal level.
Some of the most effective internal networking events include:
- Team lunch and dinners
- Cooking contests or other lighthearted competition
- Bring your kids to work day
- Ping Pong, badminton or foosball
- Scavenger hunt
9. Encourage Charity and Volunteering during office hours
Many employees are close to the idea of community and social responsibility and participating in some. Companies can demonstrate a sincere commitment to such endeavors by allowing employees to participate in volunteering service while on company time. To further embrace a sincere commitment to volunteering, organizations can even allow team members to select specific charities and causes to concentrate on during a future team outing.
10. Give your employees more responsibility, not just more tasks to do
Even if it’s something you have no experience doing – when you see your goal as being important to the success of the company you’ll find a way to get it done. Give employees more responsibility, set goals and targets which on achieving discuss how that has helped the company and its growth, however small or big they are – This will only lead to more motivated individuals and teams across the organization.
11. Promote Perks That Boost Mental and Physical Wellbeing
Incentives can make the work environment a more fun place to be in. One of the biggest costs in the modern workplace are those associated with healthcare. To help mitigate such costs, effective health and wellness programs needs to be implemented. In fact, more than two thirds of organizations that offer health-related initiatives indicate their efforts range from somewhat effective to very effective in reducing the cost of healthcare.
12. Encourage Personal Projects
Allow employees to connect and collaborate within the organization to work on personal projects during dedicated time within office hours. Having people from different teams and backgrounds, brainstorming and bouncing ideas can lead to a different perspective. Projects can lead to new directions or creativity and positive energy, which would further benefit rest of the working hours.
Engagement Initiatives From Well-Known Companies
Here are five creative engagement strategies from companies that are well-known for their such practices:
Southwest Airlines Employee Recognition
One company that stands out with their engagement strategies is Southwest Airlines. They feature employees that perform above and beyond in their roles across various public channels to acknowledge their pride and appreciation for everything they do. On a weekly basis, the CEO gives a shout out to publicly praise employees deserving of recognition for their efforts at work. Southwest’s magazine also features employees each month that give recognition in a similar fashion.
Google Allows Employees to Explore
Google allows employees to spend up to 20% of their work time to pursue special projects. Giving employees the freedom to pursue projects of their choosing enables them the autonomy to create and innovate without restrictions. In essence, it brings out the full potential of their skills through true engagement.
Google’s Workplace Democracy
Creating an environment like Google’s workplace democracy can inspire employees and enables a more open channel of communication. When every employee’s opinion is openly welcomed and considered, employees are better connected to the people and the workspace around them. Google facilitates this positivity through leadership development and employee rapport. They use company-wide surveys to collect people analytics that help push innovation and change in their engagement strategies.
Screwfix and 360-Degree Feedback
At Screwfix, a large multi-channel retailer of trade tools based in the United Kingdom, employees are given a opportunity to provide feedback without rules or guidelines to their managers. The concept focuses on improvement, where employees have the ability to give feedback on everything from how things are going in the business to how management could improve. Any and all ideas for improvement are welcome. This concept encourages employees to be innovative because they have no restrictions holding their imaginative thinking down.
Zappos Shadow Sessions
One of the greatest challenges to engagement is the lack of development opportunities. One way to fight disengagement from these challenges is to cross-train your teams with a “shadowing program.” In essence, employees would shadow one another to learn what coworkers do during a typical day in their position. Zappos enables employees to “shadow” coworkers in other departments for a few hours to gain a better understanding of the work they do. This type of regularly scheduled cross-training not only develops your team’s skills overall, but also gives your employees insight as to what everyone’s job function demands.
Facebook’s mission is “to make the world more open and connected.” Through this strong social message, Facebook employees strengthen the community by doing social good — showing people that the company’s work improves people’s lives. With its altruistic agenda, Facebook employees have a lot of pride in the company that drives their engagement. The bigger picture they paint for the work they do enables employees to make a lasting impact and change on the world. This sense of pride is a major driving factor in Facebook’s engagement strategies.