13 Employee Engagement Activities - You Can Use To Engage Your People Now
Employee engagement isn’t a quick problem to solve. It’s a continuous effort and challenge and one that employers must consider in unique and competitive ways if they want to retain and hire the best talent. That’s why you must spend time creating and carrying out various employee engagement activities. You want your people to love and enjoy working for you so the right activities can encourage a culture of motivation and reward for hard work and a workplace brimming with engaged people.
What Sould You Be Aware Of?
Not all employee engagement activities you organise for your employees will suit everyone, sometimes you just can’t please everyone with one activity. For instance, a work party may be some employees’ idea of fun and others will make excuses not to attend. That’s why you need to offer a variety of employee engagement activities to cater for different personalities and preferences.
And don’t forget to be as inclusive as possible. If a work social offers alcohol, remember to offer alternatives for those who don’t drink or host smaller team events as well as companywide events.
In-Person vs Virtual Employee Engagement Activities
The rise of the remote and hybrid working pattern does mean that certain employee engagement activities are physically challenged. However, there will be some events that you host in person that people who work remotely or hybrid may not be able to attend or choose not to attend. Therefore, when considering your suite of employee engagement activities, ensure you cater for a combination of in-person and virtual activities.
1. Lunch and Learns
These are great events to combine some shared learning and social interaction with others. They can be inclusive of those not in the office by including attendees virtually. As attendees are giving up their lunch breaks to join, you need to ensure that the sessions are short, snappy, interactive and fun!
It might be a member of a team sharing a project they’re working on or another team talking through a process or basic learning. Transparency and knowledge sharing are key!
2. Alternative Days
Remember when you were allowed to bring a game in or wear your own clothes at school? Days according to a theme are a great way to show your people you care and let them do something different.
There are endless themes you can select, but popular ones are International Fun at Work Day (April 1st), Bring Your Pet to Work day, Wear Your Own Clothes day or how about Acts of Kindness days?
Whatever suits your culture and engages your employees, organise these days and give your employees something different. You could even ask them to vote for their favourite days from pre-picked selections or ask them to suggest their own.
3. Health And Wellness Events Or Days
Employee Well-being has shot up the list of HR priorities in recent years, and employee engagement activities that support health and wellbeing can only be a plus.
Gartner found that during the pandemic 49% of employees turned to their organisation’s wellbeing programme for support. Furthermore, they found that such well-being support should be personalised to meet different needs and employers should commit long-term to well-being support.
Therefore, employee engagement activities that support well-being are essential. These may include in-person or via Zoom fitness, yoga or meditation classes or different entities coming in to give classes or massages, regular in-house massages, or mental or physical health talks.
4. Employee Recognition Programmes
You want your people to feel included and special, so why not include employee engagement activities that use recognition to do this? For example, you might celebrate birthdays and special days or use programmes where employees can recognise other people when they have gone above and beyond in their role. Or perhaps you have award schemes where managers or employees can nominate individuals.
However you organise recognition programmes, they need to be inclusive of individuals not working in the office/s, so mobile apps are brilliant for this inclusivity regardless of location. Sorwe offers a variety of options to allow you to easily create recognition programs for both in-office and remote employees.
5. Feedback Strategies
Feedback should be part of your culture, whether it’s from manager to employee, peer to peer or employee to manager. People need regular feedback. Using an app to give an easy-to-access anywhere portal to give or receive feedback encourages honest and ongoing feedback throughout the organisation.
Although gaining feedback can be a time-consuming process, we offer many options at Sorwe, including instant feedback, surveys, 360-degree feedback and other ways to help create a culture of continuous feedback.
6. Employee Surveys
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: employee engagement surveys are excellent employee engagement activities to understand how your people feel about working at your organisation. Annual, biannual or pulse surveys carried out using an external company and modern technology allow your people to give open and honest feedback that you can respond to.
At Sorwe we offer different employee surveys depending on what your organisation requires. For example, annual or bi annual employee surveys or quick pulse surveys to gain an insight to how your people really feel about working for you.
7. Work Parties
Parties don’t have to end up in drunk antics that result in more work for HR, work parties should be more about the social aspect of getting together informally and enjoying good food and conversation. Some organisations host an annual work party that partners can attend or themed parties such as summer or Christmas. Some even make their annual parties more informal like a barbecue that families can attend.
Whatever theme you choose, work parties are an opportunity for employees to socialise without the pressures of work and feel like they are getting something back for their commitment and hard work.
8. Sports And Charity Events
Organisations can host charity events or enter a work team. For example, the JP Morgan Chase run occurs every year in London and employees from different organisations participate. Usually, the organisation would pay for the entry fee and host celebratory drinks or food events afterwards.
Such events encourage team building, commitment to the event and a sense of achievement for the organisation and charity. It’s something the whole company can get behind, support, and talk about.
9. Supporting a Charity
Not everyone will want to take part in a charity sporting event, but you could select one or more key charities that you as an organisation will support. Then you can host fundraising events, and teams can come up with different ways to raise money for the event. It creates a shared objective and a culture of kindness and commitment to something other than work.
10. Inhouse Competitions
You can also organise competitions or games for just your employees. These can be really low-key events that could simply be a rounders tournament one afternoon or a team football match. You could even set up a tournament throughout a season with different teams across the organisation or a monthly baking competition.
Again, this creates a sense of belonging and something different for employees to participate in.
11. Speaker Events
Public figures, wellness specialists, ex-sporting professionals or motivational speakers can be excellent for your work community to listen to and learn from. Not only can they teach your people something new, but their experiences and lessons learned can provoke inspiration and enthusiasm.
12. Offsites or Team Building
You could say offsites are more important than ever now that more people are spread around doing remote or hybrid work patterns. Teams need to get together in person to develop and bond, and they need to be reminded of why they are working at the organisation, which can get lost in the day-to-day work pattern.
You can use team building or offsite events to reiterate organisational goals, current performance and how the team and individuals can contribute to the company-wide objectives. Give them a sense of belonging and motivation and include downtime for socialising, fun and solidifying relationships.
13. Recreate The Water Cooler
‘Water cooler’ moments are still a thing, but it’s hard to be all-inclusive when a physical water cooler might be missing for home workers. So, recreate your own by introducing fun quizzes to motivate and bond your teams.
You can set weekly trivia quizzes for individuals or teams so that the weekly quiz becomes a talking point and something fun for employees to participate in. Online quizzes can be sent straight to individual inboxes and marked externally so you can battle against other teams. At Sorwe we can help you to organsie team or organisation wide quizzes where employees can easily participate via the mobile app.
Whichever employee engagement activities you choose they need to be suitable for your organisation's culture, and budget and include all employees where possible. You don’t need to do all these ideas but start somewhere or assess what you currently have in place and build on it over time. Employee engagement takes time so try out some activities and get some feedback from your employees to see what they want or like.
Sorwe can help you to assess employee engagement levels using feedback and surveys and encourage ongoing engagement. We eliminate the administrative burden of offering recognition and feedback, allowing everyone to concentrate on improvement.