Employee engagement is one of your business’s most important metrics. With high employee engagement, you are more likely to see positive results throughout your business, such as improved productivity, better customer relationships and better ideas from your team. In addition, higher engagement leads to lower turnover and absenteeism, both of which can contribute to high profits.
There are many ways that you can go about improving your employee engagement levels. However, the key to any successful employee engagement strategy is making the activities enjoyable. Below, we’ll outline 5 fun ideas you can implement for better employee engagement that are all approved by the experts.
Encourage Personal Projects
One way to keep your employees more engaged may seem counterintuitive at first, but it has shown strong results in some of the largest organizations in the world. This strategy is to let your employees spend a portion of their work time on personal projects, unrelated to their primary job duties. This can help employees remain engaged, as they get a break from their normal duties and get to focus on something different that they’re passionate about.
You can find a great example of this type of program at Alphabet, the parent company of Google. Within their organization, they have a 20-percent policy, which essentially states that employees should spend about 20 percent of their workweek – or one full day – focusing on personal projects. Alphabet saw some great results by instituting this policy, with products like AdSense, Google News, and even Gmail coming about from it.
While you may not be able to allow your employees to devote an entire day to side projects, consider allowing them to set aside some time. Even just an hour or two per week will demonstrate to your employees that you value their creativity and want to help nourish it. Not only will this help keep your employees engaged but you never know what improvements might come from it.
Volunteer as a Group
One of the greatest employee engagement activities is to volunteer as a group. As an organization, you can receive a few benefits from doing this. For starters, it gives your employees a chance to spend time together, working on tasks unrelated to work. This is often a great way to establish closer team bonds, which leads to employees enjoying their work environment even more.
In addition, employees often love the opportunity to benefit from causes that are important to them. Employee volunteering programs can potentially allow workers to feel that the work they do is not only contributing to the overall success of the company but that they are also helping out a charitable cause important to them.
Research some local causes that may need assistance from a group your size. You can also talk to your employees and ask for suggestions as to what charity organizations they want to help. Then, pick a day in advance where everyone can attend this volunteer event. If you can, make this day during normal work hours so that your employees don’t have to take more time out of their personal lives for a work event.
Complete an In-Person (Or Virtual) Escape Room Challenge
Escape room challenges are an excellent tool for team bonding. With an escape room challenge, participants are locked in a room, where the goal is to piece together clues and solve riddles in order to get out. Most challenges last about an hour, during which participants scramble around and work together to try and solve everything needed for their escape. It’s a fun time that encourages strong communication and teamwork skills.
Having your employees attend one of these events can help your engagement levels in a few ways. First, it helps employees feel more comfortable around one another, which is a key component for a better work environment. Second, it’s a fun break from work, which demonstrates that you want your employees to be happy while they work for you.
While escape room challenges are most commonly conducted in person, it’s now possible to complete them through video conferencing. This is especially useful if you’re looking for some fun employee engagement activities for your remote team. In fact, you could use these remote employee engagement ideas in the onboarding process of your employees to make them feel more welcome and in tune with their team.
Host a Fantasy League
Fantasy leagues are another fun way to encourage team bonding and give your employees some small breaks throughout the day. There are many types of fantasy leagues but the most common ones are probably fantasy football and fantasy baseball. If you’re unfamiliar, here’s how a basic fantasy football league might work.
At the start of the season, each member of the league (your employees) drafts real-life professional football players. As these players compete in their real-life games, each member earns points based on how well the player performed. Each week two members compete against one another and the member with the higher point total at the end of the week wins. You track wins and losses throughout the football season and at the end, you crown a winner.
Fantasy leagues are fun engagement activities that can add a little competition among your team members that’s not work-related. If your team isn’t into sports, that’s no problem either. Many offices start fantasy leagues around the latest reality shows for an interesting twist on the format.
Create a Competition
Finally, if fantasy leagues aren’t your thing, there are other types of competitions you can run. For example, if you’re launching a new product, you can split everyone up into teams to create a new slogan for the product, with the best idea getting a prize. You can also create competitions unrelated to work. For instance, you can set up a healthy living challenge, where each department records the total number of steps each employee takes and the department with the highest average step count per day wins.
A little competition can get people excited about a task or encourage them to try different things. You can have your competition directly related to your business, such as the most sales in a month, or something entirely separate. To encourage participation, try to come up with a suitable prize for the winners, as everyone likes to have something to compete for.
Making Your Employee Engagement Activities Fun
If you really want to improve your employee engagement, you need to make it fun. Hosting a PowerPoint presentation on the benefits of remaining engaged with your work is unlikely to convince too many people to stay focused at their desks. But, if you can introduce some fun activities to your employees, you’ll not only make your organization a more enjoyable place to work but help keep your employees engaged throughout their days.