15 Employee Engagement Activities to Skyrocket Staff Morale

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There are way too many people who wake up each day, dreading going to work. They aren’t in the headspace of performing to their optimum level and some may even resent the company they work for, but stay in the job because they don’t feel there’s an alternative. A happy workforce is a productive workforce, so what can business owners and managers do to ensure employee engagement stays high and has people yelling from the rooftops how great your business is?

Now the majority of humans are creatures of habit. We go to work, come home and keep a similar routine at least five times a week. But we sometimes don’t realize we are doing this until it is too late and we have hit the status of BURNOUT. This is why it is important that employers attempt to spice up the work week and there are plenty of ways of engaging your employees.

If you feel a change of pace is needed, but you don’t know where to start, our 15 tips below will provide some great inspiration!

1. Employee Meals

When employees enter that vicious repetitive cycle (work, home, work again), most find themselves eating the same thing for lunch/dinner over and over again also.

Diet plays a big part in one’s mental and physical health and if you want your employees to maximize production, then they need the right fuel source.

So as an employer, one way of engaging your employees could be to throw them a spontaneous lunch/dinner. It can be as small as a few pizzas in the office (not the best brain food, but it’s a start) or if the budget allows, take them to a restaurant together after your shift finishes. If you really want to go all out, a cooking class whereby you get to eat the results once done can be a huge hit!

Not only does this show your appreciation for your employees, but it creates a sense of being. It allows your employees to connect with each other while “breaking bread”. I can assure you that this small token of gratitude, and full stomachs, will go a long way with your employees.

2. Implement a Wellness Program

In today’s society, employees are having to work more than ever before. Most jobs are short-staffed, with employees having to work double or triple time to make up for the gaps in schedules. The result of that is a significantly reduced time to complete anything outside of work – with recreational time typically falling down the pecking order over family, household jobs and rest amongst many other items.

This is why it is important for employers to take the health of their employees into consideration. You can do this by implementing a wellness program. This could be as extravagant as putting in a work gym, or it could be as simple as group online yoga classes or having employee exercise competitions.

If you want to start really basic, try a water drinking competition – it might sound strange, but shift workers typically have issues in this department and reaching the daily minimums of water intake will aid in alertness and attention to detail. Just make sure this is completed healthily!

Related: The Advanced Guide to Self-Care and Night Shift

3. Game Show Training

Training – a necessary evil. However, it does not have to bore your employees. Nine times out of ten, your employees are going to moan and complain about having to attend mandatory training. Now, some training needs to be given bluntly – just how it is. Others, you have the liberty to make it (dare I say) enjoyable for everyone involved.

One way of making your mandatory training enjoyable could be to host a “game show.” For example – you could create a Jeopardy like event or a game of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. With these game shows you can create quizzical questions that engage your employees, with small prizes for the winning person or group. This creates a pretty fun environment and gets in the necessary training completed at the same time.

4. Company Wide Bake-Off

I mean, really – how wrong could you go with a company-wide bake-off? Every now and then there is a call for a bit of fun competition within the workplace. This gives your employees something to look forward to when coming into work.

The basis of the bake-off is simple; each person comes up with their best baked good – each employee votes on which is the best (after consuming at the workplace of course) and the winner takes home a prize. The prize can be whatever comes to mind or budget allows.

Trust us when we say that everyone leaves this event thinking they’re a winner anyhow, so this can boost more people’s morale than you might think.

Related: How To Motivate Shift Workers: 8 Secrets to Staff Retention

Blue icing cupcake

5. Birthday Celebrations

Not as many companies participate in celebrating their employees’ birthdays as one may think. People tend to take their birthday seriously – I mean, it is a milestone in each person’s life. It would be nice, especially if you have to work the day of your birthday, to receive some type of recognition from your place of employment.

One way of honoring your employees could be to throw a small office party for them. You could get a cake and have all other employees honor the day by singing happy birthday. Even if you don’t want to go all out and throw a party – you could acknowledge an individual’s birthday within your monthly newsletter. Some recognition is always better than no recognition at all.

6. Encourage Feedback

One major way you could engage your employees is by encouraging their feedback on day-to-day operations. Most employees find it easier to go above and beyond for their place of employment when they feel that they have a voice.

Encouraging feedback throughout the office gives each of your employees a voice; a voice that is being heard by those in more senior positions.

This could make them feel like they do in fact have a say-so or some type of control about what goes on in the workplace. Making for a positive sense of employee engagement.

7. Awards Night

At this point, it should be clear that rewarding your employees is the overall consensus of this article, as it should be. Your employees deserve their recognition; for without them, your company wouldn’t be a company. You’d be a sole proprietor.

One way of showing your appreciation could be to hold an annual awards night. During this, you could give awards for things as simple as perfect attendance. It may seem juvenile, but I can assure you that with the right prizes (or paid time off work) you could get a good turnout! This shows your employees that the work they do day in and day out throughout the year is not done in vain and you value their output should be recognized.

8. Celebrate Milestones

It is no secret that employees expect a lot out of their employees – it is kind of written in stone. Therefore, employees constantly have certain milestones that they are having to reach. Each of these milestones, no matter how small they may be – when met – deserves acknowledgment from a boss or superior.

You could have an open group chatbox, and when each person completes a milestone – send them a little congratulations. Something that says, “Hey, I see you working hard, and your work is not going unnoticed.” It doesn’t have to be extravagant to be effective.

9.  Promotions from Within

This one is a big one. I’m going to be honest here – most employees that are already working for you resent the fact that they are passed over for a promotion – especially when someone is being brought in from the outside. Now we understand there are multiple factors that go into selecting the right candidate for a position, however, it’s important to provide existing staff the opportunity to progress. Give your employees a chance to apply for an interview for the vacancy.

By doing this not only are you proving healthy employee engagement, but you are showing your employees that you have faith in what they do. If they are not successful in the job, that’s ok. But give them feedback on what’s required in the future and then present them with an achievable path to succeed should they put in the time and work.

10. Weekend Conferences 

Most organizations try to attend a conference or two throughout the year – conferences that have some ties into their organization or professional development for the employees. These conferences are generally out of town and are attended by the “higher-ups”. In these conferences, you are taught things like leadership, new technology and functions that will assist the business or personnel.

One way of engaging your employees is to invite those who are not considered in senior positions to a conference. This allows for employees to get a chance to take a break from the office, learn something new, get themselves known amongst other senior leaders and gain confidence that they may be able to achieve a similar position one day. Opening that staff member’s eyes to growth opportunities might have them approach their job in a totally different light and bring a new skill set to the role you didn’t think they had.

11. Tuition

It is no secret that most of the employees hired have aspirations to go further than working in the current role or for your company for the rest of their lives; losing employees is inevitable. However, there are some incentives out there that could keep your employees around a little longer than most. One of those is taking a liking to their further education.

This could be offering to pay for their tuition fully or partially, send them to short courses or even get in a guest speaker for their specific team or department. This shows employees that you are invested in them, even if their aspirations are not to work for you forever. Engaging your employees in this manner won’t drive them away, but could lead to greater longevity in their current job or your overall business.

12. Decompression Rooms

Days get long, and tensions can run high – especially in a high-paced work environment. Employees get overwhelmed from time to time and might have no outlet, no way of escaping for a few minutes.

One way of combating employees getting too stressed on the job could be the implementation of a decompression room. This could be an unused office in the building. You can turn it into a safe space by placing some scented candles, relaxing lighting and maybe a couch.

This gives your employees a place to go and take a breather and relax for a short period of time at work. This shows employees that you are engaged in their personal well-being. Not many companies opt to have rooms like this, and honestly – we think it’s a real shame. (A room like this is also great for your employees to enjoy a nap!).

13. Company Outings

Your employees are generally stuck in the office for 5 days per week, for at least eight hours a day. They are stuck in the office with the same people day in and day out. During this time, they form a bond, because – who else are they going to be friends with? With that being said, a way of engaging your employees and keeping them happy could be to offer company outings.

This gives your employees the option to get to know each other outside of a work setting, which could lead to better job performance all across the board. There are many things that you could do. From a company picnic, amazing race to attending a concert together – the ideas are endless. Find something that each employee would enjoy doing, and go do it! Leave the work in the office and just go out and have a great time.

Related: 15 Tips To Improve Job Performance (Whilst Avoiding Burnout)

Top golf

14. Suggestion Box

As I stated earlier, employees love to feel heard. That’s just a simple fact. I can assure you that after sitting day in and day out in the office – chances are that they have some suggestions for areas of improvement.

Create a suggestion box, and watch it fill up! I know this seems cliche, and you think that people will not utilize it, but you would be surprised at the response you receive. You could set up a box in a centralized location, allowing your employees to put in any suggestions that they may have for the improvement of the office. Really, when it comes down to it – listen to your employees and when they feel opinions are heard, you’ll see a big difference.

15. Family Work Days

Chances are that your employees spend more time with their coworkers than they do with their own family. This is something that as an employer, it would be smart to recognize. There is a large percentage of individuals that quit their jobs because it begins to cut into their family life – taking time away from their loved ones.

This is where, as an employer, you can approach this in two different ways; offer “bring your family to work days” or provide your staff some time away to attend to special family events. This gives your employees extra time with their family and allows their family to potentially see what they do day in and day out when in the office. You could offer food and allow all of the families to converse together (if you get them in the office at the same time). Nothing like eating good food with even better people!

What about their furry family members? Where able and appropriate, can your staff bring their dog to work?

Other articles we’ve written to help keep your workplace organized and running smoothly!

As you can see, there are many ways to go about rewarding your employees. They deserve it too. Any person who sticks by your side, and gives their all during their time on your clock – deserves to be recognized for doing so.

You will also find that people who are appreciated, stay. As an employer, it is your job to ensure that your employees are happy, just as much as it is their job to make sure that your customers/clients are provided the best service possible. There has to be a type of balance.

We hope you got some new ideas from this article and see your employee engagement go to new heights once they are implemented.



Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure and privacy statement for more info.

Daniel Smith

Managing a global sales team I've experienced the challenges of working at all hours of the day and night. Being a shift worker I know how tough it can be balancing everyday life when you feel like you haven't slept in weeks! Providing advice and tips on how to manage your schedule, whilst still staying healthy is where I can help.

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