A Creative Guide on How to Drive Employee Engagement

At the workplace, you need engaged employees; otherwise, productivity will dip. Here’s a guide on how to drive employee engagement.

Employee engagement is a powerful vehicle for driving business success.

It enhances everything from team morale and productivity to retention rates. The only problem is most businesses of today do a terrible job of fostering it. Gallup reports only 35% of all US workers feel engaged in their workplace.

To be fair, figuring out how to drive employee engagement can be a daunting task. There are many moving parts to consider and they all shape the final outcome.

It is time to take decisive action. Here is how to bring out the best in people and make strides toward your goals.

How to Drive Employee Engagement? Start With the Mindset  

The engagement formula is complex and includes a whole matrix of different influences.

There are no silver bullets and shortcuts for turning things around overnight. It all starts with the right leadership mindset and core philosophy. They can be summed up in the famous motto “walk the talk”.

In other words, don’t just tell workers you cherish and value them.

You got to show them that because engagement doesn’t emerge out of thin air or empty promises. Here are some innovative and creative ways of spurring engagement.

Tailor the Work Environment

Workplace design profoundly impacts collaboration and engagement.

It sends a clear message to everyone and anchors your business culture. Not only that but physical space also funnels interactions and workflows. Realize, for example, how office layout and furniture placement promote or discourage collaboration.

A balanced plan of open and enclosed spaces (cubicles) is often a winning recipe. It permits seclusion when needed, but also makes interactions more likely to take place.

Moving on, have enough sports for casual conversations and impromptu meetings.  Bonds that form there will be your secret weapon in business battles to come.

Let workers customize their workstations or create a design committee. Do your best to improve office ergonomics and overall comfort. Replace typical and boring office décor with something more fun and unique.

Build Relationships

Managers have a pivotal role to play in inducing engagement.

Their focus should be on cultivating strong and meaningful relationships with employees. The best way to go about this goal is to discover what drives and motivates them. Some people are just happy to receive a paycheck on time, while others want to “make a difference”.

Here, you can rely on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It is still a useful yardstick for evaluating what makes people get out of bed in the morning, apart from strict office hours.

Apart from this need-based awareness, managers and executives need to display a high level of emotional intelligence.  Ensure they leave the doors open to employees’ concerns, feedback, and inquiries.

Good relationships are always a two-way street, which brings us to the next point.

Enable Free-Flowing Communication

Open communication and transparency need to be the defining traits of your office life.

First off, communicate the mission of your organization to everyone. Rally people around the purpose, the “why” at the root of your corporate identity. Get crystal-clear about values and show how you uphold them in practice.

To go the extra mile, consider sharing some behind-the-scenes information, such as the direction company is heading. Don’t just give people more tasks, but also more insights and responsibility.  

As we’re all coping with Pandemic-caused disruption, you may also need to embrace digital channels of communication and collaboration platforms. Use them to stay in touch and have occasional chats and video calls.

You can step up your email newsletter activities as well. Dispatch useful and interesting information and enrich messages with visual content. Those kinds of emails stand out in overflowing inboxes.

Offer Perks and Benefits

Perks and benefits hold the power to elevate employee engagement across the board.

Launch programs embolden employees to pursue (physical and mental) health and wellness. Think in terms of perks like gym memberships, yoga classes, fitness trackers, free smoothies, etc.

Alternatively, put together a lifestyle spending account funded by all employees. Everyone can choose specific perks they would like and fund them from the shared budget. This kind of personalization and flexibility can pay dividends over a long haul.

Beyond that, opt for personal and professional development programs. Provide coaching, training, and mentoring sessions to supercharge career growth. These processes shouldn’t be exclusive to the onboarding stage.

Finally, introduce some telecommuting days and permit unconventional schedules if possible. These are all ways to minimize turnover rates and boost motivation.

Make Things Eventful

If you are serious about engagement, it is imperative to praise and reward good performance.

You can do it on a day-to-day basis by getting on top of office gamification. This trend revolves around integrating video game-like mechanics and events into business culture and processes.

It’s also possible to stir engagement by initiating various especial occasions and team-building activities. Hold events that celebrate individual and team achievements. Commemorate work anniversaries and throw an office party upon reaching a milestone.

Give away limited-edition swags and corporate challenge coins. Head outdoors and have a paintballing skirmish, scavenger hunt, or a sports match. Ignite a spirit of healthy competition and practice teamwork.

These events are great ice-breakers. People are more eager to strike candid conversations in less formal contexts, where nobody is wearing a tie or sporting a less-than-genuine smile.

So, think outside the box and the box you all share will become a vibrant generator of productivity. You’ll certainly be able to attract and keep top talent and reinforce your bottom line.  

Onward and Upward

Knowing how to drive employee engagement is just the first step on the long journey.

You have to take a proactive approach and use various tactics in synergy to nurture engagement over time. Thus, align your effort with the company’s mission, values, and culture.

Design your work environment in a way that maximizes collaboration and interaction. Open the channels of communication on all levels. Ensure management is on the same page, ready to give credit and recognition where they are due.

Entice people to form ties between themselves and the organization they are part of. Awaken a powerful sense of community and belonging.

Following these steps, you will strengthen the organization from within and start dominating the market.

Give something meaningful to your employees today. Get in touch with us to get some corporate challenge coins.

7 Effective Employee Recognition Ideas

Make your staff feel appreciated by offering tokens of appreciation for their hard work. Get your inspiration for employee recognition ideas from this list!

Did you know that only 51% of employees are satisfied with the recognition they receive after doing a great job?

Not only that, but only 1 in three employees have received recognition in the last week.

Now, we don’t expect you to offer the following employee recognition ideas on a weeklbasis, but it does need to be consistent. As a result, your company will benefit, too!

How?

Recognition helps increase productivity in your workforce. Your employees become happier to work (less time for complaining!), their loyalty grows stronger, and employee retention increases. This saves you time and money.

As you can see, employee recognition is a tremendous all-around practice. We’re here to offer some creative ideas for the next time you need to award someone for a job well done.

Keep reading!

1. Positive Feedback

We’ll start with the most straightforward recognition of all — positive feedback.

Sometimes, even a little acknowledgment can go a long way. Too often, employees perform well and get nothing but silence in return. If you offer regular, specific feedback, they’ll know to continue doing good work.

Take the uncertainty out of the equation. Tell your employees what an excellent presentation they did, how happy you are with their sales, or whatever applies to your business.

2. Company Swag

There’s nothing like some swag to get people excited (and hey — it’s an advertisement for you, too!).

If you’ve got custom mugs, t-shirts, stress balls, pens, etc., consider pulling it all together into a company tote bag. Gift it to the employee you’d like to recognize.

This small gesture allows them to feel proud of their place of employment.

3. An In-House Meal

A Harvard Business Review study found that 26% of employees value healthy food options in the workplace.

While you may not be able to supply these healthy food items on a daily basis, you could consider hosting quarterly or bi-annual catered parties. Provide a variety of healthy, yummy options.

It’s easy to just order a bunch of pizza and call it a day.

Instead, seek out a local caterer and have them bring a smorgasbord of great grub. Not only will your employees love eating in (and not having to pay for their meal), but it’ll give them some time to de-stress and comingle with their coworkers.

Additionally, healthy food should spark some energy. High-carb pizza results in that sleepy after-effect that’s not too good for going back to work!

4. Employee Outings

Say you’d like to recognize your whole team rather than a specific employee.

Employee outings are great for recognizing an entire group of people at once. And if someone on the team is slacking a bit, a group outing should encourage them to pick up the pace.

Some ideas for your next outing could be:

  • A pool hall or bowling alley
  • A scenic, easy hike
  • Volunteering for a local charity
  • A painting class
  • A cooking class
  • A sporting event at your local arena

Try to find something that offers group discounts to lessen the cost of the bill.

Additionally, try to avoid divisive activities. For example, taking your employees on a bar crawl could make those who don’t drink feel uncomfortable or left out.

5. Custom Challenge Coins

Custom challenge coins are an excellent souvenir for a job well done.

In fact, non-monetary incentives like these are just as effective as cash bonuses. They complete the same objective — motivate employees, develop camaraderie in the workforce, and bring teams together.

Challenge coins have a long and storied history that dates back to WWI. And they’re still used today at corporate events and often show up in the workplace.

Not only does collecting coins give your employees something to look forward to achieving, but they’re a great way to highlight individual successes. You can create a custom medal for any type of achievement. If there’s more than one style of coin, that’s one more thing for your employees to strive for.

At the end of the year, employees can compare coins, see who got what, and see who collected the most. This’ll give them something to look forward to going into the next year — collecting even more coins!

6. Social Media Shout-Outs

If your employee is okay with having a photo posted online, this is a great way to recognize their achievements.

Take a picture of the employee you want to shout-out and post it to your business’s social media page. Write a short little bio about them and explain why they’re getting recognized.

Then, they can re-share the post on their account and let their family and friends see what a great job they’re doing at work!

Bonus — this increases awareness about your company and shows what a great team you’ve cultivated.

7. A Wall of Fame

Similar to the idea above, a wall of fame praises employees’ achievements in a fun and fresh way.

Say your company incentives employee or company reviews. You can start a Wall of Fame and print out any reviews that mention your employees. Highlight their names and pin the paper to a corkboard in your office.

This works in two ways.

One, it recognizes those who’ve gone above and beyond. Second, it encourages anyone not yet on the board to strive for getting their name featured!

Try One of These Fantastic Employee Recognition Ideas

You’ll be surprised at how effective they can be!

Not only will you feel content with offering praise and acknowledgment, but your employees will feel even more over-joyed at their achievements. This directly results in a better work ethic (which is good news for your company).

Why not put one of these employee recognition ideas to the test right now?

Contact us today to see your options for a custom, creative, high-quality challenge coin. We’ll even help you come up with a free design that’s perfect for your company!