Constant communication, trust and transparency, frequent feedback and offering recognition – these are all things that research consistently suggests managers should focus on in order to improve employee engagement. But you’ve read this before, and we don’t want to tell you what you already know.
So, we thought you might like to learn some more unique and creative ways to engage and inspire your teams because outside of the box is where will engagement will reach new heights.
(PS – if you need a refresher on the 10 pillars of employee engagement, no worries – we got you.)
Here are 9 less traditional but just as effective ways of engaging your team.
Before you keep reading up on how to engage your team…
Creative Ways To Improve Employee Engagement
Promote Lunch And Learns To Share Knowledge
Knowledge sharing is a great way to bring teams together, inspire curiosity and shed light on the amazing talent that exists in the company. When there is so much brainpower, not extending it seems counter-productive to growth.
There is nothing more powerful than knowledge, and sharing it is like a free education.
Find out what charitable organizations your employees are passionate about and either allow them to take time off to volunteer, or encourage them to organize inter-office initiatives to raise awareness and funds for the cause.
This helps engage employees on a personal level, which translates into a professional one as well. Supporting their passions is a really authentic way to earn their respect and gratitude, which will be reciprocated in the form of great work and enthusiasm.
Get Away From The Office
Offsites in coworking spaces are a great way to break from what can otherwise become a monotonous week. In a way, it has the same sensation as an elementary school field trip.
Whether it was to the chocolate factory or science camp, getting out of the classroom for the day was extremely exciting. The same goes for getting out of the office every so often to work in a different environment.
It is highly conducive to brainstorming and creative thinking.
Let Them Work Remotely
The best leaders don’t micromanage, they give autonomy.
Allowing your employees to work outside the office from time to time demonstrates trust, which is essential in keeping your team engaged.
Different types of people work best in different types of spaces, so don’t consider it “skipping work” if an employee who is a writer likes to work from a coffee shop at times. Think of it as “enhancing work”, because it’s allowing them to the choose the space that will be the most productive for them.
Challenge Your Team
The word “challenge” might sound negative, but the truth is that pushing your employees to grow and be the best that they can be is at the core of employee engagement.
When employees are pushed to do better and extend beyond their comfort zone, they are often faced with the wonderful realization that they are capable of much more than they thought.
This magical feeling is what keeps people motivated to grow.
Ask Them What They Want To Achieve
When companies show an interest in their employees as people, and don’t only consider them as resources (a means to an end), employees become increasingly engaged.
In monthly one-on-one meetings, ask your employees to come prepared with a roadmap of what they would like to accomplish over the next three months.
Your thoughtful investment in employees inspires them to invest themselves in your company.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are there conferences or relevant they would like to attend?
- Is there a lunch and learn they would like to host?
- Is there a course they would like to take to improve their skillset?
- Is there a way in which their personal and professional goals align? For example, do they wish to work on public speaking?
Find out what would keep them motivated to grow as an individual, because people thrive in spaces that support growth and personal betterment.
Encourage Side Projects And Curiosity
Curiosity, exploration, imagination, discovery – those are the watchwords at the root of every success story. Inspire your teams, managers, and employees to ask questions, seek out answers and share insights with the rest of the company.
It’s a great way to let your employees be creative, and it opens their minds beyond the scope of the day-to-day requirements.
Google is famous for the 80/20 rule:
We encourage our employees, in addition to their regular projects, to spend 20% of their time working on what they think will most benefit Google…This empowers them to be more creative and innovative. Many of our significant advances have happened in this manner.
Initiate Healthy Competition
Empower your teams to push themselves by generating a bit of healthy competition. It helps some employees come out of their shells, and others to think outside of their comfort zone.
Competition is energizing and therefore it can be seen as a great tool for engaging employees. It’s also an incentive to go the extra mile and it creates a collective invigoration across teams.
Mindfulness references the ability to be present in the moment, but in our extremely fast-paced world, being present is a difficult feat.
When it comes to the workplace where stress can be pervasive, focusing on mindfulness will be very helpful for both the psychological and physical health of your employees.
Finding time in the day to promote mindfulness, either with exercises or discussions, is a great way to let your teams know that you are aware of the difficulties they must navigate every day.Download the complete checklist to see if your employees are engaged.
Thanks for reading!
What unique ideas do you implement on your teams to keep them engaged?