Employee Engagement: How to Keep Things Fun at Work

You spend time recruiting, interviewing and then onboarding employees…but do you focus on what your employees do after you hire them? Here are a few questions to ask yourself: How do you invest in your staff? Are you thinking of the big picture when it comes to your business?

As a company, you should always strive to evolve, and when doing so, you’ll need to incorporate fresh ideas into your company’s culture.

Regardless of the size of your company, employee retention and any Human Resources activities take time to manage. If that feels daunting, read on for tips to incorporate into your office culture for a better workday experience and to inspire you to create a more productive company.

Engagement Is Key
Evidence indicates that when you improve your employee engagement, the time and money you invest returns tenfold through improved company performance, profitability, productivity, customer satisfaction and higher employee well-being – and that’s just for starters. To make this initiative successful within your organization, ensure that your efforts align with your company’s purpose and the wants of your current staff. Depending on the size of your organization, changing your company’s culture may feel like you’re climbing a mountain but in the end, the results will be worth your time and resources.

What Is Your Company’s Purpose?
Before you spend time trying to make things fun at work, reflect on your company’s culture. It’s a huge asset to your organization, so establishing the foundation for everything from employee recruitment to customer relations is imperative. If having a great work environment is one of your company’s core values, word will get out, retention will be high and you will position your firm as one of the best to work for amongst your competitors.

Ask Those Who Are There
Before you begin making company-wide changes, take a moment to interview a few of your employees on how to improve the atmosphere of the company. Not all of your staff will be candid with you, but strive to have honest conversations with a variety of people who touch different parts of your business. The sooner that you complete this step, the quicker you can solve any issues.

Create Team Values
You can’t make your company successful by yourself. It takes key people to move the product or mission forward. To be successful, you’ll need to break your company up into teams such as logistics, marketing, and even human resources, depending on your firm’s size. To start, have them create their own values. By being part of the process, they are more likely to follow through with those commitments and play a part of the bigger picture of the organization. This step will give them a chance to establish their own identity within the organization.

Pursue Employee’s Interest
Allowing your staff to focus on something else besides work can benefit your organization. Having the opportunity to study, create or engage in personal projects such as taking a sabbatical or dedicated training time, allows them to develop new skills. They can then bring a new perspective back to the organization which can aid in company growth.

Mentoring Program
To change your company’s culture, you have to start with your newest employees. Connecting them with a mentor is a great opportunity for your leadership team to provide wisdom and help your new staff members onboard faster. Having this sense of community within your organization will aid your goal of having more engaged employees for the future. Encourage these mentoring sessions to happen out of the office and at a coffee shop or over lunch.

Find Their Tribe
It might be fair to say that your employees will spend most of their waking hours at their job. If they find a “work family,” the likelihood of them leaving is lower than those that don’t make strong connections. With having employees that work in a digital age, the after-hours happy hours or celebration lunches tend to fall off the calendar. Be intentional with these events, such as planning a monthly lunch to celebrate birthdays on a regular basis. Schedule after work events or participate in a community fundraiser like a bowling event or a golf tournament to give your employees a chance to mingle outside of the office. Create a book club or a young families club to encourage those with the same likes or stages of life to bond together.

Consistent Team Meetings
While we’re not fans of meeting just to meet, we do find value in carving time out for your employees to have a well-thought-out team meeting. If team building exercises are not your thing, consider incorporating virtual games through apps like Kahoot! allows you to give free quizzes to employees during your staff meeting to make the hour a little more fun. Your goal is to have your employees spend more time with their eyes up, focused on their fellow employees and the business at hand rather than their eyes down on their phone.

Follow Through
During the process of reflecting on employee needs followed by incorporating your wants, remember to take some time to create a strategy around your new engagement plan. In order for your company to be successful, these new birthday lunches, book clubs, team goals and other great ideas that your employees come up with the need to be sustained over time. Plan to add them into the company budget to help offset the costs on certain activities to help with participation. If you fail to plan ahead, don’t be surprised when a few months later, those formerly engaged employees walk in with their two weeks’ notice.

Next Steps
With having a leadership position within your company, your goal is to engage as well as retain your employees. This is not just a HR task but rather a company-wide initiative, so do not allow the HR team to try to fix employee engagement in a silo. And, when you’re ready, we can help you achieve your goal. At Brightwork, maintaining your employee satisfaction and staying on top of workforce planning are just a few of the things that we do best.

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