Given that 85 percent of employees worldwide are not engaged at work, it stands to reason that many employers will be looking for ways to tackle this challenge in their own organizations.
Below are some easy ways you can start improving employee engagement right now:
1. Support Employee Health
One study found employees who ate healthy and exercised regularly performed 11 percent better than their peers. Kick-start your employees’ health by providing healthy snacks, going on team walks, or even subsidizing gym memberships.
2. Celebrate Accomplishments
Has an employee just hit their sales goal or landed a new client? Celebrate it! Try giving personal gifts, bringing in treats for everyone, or even throwing a small party at the end of a long workday.
3. Bring in Guest Speakers
Need to get the team motivated? Bringing in guest speakers and coaches can provide employees with the extra push they need to come together and get to work.
4. Hold Lunch-and-Learns
Give employees the chance to showcase their expertise during a series of lunch-and-learns. Create a schedule, and have employees sign up to deliver presentations related to their skills and passions during each lunch-and-learn. This gets employees involved in one another’s work, and it offers everyone the chance to take a recharging break from the day.
5. Get Employee Feedback
If you want to be sure your engagement efforts are really working, you need to talk to your employees. Find out what they need to feel more engaged and appreciated at work. Employee feedback is the most efficient way to identify changes that need to be made.
6. Go Out to Lunch
Taking the team out to lunch will make employees feel special, and it gives you a chance to get to know your workers outside of the workplace. Plus, everyone loves food!
7. Go Bowling
It doesn’t have to be bowling. The point is to go out and do something fun with your team. Play a round of golf, spend a day at the beach — whatever it is that your employees enjoy doing together, set aside a day to do it.
8. Create an Open-Plan Office
Apply the same open approach you take to employee feedback to your physical office layout. Thirty-nine percent of employees believe people don’t collaborate enough in the workplace. Ditching the cubicles for an open-plan office is a great start.
9. Encourage Ongoing Coaching
Showing an interest in the continued education of employees proves you are invested in their progress. Consider holding regular webinars and training sessions, or perhaps you can give employees a yearly development stipend.
10. Delegate More Tasks
Nothing demonstrates your confidence in and appreciation of employees more than giving them more responsibility.
11. Start a Volunteering Program
Corporate social responsibility initiatives can be great ways to create engaged communities in the workplace. Regular volunteering opportunities make employees feel like their work has more meaning, and it fosters pride in one’s employer.
12. Spread Motivation
We all could use more pep in our steps. Motivate your team with morale-boosting quotes, videos, or even speakers to help them get moving.
13. Hold Regular Team Meals
Set aside one day a week for you and your employees to share a meal together. Talk about what is going on around the office, and maybe even throw in some employee recognition while you’re at it!
14. Play Music
Research shows that music can help improve active learning, memorization, attention, and other important aspects of workplace engagement and performance. Plus, it brings an element of fun to the workplace!
15. Ban Internal Emails
You might hear a few gasps when you bring this idea to the table, but it can be a great way to improve internal communication and ensure that team members are engaging with each other. Have a question? Get up and go ask!
That said, we recommend keeping this ban limited to one day a week at most. It won’t always be feasible for employees to drop email altogether.
16. Hold Brainstorming Meetings
An open and free communication process is the mental equivalent of your open-plan office. Meet at least once a week with your team to brainstorm projects, new processes, and more. Don’t leave certain departments out just because the topic at hand is not within their usual purviews. The best ideas can come from anywhere!
17. Gamify Processes
People of all ages love games — including your employees. Furthermore, a recent study found that 55 percent of Americans are interested in working for a company that uses gamification. Games are a fun way to encourage participation when it comes to training, communication, and other aspects of work! Use them when you can.
18. Name That Coworker!
Speaking of gamification, it can help employees get to know each other better. When employees know more about one another, they forge stronger workplace relationships and become more engaged.
You can play this game by splitting the office up into two teams. Have a host read clues about employees, with each team vying to guess the employee the host is describing. For a little help in writing your hints, distribute surveys beforehand.
19. Give Employees a Voice
It is important employees know they are able to express what’s on their minds. Increase employee engagement by creating easy ways for employees to voice their opinions and concerns. Surveys, regular one-on-one meetings, and frequent feedback conversations are all good ways to open communication channels. Be sure to follow up on these discussions and deliver on your promises so that employees know their ideas are taken seriously.
20. Share ‘Inside’ Information
Keep employees informed of what’s going on in the company. Make the company’s vision and direction clear, and tell employees about the challenges the organization faces. Employees want to help the company pursue its mission, and they’ll feel truly valued if leadership communicates with them regularly.
21. Support Work/Life Balance
Employees who believe they have a good work/life balance work 21 percent harder than those who don’t. Encourage employees to leave their work at the office and spend plenty of time with their friends, families, and personal passions. One of the best ways to do this is to lead by example. If employees see their managers value work/life balance, they will follow suit.
22. Start a Mentoring Program
Serving as a mentor to your employees can be one of the best ways to spark a renewed sense of engagement among your workers. Extend the invitation to your whole team, but pay particular attention to employees who may seem to be struggling. It may take a little more time out of your day to sit down with employees and mentor them, but it will benefit your employees — and the organization as a whole — in the long run.
A version of this article originally appeared on the iRevü blog.
Michael Heller is the CEO and founder of iRevü.