When you’re looking for ways to get employees more invested in their roles, it can seem like most suggestions revolve around the long game. Sure, we tout mentoring as an awesome way to increase engagement, but building relationships don’t happen overnight. Still, it is possible to start now—like, right this minute—to help build up employee engagement and create an all-in workforce without the wait. Here are four things you can do today to get started.
1. Out-of-Office Meetings
Some meetings, by nature of logistics or technology, are bound to be office-bound. But whenever possible, get your employees out of the office by instituting walking meetings. Heading to the park or going for a coffee run can help job creativity and improve employee satisfaction. After a breath of fresh air, some exercise, and an atypical meeting setting, employees are energized and renewed without sacrificing productivity.
We also have “donut meetings,” which allows employees from different departments to link up and learn about one another. Seeing the different cogs in the machines can help employees relate better to each other and become more engaged in company culture.
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2. Get Your Game On
Gamification isn’t just a clever digital learning fad: it’s a great way to get employees to enjoy training. Adding game elements helps encourage healthy competition and increased enjoyment. Whether it’s a round of “Name That Executive” bingo or a scavenger hunt that gets employees away from their desks and getting to know different departments and areas of the office, games can be a great way to drive engagement, particularly during the onboarding of new employees. Try swapping out your usual training video for a game and you’ll see positive reactions.
3. Get Social
Don’t underestimate the power of a well-timed happy hour. What may seem like a superfluous activity for employees to blow off steam is really a great engagement tactic. When colleagues spend time together socially, they become natural partners. Collaboration becomes more natural, and company culture benefits from new relationships. So, why not schedule an offsite, have a casual company lunch, or invite everyone out for happy hour after work? It’s a small gesture that can have a big payoff by tomorrow.
4. Recognize Someone
Think of someone, right now, who deserves extra kudos for a job well done. Now, go recognize them in a public way. It only takes a few minutes to draw attention to the fact that Amy in Sales busted her old record or Max in Marketing nailed his latest pitch and it does wonders to improve morale and employee engagement. When employees feel appreciated, they work harder; when other employees observe their colleagues being recognized, they’re more inclined to follow suit. It costs nothing and it offers a huge payoff.
While you should definitely play for the future and play the employee engagement long game, don’t use that as an excuse to put off what you should be doing today. Whether it’s a brand-new employee or one that’s been with you for day one, taking a few seconds out of your day to recognize, socialize, and communicate can help you get to more engaged employees even faster.