Investing time, money, and resources into recruiting the best talent for your company is only half the battle. Having an effective employee engagement strategy is key to retaining them, maximizing their potential, and ensuring they stay loyal to your organization.
Yet, a Gallup report found that 77% of employees are either unengaged or actively disengaged. If you’re here, chances are you recognize the importance of bridging this gap. And as a result, you’re on the hunt for employee engagement ideas. We’re here to help.
We’ve curated a list of fun employee engagement activities to bring back the spark to your workplace and build strong teams who will work to see the company succeed.
- What Are Employee Engagement Activities?
- Why is Employee Engagement Important?
- What Influences Employee Engagement?
- 10 Best Employee Engagement Activities
- 1. Create a welcoming onboarding program
- 2. Provide training and development opportunities
- 3. Engage employees in two-way feedback sessions
- 4. Celebrate special dates together
- 5. Plan outdoor team activity events
- 6. Organize employee talent shows
- 7. Host arts and crafts workshops
- 8. Share ideas in mini TED-style talks
- 9. Grab lunch and learn something new
- 10. Keep fit with health and wellness activities
- How to Measure Employee Engagement
What Are Employee Engagement Activities?
Employee engagement activities are different games, events, actions, or role-playing actions that are used to improve the emotional commitment and enthusiasm teams have toward their jobs and the company.
This means an engaged employee doesn’t just work for a paycheck, the occasional bonus, or the next promotion. They’re also invested in helping the company achieve its short- and long-term goals. These employees suggest new ideas, embrace challenges, and go the extra mile without being asked. 💪
On the flip side, a disengaged employee does the bare minimum, just to get by. They clock in and out, watching the clock more than their contribution to the company’s progress. And instead of seeing challenges as opportunities for growth, they might view them as burdens and avoid them.
So looking at the big picture, engaged employees drive innovation, contribute to a positive workplace culture, and help the company stay agile in an ever-changing business landscape.
Meanwhile, disengaged employees tend to dampen productivity and slow down the business’s progress in achieving its goals.
Why is Employee Engagement Important?
Companies that prioritize and invest in improving employee engagement reap huge rewards across the board. According to a 2020 Gallup study, high employee engagement leads to:
- 21% higher profitability
- 81% drop in absenteeism
- 41% fewer quality defects
- 14% increase in productivity
- 10% increase in customer loyalty and engagement
- 18% lower turnover in high-turnover organizations and 43% lower turnover in low-turnover organizations
In simple terms, high employee engagement equals high business returns. 📈
What Influences Employee Engagement?
Salaries and bonuses play a role in employee engagement, but these alone aren’t enough. So let’s take a look at the other key factors that influence employee engagement:
- Leadership: Employee engagement starts at the top. If leaders believe in the company’s goals and show it in their actions, employees are more likely to get on board too
- Clear communication: Employees want clarity. Unclear expectations or lack of direction leads to confusion and reduces engagement
- Employee recognition: It’s human nature to seek recognition for hard work. Perks like a bonus or raise are great, but sometimes a simple “thank you” goes a long way in making an employee feel recognized and appreciated 🤝
- Professional development: Employees value continuous learning and growth. If these avenues are available, engagement and job satisfaction levels are likely to go up
- Work-life balance: Burnout is real. Overworked employees disengage over time. Offering remote work options, flexible hours, and breaks from non-work-related activities are effective in countering that
- Feedback: Engagement grows when employees feel safe to voice their concerns and feel their input is valued
- Work relationships: When employees feel they’re part of a supportive community, they’re more likely to stay engaged
Understanding these factors helps you design an effective engagement strategy that boosts employee retention and engagement. Now let’s take a look at the activities you can implement right away to bring your strategy to life.
10 Best Employee Engagement Activities
Here are 10 of the easiest and most effective employee engagement activities to get that engagement meter off the charts.
1. Create a welcoming onboarding program
First impressions during onboarding, right from the first day, set the tone for an employee’s journey at your company. Unfortunately, some companies either ignore or rush through this phase.
In fact, only 12% of employees say their company does a great job of onboarding new hires. Yet, a CareerBuilder survey revealed that a well-structured onboarding program leads to higher engagement, higher productivity, and lower employee turnover.
Improving your onboarding process may be easier than you think. Here are some simple tweaks that make a big difference:
- Clear agenda: Streamline the onboarding process so new employees know exactly what to do, from start to finish
- Schedule supervisor sessions: Early meetings with the HR team and supervisors are crucial. It’s the perfect time to set clear expectations, outline roles, and open channels of communication
- Team introduction: Host an in-person or virtual icebreaker to introduce new employees to the team. This helps them understand who to turn to for specific questions and assistance
- Peer support: Pair new employees with a buddy or mentor to help them settle into their new role, work environment, and company culture 🧑🤝🧑
When new employees feel supported from the get-go, they quickly gain confidence and feel like they belong. This boosts their commitment to the role and their drive to contribute to the team and company goals.
2. Provide training and development opportunities
Starting with a good onboarding program is great. To keep up the momentum, you have to offer continuous training and development opportunities.
It helps employees fill the skill gaps needed for their roles and is a smart way to keep your team motivated and engaged. According to a 2016 Udemy report, 80% of employees say that learning opportunities at work make them more engaged.
Here are some practical tips to ensure your training programs hit the mark:
- Relevant content: Align training content with the company’s goals and the individual challenges employees face
- Interactive delivery formats: Ditch the lengthy and boring training sessions. Adopt approaches like interactive workshops and quizzes, gamified learning, and hands-on simulations
- Feedback loops: Track performance and collect feedback post-training. This helps refine future sessions to stay relevant and effective
Regular training not only supports your team’s career development but also boosts productivity and performance in their roles. In other words, your team’s growth is your growth too.
3. Engage employees in two-way feedback sessions
After getting feedback from employees’ training sessions, why stop there? Encourage employees to also voice their thoughts, suggestions, and concerns in other areas too. Think product development, customer interactions, internal processes, or even workplace culture improvements.
Use feedback form templates to capture, prioritize, and act on suggestions. This shows employees their input is valued, making them naturally inclined to contribute more.
But feedback isn’t a one-way street. Create an environment where employees can also receive feedback from their managers and peers.
The right people management software helps to streamline this process, even when working with a virtual team. It should support ongoing communication via comments, chats, Slack, and daily reports to address issues and concerns in real-time.
This improves teamwork and sets the foundation for a more engaged and productive workforce. It also creates a safe space for employee feedback—whether it’s work processes, team relationships, office space recommendations, or including more flexible work schedules.
4. Celebrate special dates together
Celebrate special dates like birthdays and work anniversaries with employees. Consider small gestures like gift cards, social media shout-outs, cake-cutting, or even a team lunch. This goes a long way to engage employees and make them feel valued and part of a bigger family.
In addition, take a break from regular routines to celebrate fun holidays and events. Think National Pizza Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Random Acts of Kindness Day, and International Volunteer Day. This creates shared memories and, most importantly, re-energizes your team to work hard, but appreciate the spontaneity of your company culture. ⚡️
Build a company calendar to keep everyone in the loop about these special milestones and events. Having this visual reminder builds anticipation, encourages team participation, and gives everyone something to look forward to.
Never underestimate the power of these small celebrations. They encourage employees, boost morale, and contribute to a vibrant work environment.
5. Plan outdoor team activity events
Who doesn’t love a good mix of fun and fresh air? Taking your team outside for some employee engagement activities can really shake things up … in a good way, of course. It helps everyone relax, connect, and recharge. Start by exploring employee engagement activities like:
- A field day
- Camping trip
- Picnic in the park
- Nature group hike
- City scavenger hunt
- Charity runs or walks
Teams that play together often work better together. These shared experiences build trust and pave the way for better communication and collaboration. So make it a point to invest in team-building activities—the effects on performance and employee satisfaction are well worth it.
6. Organize employee talent shows
Organizing talent shows at work can be a lot of fun and bring a ton of benefits. First off, it’s cool to see what hidden talents your coworkers have and celebrate their diversity and creativity. You get to discover that the quiet person from accounts can juggle or that your project manager plays the guitar! 🎸
It also breaks down the silos among different departments. So people who might not interact daily get a chance to collaborate and connect on a personal level.
Plus, cheering on your teammates for their unique talents and getting cheered for feels great. This team-building activity makes the office feel more like a community, which is key for improving daily communication and boosting employee engagement.
7. Host arts and crafts workshops
Arts and crafts workshops are another great way to take a break from work and bond with colleagues in a relaxed setting. Activities can include anything from painting to pottery and DIY projects.
When employees carry out their regular tasks, they lean heavily on the left side of the brain, which is all about logic and analytical thinking. However, art activities stimulate the right side, sparking creativity and imagination. This shift often leads to fresh, innovative ideas when employees return to work.
Handling art materials, using vibrant colors, and creating tangible products is therapeutic and calming. It helps relieve stress, improves mood, and sharpens focus and concentration. 🧑💻
To maximize these benefits, consider hosting sessions regularly, varying the types of arts and crafts, and inviting different instructors to share their expertise.
8. Share ideas in mini TED-style talks
Hosting mini TED-style talks is an excellent way to encourage knowledge sharing among team members. It gives them a chance to discuss their interests, whether it’s work-related or their personal passions.
Speaking in front of peers can be challenging, especially in the beginning. However, with practice and support, it can significantly boost an individual’s confidence and public-speaking skills. This comes in handy when employees have to host webinars, conferences, and client presentations.
Listening to diverse topics piques curiosity among team members, leading to continuous self-improvement. It also exposes them to different perspectives and approaches they hadn’t considered before.
Regularly holding these sessions is a great way to promote a culture of continuous learning and growth.
9. Grab lunch and learn something new
Lunch breaks don’t have to be just about refueling the body. Every once in a while, you can make it about refueling the mind too. 🧠
So why not try out lunch-and-learn sessions for your team? You could host these once a month, quarterly, or at any other regular interval. Bring in guest speakers to cover a variety of topics, from the latest tech updates to health tips or even soft skills development.
You could also introduce a book of the month related to personal development or industry trends. Then during lunch break, everyone can chat about their key takeaways from the book.
The beauty of lunch-and-learn sessions is that they make learning feel less like a chore and more like an engaging and enjoyable experience.
10. Keep fit with health and wellness activities
When your team is physically fit, they work even better. So why not introduce some fitness initiatives into the workplace?
Yoga classes, Zumba, or aerobics are great ways to start the day or to unwind after a long stretch of work. Bring in a fitness instructor once a week (or on specific days) to guide the team through a session. If you’re on a tight budget, consider signing up for fitness apps led by professionals.
Another fun idea is to organize weekly or monthly fitness challenges, where employees compete in friendly contests like step counts, plank times, or jump ropes. It adds an element of fun and camaraderie while promoting a healthy lifestyle. 🤸♂️
If space allows, set up a small gym or dedicated workout area in the office. Alternatively, you can partner with local gyms or fitness centers to offer discounted gym memberships for your employees.
Promoting health and wellness improves the mental health and overall well-being of employees. This leads to lower stress levels, improved concentration, and reduced absenteeism due to health issues.
How to Measure Employee Engagement
After rolling out your employee engagement strategy, the next step is to measure its effectiveness. Not every activity will be a hit, and that’s OK. By keeping a close eye on employee feedback and participation rates, you can decide which activities to retain and which to revamp or replace.
Conducting these assessments while juggling other HR tasks can feel very overwhelming. Thankfully, ClickUp is designed to help HR teams manage it all smoothly. Use it to streamline your workflows from hiring and onboarding to managing employee engagement and tracking performance—no need to start from scratch, just choose and customize any of ClickUp’s 120+ HR templates.
With ClickUp Goals, measuring the effectiveness of your employee engagement strategy and tracking overall HR goals is a breeze. Set targets and track progress in real-time. Plus, you can schedule employee engagement surveys to find out how connected employees feel toward their work and the company’s mission.
Collect and organize these responses inside ClickUp’s Table view and visualize insights with pie, bar, and line graphs in ClickUp Dashboards. The dashboard is also perfect for monitoring employee productivity and performance trends over time. This way, it’s easy to identify areas that are working well and others that need attention.
And if you feel stuck at any point, ClickUp AI could be of help. Use this AI tool for HR tasks like suggesting survey questions, summarizing qualitative survey answers, and brainstorming ideas for your next steps.
Engage, Energize, and Excel with ClickUp
While having a great team is awesome, making sure they maximize their performance and work well together is the real game-changer. Give the above engagement activities a go, and see how they help. The key is to start small and stay consistent.
And hey, don’t forget to check how well your chosen employee engagement activities are working. Using an employee monitoring tool like ClickUp helps you manage employees while tracking, analyzing, and refining your engagement strategies.
Sign up for ClickUp today, and unlock a happier, more engaged workforce. ✨