Surprising Employee Engagement Ideas

surprising employee engagement tactics

Hi Guys!

Employee Engagement. Hot topic, per usual. I found a couple articles talking about interesting ways to encourage employee engagement, overall employee happiness while reducing burnout. Without further ado…

  1. Pay people to take a vacation – no seriously. People need breaks, and with the number of Americans who don’t take their full vacation time each year, this is a really good way to ensure your employees don’t burnout. By offering funding to take a vacation, or giving them a bonus, they’ll be much more likely to take one. And come back to the office bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!
  2. No desks! – shut down your office, f’reals. You probably read about the Amsterdam office that turns into an event space at night, but this is a nice way to encourage people to go home. One of the easiest ways to get your office to shut down is for the higher-ups to go home. That’s it. Just send the bosses home. Deal with it tomorrow. It will still be there. Unless you’re performing open heart surgery. Then please stay and wrap that up.
  3. Enforce a “rest” period – one reason why people don’t like to take vacations is they’re nervous they’ll miss something. Well, if the whole company shuts down, there’s nothing to miss! TED and Quirky both take weeks off throughout the year where they shut everything down, forcing people to go away and take a load off.
  4. Email 40/wk – it’s hard to get away from emails if you need to be “on” all the time, but for those of us who can step away, consider setting personal “no email” times. I for one will not email after I’ve left the office unless it’s absolutely urgent. Also, if I’m sending an email on the later side I’ll clarify if it requires a response or can wait til the next day. That way, I’m making sure people know they don’t need to be glued to their devices.
  5. Create a culture committee – select people to meet with your employees and get a feel for what they’re looking for as events. Also, they can help plan birthday parties, holiday parties and basically make work awesome. And they can find cool events in the area to attend that are related to your business to learn more about your industry.
  6. Purpose Day – encourage your employees to give back by giving them paid days to go help out. After they do, try having them write about their experience and share with the whole company so people can hear about it! Bonus points? Create a volunteer-board or partner with a specific volunteer organization to make volunteering easy.
  7. Pay people to quit – Zappos and Amazon both will pay people to quit. I love this idea as it makes sure that the people that you employ actually want to be there. By paying people to quit you’re not only giving them a cushion to decide what’s next, but protecting your bottom line. People who don’t want to be at work are generally less productive than those who do!
  8. Let people WFH – just sometimes, let people WFH. Surprisingly, they may get more work done working from home and can take a little mental break from the daily grind.
  9. Useful perks – talk to your employees and find out what they are looking for. Consider things for their health, i.e. gym memberships, yoga classes, a meditation room, onsite flu-shots. Or think about things that will make their life easier, i.e. dry-cleaning service, home-cleaning service, partnerships with a food delivery service or restaurants in the area. Maybe even onsite childcare.
  10. Reviews & 1x1s – we know it’s important to have annual reviews, but those weekly/bi-weekly reviews help, too. It gives everyone a chance to make sure they’re fulfilling their goals, being utilized properly and are generally pleased with life at your company.


Credits: Washington Post, Inc, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Desk designed by Nathan Thomson from the Noun Project, @iconmonstr

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