Saying ‘thank you’ will never go out of style. But when technological innovations seem to make us feel more isolated instead of more connected, how can we turn these simple ‘thank you's’ into ongoing, interactive moments that foster community building?
Already, companies are making it a priority to answer this question, and as they do, discovering that employee engagement can be a transformative force. We’ve identified five awesome employee engagement ideas that show how organizations are using empathy and appreciation to drive workplace culture and empower one another.
1. TGI….any day of the week!
Yes, we all look forward to Fridays with its gateway to the weekend. But, establishing an engaging mid-week routine can give employees something additional to look forward to that involves participation. Austin product design consultancy argodesign uses Thursdays to host a company-wide event called Snäk. During this time, employees indulge in a tasty treat and socialize, but each person also has the opportunity to theme the Snäk to their liking or have it coincide with a presentation, project, or experience they’d like to share with the company. By using this weekly meeting to simultaneously reward and encourage employee engagement, argodesign facilitates relationship-building and fosters feelings of support.
2. Grow you.
A company that truly believes in each employee’s potential will support their professional growth and encourage exploration. KLEOS Microfinance Group, a non-profit organization combating poverty through development programs, makes educational resources available through an eLearning program. As long as employees are motivated, they can further their own professional growth. And because KLEOS is interested in long-term success for employees, they encourage their employees to learn important business and entrepreneurial skills. When companies provide the tools for their employees to learn and grow, it reveals an effective employee engagement strategy where there's a strong sense of support.
3. To be healthy is to be happy.
Some employees have difficulty fitting proper diet and exercise into their week. And when work is prioritized over physical and mental health it can be a recipe for disaster. Reebok has made it a priority to ensure their employees have plenty of on-site opportunities to achieve their optimal health and therefore their optimal happiness. The company makes it easy for their employees to lead a healthy and active lifestyle by hosting activities consisting of yoga, dancing, hiking, and even a CrossFit Box open throughout every week. Investing in the well-being of your employees, especially when they may not have the ability to do so for themselves, displays real compassion.
4. Preciate each other.
It doesn’t take a grand gesture or reward to let someone know they’ve done a job well done. In fact, sometimes it’s the simplest interactions that can be the most meaningful. That’s why we believe in a new way to build stronger relationships with those around you. The Preciate app allows our users to recognize one another using contextual badges as awards. As users accumulate badges over time, they gain a portable record of good. In the fast-paced business world, people often forget to stop and express gratitude towards one another. While these lost moments may seem insignificant, when recognized, they can actually evoke individual confidence, assurance, and happiness. It’s tools like Preciate that remind us how kindness, communication, and appreciation strengthen human connections. And as everybody knows, kindness is contagious.
5. Happiness wins.
An internal team with a mission to heighten happiness in the workplace might be the most surefire way to make every employee feel as if “employee appreciation day” is every day. Video conferencing solution company Zoom has made such an open, significant effort to develop a happy work environment that a self-started and self-managed team emerged within the company. They refer to themselves as the “Happiness Crew”. The Happiness Crew’s sole mission is to spread joy, and they do so through activities like Zoom Roulette (a virtual water cooler), volunteer days, and office get-togethers. Through their collaboration and creativity with employee engagement activities, they have seamlessly integrated appreciation into workplace culture. The result? Zoom was just announced as one of 2018’s Best Places to Work as rated by employees.