There are many lists of basic employee engagement ideas, but sometimes you need something really different to give employee engagement a boost. Below are a few creative ideas to improve employee engagement.
Free Lunches – Most employees are intimately familiar with the lunch grind. Making sandwiches the night before or facing the fast food lunch rush is always a hassle. An agitated employee is not an engaged employee. Returning to the office after grinding your teeth in the drive-thru line isn’t good. Providing lunch at the office may seem expensive, but it’s difficult to put a price on a happy (and well-fed) employee. Show your employees that you understand the hassle and appreciate their work with an occasional free lunch. Employees chalk up lunch expenses as a “cost of employment,” so an unexpected cost savings is a nice surprise.
Google serves two meals a day to employees, free of charge. According to reports, Google spends more than $72 million on employee meals a year. Food can actually be used as a form of additional compensation, although employees would not normally expect that kind of financial incentive.
Pets at Work – Animals have long been our steady, unconditional companions. Google and Build-a-Bear Workshops and others are allowing pets to accompany employees to the office. Research has shown that employees who bring their pets to work experience less stress, thus increasing employee engagement.
There are, of course, many obstacles and concerns that need to be addressed related to bringing pets to work. This may not be a legitimate option for all companies.
Eliminate the Cube – Cubicles were initially seen as independent work spaces, a little place to call home in a big office. We have realized over time that the walls we build around ourselves are metaphorical as well as physical. Cubes breed isolation, instead of collaboration. Cubicles were so rampant and so despised that the term ‘cube farm’ was created. Many businesses are shifting away from standard cubicles to a more open work environment.
Consider investing in low-walled ‘cubes’ that allow more interaction if you currently have a cube farm. Or, rearrange your current cubicles to eliminate confinement and encourage interaction. The power of face to face interaction between employees is huge.
Company Dorms – In Japan, many companies are offering dormitories to employees. This may be too expensive for many companies, but it demonstrates the power of community. Also, sponsoring events that bring employees together outside the office creates personal bonding that pays big dividends in employee engagement inside the office.
There’s no limit to the number of employee engagement ideas you can come up with for your company and employees. Important: it’s crucial to evaluate employee engagement levels for the purpose of setting a baseline before you start implementing all of your great ideas. This research will also pinpoint other areas that may need your attention. Get a free quote 24 hours a day for your employee engagement research by clicking here.