21. Celebrate Your Staff: Birthdays, Accomplishments, etc.
Most managers know they should put effort into recognizing their employees for the work they do, but that’s not to say that staff members shouldn’t be recognized simply for being a part of the team.
When employees feel like they’re getting the proper amount of attention, they typically have more of a pull to be as engaged as possible in their work.
Celebrating your staff is essential.
Pick and choose specific occasions to celebrate, with time-out from the day … these can include birthday parties, work anniversaries, the birth of a child, or major professional achievements.
Or … better yet … nearly every day of the year has designated as some type of holiday … they might be informal, weird, stupid, meaningful …etc.
Even more important, is to pay attention to random accomplishments, be they personal or professional.
22. Experiment With Employee Engagement Activities
Do a Goolge search for “employee engagement activities,” and the amount of results that pop up will most likely overwhelm you. This is because employee engagement activities really do hold a great deal of importance in today’s world, and most managers are doing everything possible to keep their staff engaged.
The best way to find employee engagement activities that work for your team is to experiment with a number of different ideas and see what sticks. Ask your staff what they like to do for fun … then experiment with those activities.
Keep your staff’s preferences in mind when choosing activities to try, and you’ll no doubt find options that will benefit your organization.
23. Put Petty Cash to Good Use
Most businesses have a petty cash fund sitting around. It can come in handy for parking and other small expenditures, but there are better ways to utilize your petty cash supply.
What many people don’t realize is that petty cash can actually come in handy in regards to improving employee engagement, and it all has to do with bettering the quality of your office; specifically, the front desk.
The next time you think of it, give your receptionist a chunk of petty cash in order to buy candy, toys, and other fun things to make the front desk just a little more inviting. A fishtank that your employees have to take turns feeding? An ant farm? Sea Monkeys? A chia pet?
We did both:
(Axero’s Sea Monkeys)
(Axero’s Chia Pet)
You’ll be surprised to see how much of a difference a more festive and playful reception area can have on your team’s morale, all at an exceptionally low cost.
After all, you’ve got to use that petty cash somehow!
24. Take Your Team Out for Ice Cream
On a hot, sunny day, just about everyone can attest to wanting to be outside … instead of within the confines of an office.
While there’s no getting around the fact that the work week must go on, it never hurts to go out of your way to give your staff a break from the pressure. If the heat is too much, cool them off. There’s no better solution than to take your team out for ice cream.
Who doesn’t love ice cream?
Going out for ice cream is not only an excellent way to beat the heat, but it’ll give you and your team a chance to catch up and chat about things that might not come up just hanging around the office. It’s a low-cost method of allowing your team to step away from the action and take a breather, and you can make it a regular thing during the summer if the idea resonates with your staff. It’s just one more aspect of the day that your employees can look forward to, which can have a number of positive effects on engagement levels.
25. Encourage Your Staff to Work on “Pet Projects”2
One of the best ways to make an employee feel as if they’re truly important to the company they work for is to task them with taking the reigns and putting control directly in their hands.
Chances are, each and every member of your team has a unique idea or two to contribute to the overall goal of your organization, and the more you encourage them to work on a project under their own terms, the more likely it is their ideas might come to fruition.
Each week, strive to encourage your employees to spend approximately 10% of their time nurturing a “pet project” that they feel might be beneficial to your company, regardless of what it may be. In this way, your team will feel engaged in their work, stress levels will be lessened and you may end up stumbling upon an idea or solution that could push your business in an entirely new direction.
26. Let Employees Work in Other Departments on Occasion
If there’s one thing that can make employee engagement levels soar, it’s helping your staff to learn the ins-and-outs of the business entirely.
What this means, is that members of your organization need to have the chance to see what it’s like to work in a department other than their own.
After all, you can only expect to get a small part of the picture if you’re constantly stuck in your own world, and the same can be said for any other member of your company.
By allowing your staff to move around from one department to another on occasion, you’ll not only help employees to get to know each other better, but everyone will begin to see the ways in which the business truly runs. This typically leads to a more engaged workforce, and each employee will bring with them the information they take away from working in other departments to apply it to their own position. It’s truly a win-win situation, and more than worth experimenting with.
27. Hold Regular Brainstorming Sessions
Ideas are very much like water.
When things are flowing, the benefits are as clear as day, and everyone is in a good mood.
A lack of ideas is like a drought, starving your business of potentially and stifling progress.
The more you can do to foster the creation and sharing of great ideas within your organization, the better off your business will fare in the long run and the more engaged your employees will be.
The best way to keep ideas flowing is to hold regular brainstorming sessions with your staff. Promote candor and open talking. No criticism. No discussion is wrong.
Allow them to articulate ways in which they feel your organization could benefit and see progress, and don’t be close-minded about anything they may say.
Sometimes, all it takes is a seed of an idea in order to spark something magical, and you’ll be missing out on an ocean of potential if you ignore what your staff has to say.
28. Schedule Quarterly “Side-by-Sides”
It’s amazing just how fast time can go by when you and your staff are focused on the tasks at hand. Remaining mindful of time that has passed is essential to getting the most out of that which you have, and it’s important to check-in with your staff more than not.
Checking-in will not only allow you to monitor the progress of your employees, but it will also cut down on how much work it will take to fix any potential issues that might come to light.
Every few months, plan on having one of your managers do a “side-by-side” with an employee, during which they’ll follow the person through their day in order to get a better sense of their work tactics. This is also an excellent opportunity for your staff and managerial team to bond with each other, it’s a learning session for all of those involved … which can help to boost engagement levels. Plus, they’ll have a chance to ask any questions that may have recently been on their minds.
29. Let Employees Set Their Number of Yearly Sick Days
Contention in the workplace can be difficult to avoid at times, especially when it comes to holidays and sick days. Often, employees will get the sense that they aren’t receiving the amount of paid time off that they feel they deserve, and these feelings can sometimes build to result in problems related to employee engagement.
While there’s no easy way to avoid this problem, one method you could experiment with is allowing your staff to choose the amount of yearly sick days they have off.
It stands to reason why some managers might get be uncomfortable with this concept, but there are a number of benefits that come along with taking the risk.
For one, who the hell wants to be working side-by-side with someone who is blowing snot and hacking up lung chunks? Not me. If you’re sick, stay at home and get better … and if you really want to work … work from home.
When your staff is involved in the process of scheduling sick days, they won’t be able to complain about or feel slighted with the end results, hence eliminating a rather common issue that has plagued businesses of all kinds for many years.
30. Operate on a First-Name Basis
Getting to know each and every member of your staff on a personal level can be quite a challenge if you’re managing a lot of people.
I’m really bad at remembering people’s names. I can tell you what they were wearing, what they talked about, if they were confident or not … but when it comes to their name … its just tough.
This is especially true for CEOs and managers in organizations that employ a lot of people … in which case learning everyone’s name by heart can seem next to impossible. The importance of operating on a first-name basis, should never be overlooked, as doing so can come along with a number of benefits.
No one wants to be viewed as a cog in the wheel, and feelings such as this can have detrimental effects on levels of engagement. When you call an employee by his or her first name, they no longer feel as if they’re just a number.
It may take you quite a while to learn everyone’s name, but the important thing is that you try.
Even if you slip up from time to time, your staff will appreciate the fact that you’re putting in the effort to get to know them on a more personal level.