41. Have Occasional Photo or Video Contests
The days when you needed a thousand-dollar camera setup to produce even halfway decent photos are long gone.
With today’s technology, anyone with a smartphone and a good eye can capture something worthwhile. One way that you can help to further improve employee engagement within your organization is to hold an occasional photo or video contest, which can be a lot of fun even for those who have never experimented with a visual medium for creativity in the past.
You can structure your contests in a number of different ways. It could be a “just for fun” situation, or you could actually hold a contest in which the photos/videos your employees make end up on your blog, or even as a part of your branding going forward.
This is a fun way to get your staff to be more engaged in what’s happening around them, and it’s a very inexpensive tool for doing so.
42. Encourage Your Staff to Write-Up Their Own Employee Recognition Cards
A common misconception among managers is that employee’s only need to be recognized by higher-ups in order to feel engaged.
There’s no substitute for peer respect or peer recognition, which is why it’s important for you to urge your employees to give each other a pat on the back every once in a while. This makes teams work more fluidly together and can add a genuine air of respect to the office that might not exist otherwise.
Employee recognition cards are an easy solution for helping to spread congratulations around the office, whether they be physical or virtual in nature. Encourage your staff to pay attention to the achievements their colleagues make and prepare one of these cards to celebrate a job well-done.
Anyone can give anyone else a “recognition card” for a job well done.
In this situation, everyone wins, and there’s no reason for any bad attitudes to get in the way of moving in a forward direction.
43. Bring in a Band or Singer-Songwriter on Friday Afternoons
Music is one of the few universal things that can truly bring everyone together, and there’s no getting around the positive effects it can have in terms of helping people to destress. If you really want to turn Friday afternoon into a party, you should consider bringing in a singer songwriter.
I’m thinking a guy or gal that can rock the acoustic guitar … like this guy …
Having a band play while you and your team relax and celebrate the achievements of the week can be highly beneficial, and it’s not nearly as different to make happen as you might think.
The one thing to ensure that you’re paying attention to when picking a band to play during the afternoon is respecting the tastes of your employees. You don’t want to bring in a band or songwriter just because they appeal to you — this is about your team. Try to find groups that everyone can enjoy, and don’t hesitate to set up a proper stage if you’ve got the space and time to do so!
44. Sponsor a Charitable Event
Want to improve engagement levels and appeal to the general public at the same time?
Sponsoring a charitable event is one of the best routes you can take if this is what you’re aiming for.
Who doesn’t want to do some good in this world?? … and the more often you get involved in volunteer work or charity, the stronger your employees will be able to identify with what they do and who they work for.
Sponsoring a charity event can serve as an excellent move, especially if things are planned-out well in advance. For best results, it may be worth your while to work with an event planner to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. After all, you’ll want to ensure that your event is a huge hit with both your employees and the public. This is one area where it may be worth your while to spend a little bit of money, as the benefits can far outweigh the costs.
45. Give Your Employees a Chance to Help Design Your Corporate Identity Package
A business’s corporate identity package is its bread and butter. It’s what conveys a sense of who you are to both your staff and your clients/customers, and there’s no getting around how important it is to put the right amount of work into creating a mind-blowing suite that includes letterhead, web content and every other type of associated collateral.
Sometimes, the best design ideas come not from a high-dollar outside firm but from your very own employees, some of whom you may not even know are interested in the world of design.
It can’t really hurt to crowdsource ideas.
The next time you set out to reinvent your corporate identity package, hold a roundtable discussion and invite your whole staff to attend. What you end up with at the end of the day could be as simple as a list of concepts or ideas, but it could also be as robust and detailed as a collection of design comps. Your creative team should, of course, be the ones who are leading the discussion, but it’s important to open things up to your whole staff in terms of sourcing ideas for shapes, colors, fonts and everything in between.
46. Let Your Employees Make Inexpensive Executive Decisions
In attempting to figure out why an employee is showing signs of disengagement, it often comes down to them not feeling as if they ever get the chance to make important decisions. You can’t always give up control when it comes to making decisions that could change the path of your organization, but there are certain scenarios where doing so might actually be to your benefit.
If there is a necessary decision looming and you have a staff member who has been working closely with you on a given project, you may want to allow them to have the final say in what happens. The benefits this can have on engagement levels can be astronomical, and there’s a very good chance that the decision could lead your business in a forward direction.
Note that this route should only be taken if the decision won’t potentially end up being costly — anything under $500 should be considered safe.
47. Get Rid of Set Holidays and Add Them into Vacation Time
Everyone wants to have as much control over their work schedule as they can, and this is sometimes easier said than done when they have to deal with a calendar that includes set paid days off.
Holidays can be something to look forward to, but there are other ways to structure the year that may actually benefit both you and your employees more fully, and one of the most effective is to get rid of set holidays altogether.
When you get rid of set holidays, you can effectively add that time to your staff’s vacation time, allowing them to completely structure how they’d like to make the best usage of their time off.
Seeing how this can be somewhat of a radical shift, you’d have to work out the legal issues (I’m sure there are some), and you’ll want to ensure that everyone knows exactly how the new system for taking time off works, stressing that it’s actually to the benefit of everyone in the organization.
48. Schedule a Monthly Art Class
Visual art is the kind of thing that everyone can gain something from, even if they don’t consider themselves to be an artist. Most of the time, those who don’t identify as having talent in visual art simply need a little push in the right direction, and a little bit of coaching is never a bad idea. If you want to foster a more artistic, engaged staff, then you may want to schedule a monthly art class.
Each month, set aside a workday in which either the whole or part of the afternoon will be devoted to bringing in a private instructor that can teach your staff how to paint, draw, or embrace another visual medium for creativity. You can focus on a new medium each month, for example, which is a great, low-stress way to encourage creativity without losing any aspects of fun in the process. Just be sure you choose the right instructor, and don’t hesitate to shop around to find someone who can accommodate your budget.
49. Hold a “Birthday Breakfast” With the CEO
There’s nothing more important for an employee than knowing that the CEO actually cares.
In larger organizations, however, it’s common for people to lose sight of this, which often leads to dissention and a lack of engagement. Keeping CEOs and their employees connected whenever possible is essential to improving levels of engagement within your organization.
Each month, hold a “birthday breakfast” with the CEO and everyone who shares a birthday in that month. This is a great way for CEOs and their employees to get to know each other on a more personal basis, but it also gives people the opportunity to ask questions should there be something they’ve wanted to bring up for a while. The transparency that comes along with an informal breakfast or luncheon simply can’t be beat.