Looking for Appealing and Inexpensive Employee Engagement Options?

It’s well known that employee engagement is an essential part of maximizing productivity and profits. Engaged workers consistently provide better customer service, make fewer mistakes, have a lower turnover rate, and speak well of their employer outside of work. Employers know that offering competitive pay and benefits are essential to attracting and retaining quality employees, but often struggle to find ongoing additional easy, creative, and affordable ways to engage employees.

Here are 3 low-cost ways to increase employee engagement:

1. Rejoicing with Rewards

Employees enjoy rewards and recognition. Too often, gifts and bonuses are distributed with little fanfare. Instead of a group email stating who may have won this month’s Starbucks gift card, consider taking it up a notch. We have seen simple yet entertaining ways to recognize individual employees and involve multiple employees simultaneously. For example, at Yum! corporate headquarters, teams pull out kazoos, tambourines, and cowbells for a virtual marching band in honor of the people chosen for recognition.

Recognition can become a company-wide priority, and local leaders can decide what may work best for their particular location and culture. The props or awards themselves are things you could pick up at a dollar store: funny sunglasses, chattering teeth, bobbleheads, or silly hats. Depending on your team’s size, you can give or mail these items to everyone or send them to the different groups of employees each time you present a reward.

Recognition motivates the individual winners, energizes the celebrators and serves as a booster shot for engagement throughout the organization. No matter how you choose to add festivity to the process, people respond to being appreciated.

2. Boosting Engagement with Benefits

You can utilize your benefits programs to increase employee engagement and promote awareness of the benefits. Here a few simple ways to do this:

  • Create a website with FAQs about the different elements of their benefits. This way employees can easily access the information and get the most out of their benefits while finding answers to their questions.
  • Within the FAQs or another communications platform, encourage employees to share their experiences by sharing what benefits they have used and what they liked or didn’t like. Use this information to inform other employees about different elements of their benefits programs and to improve future experiences.
  • Include certain benefits in your rewards programs. For example, employees who participate in health and wellness programs can earn points and prizes.

3. Engaging Virtual Experiences

Whether you’re looking for a fun ice breaker to kick-off a meeting or some games for a virtual team-building activity, online games and experiences are plentiful, with endless options to choose from. Just Google online games for remote teams. Some of my favorites:

  • Virtual escape rooms
  • Mixology classes
  • Chocolate tastings
  • Trivia contests
  • Name that tune
  • Bingo

Working from home can make some of your team more productive, but it can also hinder collaboration and cause isolation. By planning an afternoon of virtual team-building activities, you can build cooperation and trust. Plus, virtual team events can be done in sweatpants!

Samantha Harwood