- What is employee engagement?
- Why do you need an employee engagement program at your workplace?
- 20 Employee Engagement Activities for 2020
- Employee engagement activities at Google, TCS
What is employee engagement?
In its simplest sense, employee engagement activities meaning is a function of the relationship that exists between a company and its employees. An employee who is properly engaged has been integrated into the organization and is enthusiastic about his or her work. This way the employee is able to take positive action and work to ensure that the organization’s interests and objectives are assured.
In an article for Forbes Magazine, author Kevin Kruse explained employee engagement as the emotional commitment that an employee has to an organization and its objectives. Essentially, employee engagement is the level of passion and enthusiasm that a worker has about his or her job. Engaged employees see the job as much more than an opportunity to earn a sizable income and feed their families; they feel an eagerness towards their jobs that makes them interested in it.
As the passion grows, the individual outcome of their involvement in company activities becomes even more positive as well.
An engaged employee is concerned about the outcome of the company and its performances, and they’re interested in providing efforts that lead to sustainable success. The work effort of every employee is bound by physical, emotional, and mental inputs; engagement leads to satisfaction and commitment, both of which will help to galvanize these work aspects to lead to considerable success
In addition to that, an engaged employee is more enthusiastic about going the extra mile for the company; sometimes, even without being asked or coerced into doing so. They take up roles and establish lines of responsibility although there’s still a need to feel valued and appreciated by the company as well.
A good manager or boss is able to find employees who sow encouraging levels of commitment, and they do all they can to make them involved. The company is responsible for bolstering employee engagement, thus ensuring that employees’ morale never goes down.
Why do you need an employee engagement program at your workplace?
The entire point of employee engagement activities is to ensure that companies are able to attract and retain the talent they need to help them achieve their goals.
Currently, we live in a work climate where over 25 percent of employees are at a high risk of turnover. In addition, a third of those employees that stand the risk of falling victim to massive turnover don’t particularly deserve it- they’re motivated and highly talented workers who will be able to fill in their positions and perform well above expectations.
Simply put, they know that they can get better work conditions at other firms, and they’re more than happy to give their chances a go. So, the problem of turnover isn’t particularly because these people aren’t qualified- as a matter of fact, they’re so qualified that they see their current employment as being “beneath them.”
According to research conducted by popular human resource and job searching platform Glassdoor back in 2016, up to 53 percent of employees are confident that they will be able to find a comparable position to their current jobs within half a year if they quit immediately. The rise in their confidence isn’t a bad thing, of course; it just means that employees are more than secure in their capabilities.
However, it does pose a challenge for the company; managers know that if their employees aren’t given a compelling enough reason to continue working with them, it really only is a matter of time before they jump ship and look for greener pastures.
As a company executive or a supervisor, you might believe that this doesn’t really affect you because your company will be standing regardless of who works there. However, one of your responsibilities is to ensure that you get the best people to help your company achieve its objectives. If you fail at that because your employees don’t feel engaged enough, it’s only a matter of time before you have to settle for workers who are less than ideal, and your company will begin to suffer for it eventually.
The competition for top talent is currently fierce; regardless of the industry you operate in, you know this is true. You also know that having to train new hires to meet up to the standards you want (or are used to) is both time- and cost-intensive. To help mitigate all of this, you could simply get employees that are the best in their class and ensure that they stay engaged.
20 Employee engagement activities for 2020
Create an exciting on-boarding experience
When an employee comes into your office, their perceptions begin to form from the first day. so, employee engagement should be done from then on. To help make their on-boarding better, try the following:
- Help them to feel welcome
- Be clear with communications
- Provide them with enough resources
- Handle introductions and ensure that existing company members are welcome
- Plan a few fun activities for the new hires
Improve the work environment
Employees get tired of the normal 9-5 routine that gets played out every day. So, throw in some activities to help them snap out of that boredom. You can move meetings to a different location, and help to optimize the work environment. Subtle new changes go a long way.
Celebrate the workers
It’s one thing to celebrate the work that people do, and it’s another thing to celebrate them. Make sure that you take time to appreciate them for more than the work they do. Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and other holidays can be a great opportunity to show them that you value them for who they are; not just what they do for you.
Assess their strengths
You can also help employees to learn about themselves with strengths assessments. Through these, they understand what they’re good at, and can improve on the areas where they lag a little bit. Engaging and optimizing them becomes easy this way.
As a boss or supervisor, you should refrain from bossing your employees around. They need counsel, nurturing, and coaching to be at their best.
Research from Quantum Workplace shows that manager coaching can improve employee engagement significantly, as companies with employees that get frequent coaching can bolster their business results by as much as 21 percent.
Improve their job understanding
You should ensure that every employee is clear on their job descriptions. Make them write down what they believe their responsibilities are, and ensure that they’re a match with your expectations. Tis way, they have clear pictures of their roles, and can create their path to achieving their objectives.
Seek their input
Every employee has unique and special strengths. When you ask them for feedback and their input, you’re allowing them to put these strengths on display and sharpen them. From finding areas to optimize costs to helping with drafting proposals, keep your employees involved in some management tasks.
Also, make sure to follow up on them. This way, they see their counsel in action and know that their voices are being heard. In the world of employee engagement activities that work, this is a very important one.
Employees work best when they feel they’re most authentic. Discover what drives each person, and use that motivation to bring out the best in your them. Assuming that everyone is identical is a fundamental failure of engagement.
Manage the load
Provide a work schedule that keeps employees free to spend time with their loved ones. Overworking leads to tiredness, and you need to let these workers know that you respect their private time too.
Make time for fun
Employee engagement activities don’t have to be work as well.
Not every day should be a workday! Set out time to socialize and bond; this is one of the most important ways to increase employee engagement, as it builds relationships, improves communication, and enhances job satisfaction.
Off-sites, company holiday parties, and much more should be a part of your yearly calendar.
Teach new hires about the company culture
Assign new hires someone who will take them through the company culture. This improves their on-boarding process and ensures that they feel more like a part of the team much faster.
When leaders or employees make mistakes, capitalize on these periods to make them stronger. Encourage them to be vulnerable, and encourage co-workers to rally around them and build them. Ignoring failures or passing the blame will be a problem that affected members might not recover from.
Work hours and locations don’t necessarily be rigid. Thanks to advancements in technology, remote work is now easy. So, if you know the people you hired are god enough, trust them to get the job done even if they’re not physically present.
Going away parties
If an employee is leaving the company, celebrate them for what they’ve done. Co-workers will be able to say goodbye, and the relationship between everyone remains intact this way. It also shows the remaining workers that they’re valued.
If your company has a cause that it’s passionate about, then you can encourage your workers to volunteer. Employee engagement fun activities in the office can be branched out as well, moving from just the normal fun things you do to humanitarian activities and much more.
This way, they know that they’re making a difference, and their morale is boosted.
Provide a platform for employees to voice any concerns or worries that they have without feeling scared of repercussions or backlash. Build trust, and respect the views of everyone.
Get recognition suggestions
One of the most critical aspects of employee engagement is recognition. However, since people are different, you need to ensure that you find out how each person prefers to be recognized.
Celebrate the champions
When an employee does exceptional work, ensure that they are properly celebrated. Apart from making them feel that the effort was worth it, this also encourages others to double up on the work.
You should also create areas where employees can interact with each other. A tiny basketball court, a lunchroom. Or just a set of couches should do the trick nicely.
Support should never be lacking. Apart from just the financial remunerations, these people also want to know that you’ve got their back. Provide pension plans, healthcare, and other benefits to make them feel secure in their jobs
Employee engagement activities at Google, TCS, and other top companies
Undoubtedly, Google is one of the best places to work for. The company has regularly featured on the list of best companies to work for by Fortune Magazine, and it has a Glassdoor rating of 4.4 stars.
Employee engagement activities at Google have been models for several organizations across the world, and they’ve formed archetypes of what employee engagement activities in Indian companies should be as well. Apart from the attractive salaries and other benefits that Google offers, the company has invested in several initiatives to help ensure that workers feel valued and engaged.
Google has been known to invest in programs to inspire people, and its flexibility is second to none. Offices have massive perks, including on-site haircuts, pools, gaming rooms, playgrounds, and much more. All of these ensure that workers almost never have any stress when working.
TCS, one of the largest software exporters in India, has also had some impressive success with employee engagement activities. The company was awarded the ‘Employee Engagement Project of the Year’ and ‘Social Responsibility Project of the Year’ at the North American Employee Engagement Awards back in 2016.
Employee engagement activities in TCS have been rampant, but its biggest selling point has been through employee volunteering, especially through the goIT program; a computer science education advocacy program that teaches coding, design, and robotics to students in middle and high school.