The top 5 employee engagement activities are:
- Company or team events
- Dinners or drinks
- Performance related pay
- Employee surveys
- Charitable activities
By far the most popular form of employee engagement is the use of social events to develop a sense of team and culture. Survey respondents cited a range of events such as dinners, drinks, social outings and trips either for the whole company or for individual teams. As you might expect, this often includes getting involved in charitable events and fundraising activities.
Then there were the career related ideas. Some companies are endeavouring to give plenty of opportunities for personal development and training, while others are making sure employees are always rewarded for good work. There are also those who like to make sure they are offering flexi-or part-time work for those likely to find it helpful. (It is interesting to hear that this is considered an employee engagement tool. Perhaps not an obvious one, but you can imagine that it is a very successful way to draw the undying support from struggling parents juggling child care.) Others are finding ways to offer social recognition within the workplace for good achievements. This is something that can be done easily with the Breathe “Kudos” feature.
Some employers choose to run employee competitions such as league tables, so that there is a constant culture of striving to be the top performer. This is well established practice in a sales team and no doubt can be used elsewhere when you have a group of employees doing similar jobs with measurable outcomes.
There were several employers who are focussing on engaging their employees by being good listeners. Some do this through employee surveys and others through suggestion schemes. In a similar vein there are those who take listening to a more personal level and concentrate on maintaining excellent communications with each individual member of staff. These companies take seriously the need to look after their staff properly, creating, as one employer put it, “a paternalistic culture”. One organisation spoke of creating self-managing teams where the manager’s role is seen as coach rather than boss.
Some employers go for more personal rewards. We heard about birthday treats like cupcakes, dress down Fridays and even duvet days! Also one employer gives an additional day of holiday to those who get through a year without any other absence.
There were those who choose to motivate their employees through financial offerings such as performance-related pay, profit sharing and providing excellent benefits packages for their staff. Though quite common, this is only one of many choices in engaging staff and is often cited as having only a short term benefit in terms of morale.
Then 4% of our survey responses admitted they do nothing at all to engage their employees. Given the wide range of ideas that we have heard from companies you have to wonder what might happen if they made a little effort!