5 ways to increase employee engagement

December 17, 2021 - 5 min read

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1. Company all-hands

Having a company-wide meeting to start or end the week can be a great opportunity for everyone to get together and share useful feedback: what worked the past week, what didn’t go so well, and what goals are for the coming week, month or quarter. Holding an all-hands format meeting is great in the sense that people can become more familiar with what other team members and departments are working on. This heightens the sense of being part of the organization and working toward something bigger than just their daily tasks.

2. Cheers for peers

It can be great to publicly praise people for their accomplishments, great attitude, or helping out a colleague. Having an open, appreciative organizational culture in place, not only creates a great vibe in the workplace, but also drives the motivation to really go that extra mile at work.

A great and simple way to recognize people in your organization is to host a  “cheers for peers.” At the end of the week, ask people to anonymously give a shout-out to anyone in the office they feel deserves the spotlight that week. It’s a great way to end the week on a positive note and show appreciation for the small things which improved the working week.

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3. Organization-wide communication

Having an easy, quick way to chat with, ask a favor from, or collaborate with anyone in the company, regardless of where they are, is undeniably useful. Using a company-wide communication tool can be a great way for people to not only connect with those who they don’t have opportunity to speak to in person every day but also to encourage cross-departmental collaboration, and generally strengthen bonds between the team.

Tools like Slack are great in the sense that people can stay in touch whenever someone’s sick, working remote, or just across the office when a quick favor’s needed. Not only do tools like this make aspects of the working day so much easier and more practical, but they allow people to share jokes, build stronger bonds with their co-workers and ask a quick question without disrupting workflow too much.

4. Switch desks for one day

This is a throwback to a time before remote work, but still worth considering how you can accomplish this today. We're wired for novelty. It can be refreshing for people to have a change of scenery and interact with different people than their usual team.

Companies have found that having everyone in the office switch desks for one day a month can be a really welcome change that not only strengthens bonds between team members that may not spend time together otherwise, but also prevents people from becoming tired of the same daily practices.

It’s also a great way for people to become more aware of what their colleagues in other departments are working on, establishing a greater understanding of what is happening in the company as a whole and people’s roles in achieving success for the organization.

What does that look like in a hybrid world? Switch things up. One day a week assign random "coffee chats" so that people spend 30-minutes talking with someone they don't currently interact with. On an individual level, break out of your routine, walk a different path, keep a different schedule. Just for a day see what happens.

5. Create personalized work spaces

We spend a large amount of time at work each week. So it may as well be an environment which works for us. Encourage employees to personalize their virtual and physical work spaces. Let the space be somewhere where they feel at home. Even without a large budget to let people outfit their physical spaces, simply taking an afternoon where you encourage your team to get creative and decorate their work area will make a huge difference to how people feel when they sit down at their desk each morning.

It helps just to not over-index on "professionalism" or conformity in people's video setups and backgrounds. Having a unique, positive workspace with pictures of friends or family, plants or personal items will make a difference to people’s mood each day and keep them in the knowledge that they work for an organization which acknowledges them as people, not just workers.

Now you can get started

The five practices above are simple but effective ways to ensure your team is engaged, happy, and fully committed to making your organization not only a great place to work but a highly successful one.

 

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Published December 17, 2021

Maggie Wooll

Managing Editor

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