Employee engagement activities to try out

As a manager, I’ve tried so many ways to keep my team engaged. It takes consistent effort, which can be hard to muster when work gets busy. At the end of the day, though, making the effort is worth it to create a positive work environment for everyone. Try out some of these employee engagement activities to improve your team’s culture and boost productivity.

Building trust and respect

Getting workers to trust and respect one another isn’t easy. And that’s because you can’t control how your employees speak or act towards one another. What you can do, however, is set an example by treating everyone well.

How you speak is one of the most important ways you can do this. Raising your voice when you’re frustrated, for example, is an easy way to push your workers away. By maintaining a professional and calm tone, you make it easier for your employees to approach you with concerns, ideas, and more.

Here are some activities you can do with your team to build trust and respect:

  • Trust falls or blindfolded partner exercises
  • Team puzzles or adventure activities
  • Play “Know Your Neighbor” as a group

It’s also important to know that transparency is the gateway to trust. In my experience, workers buy into company policies and procedures more when they understand the “why” behind them.

Giving your team a behind-the-scenes look at the work you’re doing can help them to trust you more. And that’s because employees often don’t know what their bosses are doing.

Showing your employees what you do and teaching them why helps instill trust while also demonstrating that you’re working just as hard as they are. Having transparency at all levels within the company is the only way to ensure everyone understands the importance of each role.

Free template!

Download this free safety perception survey template to better understand how your team feels about safety at work.

Strengthening personal relationships

No one wants to come to work when they don’t have coworkers or managers they like to be around. You can’t control who does and doesn’t like each other on the team. But you can encourage your employees to engage with one another in positive ways.

Take these employee engagement activities as an example:

  • Play “Two Truths and a Lie”
  • Host team potlucks or catered meals
  • Organize holiday or birthday parties
  • Offer happy hours after work
  • Ask employees about the things they do outside of work

You don’t always need to spend money or carve time out of the day to do this either. Say, for example, an employee named Matt compliments someone else on the team.

You can easily pass this information on by saying: “Hey, Matt told me that you really helped him out over there, thanks so much!” With one comment, you’ve not only communicated your appreciation but also Matt’s as well. These small gestures are crucial for building personal relationships and engaging workers in the team’s performance.

Recognizing contributions

Few things boost employee engagement than expressing gratitude. Workers who feel appreciated by their bosses are more likely to be content with their work and less likely to leave the company. We all just want to feel valued, and as a leader, you have the privilege of making that possible for all your employees!

Here are some ideas for recognition programs you can implement at your site:

  • Employee of the month or week
  • Peer shoutouts
  • Appreciation posts in newsletter or bulletin boards
  • Ring a bell when someone meets a goal
  • Celebrations for work anniversaries

Improving performance

One of the most overlooked employee engagement activities is investing in performance improvement. In the past, I’ve made the mistake of giving too much time and attention to top performers. After all, we want to nurture the people who are excelling in their roles.

But helping individuals on your team is essential for keeping them engaged and reducing the costs of employee turnover. When you take the time to help someone improve their performance, you’re communicating the fact that you value them.

This also goes a long way towards building confidence, which leads to better operational performance. Plus, confident workers are more likely to identify and report safety hazards. By investing in each person’s abilities, you help them believe in their own competence.

Here are a few ways to improve performance and build confidence:

  • Host lunch and learn sessions
  • Cross-train workers into multiple disciplines
  • Conduct regular one-on-ones
  • Offer after-hours skills workshops
  • Provide on-demand performance reviews

I’d highly encourage you to try out these employee engagement activities at your company. Boosting engagement will have a major impact on productivity, retention, and overall job satisfaction.