Today, companies both big and small are investing big money into deciphering the subtleties of ideal employee engagement. The reason is that results speak for themselves: a strong brand awareness, better performance and consequently improved sales. As a business owner and/or as a HR manager you need to make sure that there’s a thriving internal working environment. These days the internal environment is as important as the external one. By investing your time and energy into building positive psychology and mindset, you invest in your future profits as a company. Employee engagement has never been as relevant as it is today. We won’t lie to you, it is quite a challenging task. However, you can learn from ideas that have already resulted in better company performance, so check out these 3 examples of employee engagement ideas that truly work. 
In this article you will learn about mistakes you should avoid, some secrets to increase engagement and innovative ideas that were proven effective.

1. An Example Of What You Shouldn’t Do

According to the recent studies, many companies are investing tons of money into activities and rewards that are not proven effective. A psychologist and leadership consultant Dr. Jason Jones, the author of 28 Days to a Motivated Team, believes that the worst mistake a company can make is providing employees with rewards and freebies on a regular basis lacking the real connection between a reward and employee’s achievements. For this reason, to reach the desired engagement and motivation, it would be a great idea to combine extrinsic rewards with intrinsic motivation. This is how you will encourage self-motivation and responsibility.
Another thing a company may waste money on trying to keep its team engaged is creating tons of entertaining activities that are supposed to make employees happier. Not only such events are pricey, but also not everybody wants them. There are many employees who don’t want to “go on a picnic”.
Lynn White, psychologist and writer at LegitWritingServices thinks that the money spent on useless activities should be better invested in leadership development. If you want to boost engagement and performance, a Sunday picnic won’t do the job. On the other hand, providing your formal and informal leaders with essential skills related to relationship building and coaching are the key to improve productivity and involvement.

2. A Secret Weapon to Employee Engagement

85 % of American workers surveyed are not as engaged at work as is needed according to a Gallup poll.
So is there any secret to strengthen employee emotional commitment? The secret to successful engagement lies in understanding your employees’ goals, intentions and motives. For this reason, to outline your future actions, first and foremost, define the purpose of your employee. 
According to a recent study by Inc. Magazine, if a worker has a sense of purpose, they are more motivated, goal-oriented and productive. 
To arrive at a purpose that will both satisfy an employee and coincide with the company’s objectives, one should dedicate some time to ask workers a specific set of questions. Here are some of them: “How do you define success?”, “What is the most rewarding project you’ve completed at work?”, “Why was it rewarding?”, “How would others describe your contributions at work?”
By getting the answers to these questions you will understand your employees better, thus, it will be easier to create successful onboarding and training that will bond your team together.
What is more, by getting to know your employees, you will not commit another mistake that is setting the values wrong. By this we mean, it is not enough to hang the list of values on the wall, they should be constantly ingrained in your organization.  
Adam Robinson, a Co-founder and CEO at Hireology, says that one of the essential values of their company is “Create wow moments”. Taking into consideration this example, one should understand that there is a difference between just reciting a beautifully said phrase, and truly living by it. For this reason, only by knowing what drives your workers in the first place you will find the right words to show them the importance of this value and as a result encourage them to go above and beyond when working with clients.

3. Getting Creative and Innovative

Employee engagement is not something that can be learned from A to Z. For this reason, one should always spend time thinking outside the box and looking for fresh ideas to implement.
Why don’t you try a lunch-and-learn program? It works like this: there is a free lunch on Friday where workers can talk one-on-one with the CEO of the company. Another great idea that works effectively is a “job swap” program. This practice not only helps workers to understand the significance of every team in the organization, but it can also serve as a cross-training for employees.
But for innovative and creative engagement ideas, it is crucial to cultivate creativity generally. In fact, creativity and engagement is interlinked. One the one hand, the majority of engaged employees believe that their job brings out their most creative ideas. On the other hand, your employees become more creative and innovative working in a genuinely engaging environment.
In case you need to engage new employees, don’t hesitate to get creative as well. You can try out a scavenger hunt to expose a newcomer to all the areas of the company and make sure they meet all the other employees. What is more, you can even try to gamify your onboarding.

Bonus: How to Motivate Employees During the Coronavirus Crisis?

We have outlined some of the innovative ideas and secrets that work for employee engagement. However, we cannot avoid the harsh reality we are all facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the challenges that no team, or company was ready to deal with.
According to Emplify, an employee engagement measurement software firm, “57,7 % of workers say that they feel anxious, fearful and stressed”. For this reason, you cannot leave this unnoticed and act fast to keep your team together.
Make sure you communicate with your employees on a regular basis, and don’t keep it ‘just business’ all the time. Encourage open communication and focus on positive feedback these days.
What is more, 62% of managers are “slightly” or “moderately” certain about the feelings of their employees and the way they are dealing with the Covid-19 situation. That is why Emplify suggests that now is just the time to improve a team’s morale with some pet photo exchanges or light-hearted activities to get a bit distracted. It will bring your team closer, better their mood and as a result boost their productivity.

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