Creative Ways To Increase Employee Engagement

The term "employee engagement" used to be seen as a bit of a buzz phrase, but today, it's an essential part of successful companies' overall strategies. Unfortunately, many organizations struggle when it comes to creating and optimizing employee engagement. At the same time, more and more employees are seeking fulfillment that comes beyond a paycheck.

People want to be recognized for their efforts and given the ability to be proud of their colleagues and teams, too. Because of this desire to see and be seen in the workplace, organizations can get creative when it comes to increasing employee engagement. Let's take a look at some unique ways your business can bolster internal enthusiasm.

1. Utilize Digital Signage in the Workplace

Digital signage is a simple solution that delivers powerful results. Use it to welcome new hires, showcase promotions and milestones, congratulate employees who are having anniversaries, and more. Of course, it's also a great way to keep everybody updated on upcoming events and any other news bits that need to be shared across the organization. If you have multiple offices or employees who work on different shifts, digital signage is an excellent way to help everybody feel connected.

2. Promote Personal Growth

Your employees have passions outside their day-to-day tasks. Encourage staff members to highlight their skills inside the organization by creating teams in which they can explore their abilities further. For example, an employee who loves to write might be a great fit for an employee newsletter. You might have an accountant who would be an excellent choice for an employee engagement committee. Not only do non-work-related committees give employees the opportunity to tell their peers more about themselves, but they also help break down silos, encouraging interaction among colleagues from departments that might not otherwise get the chance to work together.

3. Offer Shadow Sessions

Let's say Linda in finance would really like to learn a little about what Marci does in marketing. Why not set a few hours aside each month to let Linda shadow Marci? You might discover that some of your employees have hidden talents you can tap into when special projects arise. This idea does double duty, keeping employees happy while simultaneously giving you a broader talent base without adding extra hires to your payroll.

4. Set Time Aside for Feedback and Training

This one may seem obvious on the surface, but when everybody has what seems like a million tasks to complete every day, it can be easy for calendars to fill and feedback to fall to the bottom of the priority pile. Designate time on everybody's calendars for one-on-one and team discussions. Team discussions are great because they encourage open dialogue among peers, but they also help weed out issues and solutions that might not otherwise have surfaced. This type of setup can assure that employees don't feel like they're isolated when encountering problems. Ongoing feedback also helps strengthen organizations' cultures, missions, and visions.

Remember, feedback should never just be from a boss to his or her employees; companies that experience high morale and low turnover often share something in common — the ability for peers to provide feedback to one another, too. There are dozens of digital tools available online these days to help channel positive and negative feedback to the places where it can make the most difference within your internal business model.

5. Make Work Fun

Don't be afraid to let loose and have a little fun in the workplace. This encourages out-of-the-box thinking and provides a foundation through which people are more likely to share ideas and express themselves. In turn, this method promotes relationship-building and a sense of belonging — both of which are essential for optimal engagement.

If you're not sure how to have fun, ask your employees. There will likely be an assortment of strange solutions that you can't put into practice. More than likely, though, you'll get a few winners that can easily be implemented. This all goes back to feedback; be open to what your employees have to say, and you might be amazed at the positive results.

Employee engagement isn't something that magically optimizes overnight. It takes time, effort, and strategy to put the right puzzle pieces into place in a way that gets people excited about the jobs they do and the organizations for which they work. With creativity, your out-of-the-box approaches to employee engagement can optimize morale and reduce turnover.

Jessica Ellspermann
Jessica Ellspermann is Marketing Manager at Enplug, a digital signage software company. After launching her career in the luxury hospitality space, Ellspermann knows the power of content-to-business value, and she uses that expertise to help companies grow engaged client communities.