15 Employee Engagement Ideas
(That Actually Work)

Employee Engagement Ideas Blog Feature

Table of Contents

In need of some tried and tested employee engagement ideas? You’re not alone—organisations everywhere are looking for inspiration (and a sprinkle of fresh thinking) when it comes to engaging their people.

Let’s be honest, employee engagement becomes a bit of a challenge when teams are dispersed and navigating through a sea of disruptions.

Great change can have (and has had!) a huge knock-on effect on employee wellbeing, productivity and social connectedness, and so engagement effortsgreat and smallhave become a huge HR priority in 2020, even more so than before.

With this in mind, we’ve pulled together 15 employee engagement ideas that actually work. 

How do we know? 

Well, they’ve been inspired and implemented by the Hive community, so sit back and scroll for some actionable tips and tricks on employee engagement…

Inspire engagement from the top down

Employee engagement at a team level starts with leadership—if leaders aren’t showing the right behaviours, your people won’t either. 

So what employee engagement ideas can we learn from the leaders we know? 

  1. Increase leadership visibility: face-time with senior leaders gives people the opportunity to ask questions and gain a better understanding of business decisions. Hive customer FSCS implemented a great initiative—digital breakout hours with the CEO!
  2. Be transparent: being honest with your people about everything from business performance to vision and goals boosts engagement. Try out vlogs from your leaders like Hive customer Aioi Nissay Dowa Europe for an engaging and efficient way to share high-level info.
  3. Be approachable: a culture where people feel comfortable approaching leadership inspires positive relationships and trust. It can be as simple as letting people know you’re there for a chat, and being responsive to messages and queries—Hive CEO and Founder, John Ryder, manages our confidential feedback channel Open Door himself, to keep an ear on the ground and understand how people are feeling!

Boost employee recognition

Meaningful and consistent recognition is such a reliable driver of employee engagement—when people feel valued for their work, they’ll be motivated to keep delivering. Not only that, but it reinforces what’s valued in line with organisational culture, encouraging values-driven behaviour and boosting morale all in one go.

Recognition at work can be super simple and still be effective. Here are some super easy employee engagement ideas to get you celebrating day-to-day wins of your teams:

  1. Drive values through recognition: recognition is a great way to promote a culture that strengthens your organisation’s values—like Hive customer, Afiniti, and their ‘Afiniti Values Heroes’! They embed their ‘Values Nominations’ into their culture by customising Hive Fives categories to recognise people who truly live out their values, regularly sharing nominations and celebrating successes of their Heroes.
  2. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition: peer-to-peer recognition is 37.5% more likely to have a positive impact than manager-only recognition. Check out this snippet from Hive Customer, Your Homes Newcastle, on the response to their new peer-to-peer recognition feature Hive Fives:

“Our people highlighted how much they valued recognition, and so we have now unlocked and customised our Hive-Five peer-to-peer recognition feature (‘YHN Shout-outs’). It’s uplifting to see colleagues publicly recognising their peers; we had 221 shout-outs come through in 30 days of launching, which our MD is enjoying reading. We are really hopeful that recognition will now become the norm at YHN, and not the exception.”

Lisa Ainscough, Policy and Business Support Officer, Your Homes Newcastle
  1. Go public with peer-recognition: whether it’s via an employee intranet, a Slack channel, or email (or, your Hive Fives status board!)—going public with recognition means coworkers can celebrate their successes with each other. Find a public channel that works for your organisation and use it consistently.

 

Check out a few public heartfelt messages of appreciation between Team Hive…

Hive Homepage Hive Fives 2020 Cards

Wellbeing perks your people need

Employees who feel taken care of at work, whether mentally or physically, have proven to be more engaged than those who don’t. No one is immune to workplace stress and burnout—which is why your wellbeing program is vital.

Here are some super simple but effective employee engagement ideas:

  1. Work-life balance: be vocal about your approach to work-life balance and put real measures in place. Check out how Hive customer, The Very Group, are switching up their approach to the office to promote a healthy work-life balance!
  2. Assess your perks: how many of your company benefits do people actually take advantage of? The best way to offer perks that take care of mental and physical wellbeing, is to ask your people what they want. A quick, confidential poll will help you find out.
  3. Encourage time away: we’re not talking a two-week all inclusive holiday! Even encouraging real breaks throughout the day can boost wellbeing. Hive customer Northumbria Police got super creative and created a ‘wellbeing garden’ for exactly that.

Prioritising meaningful work

Meaningfulness in our work-life happens when we’ve got a real connection between work and life—like we’re fulfilling our purpose—and goes hand-in-hand with employee engagement.

While it’s worth noting that ‘meaningful’ means something different to everyone, there are a few employee engagement ideas you can explore to provide more meaningful work for your people…

  1. Encourage team collaboration: feeling part of a team plays a huge role in employee engagement. The power of collaboration keeps people connected and productive—like Hive customer Aioi Nissay Dowa Europe, who have created a series of virtual communities to bring their people together.
  2. A culture of openness: when people feel involved and informed about what’s happening in your organisation, it boosts motivation and helps them see how their role and contributions fit into the bigger picture. Let them know the what, when, and why.
  3. Learning and development: give development opportunities whenever possible. Use the skills and knowledge in your organisation to develop coaching and learning opportunities—we love a ‘Lunch and Learn’ here at Hive—even when it’s virtual!
hive lunch and learn

Empower people to run their own employee engagement ideas

No one knows better how to boost engagement than your people. Check out an example from Team Hive …Luke Scott, Product Support Exec and one of Hive’s newer recruits, has been running his own employee engagement ideas and bringing us plenty of fun and games while many of us are still working remotely!

team hive quizzes

Here are a a few employee engagement ideas that will spark enthusiasm from your people, and get them owning their own initiatives:

  1. Create ‘clubs’ for different hobbies and interests: get people socialising outside of their teams, and have a bit of fun! From book club to running club, you can create a social club for pretty much anything you want.
  2. Nominate a ‘social committee’: no managers allowed, sorry! Employees are in the best position to understand what people want, so why not put some of them in charge of social activities?
  3. Be personal: Why not change up your virtual quizzes? Thanks to Luke, Team Hive has been guessing baby photos and ‘say what you see’ with team photos. And let’s not forget Hive customer Oakbrook Finance, who’ve been playing “Whose fridge is this?” every week!

Planning employee engagement activities

Don’t know where to start? Want to take a more measured approach?

These employee engagement ideas are super easy to pick up and run with, but activities and initiatives always work better with an element of focus, measurement and employee buy-in! 

That’s why many of our customers regularly gather employee feedback via Hive to clearly understand the biggest drivers and blockers of engagement at their organisation, creating engagement action plans off the back of solid data and determining metrics for measuring success. 

To find out more about employee engagement surveys and gathering employee feedback with Hive, book a demo with a sector specialist who’ll introduce you to our different feedback tools!

Or, if you’re keen to read more about exploring and measuring employee engagement, here’s some handy Hive content to get stuck into…

🌱 10 Employee Survey Questions on Wellbeing (With Survey Writing Hints and Tips)

📊 3 Ways to Improve How You’re Measuring Employee Engagement

Measuring Employee Engagement: Metrics You May Be Missing

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