What we are looking for, here, is something more than free beers, free lunch Fridays and other archetypical ways to engage your employees on a laid-back Friday evening. While drinks seem to be the go-to things for anything related to engagement, but does it actually help you keep up the morale and motivation of your employees? I hardly think so.
Research shows that engaging diverse work-force is the biggest challenge faced by organizations these days. So, we need to come up with strategies that are all inclusive and appeal to a larger number of people.
The challenge is to understand the likes and dislikes of employees and to form an engagement strategy that doesn’t, at-least, make the solitary-sheep feel left out or isolated. The catch is to pull these underdogs into the mainstream and to make them a part of your culture.
So, here is a hand-picked collection of 5 quirky and easily applicable plans that’ll be a sure success in all the organizations across a huge variety industries and cultures:
1. Friday Flash Mob
As happening as it sounds, flash-mobs can be the best way to engage your employees on a Friday evening. It is a sure-shot way to improve collaboration in your organization regardless of how shy or disconnected some of your employees feel.
See how a large telecom infrastructure company managed to increase its employee engagement index by 65%!
Not all of us were custom-made to work in the staid, boring workplaces that we are forced into. So, when your employees are done filling in their time-sheets and making that intense sale, they are allowed to have a little fun, especially on a Friday evening.
From shaking off the weekly-stress to good old fashioned dancing on the tables, anything will work well as long as the music is right and the mood is all set.
2. Video Day
Have a weekly Tedx talk for/and/about staff with lots of fun and humour.
A massive chunk of employees remain isolated and are unaware of what is going on in the company. While these underdogs may not be the most social people around, but they definitely have something to say about the organization they work for. So, rather than a boring, mandatory two hour meeting, a pseudo-Tedx talk might not be a bad idea to help these employees open up and give you an honest review about your organization under the garb of a fun video session.
Go ahead and record the reactions too!
3. Work For a Cause
It’s no news that “corporate philanthropy” is the new Cool. With the purpose-hungry millennials taking over the work-force, partaking in social activities will help you retain this pack of over-performing and highly enthusiastic employees.
By making your employees a part of the charitable giving program, you can make your employees proud of the work their employer does for the company and for the community at large. And for a change, give your employees a chance to organize events for causes they are passionate about.
**Like Microsoft’s Carbon Fee Program that helped employees to team-up and forge a better bond between employees from different departments.
4. The Barter System
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could give and take gifts and notes every Friday as if it’s Christmas? I bet a lot of your employees would discover that child within who gets excited about the secret Santa who’d leave something in their socks while they sleep.
Drawing on this idea, you can ask your employees to give a small gift or a note in exchange for one. Have employees guess the person who left that heart-warming note/gift on their desk. Let the winner who guessed it correctly get a candy as reward.
This not only helps your employees to connect with each other on a deeper level, but also can be a way to appreciate someone for their efforts and good-work.
5. Desk Décor Day
We spend a major chunk of our waking day working in the dreary looking cubicles that make us crave for the comfort and beauty of our homes. So why not transform it into a funky looking space that speaks volumes about what you are as a person.
Personalize your workplace with things like fresh flowers, Bonsai trees, family and pet photos or may be a Game of Thrones poster. You can even ask your bestie-at-work to help you out with the décor and give your desk a new look every week.
Employees are not mere tools to improve your productivity. They are living, breathing humans who need to feel alive every now and then. While the corporate humdrum might have taken the world by sway, but the core of every person remains as simple as ever.
We want to connect with people, make new friends and live like there won’t be another Friday. So, as employers we can tap on this idea and make our employees feel happy that they are a part of something that’ll help them stay alive. And if your heart is in the right place, your employees will know it.