6 Surprising Employee Engagement Ideas

A disengaged team member can wreak havoc on employee morale, someone who isn’t engaged is less efficient and will miss more work resulting in lost productivity! So how do organizations continue to engage employees in unique ways?  Natalie Hackbarth from Quantum Workplace has a few suggestions!

Continue below for some unique ways to engage Employees and in turn create a more productive and happy team!

What Workers Want: 6 Surprising Employee Engagement Ideas

There’s no shortage of articles on . But what the plethora of advice does’t always address is the fun, creative, unique, and surprising ideas that work to increase employee favorability, employee perceptions, and ultimately, employee engagement.

Here are six unconventional ways you can increase employees engagement throughout your organization.

1. Perfect Your Onboarding Process

Employee perceptions of a workplace start forming on day one—so take advantage of this opportunity to jumpstart engagement. Assign new employees a buddy or mentor from another group or department to show them the ropes. This will give employees a chance to get to know coworkers outside of their immediate work group and help foster cross-team communication down the road. (Plus, this new confidant can help answer some important questions new employees might be hesitant to ask their managers or team members.)

2. Celebrate People (Not Just Accomplishments)

You know how important it is to recognize employees for a job well done. Because when employees feel valued, they’re motivated to do their jobs better and more likely to be engaged. But have you ever thought about recognizing your people instead of their work accomplishments? (And I don’t mean saying, “You’re great, Bob,” instead of “Nice work, Bob.”) I’m talking about recognizing who your people are and any milestones they might encounter outside of work, like birthdays, community awards, graduations, weddings, etc.

3. Get Social

Socializing outside of work is another effective (and surprising) way to increase employee engagement in the workplace. Whether the CEO decides to host an exclusive all-company holiday party or a few coworkers decide to grab dinner at a local restaurant after work, quality time spent together in a relaxed setting can lead to better teamwork, more effective communication, and increased job satisfaction.

4. Show Off Your People

What better way to show your employees you love and value them, than by plastering their photos on lobby walls, break-room bulletin boards, or a quirky “Our Team” page. Have some fun with it and schedule individual, team, or all-company photo shoots. (Who knows how you’ll end up using some of the photos!) Posting employee photos might seem like a small gesture, but it’s a gesture that makes employees feel included, appreciated, and valued.

If quirky photo shoots don’t fit into your company culture, take photos at holiday parties, happy hours, or team events and post the happenings to your Facebook page or share with the Twittersphere.

5. Ask Employees for Advice

Anonymous employee engagement surveys, and one-on-one GOOD feedback sessions are great outlets for collecting employee feedback. Both are effective modes for targeting organizational and employee issues, such as alignment with goals, personal or professional obstacles, and trust in coworkers and senior leaders. What annual surveys or monthly manager-employees don’t do, however, is allow employees to voice their opinions when it comes to everyday, low-key decisions. Ask your employees for their advice on how to decorate for the office Halloween party, what snacks to provide for happy hour, what color to paint the lobby, etc. Consulting your employees will show you respect their opinions and help you make crowd-pleasing decisions. It’s a win-win.

6. Create a Unique Office Environment

Make your workplace engaging by creating an office or workspace employees actually enjoy spending time. A few ideas include bright colored walls, open and collaborative work stations, freshly stocked break rooms, music, massage chairs, and dodgeballs. (A friendly game of dodgeball never hurt anyone, right?) Remember, your company’s idea of “unique” largely depends on your culture and nature of work.

Compared to employees who are motivated, disengaged workers are less efficient, miss more workdays and cost their employers thousands of dollars in lost productivity. Keeping employee morale high is one of the best things you can do to instill loyalty and maintain a productive workplace.