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May 12, 2019 Anniversary Wishes 2 comments

Capturing employee suggestions and ideas drives employee engagement and improves . With many suggestion box programs, results are sporadic and slow.

59 Awesome Employee Engagement Ideas & Activities for 2019 (Plus 11 New Bonus Ideas)

(Photo comes from Dale Carnegie)

Managers can agree that employee engagement and retention are at the top of their priority list.

Every company wants to attract and keep the best talent.

The problem?

Many employees in today’s job market quickly feel uninspired by their work, get bored after 2 years and start job hunting for something new.

Quick turnover drains companies, both financially and creatively. Quantifying exactly how much it costs businesses to replace every employee who leaves is a challenge, but estimates are out there. Here are some highlights from a collection of estimates on the costs of employee turnover:

  • 6 to 9 months salary. (That’s well over half what you pay an employee in a year. For an employee making $100,000 a year, the cost of turnover could be as high as roughly $75,000. Ouch.)
  • 16% of annual salary for jobs with traditionally high turnover, such as entry-level media jobs
  • 20% of annual salary for jobs requiring mid-level experience
  • 213% (not a typo!) of annual salary for top-level executive positions, including CEOs

All these numbers point to the same basic conclusion: employee turnover is expensive.

Outside of financial burdens, employee turnover puts a ceiling on the quality of a team or individual’s work. The reason? Companies with high turnover have fewer employees with a high degree of institutional knowledge. If most employees leave a company after just a few years, then the company never benefits from that golden combination of skills, talent, and critical institutional knowledge that helps business thrive.

So we decided to speak with some of the best HR professionals and business leaders around the country to find the strategies and employee engagement best practices that they recommend. There are also some tips and employee engagement ideas that work for our company.

Free bonus:Download this entire list as a PDF. Easily save it on your computer for quick reference or print it for future company meetings. Includes 5 bonus ideas not found in this post.

59 Employee Engagement Ideas:

1. Promote Transparency and Collaboration

The modern workplace is evolving quickly as office locations expand and work-from-home becomes more normal. With this, organizations are met with the increasing challenge of maintaining transparency and team collaboration within a department across the workplace.

People need to feel connected to be fully engaged and there is no better tool to promote these two core principles than monday.com – we use it at SnackNation! This platform is easy to set up and arms your team to the teeth with the tools that they need to collaborate at the highest level.

2. Offer healthier options at your workplace

Jason Lauritsen, Director of Best Places to Work at Quantum Workplace, discusses how to increase employee engagement by making healthier foods available on-site with office snack delivery and healthy vending:

Three-fourths of employees want access to a healthy cafeteria or vending options at their workplace, but less than half of employers actually offer it as a benefit. This creates a great opportunity. Not only will providing this benefit help organizations play a role in boosting productivity, increasing performance, and lowering healthcare costs, but we’ve also found that employees who work at organizations that provide healthy marketplace or vending options are 10 percent more likely to be engaged.”

Make it your own: Offer healthy snacks “curated” by your employees. Send out a survey to collect everyone’s favorite healthy snack options. Offer one of these snacks every week. Put out a simple sign that tells everyone who recommended it and why. (Think: Those “staff picks” signs at Trader Joes.)

3. Get your health and wellness program in order

Kevin Sheridan, New York Times best-selling Author of Building a Magnetic Culture, has helped some of the world’s largest corporations improve their culture and foster productive engagement.

When we asked him what companies should be doing better to improve workplace engagement, he offered us this wisdom:

“The bottom line is that anyone who knows about employee engagement is also a firm believer in instituting health and wellness programs. There have been multiple scientific studies proving that health and wellness efforts not only yield higher productivity and engagement in the workplace but will also help reduce turnover as job stress is the #1 reason people quit (along with a lack of work-life balance which is related to wellness as well).”

Make it your own: Pick and choose from wellness program ideas that suit your team. If your office is full of natural foodies, then you might consider regular market excursions. If fitness is your team’s thing, then you can hold a fitness challenge.

4. Give your people “inside” information

Want to know some great team engagement ideas to get your staff more involved and committed?

Keep them up to date with “inside” information. These are things like the direction of the company and the challenges that the Leadership Team is facing.

Tim Sackett, HR Pro and President at HRU Technical Resources, explains this important part of your employee engagement strategy:

“The one true fact in all workplaces is your people want to be in the know, they want to be in the circle of trust.  HR and leadership, in general, do a crappy job at this, and it has a huge impact to engagement. Find ways to make this happen and let your people know that it’s “inside” information. Trusting your employees can handle it raises engagement.”

5. Celebrate personal wins

If someone on your team hits their monthly or quarterly goal, make it a win for your department or the whole company. Announce it to the rest of the team and celebrate with a Friday Happy Hour or fun outing.

6. Emphasize work-life balance

Work-life balance often seems like an impossible struggle. It’s difficult to find that right balance between work and personal life to feel good that both areas are receiving enough attention.

Blake McCammon of Blogging4Jobs, a popular blog focused on HR and the workplace, had this to say about work-life balance’s role in employee engagement:

“Work-life balance is one of the most important things employers can do to help employees not only stay healthy and fit, but keep them engaged day by day. Provide a work from home scenario and flexible hours where employees with children or adults with hobbies are allowed the freedom to enjoy life to the fullest, but still get their work done.”

Work-life balance is going to mean something different for each employee, so speak with your team to see what you can be doing better as an organization to enhance it. Often times you’ll find that a flexible work schedule will be the easiest way to help people feel more balanced between work and leisure.

7. Praise your coworkers

It shouldn’t only be left to managers to praise good work. When you hear about someone’s achievement, go over and personally congratulate them. It’ll mean a lot to that person and they’ll likely do the same for you when your big wins come through.

Make it your own: Find a way of offering recognition that works for your personality and your schedule. This will make your intentions easier to deliver on. If you aren’t exactly a smooth talker, then offering recognition during meetings might not be an option. Choose instead to write heartfelt letters once a month.

8. Bring in an in-office motivational speaker

To shake up the workday, or start Monday off with some inspiration, Cooleaf recommends hiring a motivational speaker to come into the office. Maybe your team would benefit from a creativity workshop or team-building seminar to improve in-office relationships. Employees will be grateful for the opportunity to grow and learn from experts and will come out of these experiences more energized and focused.

9. Have more fun

Take a half day Friday to do something fun together. Go on a scavenger hunt, play sports outdoors, go paint-balling or bowling. These social events help people bond with others on the team who they don’t interact with on a daily basis and builds a better sense of community within your organization.

Make it your own: Choose an unforgettable company outing that everyone on your team will talk about for years.

10. Stand for something your team can be proud of

Irene Becker, voted as one of the Top 100 Employee Engagement Experts Online, answers the questions of how companies can drive and sustain staff engagement activities at a time when engagement is at an all time low:

“By showing our employees that we care, that we stand for something they can be proud of, and that we offer them meaningful, purposeful work and an opportunity to grow, learn, contribute and succeed because we know that success is a me to WE equation that starts with:

1.  Personal, professional development and a structure for growth, recognition and are alive in the organization.

2.  Managers, mentors and trainers that are equipped to coach, inspire and bring out the best in their people.

3.  Communities of purpose; groups that are centered around a purpose driven business, CSR or community activity are alive, aligning shared values and mission with collaboration.

4.  Transparency of communication and the integrity of the organizations commitment to growth, recognition and the optimization of individual and collective potential is mirrored in new ways of developing team spirit and vertical/horizontal collaboration.

5.  Human interaction, social activities that engage our people as human beings in the human side of being part of a vibrant, growing, thriving culture.”

11. Send out an employee survey to get honest feedback

Sometimes it’s a lot easier for employees to say how they really feel in an anonymous survey. Actually, it’s always easier when it’s anonymous.

Use a tool like Culture Amp, TINYpulse or SurveyMonkey to create a survey and send it out to your team. Surveys are one of the few ways to actually measure and track engagement, so definitely make this part of your efforts.

Ask questions like:

  1. How are you feeling? What’s the morale you see around you?
  2. Good Idea (what one thing will make the biggest improvement in your job, your team or the organization?)
  3. How satisfied are you with your opportunities for professional growth?
  4. Do you have a good working relationship with your manager?
  5. Are you satisfied with your overall compensation?

12. Find out what your team members are passionate about

Are they into mountain biking? Do they write a personal blog? Do they want to backpack around Southeast Asia next summer?

Know what your team is passionate about. It’ll help you connect with them and show them that you actually care about their interests.

Frequently ask teammates about their passions and even try to find ways to integrate their interests into the workplace. For example, if someone does the job of an accountant by day but harbors a passion for art by night, then suggest that he or she shadows someone in the Art Department for a day. If an employee loves to play badminton and complains that she never has anyone to play with, consider forming a casual company league.

13. Promote perks that boost mental and physical wellbeing

Perks can help make your office a more fun place to work.

JellyVision Interactive Marketing offers these awesome unique perks to their employees:

  • Unlimited vacation days (with the assumption this privilege won’t be abused)
  • The ability to work from home whenever necessary or work out an unconventional schedule
  • On-site yoga and a free healthy catered lunches every week (Pro Tip: Check out ezCater for your office catering needs. Like their name implies, they making ordering food for your team super simple!)
  • Refrigerators and cupboards stocked with fruit and healthy snacks for the entire office
  • A yearly Wellness Day featuring free 15-minute back massages for every employee and a taste test of unusual, healthy juices
  • Mustache Day (a sort of mustache-themed Halloween that culminates in a fancy lunch out)
  • Frequent company-wide involvement in charity fun runs

Beyond all these employee benefits, JellyVision also told us that they reduce work anxiety for their employees by 1) hiring nice, funny, talented people who become the sort of colleagues who make the day more enjoyable and 2) by nurturing a culture of transparency, humor and kindness—a way of being that is modeled by their founder, Harry, and CEO, Amanda.

Check out our list of corporate wellness ideas to give your wellness program some new life.

14. Ditch the Cubicles

Whether you’ve seen them in employee engagement films like Office Space, or experienced them yourself, cubicles are quickly dying out. Today, the most engaged companies opt for office decor and cool office supplies that promote comfort and collaboration, not seclusion. So cut out the cubicles and replace them with spacious, open desks. The possibilities for creating an open air office environment are endless, so be creative, and have fun with it!

15. Provide ongoing coaching and training

Coaching and mentoring shouldn’t stop after an employee’s initial on-boarding process. A study done by Deloitte in 2012 found that retention is 25% higher for employees who have engaged in company-sponsored mentorship.

Some people in your organization will proactively seek mentors and training, while others will need it to come directly from their manager. Offer an optional weekly coaching session to discuss strategies and tactics that can help each member of the department improve in their role, and make them fun!

For more tactics for creating a world-class Employee Experience, listen to culture expert Kelly Keegan on the Brand Builder podcast:


16. Open consistent lines of communication

Ask the managers of your organization to setup a weekly meeting to see where their direct reports need resources, any new ideas they have, and how things are going in their role. You’ll find that both managers and direct reports will look forward to these meetings and use them like a strategy session to improve their department on a weekly basis.  Engage companies rely on open internal communications. If you’re looking for growth ideas for employees then a DR meeting would be at the top of the list. 

Make it your own: There are plenty of ways to communicate in the workplace. Check out these strategies to find a method that excites you.

17. Capture the magic of your team’s “I’s”

“To improve employee engagement, capture the magic of the I’s in team: integrity, initiative, individual talents, and invaluable diversity. Highlight each individual’s talents and how they contribute to the whole.”

–Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

18. Make sure new hires get to know the whole team

An employee who feels cared for and is surrounded by people who bond with them is much more likely to feel happy and engaged at work. We all get to know our bosses and direct reports pretty well, but it’s also important for new team members to build relationships with the rest of the staff.

UserVoice demonstrates this point well – they invite the whole staff to a game night whenever someone new joins the company. The company offers free beer, a game (think board games or pool/ping-pond/darts) and a “ridiculous sort of quiz” they invented.

19. Show employees how their job advances the company’s vision

Your company has undoubtedly recorded its vision and goals for the year. Why not show employees exactly how their jobs advance the vision? This will boost each employee’s investment in the success of the company instead of just feeling like a cog in the wheel.

Here are some ideas for showing employees how they contribute to the company vision:

  • Sit down with a list of a specific employee’s responsibilities. Create a flowchart that demonstrates how those duties ultimately lead to fulfilling the company vision. For example, if the responsibility is “managing Instagram” and your company vision is “changing the way the world purchases homes,” then highlight how Instagram engagement creates long-term brand recognition and has the potential to influence the way a younger generation purchases homes, especially when they’re ready to take the plunge in a few years.
  • Ask your CEO for a quote that explains how the particular employee’s role contributes to the company vision. Have the quote printed in a postcard format. The employee can pin the postcard on the wall as a constant reminder and motivator.

20. Allow employees to move laterally within the organization

There are times when employees (especially the younger ones) are still figuring out their career paths. If a member of your team finds something else at your company that they’re passionate about and want to pursue, create a roadmap to get them there. This will help you retain some of your young talent when they might have otherwise abandoned ship.

21. Give your employees more responsibility, not just more tasks to do

Working at a company that highly values morale has given me some interesting insight on how to engage employees. I’ve noticed that the times my coworkers are incredibly devoted to our work, where states of “flow” seem to be abundant, are when they are given real responsibility.

This shouldn’t be confused with giving your team more things or tasks to do. I’m talking about giving them important projects and initiatives to take ownership of and knock out of the park. Humans are inherently goal-oriented, so when you give them something worth achieving, I believe you’ll be amazed at how much purpose and drive it gives them.

If you’re a manager, give one of your direct reports an important project to be the lead on. On the flip side, ask your manager to take on a project that you think will help you grow and learn something new.

Even if it’s something you have no experience doing – when you see your goal as being important to the success of the company you’ll find a way to get it done. And I promise you’ll feel more purpose from your work than ever.

22. Know your company culture and hire by it

If you know your company culture and hire by it, you’ll continue onboarding employees who want to work with the person next to them. A positive corporate culture starts with the relationships between co-workers as well as collaborative dynamics in addition to consistent messages about values and the company mission.

If you haven’t already, take some time to brainstorm your company’s cultural vision and even get it down in writing. Spend some time with co-workers and pinpoint the key attributes everyone seems to have in common. Once you’ve established a list of qualities, it will be easier to determine if an interviewee will fit into your culture. Keep the qualities specific to find the best fits.

Almost anyone will be “nice” and “personable” during an interview, so it’s important to quickly go beyond the surface level with candidates in the hiring process.  There’s a simple, three-word phrase to help you develop a deep understanding of the character and motivations of any candidate you’re interviewing – “and then what.” Constantly pushing an interviewee to provide more depth will help you quickly get to the root of his or her point of view, and help you determine if he or she possesses those attributes you identified as core to your culture.

23. Encourage volunteering

Show your commitment to community and social responsibility by giving your employees a couple of hours each month to get out of the office and participate in community service.

Make it your own: Have different employees choose a cause to support every month. This helps ensure that…

  1. Everyone can volunteer for causes they’re passionate about
  2. Everyone can share that passion with their co-workers

(The SnackNation team volunteering at Feeding America)

24. Celebrate your team

Make your team members feel special on their birthdays, work anniversaries, their first day of work, etc. Or even better, make it completely random so it’s unexpected.

25. Hold office hours

This is one of the most significant employee engagement programs for upper management. Holding office hours is a great way to make yourself more approachable to the entire company. Allow people to come in for office hours to give feedback, talk concerns, and explore new ideas.

26. Build more trust 

An overbearing boss who is constantly micromanaging might just be the fastest way to create disengagement. Trust your employees to accomplish the work you give them without checking up on them 4 times a day.

Plus, other insights suggest that trust doesn’t just inspire employees to do their jobs; it might actually encourage employees to go above and beyond their assignments. Trusted employees collaborate better together, and because they’re empowered, they might seek opportunities to take on even more responsibility.

27. Send out some Monday Motivation

Find an inspirational quote or page from a book and send it out to your team on Monday mornings. It’s a super easy way to get people motivated and inspired and a day that’s typically slow to start.

Photo belongs to QuotesEverlasting via Flickr’s Creative Commons License

28. Create a roadmap to achieve professional goals

Find out what your employees’ professional goals are and make sure they’re on a track to achieve those goals. Managers should sit down with their direct reports and plan the roadmap to get them to that next promotion or to acquire the skills they desire.

29. Incentivize goals

Create some healthy competition and reward excellent performance with incentives for successful goal achievement. Tickets to a game, dinner for two or are inexpensive ideas that can help people feel more invested in their work.

Make it your own: Your incentive options are as diverse and varied as the employees you’re rewarding. Experiment with different reward ideasand see what really gets that glowing reaction you’re looking for.

30. Have a weekly food day

Pick a day of the week where one employee brings in treats to share with the team. Eventually, looking forward to food day will be a major bonding moment for the whole team. Not to mention some employees will even love the chance to show off their baking prowess.

31. Take weekly song requests

It’s Friday afternoon and your whole office is united by one thought: going home. Reinvigorate the team by taking song requests to blast over the PA system in the final hour of the workweek. Employees will love sharing their favorite songs to boost morale.

32. Let someone else lead weekly meetings

If you’re a leader at your organization, your team probably get to hear you talk…a lot. Share your responsibilities and increase engagement by asking a different person lead your meetings every week.

33. Start a learning club

Get your employees more engaged in their work by asking them to think big. Start a learning club where employees select books or videos related to your work for everyone to enjoy. Pick a day where everyone piles into a conference room to discuss the item and its implications for your work.

Make it your own: Change up the location of your meetings, offer different snacks, or even make group T-shirts. There are so many ways to make your learning club unique to your team. You can even give yourselves a name based on an inside joke only people on your team would understand. (Next step: Secret knocks and secret handshakes.)


34. Start a newsletter

But instead of having the “head honchos” or even Human Resources send it, form a committee of employees who want to coordinate it. The volunteers will love the chance to share what they find important and the readers will love getting company news from their peers.

Make it your own: Company newsletters don’t have to be boring emails. Make the newsletter your own. Do a comical video blog or maybe an old-fashioned take on a vintage newspaper, complete with cheesy headlines. Check out our guide to company newsletters to get started.

35. Ban emails for a day

Pick one day every month to ban emailing. If someone has a question, they’ll have to go talk to their coworkers in person. Even if they only talk for a few seconds, that face-to-face interaction with coworkers makes priceless employee engagement moments.

36. Show them the “people” results of their work

If you send recaps of company progress to your employees, don’t just tell them your customers are happy, show them. Add a glowing testimonial from your customer base, clients or nonprofit constituency to the email so your employees can see how their work impacts real people.

37. Always act on feedback

Let’s say you survey your employees monthly to find out how they’re feeling. While some of their desires and wishes might be difficult to act on, send them updates explaining the progress you’ve made towards addressing their concerns, even if it’s just scheduling a meeting with your CEO. Not acting on employees’ valuable feedback will kill employee engagement.

38. Consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Dust off that old triangle chart we all know and love from Psychology 101, because Maslow’s hierarchy might have implications for employee engagement. Beyond the salary and the benefits, employees want to know that their work matters.

Try working the implications of their efforts into annual reviews instead of just focusing on their performance. While it’s wonderful they completed a special project on time and within budget, go a step further and explain the project’s greater impact on the company.

39. Use Glassdoor to your advantage

Glassdoor offers a raw source of employee feedback that might be incredibly valuable if you’re brave enough to dig into it. Even if the comments seem negative, they could give you insight into how your employees really feel. As you sort through comments, revealing patterns should emerge to spotlight areas of employee relations you need to improve.

40. Let them experience a day in the life of…

Send out an Excel sheet with a list of positions in your company or department and have employees vote for a position they would like to do for a day. Let the person currently in that position give them a day of training before they launch into their day on the job.

Make it your own: Your “day in the life” can be as structured or as open-ended as you like. You could include a presentation portion where people shared what they learned with the entire group. You could have employees complete a no-pressure assignment to “test” (all in good fun) how much they really learned. You could even stage a little improv show where employees pretend to be the person they shadowed.

41. Bring in a specialist

With research showing a large chunk of the workforce does not feel engaged at work (see the featured image at the top of this post), the availability of employee engagement tools and services has skyrocketed. For you, that means you can find help if you’re completely lost. For example, some companies have brought in something called a corporate anthropologist who will study your company and your employees with the end goal of improving the overall business.

42. Engage employees through gamification

Some people invest more in the games they play after work than they do in their actual work…the work that pays the bills. Why is that? Games leverage instant feedback and compelling goals to keep players coming back for more. Now, companies like Bunchball hope to bring these elements into workplaces to engage employees in ways that go beyond a regular paycheck and benefits.

43. Let them ditch a task

Ask your employees which tasks they hate above all others. Sometimes, even one dreaded task might create the feeling of on-the-job misery. Look at the list carefully and consider how you can juggle some responsibilities to make everyone happier. One employee’s most hated task could be another’s favorite.

44. Stop before you start

This post from the Talent Space Blog says the first step in any employee engagement initiatives is to stop. This stop gives you time to consider why you’re starting the initiative in the first place and to think about barriers to success. Condense your reason for starting the initiative into a mission statement that you can use to guide you through every move, so you don’t get bogged down with unnecessary initiatives.

45. Demonstrate genuine care

The Disney Institute believes consistently demonstrating genuine care makes employees feel happy and engaged. You can demonstrate genuine care in endless ways. One of the institute’s ideas involves finding out what’s bugging your team. Maybe they hate their office chair or would love to have some upbeat music playing while they work. In this case, it’s the little things that go a long way in showing you care.

Make it your own: Think about moments in your life when you felt truly cared for. Have you had any co-workers that truly warmed your heart with their kindness? Channel these memories into recreating warm experiences for your employees or co-workers.

46. Have completely open brainstorms

Image belongs to Juhan Sonin

Throw away that meeting rule book and schedule meetings without agendas or target outcomes. Have completely open brainstorm meetings where you throw away limitations and volley around some big ideas. Guide the discussion by throwing out an area of your business you would like to improve.

Keep these brainstorms positive by creating a few ground rules. Ask employees to keep their minds open and to avoid shutting down others’ ideas with mocking laughter, negative automatic responses, and skeptical questions that could block the flow of ideas. Remind them to focus not on the how, but the what and why.

Why is it so important to keep the brainstorms open? According to LinkedIn’s Inside the Mind of Today’s Candidate report, 51% of employees say “having opportunities to freely express themselves” makes them feel a sense of belonging at work. 

47. Have problem-solving meetings

Everyone takes a different approach to problem-solving. Schedule meetings where you reveal a big problem facing the company with complete transparency. Let employees take a crack at explaining how they would solve it. Employees will feel more engaged in company outcomes and they might just solve a few problems while they’re at it.

Make it your own: These meetings can be any format you like. You can have off-site jam sessions or in-office power lunches. You can keep it structured by outlining the entire event or jump in to see what happens. Choose a structure that mimics how your team likes to work. If you’re not sure how your team likes to work, then simply ask yourself this question: Is your team full of mostly planners or pantsers (people who fly by the seat of their pants)?

48. Give them ownership of event planning

Who has a better handle on the events your employees will love than your employees themselves? Instead of trying to think of company outings that your whole team will love, get your team involved in the planning process. Ask for event ideas and seek out volunteers who want to coordinate regular outings.

49. Start an office design committee

While it might seem superficial at first glance, giving your employees a chance to be more invested in what they look at everyday could do wonders for engagement. Start an employee design committee to let your employees take some ownership in the place they work. Plus, the personal touches will make the office feel like home.

50. Define what employee engagement means for your company

If you’re struggling to come up with good employee engagement activities, it might be time to take a step back. The word “employee engagement” alone doesn’t give you anything you can visualize. Try considering what it means for your own employees to be engaged specifically. Once you figure out what employee engagement looks like in your company, you can set your sights on achieving it.

Here are some employee engagement examples of definitions:

  • Engaged employees always ask what else they can do to improve the company.
  • Engaged employees ask questions during meetings and show up to work on time every day.
  • Engaged employees meet their deadlines.
  • Engaged employees spend half the day at their desks and half the day communicating with co-workers
  • Engaged employees frequently share exciting new ideas with their bosses.
  • Engaged employees request opportunities for personal development.

51. Put someone in the hot seat

Engage your employees with a quick bonding event at the beginning of your weekly meetings. Pick one employee and tape a “hot seat” sign to their chair. For the first minute of the meeting, other employees will shout out their favorite things about the person in the hot seat.

52. Have show and tell

Your employees probably have tons of ideas that could help the company. However, they might not have anywhere to share them. Have a quarterly show and tell where employees can present tools, information and ideas they believe might do the company good.

53. Get employees involved in long-term projects

Organize employees from different departments into teams to tackle long-term projects that involve responsibilities outside of their typical scope of work. Not only will they get to know people they don’t work with on a day-to-day basis, they’ll pick up skills from one another as they work on important projects.

54. Set ground rules for emotional intelligence

It’s not just company policies that make people disengaged at work. It might also be close-minded coworkers that shut down their ideas. Set an expectation that your employees follow a “yes and…” mindset. This simply means creating a culture where everyone’s ideas are met with open minds, and not negativity.

55. Talk to them about their schedules

Your employees might seem distracted or disengaged, but maybe it has nothing to do with work. Let’s say Karen’s daughter has a piano recital every Wednesday at 4 PM and she’s distant at that time, wishing she could be there. Find out what outside events might be keeping your employees distracted and work with them to adjust their schedules to accommodate their busy lives.

56. Believe in the power of explanation

When you send an employee work with changes or request a re-do, make sure those requests come along with a detailed explanation. Employees who always see their worked rejected or marked up will become frustrated and disengaged. Explaining the changes helps them understand your thought process and increases their desire to improve.

57. Offer points for taking work-related open source courses

The internet is exploding with a selection of free, open source courses from major universities. Many of your employees would probably love to take one, but simply don’t have the free time. Come up with a points system in your office that offers employees incentives for taking work-related courses. Maybe they get bonus points if they give a presentation on what they learned.

Make it your own: You might list a “course of the week” based on the skills your team needs to succeed. You could also keep it completely open-ended. Will you offer to subsidize employees who want to take courses that involve certificates? Or would you rather offer your own branded certificates of completion to create a sense of ceremony? You decide.

58. Start a “distracted” jar

There will be times when your team feels like they can’t possibly focus. Show them that you understand (and have a sense of humor about it) by creating a “distracted jar.” Fill it with activities, jokes and even things to Google when they feel like they can’t work for another minute. Help them get the distractions out of their system so they can continue on with an engaged workday.

59. Start a “vent” box

A vent box is the evil twin of the suggestion box. Encourage employees to fill the box with their complaints, but be sure to keep anonymity sacred. Your employees’ deepest frustrations might also be excellent opportunities for learning.

Want even more ideas to improve employee engagement?
Here are 11 bonus ideas!

60. Form a Culture Committee

This has been one of the best ideas we’ve implemented at SnackNation to make sure we stay on top of doing fun things together as a company.

Here’s how one of our Committee members describes it:

Culture Committee is comprised of individuals from each department who act as ambassadors. These ambassadors model our core values, and ensure the culture is steadily moving in the right direction.

Whether Communication/Hype, Events, Wellness, Philanthropy, and day to day celebrations we have a sub committee dedicated to setting up and executing events, all while tackling our ultimate goal of breaking silos between departments.

Making our office more like a home. We strive to create the “weather” of the company.

Bringing the sunshine even when/if someone feels like they are in a thunderstorm of stress.

61. Epic new-hire intros

At SnackNation, we take new hire intros very seriously.

Rather than explain with words, here’s a video that shows how we do it:

62. Give people a chance to set their own goals

Create a goal setting system that gives team members the opportunity to set their own goals. People are more likely to be motivated by a project or goal that they set for themselves, versus one that was set for them by their manager.

A good starting point is to allow your team to create a list of goals/projects they want to complete for the upcoming goal period. Here’s an example from a member of our Marketing Team:

Managers should then work with their direct reports to refine that list into goals/projects that align with the department’s (and company’s) goals.

Depending on your organization, this could be monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, or annually.

Once goals have been set, employees break those bigger goals into smaller ones each week. We use a system called Crucial Results to do just that. Here’s how it works.

63. Offer to pay for professional development

Is there an industry conference that someone on your team would love to attend? Perhaps your HR professional would love to go to one of the top HR conferences. Or maybe an online course that they’ve been dying to get their hands on? Maybe your marketing team would love to learn email marketing from the newest and hottest course.

Invest in your team’s growth is one of the best you can make as a manager. It’s a win-win because they get to improve on a skill, and in turn, they help your organization improve.

64. Write a hand-written note to recognize exceptional work

When was the last time you got a hand-written note?

With a world that is constantly wrapped up in digital communication, doing something “old school” like a hand-written note stands out to people.

Bonus points for cards written by someone like the CEO or President.

65. Create a team mascot

Meet Rudy, our Member Success Team’s mascot:

What mascot best represents your team?

66. Team lunches

We break bread with each other to bond. To share stories, relate to one another, and pass the salad.

Break bread as a team and watch the relationships blossom.

67. Team walks

Like team lunches, taking a walk together gives your team the chance to take a rejuvenating break from work while connecting with their colleagues.

And in case you hadn’t heard, people with a best friend at work are 7x more likely to engage fully in their work.

68. Have your CEO and/or President host a monthly Q&A

Monthly Q&A has been another hit at SnackNation HQ.

Our CEO (Sean Kelly) and President (Ryan Schneider) take 1 company all-hands meeting each month and use it to field any questions people have about the company.

Our team can submit questions via an anonymous Google form, or they can ask live during the 30-minute Q&A. We really value these Q&A’s because it gives our leaders the opportunity to be fully transparent with the team.

69. Lunch & Learns (hosted by employees)

This is another SnackNation favorite.

Once or twice a month, we let a member of the SN team host a lunch and learn on any subject they’re passionate about.

Prior topics have been wide ranging – from personal finance to cryptocurrencies to persuasion.

70. Play “musical chairs”

In many modern offices, employees don’t technically need a permanent place to sit. Sure, everyone needs a home base when they come into work each day, but do they really need to sit in the same space for years? Consider moving employees around on a comfortable, regular basis so everyone gets the chance to sit in different parts of the office and truly get to know all their coworkers. (Let’s face it: a few kitchen interactions will not bring employees closer, but six months as desk neighbors can solidify lasting bonds.)

In addition to exposing employees to people, they may not have worked with before, playing “musical chairs” also keeps employees engaged and excited for work simply by introducing change. By shaking things up, you just might give employees the shake-up they need to think of a new idea or solve a problem they’ve been chipping at for months.


When you focus more attention on engaging employees, the results are higher productivity, better retention rates and improvements in organizational success across the board. Now it’s your turn to take these simple ideas and put them into practice at your office.

What activities has your company used to increase employee engagement? Let us know in the comments below.

Free bonus:Download this entire list as a PDF. Easily save it on your computer for quick reference or print it for future company meetings. Includes 5 bonus ideas not found in this post.


Employee Engagement Resources:

What is Employee Engagement?

How Do You Measure Employee Engagement?

How to Improve Employee Engagement?

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Emil Shour is the Content Manager at SnackNation. His goal? To help companies create better places to work by improving health, inspiring teams to improve together, and making the office a fun and productive environment.

Weighing the Pros & Cons of the Employee Suggestion Box. by Linda In reality, managers who remain open to suggestions and welcome new ideas from their.

The simplest tool for innovation is also one of the most effective

workplace suggestion box ideas

Want to know one of the best ways to motivate employees?

Employee suggestion boxes give employees opportunities to participate in decision making at work. As a result, they feel empowered and assume more ownership of their work.

It may sound self-explanatory, but let’s define what an employee suggestion box is:

An employee suggestion box is a device for obtaining employee input – comments and suggestions – in hopes of improving internal processes and/or products. Employee suggestion boxes form the foundation of successful employee suggestion programs. 

Your employees’ suggestions can provide you with ideas & suggestions – big and small – to improve your organization via higher revenues, cost savings, better customer service, and more benefits.

Below are a few ways an employee suggestion box can help your organization…

Benefits of an Employee Suggestion Box:

  1. Deliver More Value for Customers. An employee suggestion program helps you know what customers want and how you can best deliver it to them.Winnebago Industries improved customer happiness by implementing an employee’s suggestion about speakers in their vehicles.
  2. Boost Employee Morale & Motivation. Effective employee suggestion programs can increase motivation, encourage teamwork among employees, and promote loyalty within the workplace. This can lead to a spike in employee morale and overall satisfaction.
  3. Increase Revenue. Employee ideas can help you find ways to increase company revenues. An employee at 3M came up with the idea of Post-It Notes – which has led to a lion’s share of $3.47 billion revenues posted by 3M’s business unit.
  4. Reduce Costs. Employees can generate ideas for your organization that can lead to great cost-savings. A Boardroom Inc.  employee came up with the idea to reduce the size of books so they could be posted at a lower rate. This saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

An employee suggestion box can be either a physical box (as shown in the picture above), or an online suggestion box. Online suggestion boxes can offer additional benefits over physical boxes.

To get new information we publish on employee suggestion programs, sign up using the box at the top-right. Companies of all sizes (from Fortune-500s to growing startups) use software from IdeaGlow to build their own employee suggestion programs. IdeaGlow is affordably priced and relatively easy to implement. If you’re interested, you can apply for a FREE trial.

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Employee Suggestion System
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The Suggestion Box Must Die: There are Better Alternatives

workplace suggestion box ideas

Employees have great ideas every day. Is your organization tapping into them?

Maybe you’ve got a physical Suggestion Box that employees can drop paper notes into. Maybe you’ve taken the concept digital with an Idea Wiki or some other online tool.

Either way, unless HR and management make it a priority to regularly request (and implement) suggestions from the rank-and-file, that fertile soil of ideas will quickly dry up.

Here are five tips for your suggestion program:

1. Keep the process simple. Make it easy for employees to submit ideas, via paper and/or electronically. Use a standard form that asks a few basic questions about the idea. Make the name line optional.

2. Avoid the “black hole” syndrome. One problem with suggestion programs is that ideas gather dust before anyone gets around to opening “the box.” Best bet: Have someone in top management send a “Thanks for your idea” response within a day or two after the idea arrives.

3. Set goals for the program. If this year’s corporate plan focuses on improving productivity, tie suggestion program rewards to ideas for boosting department efficiency. Have a cross-functional team evaluate individual suggestions.

4. Create an atmosphere that fosters verbal suggestions. For example, buy lunch for employees once a month, and let them offer suggestions, ask questions or shoot the breeze with a different department head each month.

5. Share the rewards. Rewards can take many forms: gift certificates, extra vacation time or even a small percentage of any profits or cost savings resulting from the idea. Whatever the reward is, make it in a public format to encourage other suggestions.

Here are more suggestions from Business Management Daily readers …

Starbucks rewards. “We keep a stack of index cards by a slotted box in the breakroom. A sign above says “We consider all suggestions—both large and small. If yours is used, you will receive a $25 Starbucks gift card.” When employees hear of their co-workers actually receiving the gift cards, it motivates them to offer up their ideas.” — Morris

Anonymity frees the mind. “People in our office seemed concerned that they might be singled out if they suggested something controversial, so we created an electronic whiteboard that anyone can post a message on, and IT set it up so that it’s always anonymous if the user wants it to be. Posting times are scrambled so you can’t quite tell when something was put up.” — Charlotte

Levity scores points, too. “To make sure the suggestion box doesn’t fill up with only negativity, our boss always hands out a little prize for the funniest suggestion as well as the best one. Since this started, the number of contributions to the box has risen. — Blake


The 10 Weirdest Ideas Dropped Into Company Suggestions Boxes

1. Add a tanning bed to the break room.

2. Put beer in the vending machine.

3. Cover jail time in the family leave policy.

4. Allow employees to work only during daylight; some may be scared of the dark.

5. Institute bikini Fridays.

6. Replace my desk with a futon so I can lie down and work.

7. Install a swimming pool.

8. Hold the next team meeting in Hawaii.

9. Allow everyone to take naps in the gliding chair in the lactation room.

10. Tell the HR person to wear nicer shoes.

Source: CareerBuilder.com survey of U.S. employers and HR pros

Discover ideas about Advice Box. Suggestion/ Advice Box We can put these after the auction pieces as advice for our graduating/ applying for graduate school.

Is Having a Suggestion Box at the Office a Good Idea?

workplace suggestion box ideas

It's Time for a (Much) Better Suggestion Box

By Mike Raia Posted March 13, 2017


As most human resources personnel will tell you, communications matter, and the lines of communication should run in both directions. Regardless of industry, sector or their specific job title, employees want to feel like their voices are being heard and that their opinions are valued. A worker who believes that someone is listening and incorporating feedback is more likely to be more engaged and loyal to the organization than those who feel they have no meaningful opportunity to provide input.

While plenty of employees are speaking up, many employers simply aren't listening. A Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) article reported that 93 percent of workers surveyed by Right Management said they make suggestions to their bosses at work. However, an SHRM poll of employers found that just 39 percent of the companies surveyed had formal processes in place for workers to submit their ideas or suggestions for improvement. So what's happening to all those suggestions?

Of those organizations with a process in place, some are still using a paper-and-pencil suggestion box hung on the wall of the break room or another common area; others may have a centralized email address monitored haphazardly by someone in HR. These antiquated feedback mechanisms make it all-too-obvious in some companies that, although the company may give lip service to wanting to hear from staff members, no one is actually listening.

The Problem with Paper-Based and Email-Based Solutions

Having a process for employee feedback, but failing to follow through by actually reading and addressing that feedback, can leave an employee feeling demoralized and wondering why they bothered to share their thoughts in the first place.

Using paper suggestion boxes may have been a good option in the 20th Century, but there are much better ways of handling employee feedback in today's digital age.

While an email-based system is a step up from the box-on-the-wall approach, it still requires a great degree of work. First, someone has to actually check the email box on a regular basis; it doesn't take employees long to come to the conclusion that their suggestions are just winding up in a black hole somewhere in the ranks of HR or upper management when they never hear anything more after making a suggestion, or when they receive an acknowledgement weeks or months after taking the time to provide their insights. Then, even if a suggestion is deemed worthy of being forwarded to someone else in the organization, it may become buried in that person's inbox, never to see the light of day. While marginally better than a paper-and-pencil system, email feedback systems are inefficient at best.

The Case for Automation

When companies automate their employee feedback processes, many of the problems inherent in paper-based or email-based tools are solved. There's no longer a worry about a suggestion becoming lost or being completely disregarded, and there's a clear trail of who reviewed and acted on employees' feedback.

By using a web-based suggestion process that incorporates workflows defined and designed by the company implementing them, the solution can actually do what the whole thing was intended to do in the first place: be useful to the organization. This, in turn, creates more engaged employees.

Here's an example of how a web-based automated system might work:

  1. Initial Form Completion. Employee logs on to the suggestion system by using a link embedded on the employee intranet or HR site. The suggestion or ideas form is user-friendly and intuitive, including information that management has deemed important to help them review and act on the feedback. Required fields might include the employee's name, department, their role in the organization, the area or function the suggestion pertains to, and enough free-form space for the employee to clearly express their ideas and opinions.
  2. Routing and Review. Because the workflow was designed ahead of time, the information the employee selected from drop-down menus while filling out the form will help route the form to the correct department and person designated to review relevant feedback. That person will receive a notification that they have a pending suggestion to review on the system.
  3. Action. After reviewing the suggestion form, the person reviewing it could either request additional information from the submitter by routing the form back to him/her or forward the suggestion to others in the organization using pre-defined workflows in the system.
  4. Reminders, Reporting, and Recordkeeping. Because people get busy, workflows can be designed to remind first- or second-level reviewers that they need to take action on a suggestion. Generating periodic reports for management is also a breeze when suggestions are submitted, organized and maintained through a web-based tool.

Transparency Matters

Of course, even a web-based, automated suggestion system won't help improve employee morale or engagement if an employee who took the time to submit their ideas doesn't know what happened to those ideas after clicking "submit." Transparency is a key element to success.

Automated solutions should be designed so that employees can easily see where suggestions they've submitted are currently in the process. Not only can the system kick out an acknowledgment email, it can also be designed to notify employees when their suggestion has been reviewed. In many companies, IT "help desk" functions already do this well. The concept is the same for employee suggestion workflows: let employees know they've been heard.

Implementing an automated system will only work if employees know how to use it, so make communications and training clear. Employees will need to understand what the suggestion tool is designed to accomplish, and what types of things don't belong in the suggestion queue (i.e. allegations of workplace misconduct, time off requests and other matters that are better handled through alternate means.)

Integrify Can Help

At Integrify, we offer automated solutions that can improve and streamline your employee suggestion process, as well as tools to help with other human resources, IT, legal/compliance, marketing and sales, employee development and more.

To learn more, explore our website. Then, contact us to arrange a product demonstration to see first-hand how we can help your organization realize efficiencies and demonstrate to your workforce that you're listening to them, loud and clear.





Mike Raia Author

Marketing the world's best workflow automation software and drinking way too much coffee. https://about.me/mikeraia

A suggestion box is the death knell for a culture of continuous improvement. that a suggestion box isn't going to make a significant difference in the workplace They know their front line employees have ideas for improving their work, and.

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