Last updated on October 5, 2023 at 01:10 pm
Figuring out the most effective ways to engage employees continues to be difficult for businesses. And while we’re all looking for creative ways to engage employees, we sometimes miss the mark. That’s because our engagement campaigns also have to be meaningful. They have to provide value. That’s why we’ve pulled together our top four creative ways to engage employees (that actually work).
Why We Need to Engage Our Employees
When we talk about engagement, we don’t just mean whether or not our emails and employee intranet posts are being looked at. We really care about employee attitudes: their commitment and motivation levels at work and whether or not they follow through on the actions we ask them to take.
That’s why Gallup research has found that high levels of engagement are correlated with things like productivity, better safety scores, and a better customer experience.
4 Creative Ways to Engage Employees
So, how do we create meaningful but creative programs to engage employees? It all comes down to understanding what your objectives are and what engagement looks like at your company.
To engage our employees, we need to show them they matter, connect them to a larger sense of purpose, and provide support so they can perform at their best. Let’s look at four different ways you can do that.
1. Leverage Technology to Extend Your Culture Out of the Office
Our client, Veterans United, is known for its amazing culture (in fact, they’ve won multiple Great Place to Work awards). Their people have so much fun at work, and they want to extend their culture to employee families and employees away from work.
And we have to admit, they have some of the most fun digital, culture-building activities of anyone we work with. Here are a few of their virtual employee engagement ideas:
- They play Cash Cab where an employee will be invited to a “meeting” and then surprised to discover that they are actually playing Veterans United Cash Cab.
- Veterans United created their own radio station to share company updates and stories.
- They run VU’s Got Talent
- And they focus on employee health and wellbeing with “Wellness Wednesdays”, work from home tips, financial tips of the week, and so much more.
“We had a few things we needed on [a mobile] platform…Luckily enough, everybody in our company has an email, everybody in our company has access to a desktop or a laptop. It was when they were away from work that we were concentrating on.” —Cooper Lefler, Internal Communications Manager, Veterans United
2. Localize Your Approach to Communication
No other EMPLOYEEapp client has as many content publishers in their app as NFI. Back in 2016, NFI decided that the days of not reaching 67% of their deskless employees were over. And throughout their journey to mobile, they realized that there was huge, untapped potential among their frontline managers and local leaders.
Fast forward to today, and they have over 450 content publishers populating their app “The Pulse” with local updates and employee recognition. This has enabled the corporate comms team to focus on top-down and executive communications. But their numbers really show how meaningful it is for communications to be so relevant and authentic—consistently, NFI is a top client for most likes and comments in their app. In a single quarter, they might see over 10,000 likes on content.
“With this mobile solution in place, we’ve been able to create a culture committed to communications and provide our employees with important information to help connect them to the greater purpose of our company and enable them to see their impact on the big picture of who we are and what we’re striving to achieve.” —JeanMarie Decker, Director of Communications, NFI
3. Make Sure Employees Know Each Other
In healthcare and manufacturing, your frontline workers are often not all on the same shift. Do they know each other or people on different teams? Do employees realize you’re all working towards one common goal?
Upstate Vet was going through a merger and knew that they would need a way to connect their daytime staff with their nighttime ER staff. So, they started by making sure all employee photos, names, and roles lived in their employee app. Any time they had a new hire, they would welcome this way and share their info in the app. And then they opened up permissions for employees to be able to post, improving collaboration and allowing them to swap shifts and share stories.
“The app changed everything. It’s been critical to getting everything to all team members and make it so they can communicate with each other and with us.” —Brittni Huff, Upstate Vet
4. Use Crisis as an Opportunity to Build Engagement
In addition to these client examples, employee engagement expert Jill Christensen shared her top tips for moving the needle on engagement during crisis.
“Workers want connection, they want collaboration, and they want communication.” —Jill Christensen
These tips are all foundational. You don’t need to do something as creative as Cash Cab to make an impact. You can start small. Start focus groups or help managers improve (or start doing) team huddles. And find the right partners. If you’d like to learn more about theEMPLOYEEapp and how it can help your organization, request a demo today.
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