We spend more time with our co-workers than we do with the people we choose to spend our life with. But we don’t get a choice in who our co-workers are. It’s this reason that employee engagement is a priority today. This is not a new concept. We’ve had company picnics, holiday parties and monthly gatherings for years in organizations. What has changed today is the way in which we engage employees.
How do I get my employees engaged?
What employees want are connections, both personal and professional. Activities can take on a wide variety of programming activities. Many of your planned engagement activities will have an obvious focus on business and productivity. That’s fine; employees expect to see that connection. The goal is that they provide a sense of community at the same time. In a blog post from last year, we provided a number of ideas that are still applicable today.
In addition to scheduled communication and activities, there are several technology platforms that can be used for informal relationship building. Employees are used to turning to social media to stay connected, and they want to have the same systems available at work. Consider those commonly available such as private Facebook or Linked In groups. This allows the more informal conversations about who is in the office, project progress, and general announcements about babies, weddings etc. that create connections.
Engaging employees with each other
You can’t expect everyone to be best friends, but a certain degree of professionalism and comradery is a realistic expectation and one that is desired by your employees. Employees want to be connected, why not give them opportunities for that in the workplace. The water cooler is likely gone, so why not replace it with a casual sitting area or games?
It is not management’s responsibility to determine, plan or execute every event. A great way to get employees involved is to assign a month and theme to members of your team. Ask employees or groups to take charge of events. In HR Hacks we have recommendations for activities that consider both business and wellness related topics. Think about what is important to your organization, and plan the events accordingly.
Why should I spend time on engagement?
The goal of any engagement activity should be to elevate the mission of the company and remind employees, “We’re all in this together.” It should not take time away from work. Creating these ties has proven to elevate the problem-solving ability of teams.
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Source: Lori Kleiman