8 Employee Engagement Ideas to Try With Your Team

Employee engagement is a measure of how much employees are invested in their work and the organization. Engaged employees:

  • Display higher productivity.
  • Display higher levels of workplace satisfaction.
  • Are less likely to quit.

An employee engagement strategy is well worth an investment of time and resources as engaged employees are the foundation for a strong, thriving business. We’re sharing 8 proven employee engagement ideas to help inspire you and your team.

Employee engagement ideas 

There are many ways to engage employees and strengthen your workforce; there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. The following employee engagement ideas can help you start crafting your own engagement strategies. 

1. Let employees be problem solvers.

Employees feel more engaged when they can play an important role in the workplace, especially if they can be problem solvers. Avoid the temptation to fix all problems in the workplace on your own. 

Ask your employees for ideas and engage them in conversation as you try to decide how to solve organizational, operational, or strategic problems facing your workplace. Make a committee or hold a staff meeting to talk about issues and give your employees a chance to step up and be a part of the solution.

There’s a bonus benefit for managers and business owners here as well. When you allow your employees the opportunity to tackle problems in your business, you can identify the future leaders on your team and where their strengths lie. When you give your high-performing employees the freedom to innovate, they can help your business grow in ways you might not even see yet. 

2. Support professional development.  

Our research has shown that professional development opportunities are one of the most desired benefits of a workplace, and many employees will leave a company to seek them out. Employees that feel you are invested in their growth as professionals and individuals will be more motivated and loyal to your company. 

Some ways to support your employees’ development:

  • Help them set and reach goals related to skills they want to learn and how they want to progress in their career. 
  • Map out a “growth plan” or career track with them and help them visualize how to get to the next level. 
  • Set aside funds for your employees to use for education and growth opportunities like online courses, seminars, books, etc. 

3. Set aside time for team-building days separate from daily work.

Try setting aside time to get your staff away from their desks – or the sales floor, or the showroom, or the kitchen, etc. The goal is to pull employees out of their day-to-day work activities and allow enough time for them to unwind, get to know their co-workers in an informal setting, and build trust through familiarity. 

That’s not to say that team-building days should be one non-stop party. You can provide structure with activities like:

  • An icebreaker exercise or game to help loosen people up
  • A sit-down meal (plus, let’s be honest: people love free food)
  • An overview of upcoming strategic plans for the business 
  • Problem-solving sessions 

If possible, engage in a team-building day at least once every year. Even one annual team-building day fosters bonding and camaraderie and can pay dividends for your company culture long after the day ends. 

4. Create a plan to solicit feedback from employees.

As a manager, you’re used to delivering feedback to your employees on a regular basis. It’s just as important to ask for their feedback in return. 

A good place to start is during any regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings with your team. Get into the habit of ending these meetings by asking questions like:

  • Is there anything I’m doing that you think I should change?
  • What would you do differently?
  • How can I help you be more productive? What obstacles can I remove for you?
  • What should the business be focusing on that we’re not focused on currently?

Regularly asking employees these questions increases their awareness and reminds them to be on the lookout for opportunities to offer helpful feedback for the business. And most importantly – when the feedback is constructive, be willing to accept it and make a plan to act on it. 

You can also give employees a way to regularly provide feedback through employee surveys. Pulse surveys are short, frequent surveys where employees can provide insight into how they’re doing and if they have what they need to do their jobs effectively.

5. Create a working environment where employees feel comfortable.  

As a business owner or manager, it’s up to you to make your working environment clean, safe, and comfortable. If possible, give employees a break room or space where they can go to relax. If costs allow, consider offering free snacks or drinks at work. It’s also important to make sure that everyone has what they need to do their job effectively.

And since no one is more comfortable than at home, if it’s possible for your business consider offering hybrid work where employees can work from home occasionally. Studies show that hybrid work can help improve productivity and increase employee satisfaction. 

6. Recognize their individual achievements.

Recognizing employees for achievements is one of those things that all managers know they should be doing, but it can often take a backseat to a variety of more day-to-day business matters. So it helps to make a plan for how you’re going to recognize your employees. After all, showing appreciation is a no-cost employee engagement strategy!

Performance reviews are an excellent opportunity to praise your employees for good work and effort. Keep notes on each employee, including good ideas they had, times when they went above and beyond, and anything they did that contributed to the team. Citing specific examples of good performance can help your employee feel more valued overall.

Don’t just save your appreciation for performance reviews, though. Show your gratitude by sending an encouraging email or thanking them for how they handled a tough project or challenging customer. High-performing employees want their work to be noticed by leadership – and you owe them frequent reminders of appreciation if you expect them to stay engaged on your team for the long haul.

One last thing: Whenever possible, make sure to deliver your gratitude publicly (as long as the employee is comfortable with public displays of appreciation) in addition to doing so in private. For big accomplishments especially, remember to celebrate your employees in front of their peers. 

7. Support your employees’ health and wellness. 

Your employee’s mental and physical health is important, and impacts every area of their lives – including their work life. All too often, employees become disengaged and even quit jobs, because they are stressed, burnt-out, or are struggling with poor physical health. 

Encouraging employee health and wellness shows that you care about them as a person, not just an employee. Here are a few ideas you might try: 

  • Provide health insurance benefits, including coverage for mental health. 
  • Offer a monthly wellness stipend that employees can use for things like gym memberships or massages. 
  • Host wellness events that get the whole team involved. For example, CareerPlug hosts an annual wellness challenge, where employees earn points for checking off different activities like journaling or going on a walk. 
  • Provide educational opportunities for employees like workshops on nutrition, financial wellness, work-life balance, etc. 

 8. Help employees buy in to your mission and values 

Ideally, when hiring new employees, you focus your hiring process on finding someone that can not only do the job, but is also aligned with your core values and purpose. If someone resonates with your values and mission they are more likely to be motivated by it. 

Make your values prominent and important. Make sure that your company lives its values in how decisions are made. When you fall down (which you inevitably will) make sure that you acknowledge it and keep realigning with your values so that your employees see that you mean what you say. 

Employees that are dedicated to your mission will commit to helping you achieve it long term and will feel more engaged with the work they do daily.  

Employee engagement ideas from great companies 

CareerPlug encourages team members to celebrate each other 

One fun way that CareerPlug incorporates positive feedback and celebrating achievements is through weekly “shout-outs” during our company-wide meeting. Employees take the time to shout each other out and tie winning moments back to our core values. This is a great way to help coworkers feel seen for their contributions, and encourages an “attitude of gratitude” at the company. 

Google’s 80/20 rule

Have you heard about Google’s 80/20 innovation model? This tech giant supports employee engagement in a unique way: They encourage employees to spend 80% of their time on “core projects” and the other 20 on an activity that they are personally interested in or passionate about. This helps encourage innovation and has produced great results for the company – it even led to the creation of gmail!  

Nvidia supports life outside of work 

This large tech company goes above and beyond when it comes to supporting their employees through major life events. They have a generous parental leave policy and offer reimbursements for adoption and surrogacy expenses. They also provide employees with resources and programs to help navigate other stressful circumstances like planning for college, going through a divorce, and moving. 

Build Stronger, More Engaged Teams with CareerPlug

Pulse, CareerPlug’s Employee Survey Tool, can help you check in with your employees and see how your employee engagement initiatives are doing. Be the first to know when Pulse launches.


CareerPlug is more that just a software vendor. We are experts in hiring and have invested in growing the expertise of our teams to help you with hiring and retaining the right people. We use our hiring expertise, not AI, to infuse our content with a point of view and proven best practices and advice for employers.

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