Original article here.
As organizations deal with the challenges of remote work, hybrid models and shifting priorities, the quest to maintain and enhance employee satisfaction and engagement has taken on new dimensions. Beyond the occasional team-building retreat or office party, today’s leaders are exploring innovative strategies to sustain a culture of positivity and motivation throughout the year.
Here, Forbes Human Resources Council members recommend 20 creative ideas that go beyond the conventional playbook, offering fresh insights into how companies can keep their workforce engaged and enthusiastic, fostering a productive and harmonious environment that endures.
1. Create Positive Employee Experiences
You can create positive employee experiences by ensuring the work they do is meaningful to them, building trust between employees and the leadership, having robust communication and implementing social reward mechanisms. This way employees remain invested and emotionally attached to the business. – Modiri Nlanda, Orange Botswana
2. Keep Staff Emotionally Connected To The Mission
The strongest way to maintain high morale is to have a clear mission that employees emotionally connect to. And it is important to reinforce how all of their work is contributing to that mission through the success stories they’re creating for customers. Emotional connection is the best driver of intrinsic motivation and it carries employees through tough work or challenges a company may face. – Michael DeAngelo, Bill.com
3. Recognize Employees’ Contributions And Accomplishments
To keep up morale and engagement, employees must be recognized for their contributions and accomplishments in real time. Introducing continuous recognition through continuous feedback and performance-based rewards gives employees a clear understanding of their professional development and makes them feel more valued for their work and effort, which helps them stay motivated and goal-oriented all year. – Tanya Jansen, beqom
4. Make ‘MAGIC’ Part Of Your Company
Think MAGIC: meaning, autonomy, growth, impact and connection. When these five elements are present, we will engage in our work. When absent, we disengage. When managers take the time to sit with employees to understand how well their work aligns with their expectations of these elements and work to find this alignment, people will engage. – Tracy Maylett, DecisionWise
5. Check On The Well-Being Of Your Staff Regularly
Employee engagement can be kept simple and does not need to be a heavy lift. Identify the biggest hole in the lives of your employees that need it most and fill it. If you’re unsure of where to start, take that as a sign to reconnect. Check on workloads, human needs, physical and psychological safety, as well as the well-being of your team. Start there and do what matters to them—not you. – Cynamon Voe Scott, DuploCloud Inc.
6. Invest In Employees’ Personal And Professional Growth
Leaders must support employees’ personal and professional growth. By offering access to courses, workshops and mentorship, employees feel valued and motivated, leading to increased engagement and satisfaction. Investing in their development creates a positive work environment. – Srikanth Karra, Mphasis
7. Offer Flexibility In A ‘New-Normal’ Reality
The primary way to keep employees engaged in a “new-normal” reality is through flexibility; as long as their work is getting done. People will trade a degree of compensation for the ability to show up for friends and family mid-afternoon. If you offer flexibility and opportunities for personal and professional growth, you will cultivate engaged, loyal employees. – Jessica Kriegel, Culture Partners
8. Acknowledge Family Contributions To An Employee’s Success
Engage the family, not just the employee. Valuing the contributions a family makes toward an employee’s success in turn creates social and emotional engagement. When a family feels proud of being associated with a company, both employee retention and motivation increase. So at that next promotion or salary increase or award, thank the family members. The employee will feel more valued. – Vineet Gambhir, DataLink Software
9. Invest In Leadership Development Programs
Leadership development programs not only focus on growing employees from a work perspective but also provide guidance and coaching for both their personal and work-life aspirations. Showing your investment in their ultimate growth and well-being will increase employee engagement and appreciation. – Sarah Skillin, Delta Capita
10. Practice Open And Transparent Communication
Open and transparent communication is key to employee engagement. Regularly communicate company updates, goals and achievements to keep employees informed and engaged. Encourage open communication channels where employees can provide feedback, ask questions and share ideas or even express their concerns. Transparent communication builds trust and fosters a sense of belonging. – Subhash Chandar, Laminaar Aviation Infotech
11. Utilize Active Leadership To Engage Employees
Use active leadership to engage employees and boost morale throughout the year. This will give you insights into employee needs and create an open door for communication and education about policies and benefits that improve well-being, morale and job performance. Active leadership coupled with comprehensive well-being options shows that you care about employees and boosts employee engagement and morale. – Michael Held, LifeSpeak Inc.
12. Challenge Employees With Meaningful Work In Order To Grow
Challenge employees with meaningful work that allows them to develop their skills and gain additional responsibilities. Without the chance to grow through their work assignments, an employee can grow disengaged and disillusioned with their role. Engaged employees feel as though they are learning every day and often feel grateful for the organization’s investment in their professional development. – Niki Jorgensen, Insperity
13. Allow Employees To Design Their Schedules And Workspaces
Our flexible approach to work at my company keeps morale and engagement high. Allowing everyone to design their workspace and schedule in a way that makes them successful overwhelmingly results in people showing up to work as the best professional versions of themselves. – Joshua Siler, HiringThing
14. Offer Ample PTO For A Good Work-Life Balance
The quickest way for employees to become disengaged and for morale to drop is through overwork and lack of recognition. First, employers should offer ample PTO to ensure employees have a good work-life balance and are able to rest and recharge. Second, managers should highlight the achievements of outstanding performers, recognizing their successes and allowing teammates to celebrate them in meetings. – John Feldmann, Insperity
15. Encourage Employees With A Positive Culture Of Competition
Foster a positive culture of competition by establishing and maintaining healthy standards. Encouraging employees to continuously challenge themselves and work toward ambitious yet attainable goals, ensures they remain engaged and motivated. Recognize and reward achievements, while also holding people accountable in the event expectations are not met. – William Stonehouse, Crawford Thomas Recruiting
16. Practice The Three Cs And Morale Will Soar
Maintaining engagement can be supported through the three Cs. Communication is essential because regular company updates and recognition spur teams on to reach their goals with energy and clarity. Consistency is needed for leaders to do what they do well and at regular intervals and check in on the overall health, goals and performance of their employees. Care is substantial to build the culture in big and small ways, but start by listening, and morale will soar. – Jess Elmquist, Phenom
17. Organize Monthly Events And Bi-Weekly All-Hands Meetings
The all-hands meetings cover company updates and awards for top performers who earn cash bonuses and are recognized in front of the whole company. Our engagement events include Skribbl, yoga, Coffeebot and rotative events, such as a step challenge, wellness bingo, book club, recipe contests or more. – Erin ImHof, CertiK
18. Involve Employees In How To Support And Celebrate The Team
Involve employees in the decision-making around how you support and celebrate your team. Community drives belonging and accountability, and in order to have community at work, you need everyone involved in how your culture evolves. – Ursula Mead, InHerSight
19. Stay In Touch With Employees And Respond Quickly
Keep up consistent communication. As we live in a world of instant news and updates, the expectation is quick gratification and fast service. It is important for HR to be in touch with employees in the same way. Do not expect them to remember and respond to something you did last month! A daily nudge is the new normal. – Dinesh Sheth, Green Circle Life
20. Celebrate Anniversaries And Host Employee Appreciation Days
Making the effort to recognize team members’ accomplishments on a regular basis can keep morale high and engagement strong. On at least a quarterly basis, leaders should find one significant contribution to highlight for each team member. Also, celebrate milestones including anniversaries and employee appreciation days. – Laura Spawn, Virtual Vocations, Inc.