Employee Engagement

10 employee engagement programs that drive real impact

As organizations grow, we have to find ways to optimize our workforce and improve engagement. Implementing different employee engagement programs is a wonderful way to reconnect with employees. Which programs are right for your organization? Today, we are going to share some ideas that might fit the bill.

1) Examine Your Company’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

It’s easy for diversity and inclusion to never go beyond a statement or mantra. Taking action on diversity and moving your statements forward isn’t as challenging as it seems.

For example, if you want to do more with inclusion, start by creating goals based on your statements.

Once you’ve established goals, put some time on your calendar to revisit your KPIs every quarter. What’s going right? How can you improve or speed up your progress? What does your team think about the diversity-focused employee engagement programs you’ve put into place?

Because younger generations value diversity at work, examining your company’s progress in this area is crucial.

2) Give Employees Space to Innovate on Your Product(s)

Are you looking to encourage innovation and improvements on your organization’s products? You might want to host an innovation day at your company.

For example, take a look at this quick video that Arizona State University put together to announce one of their innovation days:

You might be wondering how to make this employee engagement program a reality at your company. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Identify the day you want to host your innovation event and what kind of innovations you want to see (e.g. product innovations vs. company innovations.)
  2. Put parameters around what you want to come out of the day. For example, do you want a solution ready to launch or just the thought work around the solution?
  3. Figure out who needs to be in each employee working group. For instance, you might want to split the company into groups of 10 and ensure that at least one software engineer is in each room.
  4. Give people advance notice, so they have time to come up with some interesting ideas to share with their group.
  5. Host the event (and make it an annual activity if it’s successful.)

3) Encourage Employees to Take a Look at Their Work/Life Balance

Many of your people are probably struggling with maintaining a healthy work/life balance, especially if they work from home.

Taking a look at work/life balance isn’t an employee engagement program by itself. We must create more definition around this goal to make sure our employees can maintain this balance.

You might buy your employees a journal and encourage them to write about work/life balance and discuss their findings with their managers.

Keeping up with work/life balance will ensure that employees take needed breaks and separate their careers from life when working remotely.

4) Host an Employee Care Package Exchange

Everyone loves a fun care package.

Many services send care packages, but that’s not always fun. As an employee engagement program option, you can pair employees together and give everyone $50-$75 to send a care package.

Care package programs can be exciting, especially if you have employees in different parts of the world. Encourage employees to find unique products to add to each package.

You can partner employees up several times a year to create a truly unique engagement program.

5) Make Sure Your Time Off Program Serves Your Staff

When is the last time you took a look at your time off program?

It’s easy to let these programs run themselves in the background, but you have to keep them top of mind.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are employees taking an adequate amount of time off?
  • Can I make these policies clearer? (For example, adding mandatory minimums to unlimited vacation policies.)
  • Are leaders modeling time off best practices?

Creating a time-off policy is only half the battle. Next, employees and leaders need to follow what you’ve described.

6) Change Your Community by Investing in Volunteerism

Volunteering can be a great way to engage employees.

Many community organizations could use your company’s support.

Give your employees time off to volunteer in the local community. Let community organizations join your company’s meetings to keep your employees updated on what they do. These small activities can lead to more engaged employees who are active in the community.

7) Build Exciting Employee Resource Groups

Employee resource groups, or ERGs, are very beneficial at work. ERGs bring together like-minded employees and help them find a group of friends at work.

If your employees aren’t finding friends easily, consider creating resource groups to bring employees together. Friendships built in these groups flourish because everyone has at least one thing in common.

8) Share the Love by Giving Public Praise

When people feel like they are doing a good job at work, engagement flourishes.

If your company hasn’t created a praise program, now is the time to think about it.

Consider how you will praise employees privately and publicly (if they enjoy receiving public feedback.)

You also want to consider how you give constructive criticism to employees. If workers know what to improve upon, they can feel like they are advancing at work.

9) Create a Stellar Employee Mentorship Program

Mentorship is an essential part of work life. It can be difficult to advance without the help of someone more senior in their career.

If you haven’t started a mentorship program at work yet, gather managers and establish a cross-departmental mentorship program.

Encourage employees to sign up for the mentorship program with a form you send to every team member. By investing in this program:

  • Mentors will get to work with people outside of their department.
  • Mentees will get someone to lean on besides their direct manager.

10) Ensure Every Employee Has Talked With Their Manager About Career Progression

Last but not least, make sure that employees are talking about career progression frequently. Managers should be chatting with employees about career progression at least once per quarter.

Did you know that 82% of employees would quit a job due to a lack of career progression?

If you haven’t already, consider creating career progression plans with all of your employees. After you create them, launch a program that encourages managers and staff to revisit their plans regularly.

Key Employee Engagement Program Takeaways

You can’t improve employee engagement overnight. But, programs like the ones we shared today can help you and your business get closer to the employee experience you want to build for your organization.

Do you need a home base for your employee engagement programs? Consider Workrowd! At Workrowd, we help you create employee communities that your staff will love to belong to. If you want to learn more about what we offer and if we are right for your company, email us at

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