9 Fresh and Exciting Employee Engagement Ideas For Your Company

We all know staying on top of employee engagement is critical, especially since Gallup’s latest indicators reveal that only 33% of the American workforce, 13% of the European, and 23% of the global workforce are actively engaged.

But it’s easy to get stuck in a rut or run out of ways to encourage a thriving, energized workplace environment.

If that’s what you’re dealing with, this compilation of nine exciting and actionable employee engagement ideas is precisely what you need.

Best employee engagement ideas for your company

1.      Throw a wellness charity challenge

Ignite enthusiasm with a wellness challenge!

Wellbeing and employee engagement are strongly correlated factors that inform, support, and build each other, making this a perfect employee engagement idea for achieving all-around better frontline worker outcomes.

Think this is too complicated? It doesn’t have to be.

Here at Speakap, we run an annual Activity Challenge where team members can earn donation points by logging how much exercise they do.

Participants use our employee engagement solution to record their activities and upload proof. All we have to do is tally things up at the end of the challenge.

2.      Use employee engagement tools like a communication platform

Before we go any further, let’s talk about leveraging employee engagement tools, specifically a mobile-first communications platform. Using a solution that’s built for connecting, communicating, and interacting with frontline workers will let you carry these employee engagement ideas out with ease.

It should be robust, secure, integration-friendly, and come chock full of engagement features. This kind of platform will make things far more practical and efficient for you, while massively extending your engagement options and capabilities.

For example, you might want to solicit opinions on which charities to raise money for. With a communication platform, you could throw up a quick poll with approved options for workers to vote on. Give them a few days or even weeks to do so, and you won’t have to worry about hosting chaotic meeting sessions or getting in touch with everyone.

3.      Tap into theme days

You know how there’s a day for everything? National Dress Up Your Pet Day, Mind-Body Wellness Day, Stress Awareness Day, etcetera.

Use these to spark interaction, conversation, and engagement. You could create topical messaging, offer theme-based rewards, or prompt people to share photos or personal information.

Here are some ideas:

Your options are endless. Explore potential days by topic or month and see what theme-based employee engagement ideas you come up with.

This is a great tactic for helping frontline workers form connections and build their social capital.

4.      Recognize and reward the efforts of employees

Recognizing and rewarding frontline workers are potent motivators and engagement drivers, mainly because these factors cater to our self-interest and satisfy the need to feel valued, accomplished, and acknowledged for what we do.

Add this employee engagement idea to your action plan.

It’s low-effort, low-cost, and high-impact. And there’s a good chance your frontline workers don’t feel adequately recognized.

In workplace insight from January 2024, Gallup revealed that only one in three American workers had received sufficient praise or recognition for doing good work, within the 7 days prior to asking.

So, add honest, authentic, individualized recognition into your internal communications.

Here are three tips:

  1. Publicly recognize them by sharing their accomplishments on a public channel.
  2. Have managers and senior leaders send outstanding frontline workers personal appreciation notes.
  3. Recognize great teams or departments by praising the quality of work, showing its impact, or sharing customer stories.

5.      Let deskless workers pick their perks

Rewards are powerful but not equal. The ones that are most enticing and impactful are those that matter most to your workers.

Deloitte characterizes motivational rewards as being meaningful, generation-appropriate, tied to organizational goals, and aligned with worker expectations, values, and needs.

If you’re wondering which rewards hold meaning for your frontline workers, there’s only one way to discover that.

By asking.

Use your employee engagement solution to ask for feedback and allow workers to freely share their thoughts. It won’t be long until you have plenty of valuable insight into their values and needs.

6.      Use employee resource groups to improve inclusion and peer-to-peer support

Employee resource groups or ERGs are effective at engaging specific workforce segments, so much so that 90% of Fortune 500 companies now leverage them.

These groups help form strong, meaningful, and valuable lateral workplace relationships, networks, and trust.

ERGs originated as a way to support underrepresented groups but can be used to connect any internal community that has shared identities and interests, such as neurodiverse workers.

You can set these up within an internal communications platform.

7.      Connect them with leadership in a meaningful way

A key element in getting frontline workers to engage is having leadership engage with them first.

Leaders need to connect from the heart and show empathetic support. BCG recommends demonstrating genuine care, building meaningful connections, and actively working to inspire and empower through generative leadership.

That can be boiled down to having higher levels of involvement and proactively helping frontline workers grow, succeed, and do their best.

For one transportation company, this meant having leadership double their time in-field to engage crews on peer best practices and provide direct coaching.

8.      Adopt bite-sized capability building

Our final employee engagement idea is to empower deskless workers with bite-sized capability building.

People engage much deeper when their knowledge, skills, and abilities are invested in. Investing in their capabilities equips them to succeed in the present and shows them there’s a long-term future at the organization.

McKinsey recommends brief, actionable skill-based training because this delivers an outsized return on a lower investment. Shorter material is more consumable and therefore more likely to be used. Training focused on job-related skills, knowledge, and behavior creates measurable performance improvements.

One retailer achieved its people development goals by delivering bite-sized learning to frontline associates using handheld devices.

Your organization can do the same via an employee engagement solution.

Energize your workplace with creative employee engagement ideas

To recap, you can stoke engagement through well-being challenges, channeling altruism, appealing to self-interest, tapping into national themes, strengthening social connections, and investing in capabilities.

Did any of these employee engagement ideas spark your imagination?

Then test them out. Keeping things fresh and creative is essential for maintaining a vitalized and engaging workplace environment.

Go ahead and put your favorite ones into action with an internal communications solution like Speakap.