So, what can your organization do to recognize and engage employees more regularly and powerfully? Below are some simple steps you can start taking immediately to show employees how much you appreciate them:
1. Help Your Workers Get Healthy
Health and wellness are always important, and healthier employees get more done. One study found that workers who exercise and eat healthy score 11 percent higher on performance assessments than their obese peers do. You can get a company health kick started by providing healthy snacks, arranging for team walks, or even subsidizing employee gym memberships.
2. Celebrate Accomplishments
As a manager, you should know and understand the goals of each of your team members. Did someone just hit their sales quota or land a new client? Celebrate it! Try giving personal gifts, bringing in treats for everyone, or holding a small party at the end of a long day.
3. Bring in Speakers
Outside speakers and coaches can really get your team motivated and performing better together through team-building exercises. Start with a "lunch and learn" and go from there!
4. Get Employee Feedback
If you want to engage your employees, you need to first know what works and what doesn't. Go straight to the source and ask your team for ideas on how they'd like to be appreciated and engaged.
5. Have Lunch
Taking the team out to lunch is a perfect way to make them feel special, and it gives you a chance to get to know them outside of the workplace. Plus, everyone loves food!
6. Go Bowling
It doesn't have to be bowling, of course. The real point is to go out and do something fun with your team! This can be golf, a day at the beach, or any activity your employees are interested in.
7. Create an Open Workplace
Be open in both mind and body. Not only should you be listening to and communicating with your team, but you should also make an effort to take down physical walls separating employees from one another.
According to an infographic from Queens University of Charlotte, 39 percent of employees worldwide say their organizations don't collaborate enough. Getting rid of the cubicles and creating an open workspace is a great way to get more collaboration going.
8. Encourage Ongoing Coaching
Showing an interest in the continued education of your employees proves you are invested in and care about their work and progress. Consider giving each employee a yearly training budget they can spend on events and activities that will help them learn, grow, and develop.
9. Assign More Tasks
Nothing shows you appreciate someone like giving them more responsibility. Doing so expresses your trust and respect for the individual and recognizes their high quality of work.
10. Create a Volunteering Program
One way to create a more engaged community at work is by implementing an volunteering program. Such a program will help your employees give back to their communities and make them feel proud of the company they work for.
11. Spread Motivation
We all could use a little more pep in our steps sometimes. Get your team excited with motivational quotes, videos, and even speakers. They'll start feeling rejuvenated in no time.
12. Have a Group Meal
Set aside one day every week where you and your team sit down, eat a delicious meal together, and talk about what's going on in the office. It might be a good idea to throw in some special recognition for each team member while you're at it!
13. Play Music
When the office is slow, let the music play! Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that music boosts memory recall, creativity, and other important brain functions. Plus, music will bring an element of fun to the workplace!
14. Ban Internal Emails
You might hear a few gasps when you bring this idea to the table, but it's really a great way to improve communication and ensure that team members are actually engaging with each other. Have a question? Get up and go ask!
That being said, we don't recommend this be a permanent ban – maybe one day a week or so.
15. Hold Brainstorming Meetings
Forming open and free communication processes is just as important as breaking down physical walls. Meet at least once a week with your team to brainstorm project ideas, new processes, and more. Don't leave departments out just because the topic at hand is not something they usually deal with! The best ideas can come from anywhere.
People of all ages love games, which probably explains why 55 percent of Americans say they are interested in working for companies that use gamification to increase productivity. Games are a fun way to encourage participation when it comes to training, communication, and more! Use them when you can.
A version of this article originally appeared on the iRevü blog.
Michael Heller is the CEO and founder of iRevü.