It’s not an exaggeration to say that team engagement is one of the most undervalued assets in the corporate world. The statistics speak for themselves, with a recent Gallup report revealing highly engaged teams are 21% more profitable than their disengaged counterparts. Furthermore, engaged teams correspond with 41% less absenteeism and 59% less turnover overall.
So how can you build stronger, more engaged teams? Read on for our guide to four unique team engagement activities you haven’t already tried. We also cover the inherent importance of team engagement, as well as tips for boosting overall engagement in the workplace.
The importance of team engagement
Employees are the bread and butter of any organization so it makes sense that team engagement can have a huge impact on performance. Not only do engaged teams promise heightened productivity and efficiency, they’re also more innovative, creative and motivated. This translates to higher customer retention levels and satisfaction and more importantly, bigger profits.
This summary from Gallup says it all:
“A highly engaged workforce means the difference between a company that outperforms its competitors and one that fails to grow.”
Basically, if you want to improve performance and growth, engagement is essential. So how can you engage your team? Read on for our curated list of team engagement activities.
- Assign company values
Make a list of your organization’s core values, ensuring there is one value for every employee. Then write down each value on a piece of paper and ask each employee to draw a value out of a hat. One by one, each employee will spend a week attempting to represent their assigned value and incorporate it into the workplace.
For example, if one of your values is sustainability an employee may take the initiative to set up a recycling station in the staff room or write an email to the office manager requesting a switch to low-energy lights. Not only does this activity help boost team engagement, but it also highlights your organization’s intrinsic values and helps employees feel more connected to the company.
2. The ‘do better’ challenge
Empowering your team with a sense of meaning and purpose can be a great way to connect with employees not engaged at work. The ‘do better’ challenge aims to do this by asking employees to think of small yet meaningful ways the organisation can improve. Encourage your team to get creative and think of improvements that are close to their heart.
For example, an eco-conscious team member may ask everyone to make the switch to reusable coffee cups. Similarly, a philanthropic employee may run a monthly collection drive spotlighting local charities. Ask each employee to make a small presentation about why they chose their ‘do better’ initiative.
These sorts of activities get your team talking, help build a collective sense of purpose and offer employees a chance to share their personal interests and values with their colleagues. Remember, team engagement activities should always be fun and stress free so don’t put too much pressure on employees to participate or get too extravagant.
With a recent report from US company TalentLMS revealing gamification can boost productivity by 87%, it’s something that every organization should be considering. Great for engaging both in-house and remote employees, gamification describes the use of game principles in a non-game context.
There are countless ways you can introduce gamification into your team employee engagement process. These can range from work-related challenges such as winning rewards for hitting KPIs to extracurricular activities such as recipe sharing threads on a dedicated Slack channel or an opt-in fitness platform where employees compete for the highest daily step count.
4. Creative virtual hangouts
Zoom quizzes may have been done to death but there’s definitely still a place for virtual hangouts when it comes to team engagement activities. The ‘virtual’ element is key as it can be a great way to support teambuilding across multiple departments, offices and even countries.
Get as creative as you like, with some of our favourite examples including relaxing Zoom yoga or meditation sessions (these are great for teams based in different time zones as yoga can be done at any time of the day) and meet-and-greet sessions with pets.
Another idea we love for teams in different cities putting together cocktail making kits and distributing them to each employee. On a Friday afternoon send each employee home with a kit, then hold a virtual cocktail making class to kickstart their weekend.
Tips for boosting team engagement
- View team engagement as a tangible behavior, not an abstract feeling. The Gallup report cited earlier confirms that the most successful organizations directly integrate employee engagement into their business strategies.
- Focus on the individual. While focusing on one person can seem counterproductive in a teambuilding context, the reality is that engagement is always about the individual. Activities like the ‘do better’ challenge achieve this by asking employees to share their own personal beliefs and values in a team environment. Another way to focus on the individual is to offer choice when it comes to rewards. For example, instead of issuing a Pizza Express gift voucher for as a prize for every team competition, try to make it a little more personal. Maybe your vegan employee would prefer a voucher to that new plant-based café that just opened? Or perhaps an outdoorsy employee would rather a gift voucher for a store such as Blacks? A little thought can go a long way.
“The first step to connecting with disengaged employees is to transform your mindset. At 3radical we underpin all our strategies with what we call an Employee Engagement Mindset. This means transitioning away from the outlook that every employee is the same and adopting an approach where every employee is seen as an individual. When you can appreciate that every employee has different needs, values and priorities your employee engagement strategy can start to thrive.”
Increase team engagement levels in your workplace
At 3radical, we specialize in helping organizations elevate employee engagement and build stronger teams. With our help, you can drive deeper team engagement and leverage the power of technologies such as gamification and customized collaboration platforms.