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Team Engagement - Not Just A Buzzword Culture

Jun 07, 2020

Ready to take your team culture to a whole other level by positive engagement? Here’s a list of 16 fool proof ways to keep employees happy and turn your full staff into a high level powerhouse.

If you think team engagement is just fluff and another daunting concept to form for your office, think again.

Companies with high engaged teams are 21% more profitable.

Employee absenteeism is 41% lower

Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work (Forbes)

96% of employees believe showing empathy is an important way to advance employee retention (Forbes)

So if you thought we were joking, you can see the numbers don’t lie. Here are 16 ways to engage with your team and boost team culture.

Employee Appreciation

While some host an Employee Appreciation month others choose to do a week-long celebration that includes thoughtful things out of the ordinary. Be sure to recognize all team members in each department. If you are choosing a weeklong appreciation you want to celebrate a different department daily. If you choose a monthly Employee Appreciation approach you could celebrate each department for a week at a time.

Get To Know Your Team

Getting to know your team and treating them like someone you would on the outside of the business will boost their attitude because they will feel like they are actually appreciated and are thought of. Get to know them outside of work, what they enjoy doing, and how they spend their free time will also help you to plan events and get a better idea for employee functions that they will be excited for.

Personal Notes

If you notice someone is going above and beyond, or who has highly improved since their hire date, a handwritten note goes a long way. Simply explain to them what they have done to impress you or help as an asset to the company and show gratitude.

Have one-on-one meetings

In most cases one-on-one meetings are typically negative. While a manager's schedule is usually full, keeping employee engagement high is very important and you will need to get to know your employees better on a one-to-one basis. This should be a positive session and can be personal or business related.

Birthday celebrations

Birthdays are a big deal and honestly most team members do not want to work on their birthday. So in order to have them in good spirits be sure to celebrate all of your team members birthdays. If their birthday falls on a weekend celebrate it the business day before or after. This could include you hosting a luncheon, gifts, cards, and of course it wouldn't be a birthday without a cake.

Monthly team performance reviews

It's important to engage with your team on a monthly basis in order to celebrate wins or discuss how improvements can be made for the upcoming month. This also includes everyone on the team so no one is excluded when it comes to goals and reaching them or hurdling past a current issue.

Regular Recognition

Most businesses choose to have an annual or quarterly recognition service. However if you were to host something more often employees start to look forward to it which increases motivation and overall big builds more morale.

Celebrate Holidays

Be sure to celebrate the major holidays and give them something to look forward to. Make it fun and enjoyable so that everyone can engage together and actually want to participate. Depending on your team's culture you may want to discuss ahead of time what the holidays should be and who would like to be included.

Team Huddles

A team huddle is the perfect way to start the day. This is typically a short meeting where you can discuss the goals and incentives if you have those in place for the day or month. Also have someone to read off an inspiration or funny joke just to lighten the mood and get the day started off on the right foot.

Switch up team engagement ideas

When planning an employee gathering or engagement/team building activity it's hard to put everything together yourself or to have one person do it all the time. Have the team rotate as host that way the ideas are always new and fresh. You could also assign 2+ to each event, that way they interact together to build a great activity.


Take a team poll and see what charity they would like to support and participate in. This could be building houses with Habitat for Humanity, cleaning up a local park, walking or running in a 5K to support a charity, or host a fundraiser. Keep a running list that way you will always have ideas and could even volunteer multiple times throughout the year.

New Hire Onboarding

Being a new employee, as much as they want the job, can be very intimidating especially if the team has been together for a long time. Making the team a part of the onboarding process really shows how the office works and how everyone supports each other. Allow your team members to introduce themselves and be sure they welcome their help to new hires. This is a great opportunity to start molding the individual and really show them the company's values. Having an experienced, engaged team member as a trainer will go a long way in the future.

Informal coffee chats

Being able to sit down with your team in an informal setting is a perfect way to break the ice and share their ideas without the tension of a formal meeting. Set aside time at least once a month to get together with your team to toss around ideas, bring up items that could possibly be full-blown issues in the future, and take notes of your team’s feedback. Also share personal wins just to get a birds eye view into their outside world.

Team calendar

Be sure to put together a calendar of all of your team outings and engagement sessions. This way your team is ready and willing to accept their invitation. These activities do not have to be huge but plan for at least one major function once per quarter. Other team events could be team building activities, having lunch together at the office or out at a restaurant, or maybe a weekend event that would be perfect for them to bring their families together.

Spirit Weeks

There’s no reason to wait 6 months in between every holiday to have fun while at work. Host a week throughout the year or multiple if you would like with themed days such as your favorite college team, pajama day, character day, or crazy hat and sock day. Be sure to take photos and post to your social that way you can build rapport with not only your team but with your audience as well.

Host a contest

This could be related to health and fitness such as a Biggest Loser Challenge or who can get the most steps in over a certain period of time. Of course have a prize ready because who wants to participate without winning something.

Keeping a team positively engaged can be a hard job. The most important thing to remember is to stay organized and consistent. It’s easy to be led off track or if things come up not to re-schedule. But in order for your team to be highly engaged with everyone and want to participate they need structure.