In today’s dynamic business environment, team engagement is more than just a buzzword. It’s a critical factor that influences productivity, employee retention, and overall business success.
As HR professionals and SMB employers, you’re at the forefront of fostering an engaged workforce. But with recent shifts in the workplace landscape, maintaining high levels of team engagement has become a complex challenge.
Employee engagement does not flourish
Employee engagement is vital for companies as it boosts productivity, commitment, and innovation, leading to improved business outcomes and a positive workplace culture that attracts and retains top talent.
However, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, employee engagement in the United States has decreased in 2022 for the first time in ten years. In 2020, it was at 36%, but it dropped to 34% in 2021 and further to 32% in 2022. These figures are alarming, considering that high engagement levels are associated with increased productivity, improved employee morale, and lower turnover rates.
On a global level, Kincentric employee engagement report states that the global employee engagement rate dropped to 62% in 2022, down from 68% in 2021.
The shift to remote and hybrid work models has disrupted traditional engagement strategies. In this brand new environment, all you have to do is develop new engagement ideas for your teams.
Team engagement ideas
Engaging employees with their teams is a multifaceted process. Here are some effective strategies to foster a more cohesive and productive team:
1. Create an engaging onboarding experience
Those first few days/weeks of a new employee experience are crucial and they’re your opportunity to set the tone going forward. You should:
- Make new hires feel welcome from day one.
- Provide access to resources and communicate expectations clearly.
- Introduce them to other team members.
- Organize fun activities such as a happy hour or a new hire club.
- For remote hires, adjust the onboarding process to ensure they feel included.
Remember, a positive first impression can go a long way in fostering team engagement.
2. Spice up the work environment
Break the monotony of the 9-to-5 routine by introducing different opportunities and creative ways to engage employees.
- Schedule walking meetings for a breath of fresh air and a change of scenery.
- Allow employees the flexibility to work from home or remotely.
- Take your next team meeting to their favorite restaurant or coffee shop.
Shake it up! Make things interesting for your team. They’ll appreciate it.
3. Foster a positive start to the day
For hybrid or fully remote teams, consider a “Good Morning” meeting. Just 15 minutes of small talk can set a positive tone for the day.
And it doesn’t have to be about work. Someone in your team might be excited about the new Black Mirror episode they watched over the weekend and they’re keen to talk about it.
4. Encourage employee suggestions
Ask your employees to suggest team activities and find ways to incorporate them into your work routine. This sends the message that you’re listening to your employees and you want them to succeed in ways that work best for them.
Implementing these strategies can help keep employees engaged and motivated, fostering a more cohesive and productive team. Remember, an engaged team is a successful team.
5. Organize team building activities
Regular team building activities can foster a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect among team members, leading to increased employee engagement.
These activities can range from simple ice-breaker games to more complex problem-solving tasks. For instance, a virtual escape room can be a fun and engaging way to promote teamwork and problem-solving skills.
6. Activities for remote teams
A remote team can also participate in team-building activities.
- Consider dedicating an online game night when colleagues collaborate to solve puzzles.
- Friendly competition and engagement can also be achieved with virtual trivia nights.
- Movie nights or book clubs can help employees express their interests and feel connected.
- You can incorporate these activities into workdays by scheduling coffee breaks for small talk.
Many employees may value working from home, but the isolation can be hard on some. You can open up channels for social interactions online – and your team will appreciate that energy. But keep it optional – let your employees decide if they want to participate.
Related: Remote employee engagement: a new world of work
The role of HR professionals and SMB employers
As HR professionals and SMB employers, you play a pivotal role in developing and executing on team engagement ideas. It’s up to you to create an environment where your employees feel valued, connected, and motivated to do their best work.
This involves staying abreast of evolving trends and developments in the HR space and adapting your engagement strategies accordingly.
Remember, as HR professionals and SMB employers, your actions and decisions can significantly influence your team’s engagement. So, let’s prioritize team engagement and shape the future of our workplaces.
Frequently asked questions
- What is the importance of team engagement?
- Team engagement is crucial as it influences productivity, employee retention, and overall business success.
- How has the pandemic affected team engagement?
- The shift to remote and hybrid work models has disrupted traditional engagement strategies, making it a challenge to maintain high levels of team engagement.
- What are some strategies to boost team engagement?
- Strategies include creating an engaging onboarding experience, spicing up the work environment, fostering a positive start to the day, and encouraging employee suggestions.
- How can we engage remote teams?
- Remote teams can be engaged through team building activities, such as online game nights, virtual trivia, and coffee breaks for small talk.
- What role do HR professionals and SMB employers play in team engagement?
- They play a pivotal role in driving team engagement by creating an environment where employees feel valued, connected, and motivated to do their best work.