You already know that one of the best ways to promote employee engagement is to create a sense of teamwork--and most employees would probably say that in addition to the satisfaction they get from a job well done (and noticed by the boss), they love to have a good time with their colleagues.
You offer great corporate perks, hold the standard holiday parties, of course, and birthday celebrations, and maybe an annual retreat, but nothing beats having fun just for the fun of it. Whatever day of the week you choose, (try Monday sometime to start the week off with laughter instead of post-weekend blues, or Wednesday to help “hump day” go by faster) think about ways to get staff to interact, giggle, and bring out the playful (and creative) sides of their personalities.
So, in the spirit of fun, we offer up the following suggestions. Some take a whole day, others just a few hours--but they’ll all lead to lots of laughs.1. Have a raffle at your next company meeting. Give everyone 10 tickets, and go crazy with prizes, that can run from dinner at a local bistro to a bath product gift basket to movie tickets to an extra day off, to be taken anytime the winner wants. The catch? Raffle winners have to sing a stanza of their favorite song in order to get the goods.
2. Speaking of music, does your company have a theme song? Why not run a contest where each department writes lyrics to a common tune? No winners here--every submission is a winner, and you can sing all together at that annual retreat.
3. Sundae Monday. Ice cream, fudge sauce, whipped cream, cherries. Turn the cafeteria into a build-your-own sundae assembly line. Bring in the best ice cream you can find, throw on some kids’ music, and just let go. No agenda here except to eat and be merry. Make sure the CEO and upper management are there too--folks like seeing the human side of the people in the suits.
4. Hire a handful of caricaturists (you can find them in any tourist area) to roam the halls, creating on-the-fly portraits of everyone they meet. Post the finished products everywhere, including on your corporate intranet and encourage comments.
5. Bring in an improv troupe for a performance--and make sure that staffers are encouraged to join the action. This is another place where you can humanize the senior staff. There’s nothing quite like seeing your bosses onstage--without their PowerPoint decks.
6. Throw a “Get to Know Us” afternoon where each department explains what they do. This is a good idea anyway, but you can make it fun by having each department write and act out a skit that dramatizes their contribution to the company. You’ll be surprised at how creative those people in accounting can be!
7. Have a game of office mini-golf. Work with the creative department to utilize props, stairwells, cubicle mazes, and anything else they can get their hands on to make an 18-hole challenge. Team up with a local mini-golf company for clubs and scoresheets. Winner gets a tacky trophy.
8. Create a new department--the Ministry of Fun. Encourage employees to make suggestions or lead a Fun Day experience. Everybody can join, and you’ll have an endless supply of staff-generated fun requests--the best way to boost employee engagement.
9. Teammate Trivia. Request some interesting trivia facts about each co-worker and create a puzzle in your next newsletter matching the little known trivia fact to the correct employee. Give prizes for the most correct answers or the first to complete the matches. This is a great way to get your employees interacting and learning about one another.
10. Sneak a lottery ticket into a pay envelope--for everyone.
Looking for more good ideas on how to increase employee engagement and offer better perks at work? See our blogs How to Keep Your Employees (and Yourself) Happy and Productive and “My Favorite Work Perk:” 18 Employees Around the Country Share Their Top Picks.