Gallup’s recent study on employee engagement is not pretty. It is estimated that a disengaged employee costs $3400 for every $10K in salary (or 34%). In their state of the American Workplace report, Gallup identifies three types of employees:

  • Engaged:30% that drive innovation and move company forward.
  • Not engaged:52% who are essentially checked out, sleepwalking through their day, putting time into their work, but not passion or energy.
  • Disengaged:18% acting out their unhappiness, undermining what engaged coworkers accomplish. Disengagement shows up in tardiness, missed work days, decreased productivity, shrinkage (internal theft ).

Employee satisfaction/dissatisfaction is rooted within their immediate work environment, influenced by their own supervisor. Let’s begin listing the variety of ways that supervisors can create opportunities to engage both the human and business side of employees throughout the day by considering two most recent examples from some of our client organizations:

Other fun activities include:

Of course, there are a million other ways to engage employees and some of them don’t cost anything but a few minutes of your time! Consider these activities to promote discussion, build awareness of team members, create team bonds, and strengthen team cohesiveness:

  • Have each team member bring a list of their top three places to plan a vacation (They might discover someone on the team who has been there and can provide tips to make the travel even better!).
  • Have each team member share (cook and bring or just talk about it – their choice!) a particular food that is a tradition at their family gatherings.
  • Hold a trivia contest about people, places, products, departments, divisions, locations, customers throughout the organization.
  • Have team members submit a favorite quote from a movie, create the complete list, and have team members guess the answers.
  • Holidays: carve a pumpkin contest.
  • Not a holiday – just have a crazy hat day.
You get the picture – fun and games for the sheer heck of it or maybe mixed in with a bit of learning as well! When can you have these kinds of discussions and/or events? Five minutes at the beginning of each team meeting, over lunch, or at a special team break during the week. The investment of your time in creating opportunities for teams to learn more about each other will bring greater rewards in team performance and productivity!