High team engagement makes teammates feel proud and respected contributors who support one another. A highly engaged team can produce surprising results because people hold themselves accountable to push performances in their imaginations. Engaged employees care for one another’s work when needed, share strategies related to the job, and take responsibility for completing the tasks individually.
What is team engagement?
Team engagement is how much team members feel invested, motivated, and willing to work hard or exert discretionary effort for their team to achieve its goals.
Team engagement is a term that sounds like it could mean many things, but it’s actually fairly straightforward. It’s the alignment between individual goals and company goals.
As the name implies, team engagement requires active teamwork on behalf of everyone involved to succeed.
Behaviors of high levels of team engagement include willingness to volunteer for interim roles, take on extra work, and act as mentors.
An engaged team makes decisions as a group so everyone can see their input. Also, engaged employees have empathy for others’ needs and viewpoints.
While everyone needs some degree of this willingness, some people never grow into taking full responsibility for their actions. The lower levels of participation can severely impact both team morale and a company’s customer satisfaction.
How to get a team engaged
The way an organization approaches engaging employees depends on its culture. There is no one size fits all answer here. It also highly depends on the management.
In general, managers have a responsibility to develop their team members, make them feel like they are a vested part of the company culture.
As a manager, you should strive to create a sense of empowerment in the team, boost employee engagement, and foster a feeling of belonging.
You can help with team engagement in many ways, as you can see below some of the ideas for team engagement activities. All these ideas ultimately evoke job satisfaction from the employees.
So, here are 30 creative ideas for team engagement:
1. Incentivize challenges
Although not everyone is interested in developing their skills, most people appreciate the opportunity to do so, especially when there is an incentive behind it.
Providing employees with recognition or compensation for facing new challenges will inspire them to take on challenging tasks in the future. It will foster a culture of personal development and growth.
2. Provide growth opportunities
Providing opportunities to develop new skills and discover new passions enables employees to pursue career paths at your company that they may not have considered otherwise.
Team leaders can provide opportunities for advancement by assigning projects that highlight different skill sets or simply giving feedback that allows team members to identify ways they might improve.
3. Create a personal garden with your team
Create a personal garden with your team and ask them to bring plants. Make sure everyone brings both flowers and vegetables, even if they are not expert gardeners.
And, if you are worried about not getting enough of a variety, just pick one or two plants, and everyone can grow one. Team members will always be able to enjoy their harvest and the fruits of their labor.
4. Team building at a local park
Team building at a local park or work retreat where you all go for a hike, cleanup, play games or have fun.
It gets team members talking to one another and makes them feel more comfortable working with each other when they know their coworkers on a personal level.
5. Team engagement building games
Bringing employees together to foster communication and collaboration may seem like an ideal team engagement activity, but it is not always the easiest.
Team building games make this process simple by encouraging camaraderie through fun activities that keep morale up while allowing you to pinpoint areas to improve your internal employee relations.
Team building games also let individuals know one another on a more personal level and helping them reduce their chances of avoiding others or working alone, both of which can be detrimental to effective teamwork.
6. Create an infographic representation of your goals
Team members can then discuss their commitment to reaching those goals as a group and getting everyone aligned on what they have to do and why they have to do it.
You can also ask team members to create their own goals and share them with the group. Engaged team members can then discuss their commitment to reaching those goals.
7. Arrange team-based contests
Arrange team-based contests that reward personal contribution and collaboration. Team members have to work together including, completing a task, sharing information, or generating ideas.
For example, generating new revenue for the team, writing an article on how to improve the team’s workflow or identifying new ways to streamline processes within the department.
And then competing against themselves (or each other) to come up with a better solution than the ones their teammates have already proposed.
8. Team engagement meetings as weekly check-ins
Use your team meetings to ensure individual and collective accountability, celebrate the progress made, and discuss any roadblocks you encounter along the way. Regularly schedule one-on-one time with each of your direct reports.
Team meetings are also an opportunity to keep the entire team informed of what everyone else is working on and serve as a check-in to ensure that individuals focus on their most important tasks for the week.
9. Team engagement meeting icebreakers
Before diving into your meeting agenda, spend a few minutes having fun together first. Team building activities like trust falls or introductions with descriptive statements help establish strong bonds between individuals right from the start.
You can ask each person, in turn, to share something specific about themselves (their recent accomplishments, a quote they love, or something else) and then have everybody vote for who they believe was Team Member of the Week.
10. Make team engagement meetings productive
Ensure that everybody feels a little more comfortable together, and then move on to the meeting agenda.
Find out what types of obstacles team members come up against every day in their specific roles (like getting stuck on certain projects or having trouble managing high-maintenance clients). Then suggest some potential solutions and have everyone vote for the ones they like best.
11. Serve employee needs
Team engagement can be increased by learning about your employees’ needs beyond the workplace and incorporating them into your company culture.
For example, if an employee mentions that they have a passion for art or reading, try organizing a group trip to an art museum or a local library.
Allowing your team members to do what they love outside of work will not only enhance their time at your company but provide them with opportunities they may otherwise be unable to access.
12. Create a team mission statement and rules
Let the team create a mission statement and list of rules (that are clear, relevant, and enforceable) that they feel committed to.
Team members will feel proud of their role on the team when they create it themselves. And they will feel more connected and accountable for supporting their fellow team members.
Read more: 16 Examples of Taking Responsibility at Work
13. Use Team Member surveys
Use Team Member surveys to gauge team engagement levels throughout the workplace. It will serve two purposes:
The first is those team members who feel disengaged or unhappy are more likely to answer honestly, which leads you to the root cause of an issue so you can fix it.
The second one is, it shows team members how much their input matters and helps them see that they have a voice in the company.
14. Team members take turns giving the team a pep talk
Team members can have a positive influence on each other. Their words and actions can have an impact on their peers.
So, it is helpful for one person to give an entire department or team at different times a simple two or three-sentence pep talk to remind team members of what team engagement is all about.
15. Team members take an afternoon off
Team engagement can go up or down depending on how much team members feel valued, appreciated, and respected by Team Leaders and other Team Members.
The best way to demonstrate that you consider their unique contribution and importance is through positive interactions such as a team outing where team members can get to know each other outside of the work environment.
16. Ask a staff member to act as a company expert
Ask a staff member to act as an expert on one of the company’s products or services. At least once a month, have your employee make presentations to groups of customers or the public.
It will help boost team engagement as it shows them they are valued, and it allows them to have a say in what goes on with the company and its products.
17. Listen more than you talk
Put down your coffee mug, stop texting, and stop writing emails. You have to focus 100% of your attention on a team member when talking.
It lets them know you are interested in what they are saying, and it shows you pay attention to details. An employee that feels like their boss is paying attention to them becomes more engaged.
18. Have an all-staff meeting
Have an all-staff meeting or conference call every quarter to announce the latest company developments and share relevant information on company goals, changes, and best practices.
It allows everyone to be on the same page about what is going on with the work at hand. Be sure to include time for Q&A so that employees feel they have a chance to voice their thoughts and concerns.
19. Take advantage of social media
Take advantage of social media as a team-building tool. Create a company Facebook page where employees can talk with each other about whatever topic they want, from sports scores to favorite TV shows and more.
Setting up forums like this ignites conversation throughout the company, promoting deeper connections between team members.
Read more: How do You Demonstrate Leading by Example
20. Break into teams for a trivia game
Break into teams (cross-functional is best) and have each team compete in answering difficult questions about the company, its history, and plans.
At the end of the allotted time, tally up your scores and declare a winning group. This exercise allows employees to learn more about each other while having fun doing so.
21. Share company success stories with the team
Share positive news about current projects that have been handled well by certain people within the organization to inspire other workers to be just as successful.
The best thing is that you can highlight both individual and organizational achievements; it is not all about one person when everyone plays his part perfectly.
22. Encourage team members to forward ideas
Encourage team members to submit ideas about ways to improve as an organization or leader — from what they like best about workplace culture to where you could do better and how that would impact them.
After gathering all of these ideas into one place, develop a plan and unveil it to team members showing how you will implement some of them.
23. List your team’s accomplishments
If you have an employee recognition board or wall, list all the great things your engaged team members have done together and then hang it in a highly noticeable place for everyone to see.
It is a constant reminder of what people can accomplish when they work together as a team.
24. Maintain communications channels
There should be open communication between upper management and staff for questions, employee suggestions, and feedback about the team’s successes or failures.
But there must also be a channel of communications set up with employees at the lowest levels to gather information regarding issues such as employee satisfaction, morale, turnover rates, and anything else.
The bi-directional flow of information will help you identify strengths within the team and areas in which improvement is needed — leading to a more engaged team overall.
25. Create a workplace pop-up shop
Create a workplace pop-up shop to raise money for charity or pick a cause team members collectively support and dedicate this workplace fundraising event to make an outstanding contribution by getting the team engaged in a fun way.
26. Hold your own Olympics
Hold your own Olympics. If you want to learn more about what motivates your team members, think of it as an opportunity to get them on board and show their competitive sides.
Have competitions for everything from who can fill the most orders (with accuracy or speed) and see who comes out ahead. It is also a great way to spark some friendly competition among work colleagues and boost morale.
27. Offer employee success conferences
The success of any employee engagement strategy relies on clear goals that help define what success means for each individual within the team.
If the ongoing success of your team is what you are aiming for, then group meetings to review each employee’s performance and set new goals are a must.
28. Send “Thank You” notes
When you do something nice for someone else, like sending out a thank-you email for their work at the end of the week, chances are they will feel appreciated and willing to go that extra mile next time if asked.
When you praise your employees in writing, it can help them connect with their goal of improving customer service while keeping their morale high.
29. Have your staff share their knowledge
Help everyone on staff gain confidence and enhance their skills by having them do presentations during lunch or after hours.
It will give people an opportunity to talk about things that interest them while allowing others who may be interested in those fields to hear more about what it takes to succeed in those areas.
30. Create a team-building scavenger hunt
Conduct a game of “you’ve got mail” with your team members by having them find items or solve puzzles throughout the office space that require cooperation and teamwork to complete.
Give the clues via email or on separate sheets of paper that you hang up all over the office just before the scavenger hunt begins, so your staff knows what they need to collect for points.
The first team to finish wins! Offering small prizes helps drive enthusiasm for these types of activities as well.
Team engagement is an effort-based, measurable program where teams are committed to a common goal. There are many ways of measuring team performance including, feedback from clients or analysis of project data and employee surveys.
Engaged employees have a heightened commitment and belief in what they do and feel like they contribute positive value.
They can closer identify an intrinsic purpose by following this prescribed guideline for optimizing engagement at work.
How do you engage your team? Leave your thoughts below in the comment or you can contact us to discuss more about ideas for team engagement