Employee Engagement Ideas At Little to No Cost

You’ve got your team together — now you’ve got to keep them engaged and optimize performance. Engagement is key to retention and therefore cannot afford to be overlooked. The good news is: Employee engagement ideas, particularly at the team level, don’t need to break the bank to be successful. Here are some ideas to bond with your team on a budget.

employee engagement at little to no cost

Have Regular Team Meetings

It can’t be overstated how simple yet effective it is to get everyone together — with a purpose. While employees may not appreciate being distracted by weekly (or even monthly) meetings that are on the calendar out of sheer obligation, they will appreciate you taking the time to make each session worthwhile by adding in learning elements, business updates, peer shout-outs and recognition, etc.

Form A Reading Club

Allow your employees to take off their practitioner hats and put on their strategic thinker caps by indulging their intellect in smart books — biographies, business books, leading reports on business disruption, industry news, etc. It’s easy for your people to bump this down on their list of priorities, but meeting to talk about what you’ve learned can help insert accountability to keep them focused on expanding their knowledge in new and interesting ways.

Host Potlucks

This is so simple yet successful at not only engaging employees, but also allowing them an opportunity to mingle with others in a more unofficial and relaxed setting. Consider inviting people outside your team, others on your floor or even a rotating cast who work in different departments but touch your team in some way. Have cook-offs, bake-offs and more — make it competitive but, most of all, make it fun.

Create Recognition Programs

You may have some rock stars on your team but, at the end of the day, every team member pitches in and does good work. If you don’t already have one in place, consider building a free, low-key, effective recognition program where peers have an opportunity to chime in and give props to one another for doing a great job or going above and beyond.

Empower Them To Grow

One of the best things you can ever do to invest in your team members is to provide them with the coaching, mentoring and development they need to reach the next level in their careers. Connect them with mentors and coaches, offer training and development opportunities even to individual contributors, encourage them to attend local conferences and join professional networking groups so they can continually hone their craft and do their jobs better.

Deanna Hartley is a prolific writer and editor, having spent the past decade publishing hundreds of print and digital bylines on topics including job search advice, career development, recruitment, HR and human capital management that speak to both job seekers as well as employers/recruiters. Deanna has a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, is a former senior editor at award-winning publisher Human Capital Media in Chicago, and currently works as a senior copywriter at CareerBuilder. Her articles providing career advice have appeared in a variety of publications, including Gannett’s network of newspapers, Business Insider and Workforce Magazine. A proud female millennial immigrant, Deanna understands the importance and privilege of securing meaningful employment in the U.S. — and hopes, through her work, she can help others do the same.

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