101 Employee engagement ideas for creative communicators
Keep your internal communications fresh with our employee engagement raising ideas.
Most days, you’re a powerhouse of internal communication creativity; brimming with employee engagement ideas that will drive positive employee experience (EX). But there are those odd moments (we all have them — is it too cliché to say Monday mornings?) when you just need a prompt from outside to push how you’re using your intranet software to create the best digital employee experience (DEX) for your colleagues. We feel your pain, and we know that small internal comms teams are often servicing thousands of global employees and deploying a multichannel communication strategy to do so.
That’s why we gathered our Interact Software intranet strategists and internal comms experts together to produce our 101 employee engagement ideas download. You can download the full set on this page, but you can also take a look below for a bit more detail on how our team have used similar ideas in the past to create winning employee engagement campaigns.
Whether you’re a seasoned HR professional or a newcomer to internal communication, we hope there are some ideas here to help make your life easier and the employee experience at your company an outstanding one.
We’ve broken our ideas down by your objectives to make things as easy as possible. Below, you’ll find tips on how to increase team bonding, hints on encouraging recognition among your colleagues, and much more.
Increase team bonding
Collaborative tear sheet of motivating words
A good exercise for teams seeking to build trust and understanding is to work together on a collaborative tear sheet of motivating words. Use your intranet to solicit contributions on a forum and then make sure all the most positive ones appear on the final version. You can either produce something physical for your locations, or post an image for remote workers so they can virtually grab some motivation when they need it.
Ask teams to create departmental values
When individuals join an organization, we ask them to understand and subscribe to the overarching values of the whole. That doesn’t always mean that all of those values really tap into their personal motivations though, and if they aren’t omnipresent across your intranet software, physical locations, and other platforms, it can be easy to overlook them. By asking teams to create three or four departmental values together you give them a greater stake in their own work. That sense of ownership could help with employee engagement.
Keep everyone learning
Hacks to become a better presenter
Whether your employees work in customer-facing roles or not, having great presentation skills has become even more important in an era when lots more of us are being asked to speak on camera. By setting up a video series of presentation hacks as a content area on your intranet you can create an educational resource for your whole organization. You can even add quizzes, import supporting documents, and selectively notify target audience members when the content is updated.
Professional-style reviews of work-related items
Not everyone who works with you is going to be a confident writer, but you can encourage the development of written skills through exercises which give people a chance to use formats they are already familiar with. Product reviews are now an extremely common online response to a purchase, so why not set up a forum where employees can objectively review items that have helped (or hindered) their work life. This has the secondary bonus of helping other colleagues to find useful new products so could produce some great employee engagement.
Create a “boast board” to celebrate others
At Interact Software, we have numerous tech-related ways to recognize our colleagues, but one of the ideas that our contributors liked most on our 101 employee engagement ideas list was this old-school-sounding boast board. And, yes, while you can physically pin up your co-workers’ names and awesome attributes on your noticeboard, you could equally well achieve the same effect via an intranet forum.
Add a “Why I work here” section to profiles
It seems simple, but we often don’t know what drives our colleagues to get out of bed every day. What recent research has shown though is that purpose-led working is becoming more and more important. McKinsey notes that by 2025, Millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce and meaningful work is top of their reasons for joining a company. Make your digital workplace a space where employees can celebrate what they find meaningful with a “why I work here” section on their intranet profile page.
Discover more about everyone with employee engagement ideas
Ask for blogs about employee first days
It’s quite a common practice to ask new starters to write introductory blogs for their organization’s intranet. It has the double benefit of letting everyone else know who has joined the team, but with social commenting and likes enabled, the writer gets some important positive feedback (a key driver in improving digital employee experience). Why not focus in though by asking them about previous first days they’ve had. That way everyone gets to learn a little about their career history without it feeling like they’re writing their resume all over again.
Survey which social media employees use
Understanding how your audience want to be contacted is vital for any internal communicator. Perhaps your remote colleagues use TikTok only and will respond better to video content. Maybe in-office staff only use LinkedIn and prefer written blogs. Using Pulse Surveys can give you a simple overview so that you can direct your multichannel communications accordingly. Perhaps they don’t use any social media and SMS or digital signage may be the best option!
Make it fun!
Employee pet photo forum
Who doesn’t love showing off their beloved furry friends to admiring co-workers? Creating a space for pet lovers to connect has an important social effect but can drive additional traffic to the intranet when the notifications on their posts come rolling in. Cat content is what makes the internet run after all.
Embarrassing photos & stories
Sharing is caring, and sharing your most embarrassing stories can be the most powerful and caring act of all. Research shows that showing vulnerability can help to generate trust in teams because it helps to build openness. A simple way to do that is to ask people (starting with your organization’s senior leaders) to share moments when they felt a bit red in the face.
Healthy body, healthy mind
Use Strava or Peloton to share fitness
Although fitness monitoring has been a trend for several years, smartwatches and fitness apps became notable during the pandemic as gyms closed and people turned to outdoor pursuits. At Interact Software we have social communities set up where like-minded fitness enthusiasts can share their progress, but why not go further and hold company-wide competitions for improvement so everyone is encouraged to move more and be active.
Share healthy eating plans
With more remote working comes more time spent close to our kitchens. Help employees to stick to their good habits by sharing healthy eating plans and recipes so that everyone can make the most of their time at home. Blog posts are a good way to share how people are doing and to encourage easy content creation that people don’t feel intimidated by.
Make it competitive
CEO photo caption competition
Get employees to put their copywriting skills to the test with a competition to see who can come up with the snappiest one-liner. Asking one of your senior leaders to appear in a bad Christmas jumper or silly hat can also break down walls and humanize everyone — adding to positive company culture and improving employee experience.
Daily sketching challenges
Lots of people took up new hobbies over the last year or two, so why not use Pulse Surveys to find out which were the most popular and then see if you can popularize them across the company. Whether it’s photography, needlework, or drawing, you can set small challenges for employees and reward them with recognition or a company swag bag.
Employee engagement ideas to get them talking to each other
Hackathon thread of best life hacks
Remote workers can feel isolated from their in-office colleagues, so it’s important to find different ways to connect everyone in your company. A good way to do this can be to start popular threads that everyone can contribute to, regardless of where they’re based. You don’t need to be part of a physical meet-up to give everyone the benefit of your ultimate life hacks for wine ice cubes or marking the end of sticky tape with a paperclip!
Fun things to do in company HQ cities
For those who do work in office, or who are visiting from out of town, it’s great to have the insights of insiders. Community discussions of the best parks or coffee spots can ensure that teammates are talking to one another, but that they’re also learning a little more about the location and each other as they outline what they’re interested in. All the secret salsa dancers will be confessing where they go after dark.
Employee engagement ideas to support inclusivity
Spotlight on favorite charities
Rather than setting a corporate charity that people can contribute to, why not source that from your colleagues. With a weekly or monthly charity spotlight you can give employees the chance to spread awareness internally of their favorite cause and highlight the work it does.
Invite experts to speak
Bringing in outside speakers for diversity, equality, and inclusion topics can be a great way to raise important conversations in these crucial areas. In addition, it’s also important to provide spaces for conversation and support once the talk has stopped but the emotional impact goes on. If you want to make the program of speakers really pertinent to your own organization then why not set up an employee task force so they can control the agenda and get input from their colleagues on what is most relevant.
Keep everyone informed
Themed town hall meetings
For many organizations, keeping employees up to date on key company developments is the heart of their corporate communication strategy. With a modern intranet, it’s possible to do this not just through easily ignored emails, but via multichannel communications on a wide range of channels, including blogs, SMS, notifications, and more. Live town halls and other virtual events may be a big part of your comms, so make sure they’re interesting with content or design themes, but then also deploy multichannel messaging to make sure everyone knows what is happening and when.
Video answers to FAQs
It’s too easy for the frequently asked questions that all employees have to be buried in dusty documents. With modern intranet software you have several ways to combat this, including content surfacing by keyword, mandatory reads, and a menu structured by objectives as well as areas (I want to…file an expense claim or book vacation, for example). Another interesting way to answer their common questions though is via video FAQs from senior leaders or HRs. Faces and voices can add a little more expression and personality, all of which counts when thinking about positive company culture and outstanding employee experience.
Share & debate views that challenge industry consensus
Not that you want to take everyone back to school, but having active debates is a sign of intellectual rigor, not bad feeling. If you want to challenge everyone to think differently and to develop their own ideas on your market position or your industry as a whole, why not set a series of debates where people are asked to take up opposing positions so every angle can be explored rather than just reinforcing the status quo.
Employees predict upcoming industry trends
Highlight the unknown thought leaders in your organization by asking employees to make their best predictions about future trends. Some will be wild and wonderful, others might tie closely to the company’s strategy. Whatever they come up with, it’ll be another interesting set of debates and there may even be some interesting product ideas. After all, your colleagues should be your most knowledgeable brand advocates.