Cubicles by Michael Lokner licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
I have worked in an office setting for just about ten years. The problem that each company I have worked for seems to always be employee engagement.
According to an article from The Idaho Business Review, “Statistically, according to Gallup, only about one-third of Americans are actually engaged in their job, which means they're kind of phoning it in, doing the bare minimum to collect their check to go home.”
It is hard to come to the same place every day and do the same (usually repetitive) task and be super excited to do it. Work isn’t always the most fun place to be, but I think that there are ways that the company and management can make it more interesting, without putting in a ton of effort.
In my opinion, motivation in an office setting is not just giving uplifting speeches, it needs to come from the encouragement of employees to have a little fun and let loose. My former company had a “spring fling” week each March where each department was formed into a team and there were several indoor and outdoor events. We would take to the park across the street and play basketball, volleyball and tug-of-war. Inside, we would play spoons, bingo, and have a rock, paper, scissors tournament. During the week leading up to the main events, we would have a crazy hat day or college t-shirt day and each team would earn participation points. The competitive nature got everyone excited to be goofy and get to know their coworkers a little better because we were able to get out of our cubicles and loosen up. The winning team simply got bragging rights and a pizza party (food seems to be an effective motivation and reward).
I like this idea of taking a little time to nurture the playful side of the employees. It gives us something to look forward to and who doesn’t like a little competition? When we’re at work, we have a job to do, and the work is always the top priority. However, keeping employees engaged with the occasional fun activity that is not necessarily work-related will make your team more willing to provide a high quality product. Employees need to know that their employers care about them as people, and not just as numbers.
What does your office do to enhance employee engagement?