4 Innovative and Meaningful Employee Engagement Activities That Work! (and Why)

Here is a brief excerpt from an article by Melany Gallant for Halogen Software’s TalentSpace blog. To read the complete article, check out others, learn more about the firm, and sign up for email alerts, please click here.

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Looking for innovative ideas to drive employee engagement?

If you’ve already addressed all your employees’ basic engagment needs — clear goals, a context for their work, opportunities to develop and progress, recognition and rewards, ongoing feedback and coaching on their performance, and opportunity to do their best — it’s time to get creative.

Since employee engagement is critical to organizational success, getting creative in how you build it isn’t a bad idea. Need some inspiration?

Here are [two of four] excellent examples of companies that are taking innovative actions to make their employee engagement activities meaningful and successful.

1. ABC Supply: “Sign my yearbook?”

Ken Hendricks, the late CEO of the largest roofing distribution company in the U.S., believed that “by putting your people first, your people will put the customer first.” With 350 locations spread across 45 states, fostering and maintaining an engaged workforce was about creating “a people business built on relationships.”

In all the relationship-building activities that Hendricks took on to bolster employee engagement, the key was to treat employees as equals, as peers and as friends. From taking an hour out of every day to talk directly to managers, to inviting hundreds of his employees to weekly parties at his summer home, Hendricks created a culture where people felt supported, appreciated, listened to and respected.

He even had yearbooks printed for ABC Supply employees in all 350 locations, complete with photos, employee lists, and each office’s goals for the upcoming year.

Why it works: ABC Supply has continued to thrive, living by its mission “to increase customer engagement through increased employee engagement.” The little details have made all the difference. The yearbooks, as well as management’s commitment to strengthening inter/outer-office relationships, have proved to be powerful employee engagement activities that keep employees committed to the organization and to each other.

2. Zappos: “The offer”

Zappos online shoe store regularly shows up on Best Places to Work lists. The secret to its hyper engaged workforce? A commitment to company culture. Receiving over 55,000 employment applications a year, Zappos is scrupulous about hiring the right people and more importantly, keeping them.

Candidates who pass the lengthy interview process that includes numerous phone and in-person interviews are asked to attend lunch and happy hour events to see if they’re a good fit with the Zappos “family” and culture.

After four weeks of onboarding training, new hires are made an uncommon offer: a $3000 payout to leave. According to Zappos, 2-3 percent of trainees have taken the offer since the initiative was rolled out.

Why it works: Engagement and culture are synonymous at Zappos. The company is clear about what their culture is and what they need to do to maintain it. They’ve defined their core company values and focus on retaining the people who share and uphold those values. It may take long for Zappos to hire a new employee, but they’re quick to let go people who don’t fit the profile.

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Here is a direct link to the complete article.

Melany is a Certified Human Capital Strategist and the Halogen Software blog manager responsible for coordinating our authors’ posts and providing social media insight as it relates to HR strategy and organizational objectives. For the Halogen blog, Melany writes about tips and best practices for driving employee motivation, performance and development. She is a total book nerd and a die-hard fan of her family and chocolate.

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