What Are Some Successful Initiatives to Boost Employee Engagement?

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    CHRO Daily

    What Are Some Successful Initiatives to Boost Employee Engagement?

    In the quest to elevate workplace morale and foster a more engaged team, we've gathered insights from a variety of professionals, including Chief People Officers and Managing Directors. From implementing PMA STAY Interviews and Celebrations to strengthening engagement with Walmart's Five Key Points, discover the fifteen innovative strategies these experts have successfully put into action to boost employee engagement.

    • Implement PMA STAY Interviews and Celebrations
    • Revitalize Engagement with Donut Slack Integration
    • Launch Skills Enrichment and Team Collaboration
    • Empower with Peer-to-Peer Recognition Programs
    • Adopt a Four-Day Workweek for Creativity
    • Conduct Customer Empathy Immersion Trips
    • Organize Company-Wide Retreats for Team Bonding
    • Highlight Achievements with Monthly Employee Spotlight
    • Foster Open Communication via Group Chat
    • Offer Flexible Schedules and Reduce Micromanagement
    • Organize Monthly Knowledge-Sharing Sessions
    • Hold Monthly Company Culture Meetings
    • Rotate Monthly Team-Building Activity Planning
    • Introduce Creative Fridays for Innovation
    • Strengthen Engagement with Five Key Points

    Implement PMA STAY Interviews and Celebrations

    Related to boosting employee engagement, three areas come to mind. First, perform the PMA STAY Interview with each member of your team to identify their goals, needs, and challenges, and align accordingly. Second, celebrate wins at the start of every team meeting to highlight successes and celebrate together.

    Lastly, add in the Origin Stories Campaign to provide a spotlight on a couple of team members each week. This provides the opportunity for each person to share their story on a team video call, creating awareness and allowing for bonding with the other members of the team.

    Mark Krajnik, LSSGB, CPC
    Mark Krajnik, LSSGB, CPCFractional Chief People Officer, Performance Mindset Associates

    Revitalize Engagement with Donut Slack Integration

    As a remote-first company, we are always looking for ways to enhance engagement and collaboration. Our annual in-person gathering, we witnessed the enthusiasm our employees had for engaging with each other, and realized before the event was over that everyone was eager and excited to continue building relationships across the company.

    To build on the momentum of the collaborative engagement we had, our People team initiated a revitalization of an existing practice, expanding on an engagement tool that would help strengthen these bonds while building more connection and collaboration across the org. Donut, a Slack integration that pairs team members together in a randomized way, is a tool that was already in use, but we realized many of our newer team members were unaware of it.

    To renew the utilization of Donut, we built out more infrastructure to support the connectivity in a more sustainable way, and re-invited all employees. To ensure all team members had the time and bandwidth to participate and enjoy these engagements, we changed the cadence to every other week, and switched between pairings and groups of employees to maintain excitement and enhance collaboration.

    Additionally, we began using Donut for check-ins with members of our People team, as a way of gathering feedback and sourcing trends that we could leverage to create additional engagement programs. So far, we have seen a very positive response rate, and collected some great insights from across the org that will continue to help us make our company an even better place to work!

    Mike Kohn
    Mike KohnChief People Officer, Kevel

    Launch Skills Enrichment and Team Collaboration

    As the leader of a visual branding company, I can attest that our success fundamentally traces back to extraordinary creative talent and installation teams who make client visions realities. So above all, initiatives boosting internal engagement focus on skills enrichment and cross-pollination between these specialized groups who may rarely intersect day-to-day.

    One program evolves creative proposals and renderings into physical installations, primarily using volunteer hours on weekends. Designers conceive capsule campaigns, just for internal showcase—whether an interactive sculpture garden, or a vibrant cultural exhibit. Fabricators and installers then collaborate, bringing the concepts to life onsite, purely for our own inspiration and camaraderie, without billable pressures.

    The sessions have proven tremendously engaging, while further honing technical chops in low-stakes environments. Watching initial visions transform through collaboration into something even more visually stunning and architecturally audacious fuels tremendous morale and connective tissue between teams.

    Stephen Hudson
    Stephen HudsonManaging Director, Printroom

    Empower with Peer-to-Peer Recognition Programs

    Peer-to-peer recognition has been such a powerful initiative for our team members. Though we run achievement and spot bonus awards through our Motivosity platform as well, the peer-to-peer initiative has been so powerful. It helps everyone feel seen, and work that otherwise might go unnoticed is being celebrated across the company.

    Logan Mallory
    Logan MalloryVice President of Marketing, Motivosity

    Adopt a Four-Day Workweek for Creativity

    One initiative that truly transformed our workplace was the shift to a four-day workweek. The idea was simple: work smarter, not longer. This shift allowed our team to have more control over their personal lives, which in turn made them more focused and efficient during work hours.

    The extra day off each week became a catalyst for creativity. Employees returned to work energized, sharing stories of how they spent their time off, whether it was learning a new skill or simply unwinding. This not only strengthened team bonds, but also sparked innovative ideas that they were eager to bring to the table.

    This change also signaled trust. We trusted our employees to manage their schedules effectively, and they rose to the occasion. The result was a noticeable boost in morale, and a collective drive to excel, proving that when you treat employees as responsible adults, they deliver exceptional results.

    Phil McParlane
    Phil McParlaneFounder & CEO, 4DayWeekJobs

    Conduct Customer Empathy Immersion Trips

    As the marketing head of a cybersecurity company, I can tell you that sharply-focused initiatives boosting employee engagement have proven crucial, not just for retention, but for ensuring our solutions align with actual frontline needs. Beyond typical team-building outings, one program I spearhead, involving direct customer empathy immersion trips, stands out for cementing authentic urgency and purpose.

    Dubbed “A Day Away,” small groups across departments routinely embed directly with security operations teams at large client enterprises to shoulder shift responsibilities firsthand. Engineers join triage ticket fire drills. Analysts collaborate on threat hunting alongside SOC leads. Support reps handle escalations hearing users’ headaches.

    Outside familiar HQ surroundings, they acutely experience real partner worlds–the anxiety of battling data breaches, frustration that dated tools trigger rather than solve, and the immense responsibility of securing entire organizations–alongside the inspiration of veterans committed to that mission daily.

    Returning teams channel renewed focus into delivering solutions and servant support that genuinely uplifts these defenders, versus idealized selling points losing context. Leadership rallies product roadmaps and marketing campaigns to issues felt viscerally, not theorized abstractly.

    Yvonne Meredith
    Yvonne MeredithMarketing Manager, MJ Flood Security

    Organize Company-Wide Retreats for Team Bonding

    One initiative we implemented to enhance employee engagement involved organizing company-wide retreats and regional events. These gatherings allowed team members to connect on a personal level through activities like team-building games and bonding exercises, fostering a sense of community and belonging.

    We supported our remote employees in traveling to these events, which proved crucial in integrating them into the team dynamics. This strategy not only improved personal connections among employees, but also enhanced collaboration and communication across different departments, significantly boosting overall engagement.

    Marco Genaro Palma
    Marco Genaro PalmaChief Marketing Officer, PRLab

    Highlight Achievements with Monthly Employee Spotlight

    One successful initiative I implemented was introducing the “Monthly Employee” spotlight program. Every month, we highlighted one employee through our internal newsletter. It showcased their achievements, contributions, and personal interests. This initiative helped to boost the company culture positively.

    Employees appreciated the way the company planned to thank them. The initiative kept them motivated toward their work and skills. It also fostered a sense of community and appreciation within the team.

    It increased their morale and productivity across the organization. Additionally, it encouraged positive interaction among the employees, because they now knew each other better. It strengthened relationships among team members.

    Saikat Ghosh
    Saikat GhoshAssociate Director of HR & Business, Technource

    Foster Open Communication via Group Chat

    To increase employee engagement, we set up a WhatsApp group. We made this move so that employees could immediately contact the staff if they encountered any difficulties completing a task. The more an employee participates, the more he is appreciated.

    However, the primary goal of this strategy is to encourage transparent and open communication between staff and employees. When a business communicates with its employees honestly and openly, it reflects its core values of honesty and integrity. When the company's top management practices these principles, workers become more invested and dedicated.

    Earlier, we used to do this via scheduled meetings, but then we realized that sometimes employees were reluctant to ask questions, because it was all face-to-face. Additionally, when there was no online group, they had to wait for scheduled meetings. This did not give them an immediate solution to any problem. Due to this, they were less engaged, and their performance was affected.

    Ricky Spears
    Ricky SpearsCEO, CMO, Entrepreneur, Ricky Spears

    Offer Flexible Schedules and Reduce Micromanagement

    In my experience, one initiative that's had a big impact on employee engagement is offering flexible work schedules and minimizing micromanagement. When employees have more control over their workday, and feel trusted to manage their time effectively, it boosts morale and fosters a sense of ownership. They're happier, more productive, and feel valued as individuals.

    Kimberley Tyler-Smith
    Kimberley Tyler-SmithVP of Strategy and Growth, Resume Worded

    Organize Monthly Knowledge-Sharing Sessions

    Boosting employee engagement took a major leap when we organized monthly knowledge-sharing sessions. Encouraging team members to present their expertise not only empowered them, but also fostered a culture of continuous learning and collaboration. The energy and commitment levels visibly soared, making it clear that investing in professional growth directly translates to heightened engagement and productivity.

    Koray Tugberk GUBUR
    Koray Tugberk GUBURFounder and Owner, Holistic SEO

    Hold Monthly Company Culture Meetings

    Monthly company culture meetings: a meeting each month where we put business operations, strategy, and daily tasks aside and focus on the WHY, HOW, and WHAT of the business; a dedicated time to think about how we treat each other and how we want to keep building the business together towards our ultimate vision.

    I've implemented this multiple times across different companies, and the outcomes are always the same. We quickly see increased team morale, more personal motivation within their roles, the desire to speak up and share more, and a surge in commitment to the business.

    The team now looks forward to these monthly meetings where they know they can speak up, share openly about how they think we can keep building the business, and connect with their colleagues on a deeper level. A small one-hour investment each month for a priceless set of outcomes.

    Connor Gillivan
    Connor GillivanEntrepreneur, Owner & CMO, TrioSEO

    Rotate Monthly Team-Building Activity Planning

    We have implemented a monthly team-building activity at our agency. To ensure equal participation and showcase everyone's creativity, we rotate the responsibility of planning and organizing the activity among different team members each month.

    We have made sure to select activities that are inclusive and enjoyable for everyone, such as team lunches, escape rooms, and volunteering events. This initiative has successfully promoted a sense of camaraderie and teamwork among our employees, which in turn has improved their productivity and job satisfaction.

    Tom Molnar
    Tom MolnarOperations Manager, Fit Design

    Introduce Creative Fridays for Innovation

    We introduced a "Creative Friday" initiative, where employees spend a portion of their Friday working on passion projects or experimenting with new ideas related to the business. This initiative boosted engagement by encouraging innovation and allowing employees to pursue their interests, leading to increased job satisfaction and a flow of fresh ideas for the company.

    Fahd Khan
    Fahd KhanDirector of Marketing & Technology, JetLevel Aviation

    Strengthen Engagement with Five Key Points

    Taking care of our associates' experience is crucial to ensure the success of our company. At We constantly strive to create initiatives that motivate our associates; however, there are five key points that we constantly seek to strengthen their engagement:

    1) Agility as a way of working: empowering our associates to do their job and make the right decisions, regardless of their level within the organization.

    2) Leadership: we promote servant leadership to ensure a great experience.

    3) Development: creating initiatives that promote the development of our associates, allowing them to have different experiences.

    4) Recognition: we recognize people in various ways for their good work, whether it be digitally, verbally, in writing, or publicly.

    5) Benefits: having a flexible benefits scheme that caters to the needs and interests of our diverse associates is important.

    Eduardo De La Garza
    Eduardo De La GarzaChief People Officer & SVP Walmart México & Centroamérica, Walmart