Gallup says that companies with highly engaged workforces are 21% more profitable and 17% more productive than those with disengaged staff.

Businesses that focus on driving their growth make it a point to give enough emphasis to employee engagement. Nobody wants a workforce that does the bare minimum and is actively disengaged in every walk of their professional life.

If you have decided to take the level of engagement of your employees to the next level, here are 19 employee engagement activities that will help you achieve it.

19 Employee Engagement Activities for a Happier Workplace

Workplaces are generally associated with boring cubicles and stressed-out employees. To give things a lighter spin and to increase the levels of employee engagement, try out these 19 activities that can work wonders for your employee's morale.

1. Mystery Lunches

Mystery Lunches

Mystery lunches are a creative way to foster communication between employees who might not usually interact. By randomly grouping a few staff members for lunch dates, you'll help build relationships across different departments. Such interactions can enhance teamwork and strengthen organizational unity.

It is during these lunches that employees have the opportunity to share stories, gain new perspectives, and learn from each other's experiences.

Mystery lunches can spark innovative ideas, potential partnerships, and helps break down silos in the workplace.

2. DIY Skills Workshops

DIY skills workshops provide a unique platform for coworkers to share their interests and talents beyond their professional roles. Many people enjoy activities like cooking, gardening, sketching, and coding in their personal time. By organizing workshops where employees can teach each other new skills during breaks or after work, you foster a culture of learning and growth, and enhance team cohesion.

These workshops are more than just educational; they're a chance for employees to bond over common interests and share personal experiences in a relaxed and informal setting.

3. Storytelling Circles

Storytelling circles offer employees a safe space to share personal anecdotes or work-related stories. By allowing participants to choose topics or keep the discussion open-ended, everyone has the opportunity to contribute. This format fosters teamwork and deepens understanding among colleagues as they learn about each other’s backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

These storytelling sessions do more than just share stories; they also promote active discussion and attentive listening, that can enhance team cohesion.

4. Innovation Jams

Innovation Jams are dynamic brainstorming sessions designed to harness the creative potential of employees across various departments. These sessions provide a platform for workers to pitch ideas that could contribute to business growth.

By forming cross-functional teams, these jams tackle specific organizational challenges or capitalize on new opportunities within the corporate landscape.

5. Virtual Reality Team Building

VR Team Building

Virtual Reality (VR) team-building exercises transform the way teams collaborate and solve problems.

One of the key advantages of VR team building is its ability to transcend geographical boundaries, enabling teams that are spread across different locations to share unique experiences as if they were in the same room. This aspect of VR enhances team cohesion and adds an element of entertainment and novelty, making the exercises memorable and engaging.

6. Escape Room Challenges

Escape rooms are inherently fun and engaging and they serve as excellent team-building exercises.

Escape room challenges inject a dose of excitement and collaboration into the workplace, whether conducted in person or online. Typically timed, these challenges require teams to solve puzzles and decipher clues under pressure. This format is highly effective in fostering teamwork, enhancing communication, and sparking creativity, as participants must work closely together to navigate the obstacles and achieve their goal.

7. Volunteer Days

Volunteer days offer employees paid leave to engage in community service or environmental initiatives. Activities such as shelter volunteering, beach clean-ups, and charity work not only allow workers to find purpose and fulfillment through giving back but also strengthen team bonds outside the workplace.

These days are about more than just helping the community; they serve to enhance collaboration among colleagues by uniting them around a common goal. Participating in these activities can also significantly boost the company's image within the local community. Companies that prioritize Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and active community involvement often find that their employees are more satisfied and proud to be part of the organization.

A few weeks ago, our team participated in a meaningful CSR activity, supporting a local NGO dedicated to conserving the sparrow population. In Chennai, where the climate is particularly hot and tree coverage is sparse, this NGO is committed to creating wooden shelters for these near-extinct birds.

Our involvement in building these shelters not only provided crucial aid to the sparrow community but also brought a profound sense of satisfaction and accomplishment to our team, knowing we had contributed positively to the environment and our community.

ThriveSparrow's CSR activity

8. Employee Art Showcase

An employee art showcase highlights the artistic talents and creativity of company employees. Artists within the company can display their works, including paintings, sculptures, and photography, alongside their daily professional tasks.

Decorating the office with employee art not only adds visual interest and personality to the work environment but also makes employees feel valued and recognized for their personal talents. This contributes to a more engaging and inspiring workplace atmosphere.

9. Wellness Challenges

Wellness challenges motivate employees to engage in physical, mental, and social activities that enhance their overall health. These challenges can include steps, mindfulness, healthy eating, and hydration initiatives. Promoting a healthy business culture, wellness challenges encourage employees to prioritize self-care and develop positive habits both at work and at home.

Participating in wellness challenges can boost energy levels, reduce stress, and improve health, which in turn enhances productivity and engagement.

10. Reverse Mentoring Programs

Reverse Mentoring Programs

Reverse mentoring programs pair experienced leaders with less experienced workers to foster mutual growth. In these setups, leaders gain insights into current technologies, social media, and generational trends from younger employees. Simultaneously, executives provide mentorship to these younger workers, offering guidance, support, and opportunities to develop leadership skills.

This cross-generational exchange benefits participants from different groups as it promotes openness, teamwork, and lifelong learning by dismantling rank barriers.

11. Hackathons

Hackathons are dynamic, time-bound events where employees collaborate to devise creative business solutions. Over the course of a few hours to several days, cross-functional teams work together to develop prototypes, software, or generate fresh ideas. These events are designed to foster teamwork, innovation, and creativity by bringing together individuals with diverse backgrounds, skills, and expertise.

In March earlier this year, SurveySparrow conducted a hackathon that brought many employees together to collaborate and contribute new ideas for its product in a healthy, competitive environment.

Additionally, hackathons offer an excellent opportunity for potential hires to showcase their abilities in a fast-paced, team-oriented setting, demonstrating how they handle pressure and collaborate with others. This makes hackathons not only a tool for internal innovation but also a strategic asset in the hiring process.

12. Lunch and Learn Series

The Lunch and Learn series offers a relaxed setting for employees to explore both personal and professional development topics during their lunch break. Sessions might be led by internal experts, external guests, or fellow employees, covering a range of subjects from personal finance and industry trends to new technologies and leadership skills.

These sessions not only promote skill development and a growth mindset within the company but also empower employees to take control of their career trajectories. Lunch and Learns facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration, as coworkers can learn from each other's experiences and expertise.

13. Office Olympics

Office Olympics transform the workplace into a playful arena where co-workers engage in lighthearted games in a friendly and competitive atmosphere. Activities like desk chair races, mini-golf, paper airplane contests, and relay runs not only add fun but also foster healthy competition and teamwork. These events contribute to increased happiness, collaboration, and the forging of stronger friendships among employees.

By allowing workers to unwind and enjoy themselves, Office Olympics serve as a vital break from routine, enhancing job satisfaction and team spirit. Celebrating and recognizing successes during these events can further motivate employees, boosting their sense of pride and accomplishment.

Earlier this week, the people at SurveySparrow participated in a table tennis competition.

The crowd went wild as the competitors delivered their best performances. It was truly a spectacle to watch!

14. Culture Potluck

A culture potluck is an event where employees are encouraged to bring dishes that represent their personal or cultural backgrounds. This type of gathering is a celebration of the company’s diversity, allowing coworkers to share a meal that reflects their unique traditions and practices.

Bringing food from home or purchasing dishes to share, showcases the workforce's rich diversity. Culture Potlucks foster acceptance and respect among coworkers by providing an opportunity to engage with different traditions in a meaningful way.

These events are educational, as they expose employees to various cultures, traditions, and cuisines, enhancing their understanding and appreciation of each other.

15. Walking Meetings

Walking meetings transform traditional sit-down meetings by taking them outdoors, encouraging participants to get moving while discussing business matters.

Instead of gathering around a conference table, attendees walk together around the office building, through a park, or along a designated walking path. This change of pace not only offers mental and physical health benefits but also promotes more dynamic and creative discussions.

16. Random Acts of Kindness

Random acts of kindness programs

Random Acts of Kindness programs within companies encourage employees to write supportive notes, assist colleagues with work tasks, or express gratitude to one another.

These actions, whether spontaneous or planned, foster a culture of kindness, understanding, and positivity throughout the organization, enhancing employee morale and strengthening team bonds.

17. Fantasy Office League

Fantasy Office Leagues introduce a fun, competitive element to the workplace by allowing coworkers to form teams and engage in fantasy sports-style competitions based on office metrics like sales, project completions, and customer satisfaction.

This gamification of work tasks encourages collaboration, healthy competition, and motivation among employees.

18. Office Garden Club

An Office Garden Club offers employees the opportunity to engage with nature by creating and maintaining spaces like rooftop gardens, caring for house plants, or cultivating a community garden in nearby green areas. Participating in gardening activities can reduce stress, increase happiness, and enhance productivity, making the workplace more healthful and enjoyable.

19. Virtual Team-Bonding Games

Virtual team-bonding games leverage online tools and technologies to keep remote teams connected, engaged, and productive. Activities can include social games, team-building exercises, virtual escape rooms, and treasure hunts. These games are essential for remote workers, helping to bridge the gap caused by distance and varying time zones, and allowing teams in different locations to share experiences and strengthen their bonds.

Employee Engagement to the Rescue

No matter how grim your work environment looks, employee engagement can be increased by incorporating some or all of these unique strategies. You can conduct an employee feedback survey with the help of ThriveSparrow to understand the preferences of employees, and then plan an appropriate strategy to increase the level of employee engagement in your organization.