Employee Engagement Activities, Strategies and Initiatives


Employee engagement has been defined as an individual employee’s cognitive, emotional and behavioral state directed toward desired organizational outcomes (Shuck and Wollard, 2010). Employees who are engaged exhibit attentiveness and mental absorption in their work and display a deep, emotional


Employee engagement has been defined as an individual employee’s cognitive, emotional and behavioral state directed toward desired organizational outcomes (Shuck and Wollard, 2010). Employees who are engaged exhibit attentiveness and mental absorption in their work and display a deep, emotional connection toward their workplace. The field of employee engagement is burgeoning as companies pour resources into developing a more engaged workforce.

Employee engagement activities, strategies, and initiatives are designed to create a positive and fulfilling work environment that motivates and involves employees. These efforts aim to enhance employee satisfaction, productivity, and commitment. Here are some examples of employee engagement activities, strategies, and initiatives:

Regular Communication:

Establish open and transparent communication channels to keep employees informed about company news, updates, and changes. This can include regular team meetings, town halls, newsletters, or an internal communication platform.

  • Conduct weekly team meetings to update employees on company news, progress, and upcoming projects.
  • Implement an internal communication platform or intranet where employees can access information, share updates, and engage in discussions.


Employee Recognition Programs:

Implement formal or informal programs to recognize and appreciate employee contributions. This can include awards, spot bonuses, certificates, or public appreciation through newsletters, social media, or company-wide announcements.

  • Establish a "Employee of the Month" program that recognizes outstanding performance and contributions.
  • Implement a peer recognition system where employees can nominate and acknowledge their colleagues' achievements.


Professional Development Opportunities:

Provide opportunities for employees to enhance their skills and knowledge through training programs, workshops, conferences, or tuition reimbursement. Encouraging continuous learning helps employees grow professionally and feel valued by the organization.

  • Offer a yearly budget for employees to attend conferences, workshops, or seminars related to their professional development.
  • Provide in-house training programs or lunch-and-learn sessions on topics relevant to employees' roles and career growth.


Employee Feedback and Surveys:

Regularly seek feedback from employees to understand their needs, concerns, and suggestions. Conduct anonymous employee surveys, focus groups, or suggestion boxes to gather insights and make improvements based on the feedback received.

  • Conduct regular employee satisfaction surveys to gather feedback on various aspects of the workplace environment.
  • Implement an anonymous suggestion box or digital platform for employees to provide suggestions and ideas for improvement.


Team-Building Activities:

Organize team-building activities to foster stronger relationships and collaboration among employees. This can include team outings, off-site retreats, team-building exercises, or social events that promote bonding and a positive work culture.

  • Organize a quarterly team outing such as a bowling night, hiking trip, or team-building workshop.
  • Host a monthly virtual team-building session, like a trivia game or a virtual escape room, to promote camaraderie and fun.


Flexible Work Arrangements:

Offer flexible work options such as remote work, flexitime, or compressed workweeks. Providing flexibility in work arrangements helps employees achieve work-life balance and increases job satisfaction.

  • Allow employees to have flexible working hours, where they can choose their start and end times.
  • Offer remote work options, allowing employees to work from home or other locations on specific days.


Employee Wellness Programs:

Implement wellness initiatives that promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This can include health screenings, gym memberships, stress management programs, meditation sessions, or employee assistance programs.

  • Arrange for a wellness fair with health screenings, nutrition consultations, and fitness demonstrations.
  • Provide access to an employee assistance program that offers counseling services and support for personal or work-related issues.


Cross-Departmental Projects:

Encourage employees to work on cross-functional projects to enhance collaboration, expand their skillsets, and foster a sense of shared purpose. Cross-departmental projects enable employees to develop new relationships and perspectives within the organization.

  • Create a task force comprised of individuals from different departments to work on a company-wide improvement initiative.
  • Encourage employees to participate in cross-functional project teams to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing.


Employee-Led Committees or Groups:

Allow employees to form committees or groups focused on areas of interest such as sustainability, diversity and inclusion, or social responsibility. These employee-led initiatives promote engagement and ownership while addressing important organizational and societal goals.

  • Support an employee-led sustainability committee focused on implementing eco-friendly initiatives within the organization.
  • Form an employee resource group to promote diversity and inclusion and provide a platform for open dialogue and education.


Employee Growth and Advancement Opportunities:

Provide clear career paths, development plans, and advancement opportunities within the organization. Offering growth opportunities and promoting from within demonstrates a commitment to employees' long-term career success and fosters loyalty and engagement.

  • Establish a clear career progression framework with defined paths and growth opportunities within the organization.
  • Implement regular performance and development discussions to help employees set goals and create individual development plans.


Mentoring and Coaching Programs:

Establish mentoring or coaching programs where experienced employees can provide guidance and support to junior or new employees. These programs facilitate knowledge sharing, skill development, and career progression.

  • Pair senior employees with junior employees for mentoring relationships to facilitate knowledge transfer and career guidance.
  • Offer coaching sessions with external professionals to help employees develop specific skills or overcome challenges.


Social Responsibility Initiatives:

Engage employees in corporate social responsibility initiatives, such as volunteering activities, fundraising events, or community outreach programs. Encouraging employees to contribute to social causes instills a sense of purpose and pride in their work.

  • Organize a volunteer day where employees can participate in community service activities.
  • Support employee-led fundraising initiatives for charitable organizations, such as organizing a charity run or bake sale.


Importance of Employee Engagement

Many organizations believe that employee engagement is a dominant source of competitive advantage and thus, have been drawn to its reported ability to solve challenging organizational problems such as increasing workplace performance and productivity amid widespread economic decline.

Research has expanded this belief, suggesting that organizations with high levels of employee engagement report positive organizational outcomes; a small bright spot in an otherwise bleak financial forecast. For example, North Shore LIJ Health System Company invested $10 million into training and development and encouraged employees to further their education in hopes of raising engagement levels within their organization. As a result, the company reported a one-year retention rate of 96 per cent, increased patient-satisfaction scores, and record setting profits. At Johnson and Johnson, engagement has become a part of the work culture as teams are provided real time feedback about how their work enables their individual business units to meet their quarterly goals (States, 2008).

Such real-time communication programs help to create a positive, accountability-driven workplace resulting in increased productivity levels, profit margins and levels of engagement. Still further, after substantial efforts to increase levels of engagement on factory floors, Caterpillar, a large multi-national construction equipment supplier and manufacturer, estimates the company saved $8.8 million in turnover costs alone by increasing the proportion of engaged employees at one of their European-based plants.

Employee Engagement Today

Although engaged employees have consistently been shown to be more productive on most available organizational measures, it is conservatively estimated that, 30 per cent of the global workforce is engaged. Moreover, 20 per cent of employee’s report any level of confidence in their current manager’s ability to engage them (Czarnowsky, 2008). Not surprising, employee engagement is reported to be on a continued decline worldwide. The discrepancy between the perceived importance of engagement and the level of engagement that exists in organizations today is cause for major concern. This discrepancy, however, presents a significant opportunity for human resource development (HRD) scholars and practitioners to develop research agendas and practical strategies toward the forefront of this emerging concept. As organizational leaders embrace employee engagement, they are increasingly turning toward  HRD professionals to develop and support strategies that facilitate engagement-encouraging cultures. Unfortunately, HRD professionals are unlikely to find the support they need as little academic research has investigated the experience of being engaged or how engagement affects an employee’s experience of their work, and ultimately their performance.

In conclusion, an engaged employee leads to a committed workforce, that identifies with the business, wants to work with the organization and believes in the business objectives and thus work willingly to attain them.


Czarnowsky, M. (2008), Learning’s Role in Employee Engagement: An ASTD Research Study, American Society for Training and Development, Alexandria, VA.

Shuck, B. and Wollard, K.K. (2010), Employee engagement and HRD: a seminal review of the foundations Human Resource Development Review, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 89-110.

States, A. (2008), The rage to engage, available at: www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1731893,00.html (accessed 5 June 2008).