20 Virtual Employee Engagement Ideas in 2022
20 Virtual Employee Engagement Ideas in 2022
Employee engagement is an essential piece in driving employee satisfaction. Employees who are engaged, motivated, and connected with their employers will likely decide to stay in the organization. This is all the more true for your remote teams, where it’s more important than ever to build connections and intentionally make an effort to create an engaging work environment.
1. Conduct Virtual Town Halls
Turn this traditional citizen engagement activity into a fun one in your virtual space. A town hall is one way the leadership can connect to the rest of the organization, provide company status, and answer pressing questions. The key here is to make it casual and simple.
More importantly, make it easy for your employees to join. Ideally, they’d have to press a button, and that’s it, so investing in a reliable video-conferencing platform is essential for this to work.
Start with an icebreaker to grab everyone’s attention, celebrate small wins, and don’t forget to thank everyone for their contribution. When speaking, it should be brief and direct to the point to not bore the audience. At the heart of it is the Q&A segment. Ensure that your employees can raise questions quickly by either voicing them out or submitting them via email or chatbox.
2. Maximize Virtual Coffee Breaks
When you can’t have in-person coffee runs, why not have virtual coffee breaks instead? Typically, ranging from just 10-30 minutes, these are intentional breaks to foster relationships or ask one to take a break. Discussion around coffee breaks can vary from what you ate for breakfast to your hopes and dreams.
3. Play Office Olympics
All work and no play makes one stressed and burned out. If that doesn’t come with some truth to you, then you are probably in denial. Working remotely may sometimes blur out the lines between work and personal time, so take a break and have fun when you can. One way to do this is by playing online office games or competitions like your standard office Olympics.
4. Hold Mindful Mondays
You know that almost familiar meme about dreadful Mondays or manic Mondays. What if you don’t have to make the first day of the week less desirable? For every other week, huddle up with your teams and do a mindful Monday session for 30 minutes or one hour. The idea is to give each of your team members time to regress and unload some of their emotional baggage before they face the hustle and bustle of the current workweek.
5. Do a 99k Challenge
The road to a fitness journey is a single step, but to make it worthwhile, you’d have to make it to 99. This fitness challenge is straightforward. In a month, challenge your team to reach 99 thousand steps combined. Each team member must contribute several steps and whoever reaches 99 thousand steps or more at the end of the month gets to win a prize. Steps are recorded from their smartwatch or the health apps on their phones. They can either do walking, jogging, or running on the treadmill to gain these steps.
6. Build a Mental Wellness Program
Talking about mental wellness and its importance is a good start, but it’s not sufficient. If you want to make that talk walk, you need to build a solid mental wellness program in place. You can start by equipping your managers with training on how to handle mental health emergencies.
You can also partner with mental health organizations and conduct virtual mental wellness sessions with professionals as your speakers. In this way, you are also providing your people with the resources they need to improve their mental health.
7. Ugly Holiday Sweater Themed Meeting
Who doesn’t love themed meetings and the chance to dress up after your work jammies have all been used up? For your holiday meetings, try asking your employees to dress up in their ugly holiday sweaters. In one part of your meeting, shine a quick spotlight on everyone to see what they’re wearing and using a quick poll, everyone will cast a vote on who wore the ugliest sweater among everybody.
8. Digital Perks and Rewards
One of the ways you can keep the loyalty of your teams is through rewards and recognition. As an employee, it’s always a satisfying feeling when your efforts are recognized and praised. While you may not be able to give out tangible items as frequently as you can, mainly if your teams are distributed on far-off locations, you can still reward them digitally.
These rewards can be in the form of points that they can later check out for gift cards, shopping vouchers, tour tickets, discount coupons, etc. It may also help if you have a digital rewards platform in place, whether built in-house or outsourced through an external agency. What ultimately matters is that the rewards are appealing and relevant to your employees.
9. Have Fun with Slack Apps
If you’re working remotely, you know about this app. Slack is by far one of the most popular and widely-used messaging apps, not just by remote teams but even those working on-site or in a hybrid workplace. It’s not just for communication purposes, though. You can make the app your virtual watercooler space using its wide array of available apps for recognition, engagement, or collaboration purposes.
1) Update your communications strategy
Strong internal communications are always important, but they’re even more important when teams are distributed. Consider if there are new channels or content types that you can use to keep employees informed. In addition to their regular monthly town halls, the company has started hosting virtual “ask me anythings” (AMAs) with their CEO and other leaders using Slido.
These AMAs were started to provide updates about things that are changing in response to COVID-19 — like business changes, return to work updates and more. There are also 3 AMA sessions a month for specific teams and focus areas, where the Tech/Corporate, Customer Care and Sales team can ask questions that are relevant to them. These regular AMAs provide the opportunity for GoDaddy’s 7,000+ employees to feel informed and connected to one another.
2) Develop an employee experience task force
Creating a positive virtual employee experience must be deliberate — it takes a lot of cross-functional collaboration and work to get it right. GoDaddy has created a special taskforce to rise to the challenge of preserving and enhancing GoDaddy’s culture while working remotely. Shannon and her team are part of this taskforce, which is also composed of about 20 others from different teams around the organization like Internal Communications, People Operations, Care Leadership, Corporate Events and all of location-specific experience managers.
The team meets weekly to talk about ideas for different social rooms they can create for employees to chat and interact, approaches to improving employee morale and ways that managers can keep teams engaged. They also spend time talking about how to communicate different virtual experiences internally and externally, so employees know what’s going on and so that candidates can get an idea of their virtual interim culture.