Is There A Final Answer on Employee Engagement?




These last few weeks have hosted spirited conversations around Employee Engagement. The stars aligned, articles appeared and SHRM #Nextchat hosted the HR Bartender - Sharyln Lauby who also offered suggestions.

I know two things, one-size does not fit most and it is best to frequently re-ask and listen how to best stay engaged with our teams.  As the HR culture keepers, we do not want the spark to be lost with our employees.

Custom Mug

I uncovered Maren Hogan’s magic in "How We Keep it Tight at Red Branch Media." 

The mug idea to document their lingo was my favorite. One of her team noted, the mugs remind me of where I started and how far I have come….This is powerful in creating a tribe!

…Each company and industry has its own lexicon of words, abbreviations and phrases used. Whether about actual work-related things, or totally random. So, we print these phrases on mugs and order them.

About once a year, each employee submits their phrase to be printed on a white mug. We keep a shared google doc of proposed phrases like “Kiss My Ads”, “Did it for the logo,” “Bye Felicia,” “Where’s The Password List?,” “Pitch Please,” and “Blog So Hard” to ensure no quality sayings are forgotten. This exercise reinforces our company culture and our shared experiences as a company.

"Forced Fun" Activities

I am not a fan of such events. I abide by a no helmet rule, as my younger team often has some outdoor/athletic ideas. They have humored me with Bowling, an Escape Room, Painting and an evening within a Cooking School to craft our dinner. (We threw knives over donning helmets). I am a fan of the kitchen, so I loved the latter event. However, this was a painful event for some with no curiosity for roasting, grilling and/or baking.

Adam Grant also chimed in on this Forced Fun question last month in his "Wondering Newsletter" – August 2018.

Employee Engagement is not a single activity but rather a series of options that appeal to individuals. WARNING: The answers to capturing the spark and continuing a solid working relationship are subject to change. I love to celebrate tradition, however, what has worked before might need to be re-framed. As the Community Keepers, we must ask our teams and hear their suggestions.

Quarterly, when we all gather with The Human Capital Group, my Brentwood team calls recess and passes a Catch Phrase Box and the laughter can be heard for miles. The merriment confirms that some incredible work gets accomplished by this team.

This is not forced, it is just fun!

Curious, what Employee Engagement activities/events have become part of your culture?

My challenge: if something works for you and your HR Team, please share your successes. Share this on LinkedIn, in programming at SHRM conferences, in blog posts or as #Nextchat ideas.

The magic of this profession is collaboration and learning. I’ll even design a tie-dyed uniform jersey for the team.



The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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