Something that has been a hot topic at our office lately is employee engagement. We recently conducted a survey to gauge how engaged the staff is and look for ways to keep up morale around the office. One approach we are in the process of facilitating is the use of think tanks, where smaller groups of employees get together to have a free flowing discussion on ways the company can improve. So far I would say it has been successful and has generated some interesting ideas.

One central idea with employee engagement is that the more engaged your staff is the less turnover you experience and ideally, the better results you receive from them. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Dale Carnegie indicated that, “sixty-nine percent of disengaged employees would move to a new employer for as little as a 5% pay increase, whereas it would take a 20% increase in salary to attract an engaged employee.” Considering the costs to recruit and train new employees, employee engagement is something that should be on the forefront of employers’ minds.

Thinking on this topic I was doing some general research and came upon some unique and amusing approaches from Fast Company to making the office a more fun place to work and thought I would share them.

1. Get an office dog. While I think most companies would balk at the idea of having a company pet, dogs can boost morale and help teach people to work together. Maybe an office fish, if you can keep it alive (not naming anyone here).
2. Happy Hour! Happy hours are a great way to get everyone together in a casual environment to blow off steam as a team.
3. Communal lunch. Eating with other employees that you may not interact with regularly due to having different responsibilities can help build stronger and more cohesive team structures in the office and help people to get to know one another.
4. Decorate your office. We spend at least a quarter of our weeks at the office, why not “make it your own”, if allowed, even adding fun decorations. During the holidays, if management allows, decorating the office can help boost morale and encourage a fun environment.
5. Group exercise. Why not get together to play basketball or a quick yoga session at lunch? Exercise helps us alleviate stress and feel better in general.
6. Get creative. What does your office have that no other office has? Free coffee? A pool table? An awesome snack stash? If you cannot think of something, get cranking! What can you do to make the office more fun….maybe play music or watch soaps during lunch, whatever wets your whistle!
7. Play games. How about having an ongoing team game of monopoly or perhaps a pool tournament? Again, these approaches can lift morale and create a better work environment for everyone.
8. Pranks. I can say this is definitely something that can create a fun work environment, as long as it’s innocent or mostly innocent anyway.

These are just a few ideas for ways we can approach making the office a better place to work. Feel free to come up with your own great ideas to share with your management team!
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Jennifer Ulrich

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