4 Cool and Easy Tips from Psychology to Improve Employee Engagement

July 16, 2017

Get your employees more motivated and improve employee engagement with these 4 psychological tips. Make your employees happier and the company more productive

Group games is a great way to engage employees

Do something truly fun together – bond with your team

Companies today are getting wise to the sky-high ROI of employee engagement. Depending on which numbers you’re looking at, employee engagement can boost productivity by anywhere from 22%(Gallup Organization) to 202% (Dale Carnegie) Either way, one thing is clear, this is good news for both employers and employees.

So “employee engagement” is the new unicorn. As desirable as it is elusive. Many companies valiantly put on office parties and team-building workshops as a well-intentioned attempt to get people involved. But anyone who has organized these events will tell you that getting employees enthusiastic about office events is easier said than done. It seems like people only ever want to know two things: “Will there be free food?” And “will there be free drinks?!?”  And sure, if you’re willing to shell out the cash, great food and lavish drinks are an easy way to get people away from their desks. But if you want people to do more than just eat and run, (or you’re working on a budget,) below are 4 psychology-based tricks that will actually get people to show up and get engaged.

#1 Do not make the event mandatory

Do not make the event obligatory, or even “highly encouraged” which is just another word for “come or face social consequences.” This may seem counter-intuitive, but making something mandatory will only make it far less desirable. Focus instead on making the event itself so good that people will come of their own accord.

increase employee engagement

team work has never been simpler

#2 Don’t bring entertainment that sucks

A surefire way to see your event draw a crowd is doing something out-of-the-ordinary or teach something valuable. Instead of karaoke (which is always guaranteed to be hated by at least 50% of people), stay in tune with your team’s likes/interests and search for activities based on that. Whether an interesting workshop or an amazing motivational speaker, bringing valuable content to your workers will go a long way towards making people want to participate.

#3 Make it appear to come out of company time, not out of personal time.

Make this time a gift from the company. While attending a conference, one evening a company planned/paid for a fun scavenger hunt around the city. An employee was overheard saying, “This stupid game is digging into our drinking time!” Even though the hunt was a great idea (an idea that didn’t suck, see point #2) it was seen as something that cut into the employee’s personal free time. A better idea would have been to do the scavenger hunt in the place of another educational workshop, thus both ensuring everyone is available to go, all without making it mandatory.

#4 Don’t worry too much

This wasn’t included as a word of encouragement… Really, stop worrying so much because it’s stressing everyone out! Or perhaps put another way, if fun is forced, by definition it’s no longer fun. So create an inviting space where no one is pressured to participate, provide valuable content, and relax. Everything else will follow.