What are employee activities?
Employee engagement activities are ideas for games, programs and policies managers and human resources employees create to entertain their teams. When companies host fun office activities, employees experience a more enjoyable workplace that allows them to express their creativity, bond with team members and feel appreciated for their hard work.
Many employees choose to work for companies that offer a positive company culture, make them feel appreciated and find ways to make work more fun. You can effectively attract new candidates and retain existing employees by implementing entertaining employee engagement activities in the office. There are a wide variety of efforts you can make to engage employees and show them you care, from creating a mentorship program to hosting trivia sessions.
List 10 effective employee activities, along with specific examples, for fun in the office.
10 employee activities
Employee engagement efforts are a great way to showcase your appreciation to employees while giving them opportunities to spend time with coworkers via games, events and programs. Some fun employee engagement activities you can conduct in the office include:
- Play icebreaker games
- Implement an employee of the month program
- Conduct enjoyable meetings
- Provide employees with food
- Let employees work remotely
- Celebrate holidays, birthdays and accomplishments
- Make new hires feel welcomed
- Provide ongoing training, team-building and development sessions
- Volunteer together
- Conduct brainstorming sessions
Play icebreaker games
Icebreaker games are activities team members can play with one another to challenge their skill set and familiarize themselves with other coworkers. You can set aside time to play friendly games with employees in the mornings to energize them.
Another great time to play icebreaker games is when you first hire and onboard new employees. This helps employees get to know their new team members and makes new hires more comfortable in their work environment. Common icebreaker and team-building games to play include:
Two truths and a lie, Hula hoop circle, Cooking contests, Three-legged race, Office pictionary, Obstacle courses, Pumpkin carving competitions
Implement an employee of the month program
Many employees likely commit to a company if they feel appreciated by their managers. A great way to express this appreciation publicly is through an employee of the month program.
Each month, either the management team or other employees can help nominate and select an employee who performed well or reached certain accomplishments throughout the month. Potential ways to reward them could include the following examples: .
Cash prizes, Company merchandise, Public recognition on company social media pages
Conduct enjoyable meetings
While many meetings consist of key strategies and discussions, consider conducting meetings that are fun for employees to attend each week. You can host them at the start or end of the workweek as a way to cover the accomplishments recently completed by your company.
Consider inviting all staff members to the meetings, from leadership members to interns. Employees can share updates on projects they’re working on, departments can mention any important updates and team members can ask questions or share comments about the company. This encourages a more transparent and collaborative environment for employees.
Provide employees with food
Purchasing food for employees can boost their energy levels and encourage them to spend their lunchtime with other team members. You can host potlucks with employees, which are food parties where employees sign up for different sides, beverages, entrees and desserts to drink.
Employees can eat together in the break room, having discussions and learning more about one another. Consider taking different departments to restaurants for lunch to change their work scenery and to grow closer as a team. You can also purchase snacks for employees to enjoy throughout the day, following their dietary restrictions closely.
Let employees work remotely
Encouraging a postive work-life balance and allowing employees to work remotely shows them you care about their personal lives and trust them to complete projects independently. Consider having a flexible work-from-home policy that lets employees work remotely on days that are free of any in-person meetings.
You can also designate a day each week for all team members to work from home. Write your work-from-home policy according to the goals and needs of your team and the company.
Celebrate holidays, birthdays and accomplishments
Another effective way to show your appreciation for the hard work and dedication of employees is through celebrations and parties with team members. You can host parties for employees’ birthdays or celebrate holidays with team members by hosting holiday-themed events and playing games. Consider celebrating different accomplishments or achievements your employees make, like work anniversaries, company anniversaries or recent sales made.
Make new hires feel welcomed
Find ways to welcome new hires into the workplace and encourage other employees to kindly greet them as well. This makes them feel more comfortable on their first day and excites them to start working with their team.
If you expose new hires to a welcoming atmosphere, they may feel more confident asking questions on the job, which can lead them to onboard more quickly and get started on tasks early on in the hiring stage. Ways to make new employees feel welcomed include:
Gift them with company merchandise, Provide individual introductions to team members, Take them to lunch with their team, Present them with a card signed by all employees, Introduce them in an email to team members, Establish a mentorship program by pairing a new hire with an experienced employee
Provide ongoing training, team-building and development sessions
Enhancing employees’ skill set helps them grow and advance in their careers. You can do this by providing ongoing training and development sessions hosted both by the company and outside professionals. Consider introducing employees to new technologies or helping them build skills like leadership to better perform in their roles.
You can also conduct engaging training sessions that update employees on company policies and procedures. Try going on group outings and retreats to attend workshops or events that bond employees together and develop their team-building and collaboration abilities.
Many employees may prefer to work for companies that aim to serve a purpose, fight for a cause or express passion for contributing meaningful work. Working for a company with strong moral values and ethics can attract more candidates and cause employees to stay long term.
Consider encouraging your employees to volunteer. You can schedule volunteer days once each month or quarter for all employees to volunteer together at different organizations. Consider rewarding employees with one paid volunteer day each month or quarter that they can use to volunteer independently.
Conduct brainstorming sessions
To generate new ideas among team members, consider hosting regular brainstorming sessions. These can be meetings where all employees gather and talk about any ideas they have to improve the company. You can discuss ideas for innovation or creative solutions to any complex organizational challenges.
Most brainstorming sessions consist of employees expressing ideas as soon as they think of them and encouraging others to improve those ideas to strengthen them further. When conducting these meetings, ensure all employees remain supportive and encouraging by praising strong ideas and remaining polite, positive, courteous and professional throughout the entire session.