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Employee Engagement Program Examples That All Workplaces Need

June 21, 2023

Think back to moments when you felt energized and motivated at work, like part of something bigger that is making a positive difference in the world. Or remember times when you felt truly seen and appreciated, where your efforts were recognized by your team and your managers. 

These are moments that matter. Those feelings of recognition, community and achievement are what a thoughtful, comprehensive employee engagement strategy can deliver.

But how do you actually get there? The list of different ways to build an engaged workforce that drives business success is long and constantly evolving. Start with the basics, though, to lay the right foundation for long-term success. 

Here are the top employee engagement program examples that have the biggest impact. 

Personalized Celebration Program 

A personalized celebration program is an important way to recognize and show appreciation for employees at an individual level. It goes beyond a one-size-fits-all approach to mark the moments for each employee, creating a more meaningful, impactful experience. 

These personal milestones include:

  • Birthdays
  • New babies
  • Marriages
  • Homeownership 
  • Achievements related to hobbies – like running a marathon
  • Other special occasions 

Sending a message or gift acknowledging the moment can be a powerful way to show that the company values its employees as individual people and cares about the life events that matter to them. 

Plus, with peer-to-peer digital communication streams on a digital platform like Connects, colleagues can interact with one another in these moments by sending animated gifs and e-cards or by interacting on the social activity feed.

Especially with a remote or hybrid workforce, bringing everyone together over celebratory moments is an important way to keep employees connected with one another and foster a sense of community. 

Service Anniversary Program 

Likewise, commemorating service anniversaries is a critical part of building a strong company culture where employees feel valued. 

The years of service that an employee has dedicated to the company are well worth celebrating, especially in a business world where the average employee tenure is just over four years.

Whether it’s the first year anniversary or a milestone one or an in-between one, treat it like an event worth honoring. Celebrating service anniversaries every year, especially for the first five years, is crucial because if you wait for a milestone anniversary like five or ten years of service, the employee may well leave before you have the opportunity. Acknowledging them every year helps build a relationship that may help retain them longer than the average of four years. 

An employee engagement tool like Connects can be set up to automatically recognize events like service anniversaries – or personal events like birthdays – notifying managers with a reminder so they don’t forget to mark the moment.

Length-of-service recognition programs are one of the most common ways to celebrate employees and for good reason. It goes beyond mere acknowledgement, fostering a sense of pride and belonging in the organization.  

Of course, retirement falls under this category as well – but don’t limit service recognition to only those leaving, celebrate those employees who are still contributing, too. 

Achievement Recognition Program

Recognizing and thanking employees for their efforts is critical to creating a positive work environment. 

That’s why a recognition program is one of the most effective employee engagement initiatives for showing appreciation and elevating the employee experience.

The achievements can be goal-orientated or performance-based, including:

  • Meeting or exceeding sales targets
  • Completing a challenging project
  • Exemplifying leadership and mentorship
  • Launching a new product
  • Introducing innovative ideas or process improvements 
  • Finishing a training course, certification or other professional development

Make sure to recognize both individual contributions and team efforts. 

Values-Based Rewards Program 

A program that reinforces company values can be an extremely effective tool to encourage and reward specific behaviors.  and boost job performance and morale at the same time. 

Using a points-based appreciation program allows managers and peers alike to award points to employees who exhibit company values and recognize a job well done. Those points can then be accumulated and converted into rewards and gifts from known brands

A well-managed values-based rewards program strengthens the company culture, tying employee behavior directly back to its values and mission. That, in turn, can lead to increased employee productivity, improved teamwork and a higher-performing company. 

Plus: The Importance of Employee Feedback 

A way to gather employee feedback should be built into all employee engagement programs.

Knowing what is working and what’s not is critical to improving company culture and business operations. 

Ways to measure employee sentiment and satisfaction include:

  • Surveys
  • Suggestion boxes
  • Focus groups
  • One-on-one meetings

With the Inspirus platform, the Employee Voice survey tool is integrated into the Connects digital platform so employees can anonymously share their thoughts. Our host of other surveys in partnership with The Happiness Index also provides actionable insights based on employee sentiment.

A feedback tool helps create a more inclusive and productive workplace, allowing organizations to make better data-driven decisions and align their engagement strategies to employee needs.

Topics: employee motivation, employee engagement