SEDC has worked hard to make a community that their employees are proud to be a part of. Here are 10 employee engagement strategies they developed to make their employees have fun at work and feel valued.
A few months ago, I had a member of our support team share a recording he had with a very enthusiastic customer of ours. Their call started off as normal, but Chris noticed when he was remoting in on John’s computer that their intranet had so much character, so many widgets and images, he was intrigued and asked to see more of their digital workplace.
This turned into a 30-minute walkthrough of SEDC’s intranet: PeopleNet. Each widget had a story behind it, and you could tell there was a lot of thought put into each one.
Intrigued, I asked John if he could also show me around his site. As the intranet admin he had a lot to say, and also brought in Nell McCauley, the Communications Advisor at SEDC, since a lot of these employee engagement strategies were driven by her. The list below is a few of the ways that SEDC put in place to have fun at work.
Besides simplifying common tasks like sharing stored information and news, their intranet – PeopleNet – really helped foster a sense of community. The homepage in particular quickly became a ‘go-to’ page that highlights successes and activities and provides employees with an easy way to learn about each other. Just as important, SEDC soon realized that PeopleNet could also bring employees closer together and have fun at work!
Introducing IC to SEDC was a big deal. A lot of time and planning went into the creation of PeopleNet . Naturally, they wanted to celebrate when it was ready to go live! And celebrate they did. In the days leading up to the launch, posters were made with trivia questions pulled form employee profiles. This created a sense of mystery as SEDC eagerly awaited to see which of their colleague’s bungee jumped 150 feet above an alligator pit.
The launch party featured music, party hats, computer stations demoing the new software, and a red carpet leading to a backdrop with PeopleNet specially made for the launch. It generated a sense of excitement and buzz. PeopleNet was off to a great start!
SEDC held a banner contest for the intranet homepage, which was a fun contest with a $50 prize. Not only did this result in some great banners, but it led to the discovery of hidden graphic design talent among employees. Employees were able to vote on their favorite banner, and the intranet admin was able to change up the designs on the homepage.
Selecting particular employees to point out their contribution to the organization motivates others to work hard and get recognized themselves, but it also develops Employee profiles include a photo, a description of their responsibilities, personal interests, hobbies, educational background, and fun facts. This has helped colleagues develop relationships, even when they do not interact in person.
Veteran’s Appreciation Day is a great employee engagement strategy to show gratitude to not only the people who served your country but also the stand-up employees you’ve got in the office today. SEDC did a great job in accomplishing both by asking all the veterans to upload the photos of themselves in uniform, and creating this photo for the intranet.
‘Did You Know?’ posts about employees, and public recognition awards for employees further foster a team atmosphere and keep people informed of each other’s achievements. We believe at IC that what gets recognized gets repeated. This special way of recognizing employees goes the extra step to make sure their employees feel valued.
When employees do outstanding work, going above and beyond what is expected of them, SEDC knows that work – and the employee – should be acknowledged and recognized. ‘High-Five’ bonuses do just that. It is a public recognition award that features the employee, and they receive a monetary bonus in acknowledgment of the company’s appreciation.
Using the intranet has drastically increased event sign-up times and simplified the scheduling of field trips and volunteer work. Employees are allotted hours toward volunteering and they can sign up if they’d like to participate. Activities rotate but include organizations such as the Atlanta Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Society, and the American Cancer Society.
The intranet is also useful for scheduling with a massage therapist. Yes; you read that right – a massage! Scheduling free massages in the office has proved quite popular; time slots fill up fast! It gives the employees something to look forward to.
It seems like everyone has a camera in their pocket these days, and since they are often in use, SEDC decided the intranet would be a perfect vessel for sharing photos of employees at work, on field trips and engaging in volunteer activities. So far their galleries feature over 2000 photos – and counting!
‘They’re out there, in Rural America, taking really neat photos of places we’ll probably never go. Sharing their experiences really connects the workplace and creates a really nice atmosphere.” – John
SEDC has no lack of photos to choose from for these contests, in which employees create their own captions to selected photos in hopes of winning an award.
Each day the homepage features an Employee Picture of the Day, along with a short biography about that employee. The result? Employees learn about each another, and everyone gets a turn learning what it feels like to be a celebrity for 24 hours!
Let’s face it, not all blogs are created equal in terms of capturing a reader’s interest. Yet some of the driest blogs contain important information. When posting blogs that are necessarily heavy-text content about company performance, SEDC initiates quarterly scavenger hunts, whereby employees read the blogs while ‘hunting’ for keys words and phrases in order to win a monetary prize.
Incorporating the Intranet calendar with the HR department not only eased how tutorials are scheduled but when it comes to employee cook-offs it also allows for employees to easily note what items they plan on bringing. The result is variety, and variety is the spice of life!
Employee engagement strategies to foster a sense of community and strengthening relationships can be done while having fun at work. Be creative and show appreciation by acknowledging the individuals who contribute to short- and long-term successes. Also – make sure you sign-up for your free office massage as soon as the post goes up; the schedule will fill up fast!