15 Creative Employee Engagement Ideas You Haven’t Heard Before

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Do you know what is always welcome in the workplace? Fresh employee engagement ideas. Everybody wants to keep their employees engaged yet everyone is exchanging the same tired employee engagement ideas around as if they are unwanted Christmas gifts from previous years.

Don’t get us wrong. We’ve all received whisky stones at some point and thought, “Maybe if I don’t open the box, I can just gift it to someone else at some point?”.

“Offer flexible hours!” is the whisky stone of employee engagement ideas. Nobody needs that advice yet everybody keeps passing it around!

It’s 2024 people, we’ve been working remotely for at least three years now! Don’t get us wrong, there is nothing wrong with mainstream/widespread employee engagement ideas.

They are well-known and widespread for a reason. But today, we wanted to highlight some of the more unorthodox, slightly less-known employee engagement ideas out there.

Some of these employee engagement ideas, you might already be practicing and some might fit under the well-known category anyway.

Whatever the case is, there is one thing we know to be absolutely certain: Nobody wants washable ice. Enjoy our 10 creative employee engagement ideas!

1. Game-based learning


Gamification is one of the most effective ideas for employee engagement. Why? You have probably heard the saying about all work and no play.

We think it is about time we mix work and play together! This method of training and development is perfect for those who learn best through hands-on experience and interactive activities.

Plus, who doesn’t love fun employee engagement activities? It’s a great way to engage employees and keep them motivated while learning new skills.

In recent years, game-based learning has become an increasingly popular method of training and development. By incorporating game elements such as competition, rewards, and challenges, employees are engaged and motivated to learn new skills and knowledge.

Game-based learning can take many forms, from simulations and role-playing exercises to interactive quizzes and puzzles.

It allows employees to learn at their own pace and in a way that is interactive and engaging, helping to increase their retention of information.

Wherever you choose to apply it, gamification is a great way to make your meetings and/or trainings more engaging for sure!

If you’re working in a remote setting, then you can definitely integrate some virtual teambuilding activities into your gamification plans!

2. Wellness initiatives

We listed Health Hero as an employee wellness app in this video! See how you can implement a wellness challenge with it!

We all know that sitting at a desk for eight hours a day isn’t great for our health. That’s why implementing wellness initiatives in the workplace is a great way to keep employees healthy and happy (and maybe even a little bit more productive).

From yoga classes and meditation sessions to healthy snack options and standing desks, there are many ways to promote wellness in the workplace. These are just a few of the healthy and creative ways to keep your employees engaged.

Out of all the employee engagement ideas on this list, this might be the most versatile of them all! You could even organize a step-counting competition or a healthy cooking challenge!

Not only will these initiatives help improve physical health, but they can also reduce stress and improve mental health/ As we all know, a happy and healthy employee is a more motivated and productive employee.

3. Volunteer programs


Having your employees take time off of work to volunteer might be one of the stranger employee engagement ideas out there but hear us out on this. There is real power in giving back to one’s community.

There is also no better time than now to be a business with purpose. Wouldn’t it be incredible if there was a way to put these two ideas together under the employee engagement umbrella?

Well, it is possible! There are millions of brilliant volunteer programs around the world and there is no reason for you to not find one near you!

So, the next time you’re organizing a company picnic or a fancy dinner, why not arrange some volunteer hours at your local nonprofit? Helping the community together will strengthen the bonds within your team more than ever!

The fulfillment your team will get by volunteering at a nonprofit for an hour or two during the work day, instead of checking e-mails, will be much stronger than all the Starbucks gift cards and pizza parties thrown together!

4. Using an INTEGRATED Employee Engagement Software

Employee engagement, shouldn’t be something you visit occasionally to check a few boxes. The best employee engagement ideas aren’t the ones centered around events.

They are designed to create continuous practices that will keep your employees engaged over long periods of time. Employee engagement, at its core, is about creating a culture.

Using employee engagement software is a no-brainer. We all know it. Here is the real kicker though. The employee engagement software you invest in should be in the flow of work, all the time!

So the best thing you can do is to invest in employee engagement tool that is integrated into the rest the software you use. A perfect example of that is the integration between Teamflect, and Microsoft Teams.

engagement survey dashboard with infographics and smileys

Teamflect isn’t an employee engagement tool your employees will have to go out of their way to interact with.

Teamflect is seamlessly integrated into Microsoft Teams and it lets users exchange quality feedback, send each other customizable recognitions, and form leaderboards without ever having to leave Microsoft Teams chat, let alone the Teams app itself.

For Microsoft Teams users, it is head and shoulders above any other employee engagement software available today.

Not only does Teamflect offer a high-quality platform for you to practice any of your virtual employee engagement ideas, but it also lets you measure just how engaged your employees are through top-of-the-line employee engagement surveys.

The employee engagement survey questions you will ask in Teamflect and the Power BI reports Teamflect will provide you with, will let you tweak and change your employee engagement strategies until you’ve absolutely perfected them.

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5. Encourage Passion Projects

Do you know what our favorite romantic comedy trope is? That scene where the wide-eyed rookie who will end up finding true love by the end of the movie, goes to their boss’s office and gets handed a big project and the boss simply goes “This project, is yours baby!”.

Believe it or not, that is one of the best employee engagement ideas that work. Allowing your employees to have their passion projects is a surefire way to keep them engaged for months on end!

Not only does having a passion project boost employee engagement, but it also increases the ownership someone feels of their work.

Let’s face the facts here: With everything that is going on in the world, no matter when you’re reading this, there are fewer and fewer reasons left every day for your employee to be invested in the success of your organization.

If said employee were allowed to have a passion project, however, that would change things, wouldn’t it? Letting your employees come up with their own passion projects and run with them is also a great way of fostering a culture of empowerment within your organization.

So the next time one of your employees comes to you with an idea for a brand new HR initiative, you better let them grab the ball and run with it!

6. Reverse Mentorship Program

We are aware of the fact that mentorship is not one of the most innovative employee engagement ideas ever, but hear us out: what about a reverse mentorship program where your juniors and direct reports are mentoring you, a manager? After all, who knows recruiting Gen-Z and how to work with them better than themselves, right?

In a reverse mentorship program, you can encourage free speech, idea exchange, and open communication in a healthy way. There is something to learn from everyone in the business world, regardless of their title and position.

Discussing the change and evolution in the way you work with younger employees is an effective way to keep up. That’s why we think reverse mentorship is definitely among innovative employee engagement ideas that work, and you should try it!

You can pair your younger employees with seniors and create a space for open and honest communication, positive feedback, and creative ideas that your employees are shy about to share with their team.

7. Employee-led TED Talks

ted talks

Our next suggestion will be a member of the creative employee engagement ideas category – organizing an employee-led TED Talk event!

Employee engagement should not be something you think about once a year and try to make up for the absence with holding boring surveys. Holding innovative employee engagement activities for your employees is a great way to show them you appreciate their efforts and care about them as individiuals.

Encourage employees from different departments or teams to share their expertise, passions, or personal experiences through short presentations at your own pace, like once or twice a month.

By implementing these employee engagement event ideas in your organization you can promote knowledge-sharing, public speaking skills, and build a sense of community by celebrating the unique talents and stories of employees.

Did you know John had that tragic experience that inspired them to become an advertiser? Or have you heard about Janice’s interesting hobby of geocaching, where she finds a certain geographic area by just looking at the picture? We bet you didn’t!

8. Workcation Opportunities

This next fun employee engagement idea especially comes for remote workers. Keeping the employee engagement levels high throughout your organization while working remotely might be the hardest of challenges, but we have something for you too!

Try offering workcation opportunities where employees have the option to work remotely from a different location for a certain period.

Offering workcations is one of the best employee engagement ideas and it will provide your employees with a change of environment, help reduce employee burnout, and enhance work-life balance while also encouraging exploration and new experiences, which can spark creativity and inspiration.

You can even go one step further and provide a stipend or assistance with travel and accommodation arrangements!

9. “Random Acts of Kindness” Campaign

Kindness is contagious -or at least it should be! One of the best employee engagement activities is creating a campaign where performing “random acts of kindness” becomes a common practice. Imagine seeing a small thank you note on your desk when you’re feeling down at work. It would probably make your day right?

Then why not let this become a regular thing where all your employees make these small gestures without thinking twice! The positive energy generated from such gestures can create a ripple effect, contributing to a more supportive and friendly work environment for all.

You can even create a “kindness leaderboard” where you can see these gestures and who makes them happen. But be careful and don’t turn this sweet culture into a competition among your employees!

employee innovation

10. Employee Art and Innovation Gallery

If you’re feeling like you don’t know your employees outside of work, and have no idea whether they like art, or create new ideas for fun, this suggestion is for you.

Create a company event where everyone can submit their art, innovations, or just fun ideas. You can hold this gallery virtual or physically depending on your organization, it would be fine regardless!

At the grand opening, applaud your employees’ efforts, appreciate their talents, and hand out small personalized rewards! After all, a little recognition goes a long way in boosting morale and inspiring even greater feats of creativity.

11. Mentorship Exchange Program

In a mentorship exchange program, employees can be paired across departments or hierarchical levels to engage in mutual mentorship. Junior employees for example can learn from senior colleagues’ experiences and expertise, while senior employees gain fresh perspectives and insights from their mentees.

This engagement idea will help the organization promote knowledge sharing, skill development, and cross-functional collaboration, ultimately strengthening its internal networks and enhancing employee engagement.

12. Flexible Work Arrangements

Offering flexible work arrangements is a great way to try and increase employee engagement since it provides the employee’s autonomy and empowerment.

For example, telecommuting options or flexible hours demonstrate trust in employees’ ability to manage their work effectively while accommodating their personal needs. Employees benefit from increased autonomy and control over their work schedules, leading to greater job satisfaction and work-life balance.

Not only that, but flexible work arrangements can improve employee retention and productivity by reducing stress and burnout, as well as attracting top talent who value flexibility in their work environment.

flexible work arrangements

13. Diversity and Inclusion Workshops

Organizing workshops or training sessions focused specifically on diversity and inclusion topics cultivates an environment where the organization demonstrates its commitment to fostering a more inclusive workplace culture.

These workshops provide employees with opportunities to learn about different perspectives, biases, and systemic barriers that may exist in their proximity.

Through open dialogue and interactive activities, employees gain a deeper understanding of diversity and inclusion issues, enabling them to contribute to creating a more equitable and welcoming work environment for everyone.

14. Recognition and Rewards Platform

Implementing a recognition and rewards program with strong integration streamlines the process of acknowledging and appreciating employees’ contributions.

Through Teamflect, employees can easily recognize their peers for their hard work, innovative ideas, or exceptional teamwork. Not only will this boost morale and motivation, but it will also reinforce positive behavior and strengthen the sense of camaraderie and collaboration within the organization as a whole.

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15. Innovation Challenges

Hosting innovation challenges encourages employees to collaborate in cross-functional teams, leveraging their diverse skills and expertise to tackle real business challenges or explore new ideas.

These events provide a structured yet creative environment where employees can brainstorm, prototype, and present their innovative solutions and lean into their teamwork skills. This way, the organization can cultivate experimentation and risk-taking, and foster a culture of innovation, agility, and continuous improvement, driving employee engagement.

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is a measure of how emotionally invested and invested a worker is in their organization and its objectives. Employees who are engaged in their work are passionate about it, driven to excel, and proud of their company.

Engaged employees are more devoted to attaining the objectives of the company and are more willing to go above and beyond what is expected of them.

Why is employee engagement important?

Employee engagement is important because it can directly impact organizational performance and success. Employees who are engaged are more productive, more satisfied with their jobs, and more likely to be in the company for the long run than disengaged employees.

Employee disengagement, on the other side, can negatively affect a company, resulting in poorer production, worse morale, and increased turnover rates. That is why coming up with creative and efficient employee engagement ideas is crucial in leading a team!

Reasons Why Employee Engagement Ideas DON’T work?

Reasons why employee engagement ideas don't work

Lack of Alignment: If the engagement initiatives are not aligned with the company’s values, goals, and culture, employees may not perceive them as meaningful or relevant to their work, which is one of the main reasons why employee engagement ideas may not work.

Insufficient Communication: Poor communication about the purpose and benefits of engagement initiatives can lead to confusion or skepticism among employees, diminishing their willingness to participate in ideas for employee engagement.

Inconsistent Implementation: If engagement efforts are sporadic or inconsistently implemented, employees may not take them seriously or perceive them as insincere rather than genuine attempts to improve their workplace experience, and the idea for employee engagement can backfire and lead to disengagement instead.

Lack of Leadership Support: Without visible support and active involvement from leadership, employee engagement initiatives may lack credibility and fail to gain traction among the workforce.

Resistance to Change: Employees may resist engagement ideas if they perceive them as disruptive to their routines or if they fear potential negative consequences, such as increased workload or scrutiny.

Lack of Feedback Mechanisms: Without certain channels in place, used to gather feedback and assess the effectiveness of engagement initiatives, it can be challenging to identify what works and what needs improvement, leading to wasted resources and missed opportunities for improvement. This can be a contributing factor to why employee engagement ideas don’t work.

Failure to Address Root Causes: Engagement initiatives that only scratch the surface of deeper organizational issues, such as poor leadership, ineffective management practices, or systemic inequities, are unlikely to yield sustainable improvements in employee engagement.

One-Size-Fits-All Approach: Not everyone will have the same preferences when it comes to employee engagement. Employers who adopt a one-size-fits-all approach may overlook the diverse interests and needs of their workforce, resulting in an inefficient implementation of engagement ideas.

Closing Words

While conventional employee engagement ideas like flexible hours are still valuable, it’s crucial to explore more innovative and creative employee engagement ideas to keep your workforce motivated and engaged.

With these employee engagement ideas that work, you will be building a strong workplace community and drive business results!

Employee engagement significantly affects organizational success, so, the implementation of these creative employee engagement ideas can help you build a vibrant, supportive, and resilient work culture.

Using integrated employee engagement software, Teamflect, which is seamlessly embedded into Microsoft Teams, creates continuous engagement by providing features like customizable recognitions and leaderboards within your regular workflow.

By using Teamflect, you can come up with fun employee engagement activities for your employees easily! Try Teamflect now and start boosting engagement right away!

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FAQ Section

Why is employee engagement important?

Employee engagement is important because it can directly impact organizational performance and success. Employees that are engaged are more productive, more satisfied with their jobs, and more likely to be in the company for the long run.

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is a measure of how emotionally invested and invested a worker is in their organization and its objectives. Employees that are engaged in their work are passionate about it, driven to excel, and proud of their company. Engaged employees are more devoted to attaining the objectives of the company and are more willing to go above and beyond what is expected of them.

Written by Emre Ok

Emre is a content writer at Teamflect who aims to share fun and unique insight into the world of performance management.

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