Did another 20 something-year-old employees just walk out? Was it because they ‘feel un-inspired’ or something similarly vague? Does it happen often enough that you find yourself hoping the next one has something more interesting to say like “I want to join the circus” or “I’m quitting because the carpets are ugly”? It’s not just your company. 2 years into any job, millennials are already deep in the hunt for their next gig and while companies are   The question is, how do you go about evaluating employee engagement program ideas in this scenario?

This article was originally written for HR.com

The key here is to align company goals with the all-round development of employees. Take an interest in the health of your employees and respect their time with their families, and they will in-turn take an interest in the health of the company and achieve more in the time they are with you. Employees who are satisfied with their quality of life have no reason to seek a change.

Start making a list of employee engagement program ideas with a focus on these 4 areas and you should start seeing a positive change in no time at all!

1. Enable healthy nutrition:

A majority of the workforce today wants access to healthy options at the cafeteria, but less than 20% of employers even consider this a benefit to be offered, though it can lead to a 10% increase in engagement. At the same time, there are multiple scientific studies to support that health and wellness efforts lead to higher productivity and lower employee turnover, since job stress, whether real or perceived, is the number 1 reason employee quit jobs. Adopt some of the following employee engagement program ideas, and help your people sustain the mental and physical energy to drive their kids to their football game after work:


 a. Provide company branded water bottles and promote hydration:

Bathroom breaks are not a bad thing. They keep employees on their feet and promote better health. And of course, promote company pride in the same go with merchandise.


b. Start a monthly health food pot-luck: 

Costs you nothing, brings employees together and promotes better health and teamwork. Studies show this also leads to an exponential increase in the chances of someone offering you a dumpling at work.


c. Provide healthy snacks at work: 

Help your team boost energy while staying lean. The improvement in overall mood that healthy snacks can bring is well documented.


d. Bring in a Chef: 

If you don’t have a budget to provide snacks at work, bring in a chef to teach your team healthy cooking. Have a fresher, more motivated and healthy workforce without breaking the bank.


2. Promote Inter-office fitness competitions:

What better way to promote health, energy, teamwork, and collaboration than inter-office fitness competitions! Just make sure that the employees create teams and compete in addition to competing as individuals. Pick some of these competitions and watch the overall engagement spike. If you need ideas to reward employees for performance on a budget, read our list of ideas here.


a. Step challenge: 

No simpler way to get employees on their feet and competing. Improve the critical ‘potatoes-per-couch’ metric.


b. Sleep challenge: 

Get all your work done and get a minimum 8 hours of sleep. Improve that ever challenging ‘yawns-per-cubicle’ metric.


c. Health food challenge:

Give employees points for eating fruit, having breakfast on time or avoiding junk food. Improve the frightening ‘heart attacks-per-month’ metric.


d. Mental wellness challenge:

Reward employees that don’t work overtime to meet goals or take the 10 minutes they need out for meditation or relaxation. Do something about that crazy the ‘Breakdowns-per-Mind’ metric.


3. Choose perks that boost mental and physical well-being:

Employee engagement program ideas and rewards can both be designed to meet the same overall goals. No point in rewarding the most energetic, helpful and fit employee with a cake! Pick some of the perks here to help employees live and feel the growth you’re bringing in them:


a. Standing desks for winners:

Sitting is the new smoking. Help employees get healthier while helping them feel head and shoulders above the competition.


b. Flavored water dispensers:

Access to mint flavored water! A few sprigs of mint and a separate dispenser, that’s all it takes to better hydrate the workforce and help the best employees feel like ‘my company has hooked me up with the best facilities!’


c. Ergonomic equipment:

Ergonomic chairs and keyboards can seriously boost productivity and health, but they are not as cheap as their lower-end counterparts. Get them for the best performing employees to help them improve health, productivity and stand apart from the competition at the same time.


4. Health check-ups:

Help your best employees stay healthy (while reducing their opportunities to claim sick-leaves :-P) by providing them with Executive Health Check-ups. Corporate deals can make the exercise very cheap indeed and a simple Vitamin D, B12 and hormone level check don’t cost a lot.


4. Bring in a motivational speaker:

Mondays! The number 1 best metric to measure employee engagement. If your team doesn’t look forward to showing up on a Monday, or if you find employees trying to extend an already long weekend, you know they would rather be someplace else. A qualified speaker who adds value to their lives in and outside of work (and just happens to come in on a Monday), would additionally serve as a medium to transform their perception of the company and of Mondays in general. Bring in an expert in any of the following areas:


a. Yoga guru: 

Help employees understand and adopt a holistic approach to overall wellness and get a leg up on the competition (and then behind their necks).


b. Marathon trainer: 

Help your people understand the benefits of adopting a hobby that makes them leaner and meaner while keeping them younger.


c. Physical fitness trainer: 

Allow employees to get to the root of any physical pains and problems they might be facing and make the solution part of their work-life.


d. Doctor (General Practitioner): 

Provide your team with a basic understanding of their bodies and what they need to do to be more productive today as well as stay more productive when they’re 60. A doctor a day keeps the apple away, or something like that…


The trick to boosting employee engagement is that there isn’t a trick. Tricks are for magicians and con-artists. Employees, just like anyone else, respond to a genuine interest in their wellbeing and return the favor in kind. We’d love to discuss your experience with employee engagement program ideas in the comments.


This article is based on experience and data gained from working with HR departments of several companies to implement a unique, fun and engaging employee fitness and wellbeing solution that transforms employee engagement, motivation, and rewards through unique employee engagement program ideas.

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