Supercharge Your Employee Engagement Program — a Detailed 8-Week Activities Plan
It’s time for you to start building a company that employees love working for, as well as a work environment where you and they enjoy spending time. This is a daunting task, and we figured you’d appreciate a bit of help, so we’ve put together an 8-week engagement plan you can either strictly follow or just take inspiration from. But bear in mind, Rome wasn’t built in a day: these things take time, but the results will be worth the wait and the effort.
Ambassify’s 8-week plan for employee engagement
This is a pretty extensive plan, so chances are that you will not be able to implement everything, especially not all at the same time. Also, keep in mind that the timeline here is tentative — if you feel that you need to stretch things out a bit to make them doable, feel free to do just that.
While most of the activities suggested in this action plan will apply to your company, budget and time constraints, as well as the space available and the level of executive buy-in, might prove to be insurmountable obstacles. That’s to be expected — it’s going to take time and effort, and you can’t expect to have a fully-fledged complete employee engagement program in three months.
Still, implementing just some of the suggestions in this plan will help you move in a positive direction. If nothing, you will be able to identify the low-hanging fruit more efficiently and make minor adjustments that could profoundly impact the productivity of your employees.
Let’s dive in!
Download the 8-week action plan
Week 1, get the word out
The first thing to do is getting the word out in your company and finding as many champions for the program as you can. Talk to department heads, managers, and employees to see how many would like to assume an active role for the next 8 weeks.
A good way to kick this off is to go after things that can bring immediate results:
- Find the WHY of your company — do you already have a mission statement and a document clearly stating your core values?
Whether you need to start from scratch or revise them, take some time to sit down with the founders and create a concise, to-the-point mission statement that captures the very essence of your business.
- Revise your company’s employee advocacy efforts — do you have a program in place?
Think about what can be developed in a short amount of time to either improve it or to encourage motivation and participation altogether.
- Kick off casual Fridays — let everyone know that, barring any outside meetings, they’re free to come to work dressed in something comfortable this Friday. Another good idea is to take your team out for drinks and encourage other department heads and managers to do the same.
- Secure a small budget for daily snacks — this is an ask for your HR and finance departments. Explain why it’s crucial to provide employees with small freebies. It ìll make them feel appreciated, cared for, and visible — but most importantly, not hungry!
Start thinking about measurement early on — talk to your HR manager about designing a scale-type employee pulse survey to be distributed at regular intervals in the coming months.
Week 2, listen to feedback
Now that you’ve got the ball rolling and people are taking notice, it’s time for you to listen to their feedback.
What are employees saying? What needs to be improved? A good step forward is to start thinking about potential renovations or construction work that might need to happen further down the line.
- Design and distribute an employee survey — make parts of it easy (true/false questions) but don’t forget to ask some open-ended questions, too. Focus on job clarity, feedback and recognition; think of different options, company connection, and managerial styles.
The survey should have one scale (1 to 10) question for each of the supporting elements of employee engagement. This will allow you to assess where you currently stand.
- Send the survey out to everyone in the company: talk about potential office renovations and upgrades — call a short open meeting to discuss the possibilities of upgrading your lounge, relaxation area, or gym.
If you don’t have any of those, check with finance to see if you can add them or maybe create a multifunctional space out of one of the rooms you have available.
Put a twist on Friday get-togethers — on Thursday, ask your employees where they would like to go on Friday after work. Set a budget and time constraints, and maybe provide some feasible options, but leave the final decision to them.
Week 3, finalize the strategy
You now have the data you’ve collected from the survey and know what to focus on. This means that you will probably skip some of the activities that we write about below. It also means that you will most likely be adding some that we didn’t specify.
- Draw up and proudly display your core values — now that you have a mission, translate it into core values. Make this a team effort, and try to breathe some fun into it. After this is done, display these core values on the walls in all the shared spaces in your offices.
- Choose an advocacy platform and start onboarding employees — decide on the goals of your advocacy program and encourage employees to participate. Gamify the experience so that employees can earn rewards and unlock achievements.
Having a sound employee advocacy platform such as Ambassify is crucial to the success of your advocacy program and employee engagement.
- Start any renovation or building projects — bring in contractors to draw up plans for your new game room/lounge area, and start building it as soon as possible. Alternatively, form a group of employees to take on the job of refitting one of your existing areas to serve that purpose (only if the work is light and doesn’t involve extensive renovation).
- Finalize your wellness program and gamify it — create a 5-week wellness challenge (morning jogs, afternoon yoga break, no elevator use, and so on), and find a way to keep track of participants and teams.
Announce an informal ceremony in week 8 when the winner or winning team will be announced.
Week 4, inform about the progress of the project
This week, take time to inform everyone about the progress of the project. You should also talk to department heads and managers to figure out if any of them need help or training when it comes to recognition or feedback skills.
- Conduct an all-hands-on-deck meeting — get everyone in your company in one room and brief them about your efforts. Present the new mission statement and core values, clarify the purpose of the engagement efforts, and see if anyone wants to take a more active role in the activities you’re planning.
- Kick off meetings with personal anecdotes — starting in-house sessions with a unique story will create a fun and friendly vibe from the get-go and make interactions smoother. When you share things, you signal to others that it’s OK for them to do the same.
- Broach the subject of mental health — send a memo to all employees acknowledging the pressures and the stress of balancing private and professional life. Let them know that the company appreciates their work and is more than happy to provide them with a couple of mental health days every year.
Talk to the founders/board to see if anything can be done to improve the existing mental health coverage you’re providing.
- Hold your first collective fitness hour — book a fitness or yoga instructor, and hold your first collective fitness gig. If your in-house gym area is not ready (or you won’t have one), plan it at a nearby park on a sunny day. Everyone is welcome to participate — but nobody HAS to!
- Distribute your first employee pulse survey — it’s time to see if the needle has moved in the positive direction — 7 short questions on a scale from 1 to 10 to assess the effect of your actions. Compare the results with those from week 1 to see if you’re making progress.
Week 5, execute bigger activities
More challenging activities are at your door now. Sift through the data that you’ve gathered: what you will notice there is that most employees have a bit of trouble articulating their ideas but that these ideas are mostly centered around intangible things such as company esprit de corps, personal growth, the effectiveness of your managers, and things like that. Now is the time to clearly define those things and start working on them.
- Encourage managers to conduct one-on-one interviews — have your managers sit down with individual employees to draw up personal & professional development plans. Depending on the size of your organization, it’ll take up a different amount of time, but that’s not an issue as long as everyone gets their turn at it.
- Arrange for additional training for managers — if managerial feedback seems to be the problem most of your employees are pointing at, create some learning materials for your managers. Talk to a few of them yourself to pinpoint the issues. If possible, try to organize a one-day workshop that your entire managerial team is encouraged to attend.
- Think of education programs that the company can provide — while your managers are talking to employees about growth and plans for the future, you should focus on coming up with ideas for training and education that the company can potentially offer.
- Plant the seeds of an informal peer-to-peer recognition program — start recognizing your subordinates for their job-related accomplishments freely. Encourage your managers to do the same. The goal is to make your employees feel valued for their work and their efforts as often as possible to keep motivation and morale up all the time.
Week 6, grow your advocacy
Now that your advocacy program’s had a chance to develop a bit, it’s time to grow it. First, assess the adoption rate. How are you motivating more employees to be active advocates? This week is a good time to unveil your new or repurposed spaces and encourage employees to use them.
- Find your ultimate employee advocacy champion — it’s time to ramp up advocacy activity going forward. Find an employee willing to take on the mantle, arrange for ongoing training in the field, and let them own their new role. They will need to devote some of their hours to this, so make sure to help them find a way to best split their time between advocacy activities and their regular work.
- Brainstorm advocacy ideas and further develop the rewards system — don’t leave your new advocacy lead out to dry. Sit with them and devise a 3-month plan of activities that they can work with. Also, agree on what’s acceptable in terms of rewards.
- Assess your wellness competition and ramp up activities — are people participating? Is there a scoring system that works? Sit with the most active employees and see what they can do weekly to create some wellness-oriented content for everyone to participate in.
- Allot some time to mingle with employees — whether in the break room or the gym, spending some time there to see how employees respond. Is there anything missing that can be provided?
Week 7, formalize ideas and programs
You’re almost at the end. It’s time to now formalize ideas and programs that make sense in your company. We suggest focusing on a formal recognition program and the wellness program that’s already underway.
- Talk to the stakeholders about a formal recognition program — both peer-to-peer and managerial recognition programs should be soon formalized at some point. It’s time to look at what the budgets allow and decide what types of achievements to reward.
- Plan out wellness activities for the entire coming quarter — you should have a firm grasp of what your employees appreciate in your health and wellness program. Create a budget for healthy snacks and plan out activities for the next quarter, at least.
- Collect feedback on current activities from employees — send out another employee survey (a simple 1 to 10 scale assessing the elements of employee engagement).
Make sure to throw in two open-ended questions in it: “How do you feel about the ongoing management efforts to improve work engagement?” and: “Do you have any thoughts or suggestions you are willing to share?” This will allow you to figure out if what you’re doing is visible and appreciated by the employees and give you a couple of ideas for the future.
Week 8, commit to the practice
Your new employee engagement program should be running quite smoothly at this point. However, now is not the time to falter! It’s time to buckle down and commit to the ongoing practice of creating a happier, more productive, and more engaged workplace for all your employees.
- Decide on your employee engagement champion — you might be the one taking the lead but you don’t have to be. If you’re too busy for day-to-day engagement activities going forward, find someone who can take over the torch (preferably someone from HR who was already involved in these activities).
- Discuss results with owners/upper management — make a case for continuing the program. Review the last week’s employee pulse survey results with your team (you should see positive results), and discuss and try to lock in an engagement budget for the next few quarters.
- Organize an event with in-house speakers — this is an excellent opportunity to promote some cross-departmental knowledge sharing. Also, if it’s a physical event, employees will get a chance to mingle and get to know each other in a less formal setting.
- Start planning an offsite event — if there’s a possibility of securing a bigger budget at this point, you want to start planning a small offsite event. Reward everyone’s hard work by booking a 2-day stay somewhere at the beach or a wellness retreat, or organize a fun outdoors activity day with half-day or full-day off attached to it to rest after.
We hope that this 8-week plan inspired you and gave you a good idea of what the backbone of your engagement strategy should look like. Now it’s up to you to get your party started, and Ambassify is here to help you: we’re one click away!
Download the 8-week action plan