Go Long When Talent’s Short: 8 Creative Ways to Keep Employees Engaged

Gone are the days when employees settled for jobs they didn’t like. Unlike older generations, Millennials and Gen Z workers aren’t afraid to look for other opportunities if they feel unsatisfied in their workplace. 

A recent study found that the average annual voluntary turnaround rate has risen to about 25%, and could increase to almost 30% by 2023. With retention rates dropping year after year, employers are not only losing valuable talent but also time and money to find a replacement. 

Although it is impossible to prevent every employee from leaving, there are several creative ways to retain employees that can help your business reduce turnover, increase employee motivation and foster an engaging work culture.

8 Creative Ways to Engage Employees

​​Employees who feel motivated and satisfied with their work are more likely to remain with a company for longer periods. A healthy work environment, flexibility, and room for growth are just some of the drivers that motivate employees to stay.

Here are our top 8 creative solutions that can help you maintain employee loyalty and increase retention. 

1. Employee Mentorship Program

When employees jump to another company, it is usually a direct blow to the employer’s bottom line. This can result in severe financial consequences. The best way to avoid losing employees to a competitor is by keeping them motivated and engaged through an effective employee mentorship program.

Develop a cross-departmental or senior management mentorship program that encourages collaboration, learning, and growth. 

Allowing your employees to learn from one another also increases trust and efficiency. A mentor is able to provide guidance, ideas, and most importantly, keep the team connected. This leads to increased job satisfaction and ultimately fewer employee departures.

2. Invest in Growth and Learning 

The key to keeping employees happy and engaged is not just about paying them competitively at market rates. It’s also about making sure every employee has a clear career path with the company and opportunities for learning new skills.

Employees who feel they can constantly learn and grow within a company are more likely to stay long-term. A LinkedIn survey found that 94% of surveyed employees would stay longer if companies invested in helping them learn. 

Offer your employees training programs that can help them improve their skills and expand their knowledge. This may involve paying for professional training, online courses, or developing a company-wide employee development program.

3. Recognize Employee Effort

Employees want to feel valued, which is why employee recognition is one of the best retention strategies for any company.  However, we often focus on results rather than the effort the employees put into their job.

A sincere “thank you” at a team meeting or via email will make your employee feel both appreciated and respected. Taking the time to recognize your employee’s work and efforts will be sure to increase employee loyalty and performance. 

4. Incorporate Team Building

Incorporate team building activities into your employee retention strategy. 

TeamBonding’s Mixology program is a popular choice for teams in need of a lively after-work event. Learn the art of cocktail making and add in some friendly trivia and competition for an unexpected twist. 

Alternatively, get your teams moving with Squad Game and Outrageous Games. These fast-paced team-building programs will encourage relationship building and friendly competition. 

If you’re looking for a way to improve strategic and critical thinking, try Big Inc. by TeamBonding. This social strategy competition will get your team members thinking while they solve virtual challenges and try to win the game. 

5. Introduce a Four Day Workweek

Improving work-life balance and preventing burnout is key to employee retention. Employees who feel their workplace offers extra flexibility will be more likely to stay.

Since the pandemic, more and more employers are leaving behind their 9 to 5 office jobs for more flexible and employee-focused opportunities. As a result, companies across the globe have begun piloting four-day workweeks

Despite working fewer hours, most trials have seen an increase in productivity. In fact, Microsoft Japan saw a 40% productivity increase with a 4-day workweek. Buffer reported an increase in employee autonomy and overall work happiness, as well as reduced stress levels. 

6. Focus on Employee Health

Today, most employees are seeking work environments that support both mental and physical health. The modern workplace should be focused on reducing employee burnout and reinforcing employee wellness

Offer your employees more sick days or incorporate mental health days in the company policy. Some companies, like LinkedIn, have even given their employees a paid week off to avoid burnout. 

When employees are able to dedicate more time to their own well-being they will feel more motivated and focused at work

7. Sabbatical Programs

Introducing a sabbatical program is another creative way to retain employees. Companies can offer up to six weeks off or more (depending on the annual leave policy). During this time employees are able to focus on projects they are passionate about, travel, or spend more time with family.

Employees who are granted time off generally feel more refreshed and motivated upon return to the office. Sabbatical programs also show workers how much you value their personal aspirations, resulting in stronger company loyalty

8. Provide Creative Compensation

Competitive benefits are one of the top drivers of employee retention. Get creative with compensation and offer fun perks to your workers. 

Consider introducing an arts and culture stipend for local theatre shows, museums, and concerts. You could also give your employees a wellness stipend that can go toward a monthly gym membership, sports classes, or equipment. 

This signals to the employee that you care about them and their personal lives even when they’re not on the clock.

Final Thoughts

You may not be able to prevent every employee from eventually leaving the company. However, by investing in growth and learning, focusing on employee health, and fostering a positive company culture via team building activities you will build company loyalty and reduce employee turnover. 

If you’re looking for more fun and creative ways to retain employees take a look at other TeamBonding’s engaging team building activities. Whether virtual or in-person, TeamBonding’s events can help strengthen bonds between team members and consequently improve the overall workplace experience.

Vipsania Pimentel

Team Contributor

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