7 Ways To Increase Employee Engagement During The Holidays

By Susan Cooney, Givelocity Founder & CEO — December 09, 2013

The holiday season is the perfect time to nourish employee connections by creating new ways for them to engage. While it’s a busy time of year, if you take the time to invest in a few simple activities for your team members,you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the return you’ll receive on your investment. Not only will your employees be more inspired and motivated, but they will also enjoy a newfound sense of community and team spirit, which can ultimately enhance your bottom line.
 
Here are a few simple ways you can increase employee engagement this holiday season.
 
Dedicate a few hours, or even a full day, for employees to volunteer.
Challenge your employees to use their talents or skills to volunteer. You’ll be surprised at how many employees will take you up on it. By volunteering as a team, they’ll extend your brand and goodwill into the community, and they’ll foster new connections internally and externally. When people do good, they feel good – and they’ll bring these positive feelings back into the workplace.
 
Allow your employees to have a voice.
If you’re going to donate to a charitable cause this year, why not let your employees vote on where the funds should go? Ask them to help choose causes that are important to them, and then allow them to vote on how the funds should be allocated. You can send out a survey or join a community like Givelocity where you can create a place for employees to vote on where to send company contributions. Engagement improves when employees have a voice and feel like they’re part of the decision making process.
 
Match employee contributions.
As an incentive for employees to give back, offer to match their charitable contributions. You encourage them to support important causes and give back to their community. In turn, you’ll increase employee satisfaction and their personal impact. It’s a quick way to double their efforts, and prove it’s not just about the bottom line.
 
Give together with holiday bonus matching.
Another form of matching is with bonuses or employee perks. Give employees the option to donate a part of their holiday bonus, and match it. You emphasize community participation, and increase employee impact by fostering shared giving.
 
Introduce a wellness program where participants can earn social incentive rewards.
Since everyone will soon be making new year’s health and fitness resolutions, offer employees free exercise, yoga or nutrition classes. Reward completion with a cash bonus that they can direct to the charity of their choice. You’re making a statement that both employee health and social impact are important. Employees develop a healthier lifestyle and a more positive outlook by deepening their local engagement. You earn their loyalty by investing in them and helping to boost their impact in the community.
 
Purchase a day pass or season passes to a local park or museum.
Since state parks, museums and exhibit spaces are typically non-profit organizations, this allows you to champion a cause together. You can help your community and set an example for others by funding important local arts and outdoor spaces, while simultaneously giving your employees and their families a treat. Your company can also benefit from the tax write-off. It’s a win/win!
 
Give employees a forum to share their unique skills or talents.
A great way to inspire and motivate employees is to give them a space to share their personal stories and talents with their teams. You create a stronger sense of community for them, both during and after work. Create dedicated social channels for broadcasting employee accomplishments vis-à-vis their social impact, increasing their recognition for giving back, and motivating them to do more.
 
Taking the time to offer engagement opportunities for your employees will not only enhance your company culture,  but it will also let them know that they are a valuable part of your company and that their skills and contributions matter.Have fun this holiday, take time to offer your engagement programs, and encourage your employees to join you. You’ll set a great example and your employees will be proud that they are on your team.

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