Five fun activities that’ll help to improve employee engagement



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4 mins

people drinking coffee together

Try these five fun activities to help boost engagement, build relationships and improve collaboration at work

Encouraging and nurturing employee engagement is not always easy. With more and more employees working remotely, and the proliferation of messaging apps and email means less need to speak to colleagues in person. It’s becoming harder for organisations to organise fun employee engagement activities, and encourage collaboration and teamwork.

Here are five fun ways to encourage employees to interact and work more closely together.

1. Show off your creativity with a Play-Doh challenge

On each day in a specific week, give a different group of employees some Play-Doh, and challenge them to create the most innovative sculpture. Choose a fun theme, or leave it open to their imagination.  At the end of the week, fellow employees can judge the sculptures and the winners receive a prize.

How does this boost engagement?

During the construction phase, the employees can discuss and take advice on what they should or have created, and use this advice to improve their design. Unless the employees are extremely skilful in their moulding abilities, then this exercise should lead to a lot of fun and discussion around the office.

2. White lie

A group of employees (or all employees, depending upon the size of your company) write down three things about themselves. Two of the statements are true and one is false – it’s up to the other employees to guess which one is the ‘white lie’.

How does this boost engagement?

This is a great way of getting your workforce interacting and learning a bit more about each other. The true statements will invariably start conversations and the false ones should cause some laughs.

3. Song title roulette

Each week, invite employees to think of song titles that match a theme. These can be published on the company intranet, a company Facebook page or even on a company bulletin board. The theme can be totally random or be associated with the company and what it does.

How does this boost engagement?

This is another light-hearted way to stimulate communication and build relationships between staff in different departments who might not normally work together.

4. Organise a plant seed race

Buy a packet of seeds – preferably for a plant that flowers or bears fruit – sow them in the same way, at the same time, and then distribute the seed trays to employees. The first employee (or team) to nurture a plant that flowers or bears fruit wins a prize for a particular plant, preferably one which either flowers or bears fruit. Sow them all in exactly the same way and at the same time, and then distribute them to the employees. The first employee to successfully rear a plant which bears fruit first wins a prize.

The great thing about this is that the plants can either be distributed to individuals, to teams of a couple of employees or to different departments. It is then up to those groups to work together and share the responsibility of raising their plant.

How does this boost engagement?

This challenge encourages groups to work together and take shared responsibility for caring for their plants.

5. Host sports after work

Arranging regular sporting activities for those employees that would like to take part is a tried and proven way to build team spirit and engagement. Why not host a staff vs management game, or even challenge your clients to a game of football or rounders?

How does this boost engagement?

Professional sports teams are well known for,  collaboration and strong team ethos and team sports is one of the most powerful engagement activities, so expect these benefits to emerge in your workplace, too.

This article was first published in August 2013. It was updated in August 2018 for freshness, clarity and accuracy.