Keeping employees happy not only leads to better communication, productivity and efficiency, it can also help reduce absenteeism, turnover and high recruiting costs. Creating activities that make your workplace more enjoyable will enhance your reputation as an employer and build more camaraderie among workers.
To reduce inter-generational tensions, encourage your employees to learn more about each other by having your different age groups create a presentation that explains the values, interests, events, music and movies that motivate them and shaped their lives. Ask your employees to self-identify by their generation (e.g. baby boomers, Gen-X, millennial) and put them on teams.
People are more likely to improve their health if someone gives them a nudge. Hold a wellness challenge, drawing employees’ names out of a hat to create teams that avoid cliques, and award a prize to the winning team that meets the most health and wellness benchmarks. Work with your health insurance provider to create goals for improving cholesterol, losing weight or improving strength. If you think it will motivate employees more, let each team pick a charity and make a donation to the winning group’s nonprofit.
Monthly Birthday Party
Monthly birthday parties give employees a chance to take a break, share some refreshments and recognize their peers socially. Consider giving celebrants a gift certificate or the day off on their birthdays. You can also turn the party into a potluck, with employees bringing their favorite appetizers, entrees and desserts.
If you don’t have an annual picnic, consider holding one or creating another outing that lets employees meet each other’s partners and children. Avoid structured activities that keep employees busy with tasks, movies or games that don’t promote personal interaction.
Let your department heads bring in lunch for their staffers every so often, or take everyone out. Give each department a budget and let the staff members vote on where they want to go to increase participation and interaction. Have your department heads give a brief welcome at the lunch, but keep it more social than work-oriented. If you have small departments, combine two or more that work closely together.
Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.