15 Employee Engagement Ideas for Hybrid Workers

Stuart Sinclair - September 27, 2022

Working from home used to be a perk of the job. Now, it’s just part of the average working week. Hybrid working has become the new standard for office employees. However, when it comes to employee engagement, this new practice poses a real logistical challenge. And we can’t expect things to ‘go back to normal’ any time soon.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the proportion of hybrid workers rose from 13% in February 2022 to 24% in May 2022. That proportion is continuing to increase. It’s clear this is the future of working arrangements, and we will have to adapt our policies to match.

The effect of hybrid working on employee engagement and motivation is quite striking. New research by Finder revealed that employees have reported working longer hours and finding it hard to switch off when working remotely. Over 30% reported feeling lonely away from the office environment. And as many as 62% wanted employers to provide them with technology to help them stay better connected to their colleagues.



Employee engagement ideas that really work

So how can we improve employee engagement for hybrid workers? We have pulled together 15 employee engagement ideas to help reconnect your staff, wherever they’re based. These engagement ideas for work are easy to implement and extremely effective at restoring that all-important sense of belonging across your organisation.

#1 Begin with a strategy

Why? A defined employee engagement strategy is the blueprint guiding you to success

Start as you mean to go on. With a detailed employee engagement strategy that defines your business goals to increase staff engagement and plans the activities required to achieve these goals. Just because you need to move quickly to address the new working patterns doesn’t mean you should ignore this essential background planning.

To do this effectively, you will need to tie down your as it applies to your unique business needs. Do you need your staff to be able to adapt to more upcoming changes? Or maybe you need your employees to work better together as a team? Every organisation has different challenges to face, which will affect your strategy.

Once you have your plan, it will need to be executed. Make sure you have all the resources in place. Make sure all departments have been consulted and are on board. And, crucially, ensure your strategy connects everyone in the organisation.

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#2 Inform your audience

Why? A steady flow of information helps to connect directors with those at the coalface

 The best work engagement ideas always start with information. You need to create free-flowing information channels to share the strategic direction and company vision. Directors make decisions on how to run a company daily, and employees are the ones who live and breathe the impact of these decisions. Without understanding the what and the why hybrid workers risk not feeling engaged at work.

This is even more essential when your workers are separated from the office environment on a regular basis. News that once flowed freely between colleagues now needs to find a new route. An employee engagement platform is ideal for centralising communications and keeping that news stream current. Instead of using disparate channels from several sources, you can keep the news relevant, on brand, and essentially easy to access from one central hub.

#3 Listen to your people

Why? Engagement starts with a feeling of inclusion. Listening shows you care.

Implement an employee listening strategy by allowing your employees to voice their opinions. It’s a great way to check the pulse of what matters at the coalface of your business. However, according to a Gallup report, it’s a sad truth that only 30% of staff feel like their voices are heard.

This figure is likely to be even higher with the rise in hybrid working. When the boss is no longer accessible on a daily basis, it’s harder to give an impression of a listening, caring management team. However, of all the ideas for employee engagement, listening should be a number one priority.

In this age of social media, people now expect to be able to engage in a two-way conversation. This presents an interesting challenge for internal communicators, especially since many organisations haven’t yet adopted this type of channel internally. Fortunately, an employee engagement app will have these two-way channels built-in, efficiently facilitating the flow of feedback. By opening up channels for discussion – in the right forum and on the right topics – you can improve work engagement and create a collaborative workplace.

Find out how an employee engagement app can play a pivotal role in delivering an employee engagement strategy

#4 Get to know your team

Why? Creating a unified workforce will encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing

The disconnect between management and the greater team is a long-standing issue that is one of the main barriers to employee engagement activities. It’s even more pronounced for hybrid workers who don’t have a physical connection to the office daily. This divide must be addressed if you want to create an engaged workforce. The link between employee engagement and leadership should not be underestimated.

To facilitate this shift, try implementing some employee engagement strategy ideas. You can encourage your management team to get to know their staff by implementing a virtual open-door policy and motivating them to take an interest in their people as individuals. Employees and management must find common ground to reduce the perceived gap.

To help promote the connection you want to see between management and employees, it’s key to introduce various communication channels. Not all of your staff will be happy communicating with their managers face-to-face. Employee engagement programs provide the perfect space for this type of communication, with individuals able to choose from a range of channels to interact with their managers.

#5 Be flexible

Why? If your staff can structure their work around their lives, their well-being and productivity will improve.

It’s essential to understand just how much a little flexibility can change your employees’ working lives. Balancing professional and personal commitments can be a real sticking point for many. This is especially true for hybrid workers who struggle to define the cut-off between working and home life.

There are numerous ways to show your staff that you are willing to offer the flexibility that they need. You could allow your employees to restructure the hours they work. You could introduce wellness breaks to ensure they get enough time away from the screen. Keeping hybrid workers engaged is no easy task. It will need some extra flexibility and understanding if you’re to get the best out of them. All the best employee engagement ideas take the worker’s personal needs into account.

As long as they are achieving their targets and maintaining productivity, the extra flexibility will do nothing to harm your business and everything to improve employee engagement.

#6 Empower employees

Why? When you give your staff a voice, you create a better workplace culture

Empowerment is about accountability and trust. You need to give employees a certain degree of autonomy and responsibility to gain their best performance. It’s all too tempting to lay down hard and fast rules for hybrid workers, but one of your employee engagement strategies should be to give them back control. Delegating authority and decision-making, sharing information, and asking for input are all ways to pass the power back to your staff. It also takes a lot of work off your shoulders.

To go above and beyond, allow your staff to dedicate time to their own creative ideas for employee engagement initiatives. By giving your team the control, they not only engage in their preferred way but also save you time and effort in engagement activities.

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#7 Focus on health

Why? If your staff feel healthy and cared for, they will be less stressed and more productive

Taking a caring approach to your employees makes good business sense. It stands to reason. If your employees are operating at maximum health, they are going to be fully engaged in their work. It’s not just physical health you need to consider; make sure you address mental and emotional health issues. With loneliness being reported as a real issue amongst hybrid workers, it’s your responsibility to address this.

There are many fun employee engagement ideas which will assist with the sense of loneliness and disconnection. You could set friendly challenges, start a ‘good news’ conversation or hold tours of remote working set-ups. An employee engagement app will help you to set up these virtual events. It will even allow you to set up a virtual break room for employees to meet and chat.

#8 Give back

Why? Charitable giving helps employees connect with the company’s aims and ideals

Corporate giving is known to have a remarkably beneficial effect on company culture. It is a way for the organisation to reinforce their greater purpose – beyond just products and services – and communicate it to employees in a meaningful way. In short, it’s showing staff that you care. This is especially important in times of change and upheaval when charity becomes an essential lifeline for many people. It’s one of the employee engagement ideas that will really make an impact.

Organising and promoting charitable events among employees results in significantly improved work engagement. It is an opportunity to create traditions that staff can take pride in. Ask your teams to get involved with your charitable choices. Nothing promotes employee engagement and motivation better than a sense of pride and ownership.

#9 Make recognition public

Why? When you praise in public, everyone present feels encouraged to work harder

Hard work should never go unnoticed, even when it happens from the home office. Otherwise, your employees may be less inclined to deliver again. Instead, promote the visibility of your staff by being generous with your public praise and recognition.

In addition, everyone who witnesses public appreciation will register this subconsciously. Not only will they consider the company culture supportive and nurturing, but they will also feel motivated to follow suit and seek praise.

Simply putting a staff member’s name on a project can help to promote engagement, especially when they are thanked for a fantastic job. Digital platforms and employee engagement apps make it easy to tag employees in this simple but effective form of recognition.

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#10 Celebrate the personal stuff

Why? Your employees will feel valued and appreciated if you celebrate what matters to them

Without the traditional birthday cakes and after-work drinks, working life can feel very dry. Hybrid working has disrupted these everyday office activities. But the celebrations don’t have to stop just because people are working remotely. Celebrations will always score highly when it comes to employee engagement ideas and activities that connect with employees.

Remember, don’t just limit the celebrations to company targets and milestones. If you take the time to celebrate things that matter to your employees, you will reap the rewards of improved employee engagement. Workplace celebrations have a significant impact on morale. They foster strong relationships, enhance retention and encourage staff to put in that extra effort to achieve results.

An employee engagement platform will make it simple to wish staff members a happy birthday or celebrate accomplishments, whether passing an exam or running a virtual marathon. Staff should always feel like they matter to an organisation to ensure they are as engaged as possible.

#11 Create employee advocates

Why? A genuinely engaged employee is always the best ambassador for your brand

Brands are increasingly turning to their employees as advocates of their products and services. Nurturing brand advocates internally has become an integral part of employee engagement theory. So, as well as being a measurement of engagement, employee advocacy can become the catalyst for greater engagement throughout your organisation. This is especially true in times of change and uncertainty, when the company’s stability may be thrown into question.

A recent report by Weber Shandwick shows that 50% of employees already post messages, pictures or videos about their employer on social media. It makes sense to harness this power rather than trying to silence it. Your engagement ideas for work should always work with the natural impetus of your staff rather than fight against it.

These social media stories are then available to the wider external audience and provide share-worthy material. This helps build strong internal relationships, breaks down silos, and encourages more meaningful interaction.

#12 Use motivational speakers

Why? A motivational speaker can bring a new perspective to reinvigorate staff

One of the best things about motivational speakers is that they don’t work for you. Therefore, they are not bogged down by the daily grind. They can see the bigger picture and present it to your staff in an original and inspiring way that could inspire an influx of new ideas.

Most people think of motivational speakers presenting at conferences and events. However, there is no reason why they can’t operate virtually as well. Motivational speaking is one of the most successful employee engagement initiatives that work despite the disruption caused by hybrid working patterns. You can still engage staff wherever they are. Webinars, videos and transcripts can help engage staff and ensure they don’t miss out, even if they aren’t based at head office.

30 ideas to engage your employees and transform your business.

#13 Master onboarding

Why? Successful onboarding reduces turnover and ensures immediate productivity

Many companies overlook the importance of onboarding. But the process of integrating new employees into the organisation is a crucial one, especially if they are unable to join their team in person. Employee engagement survey results suggest that almost a quarter of employees will look for a new job within the first 45 days. And with the ‘big resignation’ high on the press agenda, this is an even more crucial concern. However, such high turnover levels are easily avoidable.

A structured onboarding programme improves employee engagement and helps get them up to speed with seasoned hires much more quickly. As a result, new employees are more productive and less likely to feel stressed, disconnected and ready to look for work elsewhere.

Group chats have proved a highly effective strategy. An employee engagement tool will help to organise new starters in a group chat led by management. Questions can then be answered as they arise and tackled before they become problems. When it comes to staff engagement ideas, onboarding is a crucial element of any strategy.

#14 Delegate responsibilities

Why? Giving employees their own initiatives produces greater employee satisfaction

Managers tend to delegate tasks. There are always too many tasks that need ticking off the to-do list, and passing them on to staff is the obvious option. However, if you take a moment to think through the total requirement of a project and then delegate the full responsibility, you will achieve a better result and increase employee engagement.

This is one of the dimensions of employee engagement that is particularly relevant when it comes to hybrid working. The natural impulse is to micromanage your team when you don’t have direct access to them. However, this can lead to a reduction in morale and enthusiasm. By giving your team their own initiative to see through from start to finish, you’ll be energising them to bring their best efforts to the task. It also grooms employees for future managerial positions and encourages employee advocacy. Plus, it frees up more of your time—a win-win.

#15 Encourage fun

Why? Fun can help to cut through the monotony of a workday and inspire creativity

Most employees wouldn’t associate the word ‘fun’ with work, but there should always be room for fun in a professional setting, especially if you’re looking at how to engage employees. There’s very little fun to be had when working from home, so your staff engagement ideas should always include something light-hearted to lift the mood.

Ask your hybrid workers to get involved in planning virtual social events for the entire team. See what fun employee engagement ideas they come up with. Giving your staff the autonomy to get involved in planning these types of events is a fail-safe way to improve engagement levels. An employee engagement app offers the ability to create social spaces where staff can meet, chat and simply have a laugh. By simply inserting a bit of fun into your employees’ work lives, you create a culture that breeds positivity and productivity.

Ideas for employee engagement

These employee engagement ideas will help you join your hybrid workforce and work as a united team. By implementing just a few of these employee engagement strategy ideas, you’ll find your workforce becomes more cohesive and motivated. The move to hybrid working is a definite challenge. But with a few fun employee engagement ideas in place, it’s easy to overcome.

30 ideas to engage your employees and transform your business.