6 Effective & Unique Ways to Boost Employee Engagement

Our thoughts on the industrial workforce, tech, SaaS, augmented reality and startup culture.

Employee engagement is fundamental to keeping workers happy and loyal to your company. What is up for debate is what actually keeps your employees engaged. The answer is different for every company. 

In part four of our blog series “Retain Your Manufacturing Workers With These 7 Modern Benefits,” we’ve created a list of various employee engagement ideas for you to test out. The key here is to never forget your audience. Gather employee feedback both before selecting an idea and after the idea comes to fruition. 

Here are the six categories of employee engagement activities that we’ll break down: 

  1. Exciting & Interactive Technology
  2. Socratic Team Meetings
  3. Team-Building Activities
  4. Cultural Events
  5. Family Engagement Events
  6. Office & Operation Perks

Before we jump in, let’s first look at employee engagement statistics that prove our point. These are the fast facts:

  • In the U.S., we lose $550 billion a year due to workers not being engaged on the job
  • Companies with a positive company culture can predict to have an employee turnover rate of 13.9% whereas companies with a poor company culture should predict 48.4%
  • Companies produce 20% more than their competitors (and make 1.2-1.7% more in revenue!) if their workers are in high spirits
  • On job seekers: 46% think company culture is very important, 32% would take a 10% pay cut to work at a company with an inviting culture, 15% already turned down a job because they perceived the company culture to be negative and 32% accepted a job and quit because of the negative company culture

Taco Inc., a heating and cooling systems parts manufacturer, is a real life example of a manufacturing company that boasts a positive work environment and dramatically low turnover rate. They host family events, give away tickets to cultural events and sponsor summer camps for employees’ children, even taking care of transportation. Now to end the suspense. What is their employee turnover rate? It’s less than 2% annually compared to the manufacturing industry average of 20%!

Now that you’re convinced, let’s look at all the different ways you can engage your employees on and off the clock to build a positive culture.

1. Exciting & Interactive Technology: When technology is fun and easy, it’s not only more readily adopted, it elevates the worker’s satisfaction on the job. Just as many of us want the latest thermostat, robotic vacuum cleaner or bluetooth speaker in our own homes, we would love to work with novel technology that makes our work a little bit easier. Of course, there will always be a few people who are resistant to change, but they are more likely to be convinced when the technology improves their day-to-day jobs. 

At Ario, we believe our augmented reality platform fits that mold. It’s simple. It’s practical. And it’s fast to learn. Our knowledge-sharing products put information when and where it’s needed most and make it easy for teams to access, capture and share information in real time. You will have a smarter, more digitally connected workforce in no time. 

Our flagship product, the Ario Platform, puts important data and information in real-world environments with augmented reality, giving your team the knowledge and context they need to do their best work.

We also have a remote assistance app, Ario Connect, that makes collaboration in industrial settings possible without actually being onsite. The two-way video calling app enhanced with augmented reality lets you share hands-on expertise remotely to guide frontline teammates through complicated workflows or troubleshooting.

Augmented reality is fun and interactive. You can draw or place objects in space...and in turn, boost productivity and reduce human error on the job. It’s a win-win. 

2. Socratic Team Meetings: When was the last time you had a team meeting where everyone spoke? How about a team meeting where everyone spoke for an equal amount of time? It’s rare. Establishing that everyone has a chance to speak and voices are weighted equally ensures that each teammate feels validated and respected. It also helps you hear fresh ideas from people who aren’t as outspoken or get talked over during debates. Here are a few ways to have a Socratic team meeting and respective links that show you how to pull it off:

3. Team-Building Activities: People either love or hate team-building activities. A silly activity will provoke eye-rolling, an awkward activity will make people cringe and a tedious activity will generate some groans. However, a good team-building activity will engage people from all backgrounds and will bring them together in a painless, fun and important way. We’ve collected a few suggestions and tagged our favorite examples in and around our hometown of Norfolk, Virginia, to get your own ideas flowing:

4. Cultural Events: Company activities shouldn’t always fall into the team exercise category, but should also encompass team and community appreciation. By hosting or sponsoring a cultural event, your team can grow from learning about each others’ backgrounds and lifestyles, can get to know their neighborhood or can give back to the community. Like above, we listed a few ideas with our favorite examples in our region: 

5. Family Engagement Events: Don’t forget the kids! A lot of working parents can’t attend team-building activities or cultural events during non-work hours because they don’t have anyone to watch their children or they dedicate non-work hours to family focus. Parents would much appreciate incorporating kid-friendly activities where adults can socialize and their little ones can play. Here’s some food for thought and our top 757 picks:

6. Office & Operation Perks: Considering most people spend 40 hours a week inside their office, it shouldn’t be surprising that they prefer to be comfortable during those hours. Encouraging a relaxed environment, offering amenities and forming clubs are just a few possibilities that make work a little sweeter. When implementing updates, you don’t want to leave out your remote team either. Perks for remote workers might look like buying and shipping ergonomic chairs or standing desks. We’ve started a list below for either onsite or remote teams, but really, it could be never-ending, and we encourage you to poll your team for what they’d prefer:

We hope our list of employee engagement ideas inspired you to take a second look at your company culture. Maybe you’re rocking the team building activities but never thought to include your workers’ children in an event. Or maybe, you never thought adding office or operation perks could work in your manufacturing facility. It doesn’t hurt to try, so we encourage you to poll your team and test a few options.

For more useful tips, visit our other blog posts in the series “Retain Your Manufacturing Workers With These 7 Modern Benefits.” You’ll discover unexpected ways to foster company loyalty and keep your best employees on board. Next, we’ll be taking a look at flexible hours and location policies.

Retain Your Manufacturing Workers With These 7 Modern Benefits

Table of Contents: 

Part 1: Family Benefits & Incentives

Part 2: Career Advancement Programs & Tools

Part 3: Vacation Policies & Work-Travel Practices 

Part 4: Employee Engagement Activities

Part 5: Flexible Hours & Location Policies

Part 6: Wellness Stipend & Mental Health Benefits 

Part 7: Access to Innovative Technology

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