Inexpensive Employee Engagement Ideas

employee engagement trends 2023

Employee engagement is your ability to motivate, reward and keep employees enthused about their jobs. When you’re looking at how to engage your employees and build enthusiasm, there are many solutions around. However, if you want to do it affordably, you have to be creative. 

There are some inexpensive employee engagement ideas you can implement right away. 

Employee surveys

Employee surveys are a great way to ask employees what they think about the company. These surveys can be used to find out what employees like, don’t like, and what they would change. These surveys can be both anonymous or not. 

An anonymous survey is useful when you want feedback from a large group of people without identifying them individually (such as during an employee satisfaction survey). If you have questions about how your business is run or how well it’s serving customers and clients, anonymous surveys will let you gather confidential data from a mass audience of employees who don’t want their names attached. On the other hand, if you want feedback on specific individuals (like managers), then having names attached could make it easier for those managers to take action on the results to improve performance metrics at their level within your organization.

Bi-weekly team lunches

Bi-weekly team lunches are a great way to foster camaraderie and company culture. They’re also an opportunity for you to show your employees that you care about them as people—not just as workers. 

Here are some tips for running successful team lunches: 

  • Have a different team member host each time, rotating the time and location to keep things interesting. 
  • Make sure everyone brings something (food, drinks, etc.). It can be as simple as getting chips and dip if you have a small group or an elaborate spread if you have more people in attendance. The important thing is that there is something for everyone!

Don’t forget to rotate who makes the resembling your employees together to play games. The benefit, as you can imagine, is employee engagement and team-building—but there are plenty more reasons why this would be a fun idea for your team. 

Here’s how to run an office Olympics: 

  • Take turns coming up with a list of activities that everyone will enjoy. We recommend thinking about what kinds of activities people like to do outside of work. You can keep it casual and simple or get creative with props and items in your office! 
  • Once you have a finalized list of activities, break into teams according to who wants to participate in each game. Each team can decide whether or not they want their captain for each game, but usually, one person is chosen per team just so there isn’t confusion about who needs help from whom during certain events. 
  • Choose whichever sport(s) sounds best first! Some examples include “office golf” (putting papers into different bins across the room), “desk tennis” (playing ping pong using a stapler), or even “desk curling” (using paperclips as stones). 

Fun Fridays & non-secret Santas

Fun Fridays and Non-Secret Santas are great ways to get your employees to bond, and they’re easy to implement. 

Fun Fridays are a fun way to bring employees together, but you have to be careful not to make them too frequent. If you do, they will lose their shine and become boring. If done right, a Fun Friday can help increase morale and camaraderie among your staff members. 

A Non-Secret Santa is an activity that allows everyone in the company (or office building) to participate in giving gifts without having to keep track of who’s receiving what gift. This process can be really fun because it makes employees feel valued and appreciated by their peers! 

Join a charity organization together

A great way to keep your employees happy and engaged is by getting them involved with charities. Charity work can be a fun, rewarding experience that also helps the community. By working together as a team, your employees will feel more connected to the company. This could lead to increased productivity at work through better teamwork, or it may even improve morale when employees see how much good they are doing for others.  

If you don’t have enough time or resources for charity work, consider organizing events where your organization can partner with local organizations that do charitable work. 

Host an awards show

Host an awards show to celebrate your employees. How much fun would it be to give out awards at work? Present a different award each year, such as the “Most Helpful Colleague” or “Most Creative Employee Award.”  

You could even have an employee-of-the-month program where you recognize one person each month who has done something great for the company or themselves. This is a great way to make sure everyone feels appreciated by their company and peers!

Let your employees teach you something new

Employees are the company’s greatest assets. They can help you avoid mistakes and learn from their own experiences, which is why it’s essential to let them teach you something new now and then. That way, you can keep up with the latest trends in your industry and make sure that your company is up-to-date on what works best for its needs. 

If you want to learn how to do something better or more efficiently, ask someone who knows what they’re doing! From there, figure out a way that both parties will benefit from this knowledge exchange (i.e., trading knowledge).  

In addition to learning new things, this kind of collaboration also helps build trust between employees by showing them that their input matters—which will ultimately lead to higher engagement levels at work because people feel like they matter here too! 


Engaging with your employees is one of the most effective ways to help them be successful in their roles and inspire them to perform at their best. When your employees feel engaged, they are more likely to stay with you long-term, which will save you time and money recruiting new talent. Also, if they feel they matter as individuals in your office culture, they will work harder for you. You can find ways to keep your employees happy and motivated and, as you saw, not always it should be expensive.

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