How to Boost Employee Engagement with Online Games

Corinna Keefe
Corinna Keefe
For the last few weeks, the Easypromos team has been fully remote. And we're not the only ones: all over the world, people are learning how to work from home in challenging circumstances. Employee engagement has never been more important. Here are some of the ideas we've developed to keep motivation and morale high!

Of course, it’s not just about the current coronavirus outbreak. Employee engagement has always been important. When your team is happy and motivated, everyone reaps the benefits:

  • better productivity and performance
  • employees as brand advocates
  • innovation at every level of the business
  • better staff retention
  • higher customer satisfaction

All the ideas below are designed to work anywhere. You could implement at your headquarters, share them over the internet, or even set up challenges between different regional offices. Try them out, and see what works best for your people!

Entertain your employees or recognize their achievements with a fun branded game

Mini-branded games have been around for a while now, and more and more brands are discovering all the benefits that can be achieved with fun games. The end-users love gamified promotions, mostly because they’re great time killers.

If you’re looking to recognize great team members and thank them for their hard work, take it to social media. Here’s an example of a Memory game organized by Andrew’s Airport Parking from Australia. The brand asked their audience to match up pictures of their fantastic customer care team. The three fastest players received a $100 parking voucher. The participants that generated the most referred players also received free car park stays.

employee engagement

We can only imagine how happy were the employees whose pictures were used in the game!

Reward employees for completing their goals

We all know how much pressure we feel whenever we work towards set goals and objectives, especially when there’s not much time left. It feels amazing once it’s done but it feels even better whenever there’s someone who simply says “Great job!”. We’re about to show you how to express gratitude toward your employees and reward them for their hard work. Take a look at this prize wheel launched by Toyota Finance:

employee engagement

Toyota Finance dealers got rewarded for their hard job. Every person who sold 5 motor vehicle insurance policies got to spin the prize wheel for a chance to win a variety of very attractive prizes! Some people walked away with new iPads, Kindles, new vacuums, and cinema tickets. It’s obvious that after spinning the wheel all employees were even more motivated to work!

Movinghub is another company that makes employee engagement and well-being their priority. Movinghub awards employees with wheel spins every time they reach a specified number of phone sales over a given period of time. Apart from motivating employees to give their best, they also reward their hard work and show them appreciation.

movinghub prize wheel

Boost employee engagement with a quiz

Next up are quizzes. A quick quiz about your business has several advantages.

First, it’s something different to do! Many people working in isolation from home find that it’s difficult to focus for long periods of time. Quizzes are a great way to work on business knowledge and business skills, without asking too much of your attention span.

Use the opportunity to reinforce key concepts. For example, is it time your staff brushed up on health and safety? Perhaps you want to check in on their cybersecurity awareness while they’re working remotely.

Here’s an example of a free cybersecurity quiz from the Pew Center:

Cybersecurity quiz from Pew Center as an example of Employee Engagement

If you decide to test your team’s knowledge, make sure you include answers in the quiz, so that anyone who answers incorrectly can catch up. And if you want to add a note of competition, you could set up a team scoreboard for everyone to compare their grades.

Start a WFH social media challenge

We’re all spending more time on social media at the moment – so make it something fun!

Challenge your employees to share photos of their home desks, work from home outfits, or even breakfast!

Alpha PRoductions' example of #WFH challenge organized as a form of reinforcing employee engagement

Set up a hashtag for your challenge, and ask employees to tag your business in their posts on Twitter or Instagram. Then you can show customers that you’re still open for business, and you’ll be able to collect all the photos into a shared gallery. You could even give a prize to the winner. Why not treat someone to a free takeaway or a delivery of flowers?

Motivate employees for video call meetings

Zoom calls. Skype chats. Google Hangouts. Whatever you’re using, we know that video call meetings are important… and they can also be frustrating.

If you want the meeting to run smoothly, it’s important to start with everyone alert and engaged. Try kicking things off by playing a quick online game together: it’s fun, attention-grabbing, and gets the meeting off to a friendly start. 

On a call with lots of people, try a live challenge where each attendee answers a few quiz questions on their mobile phones. You can display the results in real-time, and even pick winners for prizes.

Engage employees with surveys and decision-making

Your team might be scattered around the country (or even the globe!), but you still need their expertise, opinions, and feedback. Set up virtual surveys and questionnaires to find out what they think about key areas of the business.

This isn’t just for your benefit; it’s also a powerful way to engage employees. When people feel that they have a stake in decision-making, they also feel more committed to the company’s success. Result: better productivity, staff retention, and performance.

There are many company decisions that employees can help you with. At the end of the day, they’re the ones that know the customers best. Here’s an example from Diesel Spain. The managers asked their workers for help in choosing new brand ambassadors.

Employee engagement, example from Diesel

The employees voted for their favorite candidates, therefore they were the decision-makers. This kind of action can be organized with our Photo Contest app with enabled voting.

In challenging times such as these, you can use surveys to find out how to support your staff. For example, you could use a survey to ask whether people are more interested in online training, resources about remote work, or flexible hours. Then you could follow up with those three groups of people based on their needs.

Not sure where to start? CMS Wire has some great tips for employee engagement surveys.

Virtual team-building

We’re lucky to have modern technology which makes remote work practically seamless. But it’s important to create a work from home culture, as well as giving people the tools they need. That starts with virtual team-building.
Some managers make sure that individual employees can reach the head office, and leave it at that. But you also need to ensure links between employees, so that people can stay in touch, collaborate, and support one another.

Many of the ideas we’ve already suggested are useful for virtual team-building. But you can do even more! Try playing online games, setting puzzles and taking on challenges together. You could even set a weekly challenge for people to complete, as individuals or in teams, so that the bonds between employees are continually reinforced.

Example of employee engagement technique from Easypromos

At Easypromos, we’ve set up a weekly challenge with mini-games and puzzles for our Spanish followers. And our team are some of the fiercest competitors!

Give employees a chance to express themselves

Having a creative outlet is important for mental health, productivity and innovation. And your team may feel the need to express themselves more than ever at the moment, as they face challenges at home and at work. 

Photos, videos, and even writing activities can help people to let off steam. Start by setting a theme to make sure that things stay professional – here are a few ideas:

  • Share your appreciation for health workers
  • Tell us what you miss most about the office
  • Tell us what you like best about working from home
  • Choose a colleague and tell us why you appreciate them

Here’s a touching example from the University of Vermont Health Network:

Employee engagement technique. Example from University of Vermont Health Network.

Writing competitions, with or without photos, are a good format for this kind of question. If you want to try something a little more light-hearted, take a look at the next point, where we share some ideas for video challenges!

Don’t forget about downtime

Working remotely can be more productive than working in the office, for some employees. While there are other distractions at hand, people still have the chance to catch up on solo tasks, without getting interrupted by other colleagues.

But this has a downside. Without water cooler chats, tea breaks and occasionally goofing off, work can get dreary. If you want to create a happy, supportive work from home culture, then you need to build in time for fun and social bonding. 

Many offices already have a dedicated Slack thread or Whatsapp group for random topics or social events. Keep that group going!

You can also add more activities, such as:

  • a “happy hour” at the end of the week, where everyone logs on for a relaxed video chat
  • a daily, ten-minute “tea break” where everyone is free to stop work and chat
  • online fitness challenges, where employees challenge each other to stay active
  • culture challenges, where employees have to solve puzzles or answer quizzes

You can also open up challenges to your followers online; this is a great way to build up the community around your brand. If the challenge goes viral, even better!

Here’s an example of an Instagram challenge, created by a language academy. The challenge was shared with employees, students and online followers – with the academy’s branding and website attached.

Employee engagement example from The Language House

Ready to boost employee engagement?

We hope these examples have given you an idea of how to boost employee engagement. But don’t worry if you have questions! Our Support Team is waiting to answer all your questions!

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