For businesses to survive the tough times and face the threats and challenges in the market with a more positive attitude, it is very important for them to keep their employees positive. They need to increase employee engagement so that they are emotionally attached with the organization and are able to synergize their personal goals with the aims and objectives of the company. Employees who are engaged with their companies are able to put in the best of their efforts to enhance their performance levels in order to help the company grow and make more profits. They strive to achieve their targets with a positive approach and always stay committed and focused.
But the point is how to instill that feeling of engagement in the hearts of employees which can motivate them to perform better with time.
Tips to Improve Employee Engagement and Performance
Well here are a few tips that will help you foster employee engagement with ease and better results. Follow these tips to bring that desired change:
CLEARLY COMMUNICATE GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS
For an employee to engage, he must be informed about the goals and desired expectations of the company so that he can focus at the target with more attention. Roll out the mission, strategy and vision of your company to all the employees. Make sure that you communicate the goals and targets in a very simple and effective manner so that your team can feel motivated and guided.
WORK AS TEAM
The best way to make every person feel attached with the company is to make them work as a team. This helps in enhancing the ties with the company and increasing interpersonal interactions. A healthy team spirit is a must for the success of an organization. Develop a strong bond amongst the workers and leaders.
SHARE FACTS AND FIGURES
Make your employees feel like an important part of the big family by sharing with them facts and figures related with goal accomplishments, profits etc. Sharing information makes them feel important and are able to relate their work with the results.
PROMOTE OPEN COMMUNICATION
Communication is the soul of every relationship. Always appreciate and promote open communication at all levels so that the flow of new ideas, information and feedback is smooth and effective. This will reduce confusions and foster healthier associations. Everyone will learn to take criticisms positively.
HAVE A FEELING OF TRUST
To strengthen strong association and employee engagement, culture of trust plays a very important role. Teammates must trust one another and the leader must trust his team. This will infuse them with a sense of belongingness which is very important for enhancing the performances of every single person in the company.
ENCOURAGE FAST FEEDBACK
Feedback is very important for every person as it helps them follow the right path to success. But the important of feedback is more when it is immediate. Leaders must make sure that they analyze the performance of their team and generate feedback as quickly as possible. This will motivate the worker to perform better and work with more enthusiasm.
MAKE THEM FEEL A PART OF THE ORGANIZATION
Workers must be made to feel like an important link in the process. They must be valued for their hard work, opinion and ideas. This will encourage them to come up with better ideas and performances as for them the company will be like a big family. Treating employees like assets is the best way to make them feel important and desired.
IMPORTANCE OF POSITIVE FEEDBACK
Do not hesitate in appreciating your workers as it the biggest motivation for them. They feel charged and happy when their efforts are noticed and acknowledged. This infuses them with greater zeal and passion to work and achieve higher goals.
All these points are very useful in engaging workers and improving their performances. HR Managers must work to inculcate this sense of belonging amongst their employees so that they stay attached with the company and work with full dedication to achieve the targets.
Please find the attached PDF file for team building games for employees.
1. The I’s Have It !
To illustrate how we tend to be more self-centered than we may have thought, and to demonstrate the importance of focusing on the other person.
After a discussion on inter-personal skills or any aspect of communication, casually mention that many of us forget about focusing on others and instead become somewhat self-centered, albeit not in a conscious way. With this in mind, ask the participants to find a partner and for the next 2 minutes, they will be allowed to talk about anything in the world they want to discuss. There is, however, one rule – THEY CANNOT USE THE WORD ‘I’. They can do anything else they want; they just can’t say I. After 2 minutes, call time out & lead the discussion.
• How many of you were able to talk for those 2 minutes without using the pronoun ‘I’?
• Why do so many of us have difficulty avoiding the use of ‘I’ in conversation?
• How do you feel when talking to (listening to) someone who starts every sentence with I?
• How can we phrase our communications to better focus on the other person?
• If you did not use the word ‘I’, what strategies did you use to avoid it? Could you do those things more often in your work (or social) environment?
Time: 3-5 minutes
2. Does a Straight beat a Flush?
To stimulate a higher level of member participation in whole group discussions.
Some groups are reluctant to get involved in open discussions, specially if they are first time trainees, face a complex or threatening issue, or don’t feel comfortable with the trainer yet. You can break the ice quickly, and stimulate broader (even competitive) group participation in response to your questions by simply following this method. Inform the group that they will have the opportunity to play one hand of poker at the end of each instruction module (or the end of the day). The person with the best overall poker hand will win some prize. One card will be given to each person every time they make a meaningful contribution to the discussion. Liberally reward participants with randomly drawn cards as they engage in discussion. Clarify the winning order of poker hands, and identify the best 5 card hand in the group.
• What Impact did this technique have on your participation?
• Did this aid or interfere with your learning of the course material?
Materials: 2 or more decks of cards (depending on total number of participants & length of discussion)
Time: 5 minutes (to assess the best hands)
3. Who am I? Who is he/she?
To provide the trainer with a wide variety of information about group members/ participants, to provide a format for information sharing among members of an extended seminar, course or work group.
Identify the group members who will spending significant time together. Send a copy of the form to all prospective participants in advance, explaining that the information maybe shared with their colleagues. Request its return by a specified date prior to the begining of the training. If possible, reproduce complete sets of the completed forms and distribute to participants prior to their arrival. encourage participants, at the begining of their time together, to seek out different partners during coffee breaks, lunches, dinners, etc. to explore common interests and probe interesting perspectives.
• What did others say that you admired? What comments/ items attracted your curiosity?
• How did others’ answers make you reflect on your own? Have you subsequently changed any of your perspectives?
Materials: Copies of blank forms; sets of completed forms for each participant.
Who am I?
Best thing about my job:
Worst job I ever had:
Most important lesson I’ve learned:
How my friends describe me:
How I would describe myself:
How I spend my leisure time:
My favorite heroes/ heroines:
If money were no limitation, I’d probably:
The achievement I feel proudest of:
Favorite advice I give to others:
4. How sharp are you?
To encourage partipants to read carefully, and to search for “hidden wrinkles” that distinguish simplistic answers; to simulate participants to be alert to tiny details and assumptions that hold the key to success.
Present the “How sharp are you” quiz to them, allowing a very tight time limit (3 minutes). Before you present the correct answers to them, ask them how many had the incorrect answer for each question. Then present the answers to them and lead the discussion.
• What factors caused you to err?
• How might those factors affect your work performance?
• What can you do to control such factors?
Materials: Handouts of questions.
Time: 10-15 minutes
How sharp are you?
1. Being very tired, a child went to bed at 7:00 o’clock at night. The child had a morning piano lesson, and therefore set the morning alarm clock to ring at 8:45. How many hours and minutes of sleep could the child get?
2. Some months like October have 31 days. Only February has precisely 28 (except in a leap year). How many months have 30 days?
3. A farmer had 18 pigs and all but 7 died. How many were left?
4. Divide 50 by 1/3 and add 7. What is the answer?
5. What four words appear on every denomination of US currency?
6. If a physician gave you 5 pills and told you to take 1 every half hour, how long would your supply last?
7. If you had only one match and entered a cold, dimly lit room where there was a kerosene lamp, an oil heater and a wood burning stove, which would you light first?
8. Two women play checkers. They play 5 games without a draw game and each woman wins the same number of games. How can this be?
9. What word is mispelled in this test?
1. 1 hour and 45 minutes
2. 11 months (all except February)
3. 7 pigs
5. United States of America or IN God we trust
6. 2 hours
7. The match
8. They are not playing each other
9. Mispelled is misspelled
5. Know Your Customer
To stimulate participants to use their brains; to serve as an ice-breaker exercise or warm-up; to accent the ‘wealth’ that exists in customers if participants will just look for it.
Identify a key word that is relevant to your training program or central theme of the workshop or presentation. An example could be the usage of word “Customer” for illustration. Indicate to the group that their task, working alone, is to identify as many legitimate words as they can from the letters available to them, using each only once. Ask them to make two predictions – the number of words they can individually identify, and the word score of the highest producer. Then give them a tight time limit (E.G. 5 minutes) and set them loose on the task.
• How many words did you predict you’d find? How does your own performance expectation compare to the expectations others held for themselves?
• Did you exceed your expectations, or fall short? Why?
• How many words did you predict could be found? How does this compare to the actual total?
• How do you explain the actual results?
• What does this exercise illustrate to you? (Are “Customers” a rich source of information?
Materials: An appropriate word
Time: 5-10 minutes
6. Give me a hand!
To project participants’ future successes by applying concepts learned at real world jobs.
Towards the end of the session, tell participants they are about to take an imaginary journey one year hence. Ask them to close their eyes and visualize that they are all right back in this very room for a VIP Awards Banquet. The winners are being recognized for skills and concepts learned and successfully applied over the past year (since attending this programme). Each participant will receive grand prize, and their acceptance speech will detail the things they did this last year to win the award. Ask them to open their eyes and write out 2-3 paragraphs of important elements that they will use in that acceptance speech. Call on several volunteers – as time permits – to hear their speeches. Ask the groups to applaud wildly after each of the presentations. If you wish, you may also go to a speciality paper products store and pick up a supply of inexpensive “Grand Prize” ribbons to distribute to the “Winners”.
• What are the central themes (topics) that received multiple mention in the acceptance speeches?
• What is the significance of the variety of items that were mentioned?
• How many of you will commit, right now, to write a letter one year form today indicating your actual use of items from this workshop?
Time: 10-15 minutes
7. I’m gonna write myself a letter
To provide a formal method of follow up and self contracting for behaviour change following a skills oriented workshop
Towards the closing time of your full day (or longer) workshop, distribute copies of the form to each participant. Tell the group that you realize that a lot of material has been covered during the past day of so and you need their help to facilitate transfer of the training to their jobs. give them sufficient time to fill out the form, and then distribute blank envelopes which the participants will address to themselves. have the participants insert the form in their own envelopes, seal them and pass them on to you. place postage on the envelope and mail them to the participants about 2-3 weeks after the programme.
• What impact will writing these contracts have on you and on your behaviour?
• How many think that you will be successful in doing the things that you told yourself that you would do?
• What kinds of barriers would make it difficult or even prevent you from carrying out your promise?
Materials: Forms, envelopes and stamps
Time: 5-10 minutes
CONTRACT WITH MYSELF
The most important or significant ideas I have learned/ thought/ heard/ while at this seminar are:
As a result of these ideas, I intend to do the following things within the next 30 days:
By doing these things I will achieve the following results:
CHANGE THESE QUESTIONS TO MORE ACCURATELY FIT THE CONTENT OF THE RESPECTIVE WORKSHOP AS NECESSARY
8. Its time to say goodbye
To close a training programme of a full day or more in a sharing way by giving/soliciting positive feedback
Use this at the very end of the training programme. Announce to the group that even as this experience is coming to an end, you note there have been many solid friendships built over the last days. As the facilitator you have also gained and learned from them, and you want to give some honest and sincere feedback to them. (NOTE: this requires that you have been observant and probably taken good notes on each participant). you would also appreciate receiving some comments from them (about either you or others) if they feel so inclined. As an example you may say to the first person, ” Mary you have given to me and the group your fine sense of humour and have helped make this programme a fun one. Or “Bill you have given to me and the group a great perspective by sharing your vast experience”. Encourage their feedback to you as well. For example someone might offer “Sue, you have given some much needed encouragement”. NOTE: Although the first few comments to you may come slowly, allow them plenty of time to comment. once the group sees that you seriously want their feedback, they tend to open up with sincere comments. allow sufficient time for this before the scheduled closing time. how many feel comfortable soliciting feedback?
• What kinds of barriers would make it difficult or even prevent you from carrying out your promise?
• How many regularly give out positive feedback?
Time: 15-30 minutes
9. The Top 10 : Managerial Time Wasters
To provide a light hearted opportunity for individuals or groups to test their knowledge of current business research regarding time-wasters
This can be used either as a quick break during a concentrated training session, or as a device to draw trainees’ attention back to the training session following a refreshment break. Ask the group to identify the 10 most significant ways in which a manager’s time is wasted. Answers can be solicited either individually (in open discussion) until all 10 correct answers appear, or individual ‘quizzes’ can be distributed and unofficially scored by exchanging papers. “Prizes” can be awarded to those who are most successful in generating the answers, either because they have a high score, or because they have come up with the “missing link” – the difficult tenth item. Group competition works particularly well, with a tight time limit. In this way, no one feels embarrassed for not knowing any of the 10 items.
• How did you know the answers?
• What helps us to retain information such as this?
• Why might we block data such as this from our permanent brain storage?
• How does this exercise demonstrate the merits of collective effort?
• What ideas do you have for using time more effectively?
Materials: Master list
Time: 5-10 minutes
Attempting to do too much
Lack of self-discipline
Inability to say ‘no’
10. The Top 10 : Reasons why people get fired
To provide a light hearted opportunity for individuals or groups to test their knowledge of current business facts.
This can be used either as a quick break during a concentrated training session, or as a device to draw trainees’ attention back to the training session following a refreshment break. Ask the group to identify the 10 most important reasons why people get fired from work. Answers can be solicited either individually (in open discussion) until all 10 correct answers appear, or individual ‘quizzes’ can be distributed and unofficially scored by exchanging papers. “Prizes” can be awarded to those who are most successful in generating the answers, either because they have a high score, or because they have come up with the “missing link” – the difficult tenth item. Group competition works particularly well, with a tight time limit. In this way, no one feels embarrassed for not knowing any of the 10 items.
• How did you know the answers?
Materials: Master list
Time: 5-10 minutes
Poor fit with the corporate culture
Over-selling one’s qualifications
Bad chemistry with the boss
Rigidity (clinging to old experiences)
Lack of necessary job skills
Victim of a power play
Refusal to conform to unspoken rules
Failing to be a team player
Business cutbacks (plus mergers)
11. SELL UNTO YOUR METTLE
SELL UNTO YOUR METTLE is a market simulation game, wherein the participants are subjected to real time bargaining, as in the real world. For this bargaining, they must have something to sell. So, this game starts with the strategic buying of the raw materials, goes on to their conversion into the finished products, and finally, the products are sold in the market. However, if some product is not conducive to the demands of the market, it should be modified and customized as per the need of the hour. This exercise brings about the hard-selling skills present in an individual, and showcases them while an individual is working in a team. This game can be played even in large groups; however, all the components of the exercise will have to be modified as per the requirements of the group size.
To start with, think of the easiest object one can craft using paper. Some of the examples could be Boat and Cap. Let us take Boat as our object.
Now, think of all the things that can beautify, or enhance the quality of the boats that can be made. Some of these could be pencils, pens, sketch pens, scissors, glue, adhesive tape, and of course, various qualities and quantities of paper. These would also be required for the game, in sufficient quantities. After these are acquired, decide on some price for each of the objects. An indicative list could be:
Next, divide the participants in groups of, say, 6 persons each, and also allocate certain amount to be given to each of the groups. We can decide an amount, say, Rs. 15 to be given to each group at the start of the game. The groups can use this money to buy resources from the co-ordinator. It is in the interest of the groups not to exhaust all their money in the initial stages only, so that they can do transactions for the resources later in the game, as per the demand in the market.
The game begins. Each of the groups’ participants meet and discuss the strategy they should adopt. Some of the groups start buying resources from the coordinator immediately. They might be following a strategy of mass production or early-mover advantage. Some other groups may still be discussing over the resources they should buy. Still some other groups might have started the reconnaissance survey to identify the needs of the customer.
Each group normally divides itself into various SSGs (Self Service Groups) to undertake various tasks. In such a scenario, one of the SSG’s of a group looks after raw materials, another goes for purchases, a third one looks after the production department, a fourth one looking after marketing, a fifth one going for after-sales service, and so on.
After all the groups have initially done their purchases of the raw material, the resource bank (the co-ordinator) can change the prices of the resources, as per the demand in the market, or the fluctuations expected in the times to come.
The groups start making the products, and side-by-side, they may also start operating the marketing and selling functions. In case of shortage of some resource, the groups can either go to the co-ordinator for buying more
of the resources, or they can also seek trading of the resources amongst themselves at reasonable price. Most of the times, it comes down to the good old Barter trading system in this stage of the game, where the groups start exchanging their resources for certain period of time. It brings about the human mentality, which we have inherited from our forefathers who used to do barter trade as the first form of marketing.
When the agents of various groups are trying to sell their boats to the customers (who in this case are the coordinators, preferably some marketing department officials), the customers may quote any price for the boat they have been offered. The agents need to show the special features of their products in order to persuade the customers to buy their products. They may also give some incentives to enhance their sales. The incentives could be in the form of a small boat that could be given free with the big one, or some customized design as per the requirements of the customer.
Another noteworthy point can be the sale of products from one group to another. If an agent of a group sees that another agent is not able to market or target the product properly, he can offer a price to the other agent for his boat, and can try his own marketing skills in selling that particular boat.
After some considerable time, the coordinator can call time out, and the game comes to an end. At the end of it, the group with maximum amount of cash is declared the winner. There could be other ways as well to identify the winner. One of them could be valuation of all semi-finished goods of all the groups. The resources can also be evaluated based on their market value.
At the end of the session, some of the successful and relatively unsuccessful groups can be called over to explain the strategies they
adopted, or did not adopt. All in all, this game proves to be a worthwhile experience for all the participants.
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