​43 Brilliant Activities to Retain Your Best Employees

Apr 23, 2018

It would be a mistake to throw activities at employees, especially top talent, in the hopes that’s going to do the trick and they’ll stay.

So this article assumes your company has already implemented basic retention strategies, in order to attract and hold on to your best workers.

It's important to note that these activities will not work if the primary causes of employee engagement are not already in place.

Not only will these following retention activities keep your best employees when the right foundation is in place, but will also contribute towards developing a culture of innovation and team building:

  1. Start a workplace club like running, walking, tennis, or hobbies.
  2. Shake up the decor of the office; make it more fun.
  3. Take meetings to a restaurant or coffee cafe, or even outdoors.
  4. Try having a pizza Friday.
  5. Set up a bulletin board for available jobs, so that employees get first choice of new positions before they are advertised externally.
  6. Implement annual anonymous staff surveys, and be sure to provide feedback afterwards on changes and enhancements due to their feedback.
  7. Hand out half day surprise vouchers to staff.
  8. Get the CEO and other big bosses to do rounds on all floors, so that staff who wouldn't usually get the opportunity to chat, can get to know them.
  9. Have each staff member compile a presentation about their favourite hobby, and present it to the team at a certain meeting.
  10. Get a wellness coach/personal trainer/nutritionist to come on site for the day.
  11. Provide ongoing training opportunities.
  12. Start a knowledge enhancement library of resources.
  13. Set up an intranet site that is of genuine value to employees.
  14. Add documents to an internal collaboration site, so that all relevant information is available to the people that need it.
  15. Start a leadership development program.
  16. Add entertainment to workplace areas, like a ping-pong table, board games, television, free WIFI, and so on.

Add fun elements to the offices.

Image Credit: Glassdoor

17. Arrange for employee pampering - get massage therapists to provide quick 5 minute head massages to staff as they work at their desk

18. Design funky branded employee images that they can share to their social media pages.

19. Start mentorship programs.

20.Kick-off recognition initiatives that are meaningful to staff.

21. Launch team building activities.

22. Implement a communication plan to keep everyone in the loop.

23. Set up a well placed praise board for employees.

24. Jack up your induction program to make employee first days a celebratory welcome.

25. Introduce a peer nominated monthly award.

26. Allow flexibility in the workplace: if employees need time off, let them make up for it by either working later, or coming in earlier.

27. When employees would like to attend a conference or seminar that requires payment, make them compile a presentation for the team as to why they think they should be entitled to attend at the company’s expense.

28. Offer to pay for one professional, relevant membership per year, for each employee.

29. When updating the company’s mission, vision and values, make it an organisational effort, so that all employees get a say.

30. Encourage “play” time - in the games room, chatting in the kitchen while making coffee, meeting a colleague for a smoke outside, knitting blankets at a certain time for a charity, and so on.

31. Add fun chairs to spaces, where employees can have a quick break.

Example of a fun chair situated strategically in the workplace.

32. Make office furniture and work spaces ergonomically sound.

33. Consider adding plants to offices that don’t get a circulation of fresh air.

34. Make staff’s personal lives easier by getting in services that save them time - ideas for this could be a dedicated person to stand in obligatory governmental queues, car washing while they work, a laundromat, etc.

35. Add a simple healthy options staff canteen.

36. Buy an awesome coffee-making machine.

37. Get in a food vending machine.

38. Give staff a day off on birthdays.

39. Consider allowing employees to work remotely, so long as they join in with the team often enough so that team spirit is still nurtured.

40. Institute quarterly meetings to relate company news.

41. Pay staff for submitting awesome ideas that the company can use.

42. Get the CEO or other senior management, to work on the ground in core services for a day and rotate the positions. For example, the CEO needs to act as a telesales agent for the day.

43. Start cross-training.


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