Beyond keeping folks in interesting job roles and paying them a good wage, there are other things that you can do to add value to their work experience. These so-called enrichment experiences are designed to drive engagement and support a happier workforce, both of which studies suggest help bolster productivity and thus boost your company’s bottom line.
So, what exactly is an enrichment experience? The good news is that it can take on many different forms and include everything from providing training to help them to perform better in their jobs to improving the ambiance in your office. Now, the type of enrichment activities that will work best for your staff are certainly specific to the type of business you have, your employee’s interests, and even whether your employees are actually on-site! Below, we outline just a few enrichment experiences that companies can consider implementing to
Upskill Your Workers
One of the most important enrichment activities is that of providing training and so-called “upskilling” activities for your workers. The best part? The benefits are two-fold: they learn new skills or ways to do their job better, and you reap the benefits of a more talented, efficient workforce. In order to make it a truly enriching experience, select training opportunities that are of interest to your workers (rather than something that they need exclusively for your business). The best place to start? Ask your employees what they’d like to learn more about and then tailor your activities accordingly. Not sure you have the bandwidth to offer all these trainings? A PEO like Abel can set you up with online training modules or even send someone on-site to do it in person – and we’ll be happy to cover just about anything and everything!
Bring in the Experts
Providing enrichment and increasing your skillset doesn’t just have to be provided through training modules. One fun idea – that we have found gets great reception from staff – is to host a “lunch and learn” and bring in experts in various areas of the industry or skills. Have someone from your industry’s largest professional society come in and talk about how he sees the industry evolving and how he thinks folks should prepare, or perhaps bring in a manager from the marketing division could share how he networks, makes connections and seals the deal. Another out of the box idea? Bring in a stand-up comedian who would be willing to share how they take command of a room and engage a diverse crowd or an investment guru who can share with the group how to really make their money work for them.
Enrich your employees while also enriching your community? Yes, please! As we touched on recently, volunteering in your community is an excellent way to bolster employee morale, add to their skill set, and provide them an outside-of-work opportunity to bond with their coworkers. Further, having a presence in the community – particularly if your employees are volunteering in a way that is somewhat related to your business – can help boost your profile among your potential customers. For a list of thoroughly vetted volunteer opportunities, click here.
Creating an enriching environment is often about cultivating connections. Help break the ice for your employees by hosting team-building events – either as part of inter-departmental meetings or as stand-alone company events. Ideas for fun, non-cringeworthy team building activities – because the mere mention of “ice breakers” usually elicits eye rolls – include activities that require building things (such as the infamous egg drop activity), a scavenger hunt, or perhaps even a problem-solving game (such as these head-scratchers). Whatever you choose, make sure that it isn’t something that will make folks feel uncomfortable or require them to divulge personal information. After all, you’re seeking to promote comfort here and make everyone feel connected, not have them leaving the event never wanting to see their coworkers again!
Improve the Environment
Your employees likely spend at least 40 hours a week in the office – mostly seated at their cubicle or passing the time in a conference room. You can get some serious bang for your buck – from an enrichment perspective – by improving the environment in which they work. Ditching the overhead fluorescent lights in favor of natural light sources, bringing in nature with a few potted plants, and making sure that everyone is working in an environment that is conducive to their job. By that, we mean that their chair, desk, keyboard and other items they need for their job are placed ergonomically. Not sure how to check for that? Here at Abel HR, we would be happy to do a work site review to check for safety – which includes making sure that your employees are working in a safe environment that promotes optimal work.
Follow the Leader
The process of planning for, implementing, and assessing the success of an enrichment program can, in fact, be an enrichment activity in and of itself for an employee or even a small team of employees. For example, an employee with great potential but not opportunity to manage a project or manage other employees may be able to enhance their skills – and prove their potential – by heading up enrichment activities for the rest of the company. In order for them to be successful in this role, you may have to do a little enriching on the back end so that they have all of the education and resources necessary to get the job done, and could even consider pairing them up with a mentor who can advise them along the way and steer them to success.
Get Them Recognized
Not to be overlooked, one of the easiest ways to enrich your employee’s experience is to make sure that they know that you appreciate the work that they do! Starting a recognition program is a great way to recognize achievements and those hit-it-out-of-the-park moments and can take on any form you feel comfortable with. If you have it in the budget, providing monetary bonuses, gift cards, or other financial incentives will certainly make folks feel appreciated, but you can also recognize achievement by creating a staff member of the month award, profiling achievements in a company newsletter or email, or even hosting a quarterly ceremony to reward folks who are going above and beyond. Again, it’s not about the money, it’s about making your employees feel needed and that their contributions count.