(December 21, 2015) At Bluebridge, we have a name for our culture. It’s called “Bridgelife,” which is a nod to bridging our personal and professional lives and living out our core values in everything we do. While we fully believe that each employee is a member in advancing our culture and exercising it every day, we do have a small group of “culture advocates” who represent each of our five departments. The group comes together on a regular basis to discuss new ideas for increasing employee engagement through social, philanthropic, and professional development activities.

Though the group has only been active since this past Spring, we’ve been able to execute a number of employee engagement activities. Here are some tips for employing workplace activities to increasing employee engagement:

Plan Around Holidays or Themes

There’s more to workplace celebrations than just your annual holiday party. Holidays and themes are a fun way for employees to bring their creativity and personal passions to the table. Consider planning otherwise mundane activities around smaller (or even obscure) holidays to infuse some energy into the message. Then, take it to the next level through employee contests or games they can participate in. (Think costumes, scavenger hunts through important company places or materials, or themed foods and treats.)

At Bluebridge, we’ve done this in a number of ways:

  • “App scavenger hunt” to promote the launch of our internal Bridgelife app
  • Halloween costume contest (individual and group)
  • Thanksgiving pitch-in
  • Gingerbread cookies at December company meeting

Get Involved in Community Philanthropy

What better way to increase employee engagement than to do it while giving back to your community? Corporate philanthropy means a lot more than just tax breaks and feeling warm and fuzzy. According to Achieve research sponsored by The Case Foundation, 55% of millennials say that a company’s involvement with causes helped persuade them to take the job. Plus, it allows you to invest in the community around you for increased company visibility, partnership opportunities, and a healthier local economy.

But participating in philanthropy doesn’t always have to mean writing a check. Sometimes employee time means more than a dollar sign. Bringing your employees together over a shared cause also enhances team unity and camaraderie. Consider taking an entire workday or half-day to let employees get out of the office, breathe some fresh air, and work with their hands over a shared service project. Check with your local parks and recreation, public works, or city beautification groups to see if there are any existing opportunities.  

At Bluebridge, we’ve brought the team together for philanthropic activities like:

  • Day of service at Cheeney Creek Park
  • School supply drive and contest (complete with pizza party for the winning department)
  • Canned food drive contest
  • Holiday “Adopt a Family” through United Way

Rally Around Your Product or Service

What’s the one thing that ALL of your employees have in common? You. In your attempt to increase employee engagement, don’t forget about why you’re there in the first place—your company’s product or service. No, this doesn’t mean holding a company meeting that drags on for hours. It means:

  • Celebrating successes and new product innovations in your company
  • Applauding accomplishment of reaching shared goals
  • Inviting employees to participate in innovation and new ideas

At Bluebridge, we’ve done this by:

  • Employing a suggestion box in our internal mobile app
  • Celebrating the achievement of an internal goal with catered breakfasts
  • Offering an ice cream sundae bar complete with corresponding product names


Every company is different. And so is every employee. But the key to enhancing employee engagement is uncovering those unique traits and putting them to work through well-planned employee activities that serve an actual purpose instead of allowing you to check a box. Take a break from planning your year ahead from a business perspective and spend some time planning out your employee activities calendar for the highest engagement you’ve ever had.

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