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Blog post Weird Employee Engagement Tactics

The weird and wonderful world of employee engagement can be – well, just that. Forget your usual wellness programmes and pension schemes. Some businesses are going one step further in the hope of reaching engagement utopia. Here’s our rundown of the amusing (and not so amusing) staff engagement tactics we’ve come across.


1. Anyone for a coffin break?

No, we thought not. In South Korea, some businesses are making employees take part in their own pretend funerals at work to tackle the engagement agenda. Inspired by the fact that the country has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, the purpose is to encourage employees to appreciate life – and their work. Accompanied with robes, an Angel of Death (yes, really), your own coffin and a picture of yourself to contemplate over whilst you get comfy. We can’t see this catching on in the UK anytime soon.


2. Pokémon Go –ings on

Pokémon Go, the location-based augmented reality game caused much uproar when it launched in 2016. From government owned businesses in the Philippines to aircraft manufacturer Boeing, many companies stood a clear position on banning employees playing the game. But not the co-founder of tech site The Next Web and CEO, Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten. He introduced a mandate that permits employees to play the game during work hours! He believes there are key health benefits to Pokémon Go, as highlighted in his message to co-workers:


Image credit: The Next Web

Sounds a bit fluffy? Reportedly, the activity boosted performance by 15 per cent and cited benefits include improved working atmosphere, increased productivity and time management skills, as well as, fewer energy slumps in the afternoon1.


3. Working 8:30am to 3:30pm

The way to make a living? As part of an experiment funded by the Swedish government, certain businesses like hospitals, car manufacturers and retirement homes are trialling a six hour working day to see if it improves employee engagement and productivity. Interestingly, this isn’t the first of its kind in Sweden either. In Gothenburg, roughly 14 years ago, Toyota centres changed to a 30 hour week and reportedly saw an increase in engagement, profit and lower staff turnover rate2. Thus indicating that total hours worked doesn’t correlate with employee productivity. However, don’t get too excited. Results from certain businesses are marred by the expense of running such a scheme.


4. Flying desks, crouching employees

In a bid to reduce employee burnout, design studio Heldergroen has taken a unique approach to ensure their people finish work on time. At 6pm – when the working day finishes – their wooden desks (which are attached to steel cables) lift up into the ceiling cavities whereby they are stored overnight. The studio is then transformed into a space that runs optional staff wellness activities such as yoga and dance classes. Wondering how it actually works? Curiosity got the better of us too. You can check out the video here.


5. Around the world with $1,500

One company is encouraging their people to literally take a fresh perspective and inspired outlook on life and work. US based creative agency thinkParallax gives away $1,500 and an extra holiday day for every employee so they can visit a place they have never been to before. The only catch is they need to blog about their trip! Not a bad trade-off if you ask us…


For the latest news and updates on employee engagement and HR communication, go to our blog here.

  1. A boss is ‘forcing’ his employees to play Pokémon Go – Business Insider
  2. Employers in Sweden introduce six-hour work day – Independent
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