Randstad Canada HR Blog

Employee Engagement Ideas to Combat The Walking Dead

Posted by Hamel Khakhria on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 @ 11:00 AM

Employee Engagement Ideas

The Walking Dead: Is Your Workplace Infected?

You start seeing the signs; the vibe around your workplace seems rather…dead.  You’ve got that itching feeling that something just isn’t right.  Employees begin to seem less spirited, less motivated, and ultimately less productive.  Your once vibrant employees are beginning to resemble…zombies.

Be warned, zombie-like behavior actually is infectious and its influence will spread without the need for biting.  Simply having unmotivated employees in the workplace is often enough to affect the moods of other employees.

However, fear not! There’s no need to pull out the shotguns – we’ve created a guide to detect workplace zombies and vanquish them!  All you need is a few employee engagement ideas and you can save your employees from becoming infectious zombies that destroy the brains and productivity of your organization.

Employment Engagement Ideas

How to tell if your workplace is infected by Zombies?

Not sure if your employees should be classified among The Walking Dead? Well here are a few signs that your office probably needs some employee engagement ideas to improve the environment.

Change of Mood

Often, a sudden change in an employee’s mood signal’s something is brewing.  If this goes unnoticed the employee may feel as if they don’t matter.


Weariness, fatigue, and lethargy are often the first signs of disengagement. 

Lack of Initiative/Participation

When an employee is no longer eager to complete a task, perhaps something has caused their excitement about work to dwindle.  


If you’ve noticed an increase in absences among certain employees, this is a major indication of withdrawal.


The final and most blatant sign of disengagement is outright complaining.  If you hear employees complaining about issues around your workplace it means they’re dissatisfied and they feel that the company’s goals are not in line with their own goals.  Nothing is more infectious and damaging to employee spirit than constant complaints.

How can you save your workplace?

So you’ve seen the signs.  You realize, with dread, that your workplace is infected.  Unless you take action soon, the zombie-like behavior will spread amongst colleagues.  This is where we have you covered.  Here are 7 employee engagement ideas (easily remembered by the acronym ZOMBIES) that you can use to save your workplace:

Employee engagement ideas

Make sure you set forth clear expectations for your employees – this way they’ll understand exactly what is expected of them and they are not wasting their efforts on things that don’t matter.

employee engagement ideas communication

Encourage open communication with employees so they feel they can express how they truly feel, rather than internalizing their objections or expressing them through the grapevine.  Often, opening up lines of communication can lead to the discovery of many things that could potentially improve the organization.  It also makes employees feel as if they are actually part of the company, rather than merely employed by it.

employee engagement ideas m

Recognition, recognition, recognition!  If an employee feels they have made a contribution that has not been recognized, they’re going to be less inclined to make contributions in the future.  There are many ways to recognize employees outside of financial compensation. Different people prefer to be recognized in different ways.  It can range from a public recognition/award, to just letting fellow colleagues know in a daily meeting, or even a private sincere conversation letting them know that you appreciate the efforts they’ve made.  When people feel that their work is valued, they will usually keep up the good work.

employee engagement ideas build trust

Trust works both ways.  Show your employees you trust them by offering them greater responsibilities, and keep your promises in order to build mutual trust.  A sense of trust makes employees feel more emotionally invested in the organization’s failures and successes and creates a very positive and personal environment to work in.

employee engagement ideas illustrate

After opening up the lines of communication, often employees will make suggestions that prove to be very useful and actionable. Don’t let it end there; show employees how their feedback has been used.  It will make them feel as if they are helping shape the organization and, in turn, will make them feel valued.

employee engagement ideas

Nothing has the potential to make employees feel more engaged than your organizational culture.  Employees yearn to be proud of their employer, to identify with their company, and to belong.  There are many things you can do as an employer to help develop and foster your organizational culture, just make sure the steps you take are inclusive, recurring, and, above all else, make your employees feel good. 

employee engagement ideas

And finally, when bringing in new people to the organization, always make sure that they are a good fit. Just as one zombie is enough to start an outbreak, one person can quickly turn a workplace into a disengaged environment.  

Click Here to make sure you’re hiring the right people

By Hamel Khakhria



employee engagement ideas
The Walking Dead Photo Credit
Photo Credit: Scott Garfield/Courtesy of AMC