Employees are an asset to you your business, and keeping them happy results in more productivity and less employee turnover. Everything else about your business can be duplicated by your competitors; your employees cannot be duplicated. Activities such as volunteering, mentoring and team building can help empower your employees by bringing out the traits that make them special.
Corporations that encourage employees to volunteer on work time see an increase in productivity and job satisfaction. Many companies give employees a certain number of hours they can use for volunteering, whether it be at their child's school or in the community. Allowing employees to give back does as much for the employee’s self-esteem as it does for the organization. Volunteering improves employee performance, promotes teamwork, increases job satisfaction as well as attitude and morale, and it opens up communication between all levels of employees within the organization. The company as a whole also experiences benefits: Improved employee retention, increased productivity and employee loyalty, promotion of the company’s image and reputation, and creating trust among clients and potential customers.
Mentoring allows employees with more experience to share their knowledge with newer employees. Mentors help employees determine their career goals and the path to achieve them. They also serve as a sounding board for advice and issues that may arise within the protégé’s life. A mentor can coach a protégé on what kind of training to pursue, job openings to apply for, and projects to undertake to get to where they want within the organization. Mentors can open doors by introducing newer employees to key players within the organization. They also can provide a good job reference in the future. A typical mentor-protege relationship might be an established management-level employee paired with a new employee on the management track.
Team-building activities can build enthusiasm for work and empower employees. These activities allow teams to get to know each other on a more personal level, which in turn impacts how they work on a professional level. Many team-building activities focus on problem-solving as well as communication skills, two things that benefit employees in their work life. In some cases, team building allows adults to act like kids and be silly. For some this may be hard to adapt to, but for many this is a needed respite from the hectic stress of everyday life. Team-building activities might include an afternoon of bowling off-site, or other activities held in the office, such as the Human Knot from group-games.com, which instructs players to form groups of 10 people facing each other in a circle. Every person takes the hands of other people who are not standing directly next to them. "To play, the groups must communicate and figure out how to untangle the knot (forming a circle of people) without ever letting go of any hands."