Employee Engagement Ideas- Monthly Fun Activities @ Office!!

Potluck lunch

Companies are always struggling to retain the best talent at work and striving for ways to create an emotional bond to the organization in the employee’s mind. However for the employees every day excitement might be getting diminished. For them there is no time to be wasted and are rolling along with the chain of busy life in office by attending the conferences, meeting the targets, convincing the clients etc. Normal office routines during the day might slump under tremendous work pressure. But companies who have a consistent employee engagement activity keep their workforce incredibly active all the time. It’s been well accepted that an engaged employee is a productive employee. There is a direct relationship between employee engagement and employee motivation, productivity, satisfaction and retention.

Click here to read my post for 25 other AWESOME fun activity ideas commonly in practice in some companies

Employee engagement activities in the office will always keep the employees relaxed and refreshed. Having fun at work will increase team building, bring togetherness, relieve stress and make the employee emotionally attached to the work place and at the end of the day will reduce attrition.However, coming up with a cost effective engagement activity every month is a challenging aspect for employers and at the same time many companies have to cut down the cost for lavish holiday camps, festival celebrations and annual family get-together. Employee engagement activities are absolutely essential when the employers want their employees to truly engage in what they do.I am always open to bringing in ideas other than mine to this blog.Guest posts are invited here… and to begin with..

!! Potluck Lunch!!

Yesterday my sister-in-law shared with me her potluck lunch experience in her office and she was the winner for her mouth watering dish ‘Chicken Kabob’. She sounded very happy and had fun at work and that inspired me to write about ‘Potluck Lunch’.

‘Potluck’ is a gathering of people where each person contributes a dish to be shared among the group. This is a well known & successful concept among friends, office, clubs, housing communities and it is always good for a happy gathering. Planning potluck lunch in office is very simple and effective team building exercise. Every employee brings one dish and shares it with all. It promotes a family atmosphere and is obviously a low cost way of providing a large meal for everyone you work with. Doesn’t it sound fun?

Normally lunch hour in office is where everyone finds their time for a chat, shares their views with friends, creates interdepartmental relationships and gets a little break in order to relax. And it’s always been a best way to spend time together irrespective of the hierarchy!! Share your food and have fun with your co-workers. And it’s an opportunity to show your cooking talent as well.

You can organize it in your own cafeteria and you don’t need any huge funds for conducting a potluck lunch.


1. Decide the date & Time: Get the necessary approval for a small budget to purchase plastic cups, plates, napkins and beverages then schedule the potluck on an appropriate day. Usually on Fridays everyone will be a little bit relaxed and would be in a weekend mood which will be appropriate for the employees to spend some time to gather without having to worry about their work.

2. Communication: Send out an initial friendly email to all the employees at least two week prior communicating about potluck lunch (ask employees to bring a dish to share with all others), date, time & Venue so that the employees can plan for it and confirm their participation.

3. Posters: You can have posters in some busy traffic areas in your offices like in front of the elevator, cafeteria or discussion rooms to convey the communication to all.

4. Signup sheet: Create a signup sheet for employees to commit to bringing certain items. Fix the signup sheet in the notice board or one common area (where people will see every day) and inform every employee to sign up by writing their name along with what they are bringing. This will help to coordinate easily. Someone seeing the filled signup sheet will be encouraged to participate.

5. Volunteers: If you have a large workforce conducting programs by inviting few volunteers will always be recommended. Interdepartmental volunteers will confirm the participation from their department and will be easy to co-ordinate the program.

6. Reminder Communication: Have two or three reminder mailer in order to encourage employees and confirm everyone’s participation. Few points to add in the reminder mail to keep the employee informed about:
– Deadline for signup
– Volunteers contact details so that anyone who has come up with a dish at the last moment can contact them.
– Required items to be brought on the day of potluck e.g. appropriate spoons to serve their dish. Everyone might not be able to prepare the dishes at home and bring. Employees might buy some dessert or wines from restaurant like cake- need a knife, Wine bottle need an opener etc.
– Inform them to label their dishes in order to understand it easily for other. Inform everyone to bring their dishes to the venue place/area (where microwave oven is kept to warm the dishes) at least half an hour prior to the meal time.

7. Set up: Set up the dining area neatly and arrange the dishes brought by the employees with the help of volunteer and have a friendly potluck Lunch with everyone.


1. Give out gifts for the best dish of the day. You can have your own criteria for selecting the winner. For e.g have the employees vote for the best dish after finishing their meal. Keep a voting box with paper and pen. And you can even circulate the best meals recipe to all the employees

2. Check the sign up frequently and if you think that the participation is low and the food quantity will not be sufficient for the available employees encourage everyone to bring the food, like those who can’t cook can buy the food from outside and bring it too or may be even contribute cash.

3. You can even give some category of dishes in your signup sheet like appetizers, salads, Vegetable menu, desserts & Cool drinks. So that employees can select the particular dish that they planning to bring in and you will not end up with lack of appropriate quantity of food for the lunch.

4. After the program send out a thank you mail with lot of photos to one and all in your office. Photos will be great for the company’s magazine/newsletter.

A Smart move for employee retention by influencing his family !!

26 Responses to Employee Engagement Ideas- Monthly Fun Activities @ Office!!

  1. ankita rani says:

    this is a good idea but i really doubt that people would be interested in it. and in a highly structured company like mine were people don,t tlk to each other i really doubt they will be interested in such an activity.

    • nisha.raghavan says:

      Hey Ankita,

      We have to consider doing some activities which suits the culture of our organisation. Probably that would encourage them to talk and interact each other and build a better relationship at workplace.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. happywheels says:

    It’s actually a cool and useful piece of information. I am glad that you just shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. pravina says:

    hi Nisha.. Could you suggest some activities that we could conduct for christmas across the organisation in different locations?

  4. Ashish Singh says:

    Dear Nisha,

    I am working with Top Pharmaceutical company of India. Could you please suggest some differential training to increase efficiancy in work without stress?

    Your kind reply appriciated.


    • Selvaganapathi says:

      It is better to appoint a qualified Industrial social worker… coz stress can’t be reduced in single day. it is continuous process. The ISW wil take care of this problem & Train them to handle the stress in a effective manner.

  5. sushma chowdary says:

    This is a very cool and informative post… thank you for sharing such a useful information in detail… i am looking forward for more new updates…

  6. it is so nice to read such posts. helps us to understand our clients and demand better

  7. Shruti says:

    Nice to know about such an activity. it was an old social gathering concept but explained beautifully along with the practical implications. Looking ahead for more of them :)

  8. Prerna Sinha says:

    Very well discussed with minute details that cant be missed while organising:)

  9. pallavi says:

    Hello Every one i am a student and we all friends enjoy antakshari and dumsheraj and i think in office too one can use this as it builds friendly relation , high energy and sets good mood.No/ less cost involved . You need space for number of people in your office and a mike may be chits and a water. that’s it all age people will enjoy and will be able to connect to each other. they feel like they want to be with each other and will work happily. this reduces tension and gives positive energy.
    Pallavi Pisal -HR student

    • Ka says:

      Your suggestions are really awesome and very helpful.. these ideas are very creative…. thanks a lot…. tc…

  10. N M MEHTA says:

    Picnics, get-together, indoor games, outdoor sport matches, film-show are some of the fun activities. It enhances employees’ morale and bonding with the organization and team members.

    Quiz, in-house magazine, Employee Award function etc have a direct relation with L & D. These activities promotes knowledge, learning and performance.

    Some activities for family members of Employees e.g. drawing competition, CSR activities – toys or grocery distribution etc. can also be arranged.

    All sorts of activities are relevant and have its own importance. Depending on various factors, the right activities can be picked-up.

    It is important to ensure proper planning and quality which Nisha has very well elaborated in her suggestion.


  11. Jancy Rani says:

    We did this as HOT POT DAY in my previous our organization, the one event which made huge success….. each person came with different dishes almost we had some 70 to 80 varieties of food….. Yummyyyy……

    Good Idea …..

    Awaiting for 1 more opportunity to conduct in my current organization ……

  12. Solomon says:


    This is very cool. In one of my previous organisations, this was a huge success as the employee bonding quotient across cross functional teams increased greatly.

    In the current organisation we are looking to have a children’s day at Office. Any ideas on what activities to have.


  13. Shrini says:

    want to conduct employee engagement progeam for around 200 people.can some one help me on that.

  14. sarita says:

    hey all…I m Sarita Patil an Hr to a Health care BPO…Request you all to take time and share your ideas as how can i draft a mail or would celebrate navratri or dussehra in my organisation…awaiting ur reply.

  15. Aditi Jaggi says:

    Hello All, I’m looking for some whacky, crazy and innovative ideas for fun activities in my office, please share some nice ideas.

  16. sheela vijra says:


    we had arranged Best Chef Competition in our office, we got tremendous response from our employees.

    one of the best employee engagement activity.

    Sheela Vijra

  17. Nate Mendel says:

    It’s a helpful article. We’re looking for ways to tackle this employee engagement thing. In my research I came across an ebook that Allan Collins recommended on his blog and it does an amazing job laying this all out with examples of companies that get it right. I highly recommend it. There’s a lot of gold in it.

  18. Gangi Anand says:

    Last week we had Fashion-Weekend, Every Team of 4 participant had a chance to turn as Fashion designers, but the fun was, outfit has to be made out of Newspaper and they had to walk to wearing to display, it was all fun.

  19. Anuj Bhargava says:

    There are lot of employee engagement activities happening nowadays.
    I myself conduct trainings to reduce stress level of employees..
    It involves the concept of dance movement therapy, yoga and dancing workout.
    You guys can mail me to have more details…

  20. Deepika Gupta says:

    very well explain,i m waiting for the next,

    thanx for sharing d ideas in such a manner.


  21. ani says:

    Hi nisha… what do you suggest for employee engagement activities in organisations where the entire concept is new, budget is available but approvals do not come easily, staff strength is 2500, nobody is motivated to attend these events mostly. Management does not give clarity on what they expect. No match in what is expected and after plan is ready, the entire thing is rubbished off.

    I myself do not feel motivated to take initiatives or anything. I have tried a lot of things and proposed programs. But i am unable to reach out to the higher management. My reporting head also does not seem to be very interested in achieving these.

    any pointers to help improve the situation

  22. komal shah says:

    Hey.I m komal shah.As a HR i need to know some imp.things.I m working with engineering company.i want suggestions.Which types of training workshops we can arrange in our company for engineering employees.Also i want suggestion which types of refreshment activities should i arrange for employee?

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