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    Top 23 Employee Engagement Ideas for the Banking Sector in 2023

    December 9, 2022

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    With issues like a high rate of absenteeism and turnover facing the banking industry, implementing an employee engagement strategy can go a long way in retaining and building a future-proof workforce. This article covers 23 ideas for employee engagement in the banking sector for 2023. 

    Stephen R. Covey said, “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.”  

    This is more important in the current scenario than it has ever been. In this economy, organizations are monitoring a wide range of indicators and enacting new procedures to better serve customers. But many of them are not placing the same level of importance on measuring and enhancing employee engagement

    According to Gallup, engaged employees perform better than other employees, regardless of the industry, the size of the company, the country, or the state of the economy. 

    The State of Employee Engagement in the Banking Industry 

    Employee engagement has always been a challenge in the banking industry. A research study with banking professionals highlighted that only 35% of respondents surveyed reported high employee engagement. As a result, the industry faces high absenteeism and employee turnover. Employee retention is a major challenge in the Indian banking industry. In fact, the banking sector has one of the highest turnover rates of any industry, at 18.6 percent, according to a Compdata poll. 

    Implementing employee engagement initiatives in banking organizations can better enable employees to stay engaged, perform at their best, and generate business. Employee performance will improve if they are sufficiently engaged in the work they are doing. This has a positive effect on a variety of variables, including employee work satisfaction, productivity, motivation, retention, etc. In fact, according to a Gallup analysis, engaged workers are 22% more productive than their disengaged counterparts! 

    Learn More: HR Challenges in Banking for 2023

    The Importance of Employee Engagement in the Banking Industry 

    There are several reasons why employee engagement is important in any industry and organization. But with a high rate of attrition and disengaged employees, it becomes a necessity in the banking sector. Let’s look at a few of the reasons why banks can benefit from having an employee engagement strategy:  

    • Teams can go from being good to exceptional when employees are fully engaged. 
    • Employees that are engaged are more likely to stick with their current employer. They commit themselves to the development and success of the company's bottom line while also becoming advocates for the bank’s services. 
    • They tend to perform better and are self-motivated. 
    • Profitability and employee engagement are strongly correlated. 
    • Engagement fosters an emotional bond between employees and their employers, which raises customer satisfaction and service standards. 
    • Increases employees' trust and loyalty in the cutthroat banking industry. 
    • It transforms your workplace into a vibrant and exciting place to work. 
    • An employee that is highly engaged will consistently go above and beyond. 

    Learn More: Employee Engagement: Definition, Importance, Benefits, Best Practices

    23 Employee Engagement Ideas and Practices for Banking in 2023 

    Employee engagement is influenced by a number of factors, including how satisfied employees are at work, how connected they feel to their peers and manager, and how frequently they feel recognized and appreciated for their contributions. Let’s explore the top 23 engagement ideas for employees in the banking industry: 

    1. Survey Employees 

    The first step to increasing employee engagement is measuring it. Engagement surveys can prove to be an effective source of useful information when conducted at the proper frequency. These check-ins give management a chance to spot issues that, if left unattended, could result in a bad experience for both customers and employees. Survey questions delve into opinions about: 

    • How well-supported individuals feel by their teams and bosses. 
    • The number of career prospects available. 
    • Banking industry-standard questions to compare results to peers. 
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    2. Facilitate Two-Way Communication 

    To achieve high levels of engagement, leaders and employees must build a strong foundation of trust. Employees need to connect to the direction and purpose of the business. This can be achieved by implementing the following practices: 

    • Be open and honest about company plans. 
    • Explain the rationale behind critical decisions. 
    • Encourage questions. 
    • Consider the opinions of the workforce. 
    • Inform staff members of important metrics and goal-related developments. 
    • Inform people about the results of your efforts. 
    • Use communication channels like weekly team updates, newsletters, and all-hands meetings. 

    3. Create a Framework for Listening 

    There’s great benefit in employees feeling valued for both their contributions and opinions. An engaged employee is one that is willing to voice their opinions to their leadership team, even if they are negative. This is the fastest approach for firms to identify problem areas, but it will only take place if workers are certain that speaking up would not have any negative impact. A follow-up plan is the next step in this process: 

    • Make a plan to implement the advice you have received, if feasible. 
    • Follow up with your employees and let them know what you are doing to address their concerns and issues. 
    • Emphasize the value of employee feedback and express your gratitude. 

    4. Publicly Celebrate Employee Achievements 

    One of the most effective ways to encourage employee engagement is through recognition. Programs for recognizing employees that uphold the values of the business can be beneficial. Praising employees in front of others demonstrates to their peers that effort and success are valued and will be recognized. Banks can allow time for peer-to-peer praise during meetings so employees can express their appreciation for one another. They will get the credit they deserve, and this will call attention to any accomplishments that might have slipped notice. Banks can also organize a ‘thank you hour’ to recognize and appreciate the efforts of employees.

    5. Ask Fun Team-building Questions  

    Invest in building a positive business culture by encouraging staff interaction through fun team-building questions. Remote and hybrid workers can be easily included in this activity too. A few examples of such questions could be: 

    • What keeps you inspired and prevents you from procrastinating? 
    • What beverage do you prefer to drink in the morning? 
    • Tell us something none of your coworkers are aware of. 
    • What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? 
    • Share a funny work story with us. 

    6. Organize Recreational Activities 

    Making time for fun activities may seem contradictory, but implementing them can make your staff feel valued and enhance workplace culture. Social gatherings and regular catchups within the company can foster a sense of community. Consider monthly gatherings, birthday parties, team lunches, and holiday parties. Virtual team meet‐ups, online sessions for managing anxiety and stress, and communication exercises can also be considered to engage the remote and hybrid workforce. 

    7. Perk, Perk, Perk 

    Employee perks or benefits can promote employee engagement by making them feel valued. To demonstrate to your staff that your business cares about them, think about giving out gift cards or providing benefits like a day off, happiness allowances, shopping vouchers, or free lunches. A novel approach would be to establish a petition system allowing your people the ability to choose benefits. Employees can suggest changes to the workplace on a bulletin board or web forum. The proposals can be put for a vote by the staff. If enough people vote in favor of a suggestion, management can choose to fund the initiative. 

    8. Theme-based Events 

    Themed days can be a lot of fun and a great engagement avenue for your employees. The trick is to pick diverse themes that can cater to all employees in your workforce. These can range from classic movies to cherished fandoms, a memorable era in time, or festive dress-up days like Halloween. This is a great approach to set aside some time on a business day for some fun, after which you can let your teams have a party and choose a winner. Or just do it for the fun of it. We’re all winners on a fun, engaging day! 

    9. Encourage Growth and Development 

    Upskilling or personal development is essential to sustaining employee engagement at work. Giving your staff the ability to grow professionally and personally will help them feel that the business cares about their development. According to a Gallup poll, 65% of workers think that employer-provided upskilling is crucial when considering a potential new career. There is more to personal development than a few online training courses. To motivate employees to advance their abilities, think about implementing paid training, enabling side project assistance, providing vouchers for college-level courses, and departmental exchange programs, etc. 

    Activity: Ask your employees to explain their roles and highlight specific areas where they would like to assume more responsibility. This will provide you with crucial information about how to develop each individual employee. 

    Learn More: How Is Employee Engagement Different From Employee Experience?

    10. Trivia Night With a Twist 

    Let’s face it; that quarterly email refresher with company rules and policies is not being consumed by your employees. How about putting a twist on it? If you find that your employees frequently forget the laws and regulations that apply to their jobs, turn it into a trivia contest. This contest will cover all the specifics of business policies in a lighthearted setting where it won't seem like anyone is in trouble. The fun atmosphere created by the exercise will ensure that everyone remembers the rules for a longer span of time, and it will boost engagement and morale. Your employees will enjoy receiving incentives for being business rule experts. 

    11. Implement a Robust Onboarding Framework 

    Onboarding is where it all begins and where it can all go wrong for banks. Strong offline and digital onboarding programs in banking organizations allow new hires to get to know their coworkers and inspire improved team collaboration. This can be put into practice in the following ways: 

    • Start a ‘buddy’ program to ensure an easy transition for newly joined employees. 
    • Organize in-office or virtual team-building activities, team lunches, or happy hours. 
    • Clearly define expectations for duties and tasks. 
    • Set up introductions, in-depth ‘get to know’ meetings, and weekly check-ins.  
    • Solicit feedback on onboarding and training.  
    • Make sure new  joinees are assisted by helpful employees who make them feel welcome. 

    12. Arrange Mental Health Support Programs 

    Banking organizations should consider offering psychological support to their workforce, especially since cases of depression, anxiety, and even suicide are increasing throughout the financial services sector. Banks can take the following steps to provide support for the mental health of their employees: 

    • Inform and involve the workforce in workplace mental health. 
    • Compile and evaluate information about the mental health of employees. 
    • Motivate staff members to use their paid time off. 
    • Create managerial and leadership support. 
    • Offer counselling support and guidance. 
    • Offer helpful advice in a structured manner.  
    • Monitor the condition of employees by regularly checking in. 

    Mental health fairs can be organized with activities such as meditation sessions, aromatherapy and massages, stations with adult coloring books, and visits from emotional support animals, etc. 

    13. Provide an Engaging Working Environment 

    Given how much time is spent at work, it is understandable that people would like to work somewhere enjoyable. This includes everything from the office setting to small initiatives like coffee and snacks. Banks should think about the aspects of the workplace they have some control over and consider ways in which they can improve the working environment. It's remarkable what some fresh office supplies, such as office furniture, monitors, or plants, can do to spruce up a plain workspace. 

    14. Start ‘Bring Your Pet to Work’ Days 

    Most people adore animals. Midday pet-snuggle sessions are a great way to inspire enthusiasm and lift the spirits of your workforce. How to go about it? Simply request that employees bring their cute pets to work or organize a fundraising event with a nearby animal organization. Your remote and hybrid workers don’t have to miss the fun. As one of your remote employee engagement activities, you and your virtual team may invite pets to make a cameo appearance on the webcam.  

    Learn More: 101 Fun Back to the Office Employee Engagement Activities

    15. Empower Managers to Engage  

    Your managers lead the charge in motivating and inspiring their staff. Instead of just managing, their job should involve coaching, counselling, and supporting the development of their employees. Employees will reciprocate the engagement when they witness leaders making an effort. Managers can also make sure that employees understand their roles, are comfortable in their roles and know how they contribute towards the overall success of the organization.  

    16. Advocate Work-life Balance 

    You can’t let stress or burnout cause your staff to feel worn out and uninspired. Promote a better work-life balance in your workplace to make sure your employees are enthusiastic and engaged in their work. Managers who want to assist their team in striking a good work-life balance should be coached to think about taking the following actions: 

    17. Celebrate!  

    Make sure to create avenues in the workplace to recognize professional accomplishments, birthdays, and work anniversaries, as well as to send off departing employees in style. Make time for fun, promote uniqueness, and place people in the spotlight to recognize their efforts in the workplace. 

    18. Arrange Outdoorsy Engagement Activities 

    Use outdoor activities to increase engagement. There are many types of team-building activities that can be organized. Some examples include:  

    • Escape rooms for smaller groups to foster teamwork. 
    • Volunteer work at community service projects.  
    • Organizational camping trips.  
    • Organize a visit to a demolition room where workers can relieve stress by banging rocks or breaking plates with a sledgehammer. 
    • Scavenger hunts. 
    • Yoga or meditation retreats.  
    • Group hiking in nature.  
    • Even going out for a meal as a team.  

    19. Implement a Bucket List Program 

    Employees can be inspired to come up with a list of things they would like to accomplish over the span of a day, week, or month. This can include not just professional achievements, but fun little wins like getting a high-five from a superior, making a new friend at work, providing cross-functional support, and personal achievements like doing 100 pull-ups, etc. Employees can claim rewards and prizes upon completing all the items on their lists. 

    20. Create a Company Yearbook! 

    School yearbooks foster fond memories. Teams in banking organizations can recreate nostalgia by holding similar voting contests in the workplace as a method to compile a "yearbook". They can provide categories that are office-related or relevant to the categories chosen by the team. The next step would be to make a "yearbook" of the categories selected, complete with winners' photos, and distribute it to team members. 

    21. Facilitate Cross-functional Learning Programs 

    By taking part in a departmental exchange program, your employees can develop cross-functional abilities and a broader understanding of the company. You can begin by providing each department with the option to opt out of the swap so there is no compulsion. Begin accepting participants once there are enough teams prepared to accept a person shadowing them. When a worker indicates interest, plan a day or a block of time for them to visit the new department and get the lie of the land. This initiative is a fantastic approach to encouraging inter-departmental friendships and building respect and empathy across departments. 

    22. Build a Culture of Transparency 

    Employee engagement is affected by factors like the ability to collaborate on a shared goal or objective. Employees want to feel that the work they do has a meaningful impact on their organization, but not all of them have a comprehensive understanding of how each department contributes to a business's performance. Making a connection between the efforts of the individual and of teams towards the organization's goals can be beneficial for fostering a feeling of purpose and increasing engagement. 


    23. Ask Your Employees 

    If you are out of ideas on how to keep your employees engaged, why not just ask employees? Take a poll to determine the activities employees would want to engage in as a team and spend time bonding. Your team already knows what they want to do for team-building activities, and you can probably plan most things they can think of. Allowing your team to select their own activity can be a terrific approach to promoting teamwork, enhancing team satisfaction, and ensuring that employees are involved in one another's lives as well as the objectives and strategies of your business. 

    Learn More: 23 HR Trends in Banking for 2023

    Next Steps

    While there is no hard and fast structure or plan to improve employee engagement in the banking industry, implementing these ideas and activities can certainly be a step in the right direction. The banking sector has struggled to get employee engagement right, but the good news is that there is time to take corrective action.  

    When done with good intent, employee engagement can promote customer engagement, resulting in more devoted customers and growth for the organization. Considering that reducing absenteeism and turnover are major requirements in the industry, an effective employee engagement strategy may just be what banks need right now.  

    Find out how Darwinbox can help you implement an effective employee engagement strategy in your banking organization, book a demo today! 

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