Seven Companies Elevating Their Employee Engagement

Jake Plantz Blog

According to a recent study by Gallup, actively disengaged workers cost the U.S. economy between $450 and $550 BILLION in lost productivity. The bottom line, companies are suffering because of it. Employee engagement programs aim to keep all employees engaged in their work, each other, and the company. Below are seven examples of companies doing a great job at employee engagement.

DHL Express

DHL Express provides international parcel and express mail services. They hold an annual employee appreciation week to honor all employees. Some of the activities include: gifts, free lunches, fun games, giveaways, awards, and even monetary rewards. The biggest event DHL holds is their annual black-tie gala to honor their top performing employees.  

Full Contact

Full Contact is a private technology company offering contact management solutions to businesses worldwide. They offer one of the most luxurious perks, in my opinion. They offer every employee fifteen days of paid vacation every year. You know what’s even better than a paid vacation? A “Paid-Paid” vacation. The company seriously pays you $7500 a year to go on a paid vacation to anywhere in the world! But what’s the catch? They have three rules you must follow:

  1. You must disconnect.
  2. You can’t work while on vacation. 
  3. You must go on vacation or you do not get the money.

Wegman’s Food Markets

Wegman’s is a supermarket chain with stores located throughout the mid-Atlantic and New England regions. Wegman’s empowers employees to recognize each other and any employee can gift another a Wegman’s gift card for exceptional service. But how do you know Wegman’s employees love what they do? They recommend their family members to work there! Erica Dhawan reports that nearly 1 in 5 employees are related to each other. Wegman’s is also known to offer a chartered jet to fly new, full-time employees to Rochester, New York, to meet with the CEO, Colleen Wegman.

DreamWorks Animation

DreamWorks is a film production studio located in California who are known for making popular movies including Saving Private Ryan and Shrek. They offer employees a stipend to decorate their desks at work. They are also known to bring in smoothie trucks randomly for employee treats. DreamWorks also throws extravagant parties after wrapping up production on large projects to celebrate their hard work. They encourage employees to share the projects they work on with others during these parties.

SAS Institute 

SAS Institute is an American software company developing data analytics software. They offer employee perks more oriented to health and wellness. Employees and their families have access to their large gym facility featuring a weight room, pools, and an on-site health care clinic all for FREE. These facilities are staffed by physicians, nutritionists, physical therapists, counselors, and psychologists to address any need. As for daycare, SAS offers largely discounted child care for employees. 


Google is a large technology company known for their popular search engine among other services. They offer many amenities such as free gourmet food and snacks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In some of their locations, Google offers onsite wellness and healthcare facilities for complete care and treatment. There is also time to make sure your financial future is secure. They offer a highly-rated retirement contribution match; there is also access to financial planners and planning services keeping you on pace to hit your goals. For all you dog lovers, Google allows you to bring your beloved pet to work. Having your dog at work is an easy conversation starter; it also allows for time to take a break and play fetch during a tough project allowing you to stay relaxed and productive.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is a major United States based airline known for being a low-cost leader in the industry. The company is also the most widely recognized company for their employee engagement practices. The company has their employees give input in almost every decision, from designing their own uniforms to the design on the airplanes. The airline empowers their employees to use creativity in everything they do! This can be seen in a viral video of a flight attendant rapping safety instructions to passengers on the plane. Also, Southwest has a weekly CEO shout-out for top performing employees and a monthly recognition program in Southwest’s magazine. Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines founder, once said “They [other companies] can buy all the physical things. The things you can’t buy are dedication, devotion, loyalty – the feeling that you are participating in a crusade.” Engagement is built into Southwest’s foundation and will continue to empower employees in the future.

No Budget? No Problem!

Don’t worry if your organization can’t offer some of the more extravagant perks to keep your employees engaged. There are hundreds of other offerings you can make to keep employees engaged with the company and each other.

Here are five examples of what you can do:

  1. Lunch and Learn: Learning is essential to our development as humans. Set time aside during lunch and have one person present an interesting topic, or talk about their job to a group of coworkers. This stimulates our intellectual curiosity and allows colleagues to bond.
  2. Employee Appreciation Posts: Who doesn’t love a shout-out for an accomplishment? It’s even better when it’s from company leadership! Having leaders within the company recognize employees for their hard work, shows the company cares about them and appreciates their contributions
  3. PTO: Everybody loves an extra day off, even more so when it could be paid. Giving an employee a day off, or a long weekend, goes a long way to improve employee morale; it also allows the employee to spend time with family, or catch up with long overdue house work. 
  4. Professional Development Days: Bring in an outside speaker, or even have another employee give a talk, about a topic outside of work to better employees. Topics could be about personal finance, health and wellness, or the benefits of networking. This will keep employees engaged and allows them to learn something new that could be useful in their personal lives. 
  5. Community Service Days: Get outside the office for half a day and work with an organization that can better your local community! This promotes interaction between employees and instills a sense of accomplishment and pride as well.  

If you’re looking for a tool to connect and engage with your employees, check out Ohana! Ohana is a newsfeed-driven platform, available via mobile app and online, that makes sharing important company info quick and easy.