January 14, 2022

The Difference Between Employee Engagement and Employee Entertainment

Sam Caucci

Employee engagement and employee entertainment have usually been used as interchangeable terms. However, they do have some pretty important differences. Understanding these differences is important for organizations that are looking to improve their company culture and workplace environment through employee engagement. Keep reading to know the difference so you can make sure that you are allocating your resources properly. 

What is employee engagement?

Let’s start by clearly defining employee engagement and employee entertainment. Employee engagement refers to how connected employees feel towards the company or organization they work for, the meaning they get from the work that they do, or the way that they identify with the company mission or values. This informs the ability of the employee to feel present, focused, and energized while they are at work. 

Employee engagement, then, is about being able to drive workers’ commitment to align with the goals of the organization. The key drivers of employee engagement include:

  • Having a clear understanding of one’s role and responsibilities within the organization
  • Being able to access the tools, training, and resources necessary to do one’s job
  • Appreciation and recognition for one’s contributions and achievements
  • Having opportunities to participate in professional development and advance one’s career
  • Feeling as if one has a voice in the environment that they work in
  • Having leadership that cares about the well-being and development of employees
  • Having a sense of purpose and contributing to the greater good of the community or with other stakeholders

Typically, HR departments are usually the ones to initiate and implement internal programs to help bolster employee engagement, however, they do have limits. 70% of the influence on employee engagement falls onto leadership and direct management. So instead of implementing broad programs, organizations should spend more time moving their managers from bosses to coaches. 

What is employee entertainment?

On the other hand, employee entertainment is less about driving worker commitment and more about letting employees know that they are appreciated and that their hard work is recognized. Many of us have been rewarded by our employers with employee events or gifts for achievements that contributed to our company’s success. 

And while we do appreciate the gesture and the planning that goes into organized events, it’s safe to say that they tend to fall flat. These events and gifts usually consist of a basic dinner or cocktail party, or some generic, mass-produced company-branded gifts like mugs, umbrellas, or pens. In many cases, employee entertainment is simply not personal enough for employee needs. 

Many businesses do the bare minimum when planning events or gifts for their employees and don’t cut it for those who are more interested in having a memorable experience, not a generic one. Especially Millennial workers.

Making the bare minimum effort when it comes to employee entertainment can be costly. It can end up decreasing overall employee engagement. So instead of continuing with that same old pizza dinner party, you have every year, why not spice things up and invest in ideas that will be more memorable and unique. 

Keep Employees Engaged Using 1Huddle

At 1Huddle, we offer cloud-based employee gamification software that can easily adapt to any employee training or gamification strategy you want to implement at your workplace. You can customize your content for a seamless experience and all of your employees will be able to access their training anywhere, anytime, and at the push of a button. You can use our gamification platform to measure their performance and make key decisions on where you should take your gamification strategy next. 

Do you want to learn more about how 1Huddle can help you level up your own workforce? Request a demo today.

Sam Caucci Founder & CEO at 1Huddle