Patti - I agree with Bryan - polling your employees will give you more specific options. That said, they may not know what the options are (i.e. probably not going to take them all out for a 7 course meal once a quarter).
Some interesting engagement ideas to play with come from being inspired by what kids are doing in schools.
- talent show (sing, dance, tell jokes, plan an instrument, - sort of a you've got talent show.
- Game show (i.e. company trivia - start by coming up with a set of questions everyone's asked to answer using survey monkey and you could pull this into a monthly or quarterly event like a town hall meeting. People who want to take part can win company swag, movie tickets, uber eats gift cards etc. You can make it the optional 20 minutes before the company town hall.
- Cooking class (desert, breakfast, lunch, dinner, appetizers, etc.) If you can get a couple of employees to be the "Julia Child" - you can rotate people in and out every so often and buy enough supplies to feed everyone. If those couple of volunteers are brave enough, they can poll what type of treat(s) to make. You could also weave in seasonal cookoffs- like chili, holiday cookies, pie eating contests, etc.
A lot of this depends on how gregarious people want to be. Those are a few starters though.
One thing that I found out very painfully at my first HR job was when I did NOT ask first who wanted their birthday acknowledged at work. Some people for personal or religious reasons do not want this day acknowledged and I was "put in my place" by an employee when I took it upon myself to celebrate his birthday and his religion does not recognize this occasion and he was incredibly insulted and made it very well known. So, my "good deed" fell very flat and it gave me a moment of pause. We spend so much time in HR thinking about how to be "PC" but fail to see some of the small details. So for the last 20+ years, I ALWAYS ask before I make the effort/create the initiative on celebration of birthdays! (And, many people appreciate being given to option to "abstain" as many people are not comfortable with that info being "known" around the workplace for many reasons.
Not sure how big your organization is, but Food Trucks in the summer is always a hit.
We do a "Summer Hours Raffle" for Friday's off, one person per dept/area depending on the size each week. This year we included a gas card each week, due to the gas prices.
I know some people have been doing this for years, but we just adopted 1/2 day Fridays - it was a huge hit.
Our employee of the month gets an on-site interior and exterior Car Detail during working hours - employees seem to really appreciate it.
A different twist on this would be to ensure your Managers are having "Stay Interviews" with their employees. By having these conversations they can check in on how the employee is feeling about working at your organization, what would make them decide to leave and how their current workload. I feel this is a simple activity that can definitely improve engagement as the employees should feel that their manager cares about them.
I find that involving employees in decisions about their team can be very engaging. Team members can weigh in on or make decisions about operating mechanisms, strategy, team growth and development, and team wellness.
Involving team members in these aspects of team operations fosters collaboration and a sense of belonging, which can improve engagement.