From MTV Cribs style tours through to morning digital yoga sessions, there’s a wealth of ways to keep teams engaged during this time of uncertainty. Whilst businesses are needing to quickly address their revenue making strategies, are they also ensuring their employee’s mental well-being and engagement are front and centre? Below are a few tips to successfully weather this storm, helping you emerge with more motivated and loyal employees.
Create a team of remote working champions
Do you already have an Employee Engagement Team or Wellness and Social Committees? Use this talent to drive a motivated workforce. Wellness Teams can schedule meditation sessions or chair well-being talks, Social Committees can champion quizzes and virtual drinks, whilst Engagement Teams can ensure they’re overarchingly motivating employees with digital experiences. If these aren’t in place, then create a team of champions – all with the responsibility to inspire and motivate employees, whilst keeping them happy and healthy.
Send regular engaging comms
Consistent communication is key! In an environment where everything is uncertain, employees need to regularly feel that they are supported by their employer. The comms can cover a wide range of topics from personal finance recommendations through to how to create an inspiring home office set-up. Make sure that there is a two-way dialogue by welcoming feedback from employees, and adapting your strategy in line with what your teams want to know about.
Deploy collaboration tools
Now’s the time to set up teams on collaboration platforms if they aren’t already. Slack has seen their highest ever spike in users since COVID19 as employees rush to get their employees better connected. Soon to be integrated with Microsoft Teams for calls, the platforms are both excellent ways to keep projects moving whilst freeing up inboxes.
Share the best home workouts
What better way to create a team spirit, whilst also supporting the health of employees than hosting workout sessions. Companies that already have Run Clubs, can inspire employees to share photos of their local runs, whilst any yogis in the company can run online morning/lunch or evening sessions. If your company doesn’t have anyone willing to run the workouts, then most of the gyms across the UK are running Instagram live workouts. Look to Digme, Barry’s, Third Space, 1Rebel and Gymbox for scheduled workouts that the team can take part in.
Launch an employee radio station
Fed up of Kiss FM, why not launch a company radio station. Banks Sadler and American Express M&E’s Employee Engagement Team kicked off EE Radio three weeks ago via Zoom. An excellent chance for shout-outs, tune requests, song dedications and to have a good ol’ dance with your colleagues.
Host Happy Hours and Afterparties
Even with pubs and restaurants closing, that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on Happy Hour. Schedule an end of the week drink with your colleagues over Houseparty or Zoom apps. Many DJ’s and musicians are doing live sets on Instagram; from D-Nice to Diplo, plan your drinks for the same time as your favourite DJ’s set.
Learn a new skill during your lunch hour
Lunchtime doesn’t have to mean switching on the TV – engage your teams with sessions to support their learning. This doesn’t have to be work related – last week our Employee Engagement Team hosted a sign language session with an expert within the business.
Take a tour of your teams’ pads
Never seen your teammates house? Now’s your chance! Set up an MTV Cribs meeting. Whilst Sheila from finance’s house might not be on level with Madonna’s, it’s a great chance to get to know your colleagues a bit better.
Create a collaborative Spotify playlist
Missing the office radio? Set up a joint access team Spotify playlist. Each day task a team member with running the music for that day. Whether it’s musicals or disco that’s chosen, teams will feel more connected knowing they’re listening to the same playlist.
Share desk design inspiration
Encourage your teams to personalise their remote working set-up. For smaller scale companies, send your staff houseplants or a variety of Paperchase home working essentials. Check in that they have the correct ergonomic set-up, providing information on how to set -up their screen and chair for a healthy position. Don’t assume every employee has the space for an adequate home office solution, so ensure you’re supporting those that don’t.
Continue to celebrate work anniversaries and birthdays
In a time when employees can feel very lonely and isolated, it’s even more important to celebrate key achievements, birthdays and anniversaries. Post them a celebratory cake or schedule a virtual tea break where every participant is armed with their favourite sweet treat and a cuppa.
Create and share inspiring video content
Do you have a talented watercolour artist or a musically gifted guitar player in your midst? Ask your teammates to record themselves teaching their top skill and create a wealth of content to inspire colleagues during their breaks. With many brands innovating to ensure they’re more digitally focused, employees can learn from short video content including making sourdough with Bread Ahead Bakery, learning to knit with Stitch & Story or creating recipes with Michelin star chef Jason Atherton.
Share online learning opportunities
Where teams may have extra bandwidth, encourage them to undertake online learning to drive personal development. Udemy has a wealth of courses where employees can learn skills from video editing through to accounting. Collate all the training resources from Udemy and YouTube through to FutureLearn in one place so that teams can feel inspired to broaden their knowledge beyond their current remit.
Make regular wellness opportunities
Wellness is a theme which has been woven into Banks Sadler’s corporate strategy for many years and now is more important than ever. Assess what themes will resonate with your remote working employees – are they suffering from heightened anxiety, is there a lack of motivation to do exercise, have their healthy eating habits fallen by the wayside? Bring in guest speakers to tackle these topics, and collate content to support them – best home workouts, meditation apps, batch cooking healthy recipes can all be shared. Create regular weekly opportunities to support your teams across all areas of their mental and physical wellbeing.
Create digital coffee breaks
Missing that chat by the coffee machine? Schedule in twice daily coffee breaks via Zoom with your team where they can down tools and have a good catch up over an earl grey. Get to know their families, coo over their pets, and discuss anything but work.
Catch up with overdue projects
With many industries being hit hard during this pandemic, many employees now have significantly more time and therefore risk losing engagement with the business. This therefore is the perfect time to collate all unfinished projects and spread the load across the business. Have you got keen writers who can support the marketing team? Do certain teams have time to implement cross-training? Is now the time to focus on post COVID-19 company innovations? Putting teams on projects that aren’t normally within their remit is a great way to both improve their knowledge and keep them engaged.
Set up an isolation blog
Create an open discussion forum for everyone to chat and to stay engaged and informed. Covering any isolation topics except work this can be a great way for colleagues to recommend Netflix boxsets and TED Talks, share their newfound sewing skills or their favourite COVID-19 memes.
Recognise your employees achievements
Recognising the phenomenal work your teams are doing during this difficult time is still paramount. Whether you already have a platform in place to recognise employees’ hard work or you need to install regular shout-out opportunities then now’s the time to show your employees are appreciated