The new norm has changed the way we function, operate and go about our daily lives, both professionally and personally. As of late, we often do not even know what day it is as our daily structure and routines have been altered and re-altered. There’s a need now more than before, especially while some workforces are working from home, some furloughed, some back at the office to maintain a unified sense of belonging and a culture where employees feel a part of no matter where they are physically based. Employees may feel disjointed and disengaged not working together as a team in close proximity, but there’s so much scope to bring employees together (metaphorically) whilst boosting their morale and maintaining a culture that values togetherness, commitment and a shared vision.
Employees need a sense of continuity and nurture, both from near and a far. There are so many effective ways to do this, that are quick and easy to implement and won’t break the bank. Often, the simpler ways allow for instant and long term connection. Discover 10 ways to boost employee engagement below:
1. Recognise, acknowledge and reward
Even though there’s not necessarily a communal feeling happening right now, there’s still scope to recognise and reward great achievements and milestones. There are so many ways to do this, from a simple thank you when all on a call together, to nominating colleagues on a winner’s wall or sending e-Cards to mark a milestone or congratulate on a job well done. Employees thrive on recognition, it improves their productivity, it motivates them and it slows down employee absenteeism. It’s a win-win all round.
2. Team events
Even though employees are scattered about, there are so many fantastic opportunities to connect, engage and have fun together as a team. Put your employees into different teams and do an online Escape Room and see who escapes first, awarding them with a Deliveroo order perhaps. Or why not do online quizzes, bingo or trivia events so everyone can mingle and lighten the mood? It shouldn’t only be about work, work, work! Now more than ever when there’s such a strong feeling of disconnect, it’s critical to make moments of connection in order to keep the organizational momentum running.
3. Encourage Happy Hour
Just because employees are working from different locations, doesn’t mean you can’t do team drinks and happy hour. Send an email to your team letting them know that you’ll be hosting a team drinks and you’ve allocated time in the afternoon so it doesn’t interfere with their home routines. Let everyone dial in on Zoom and have a little cheers together, just like they used to at the local pub or the office rooftop.
4. TikTok challenge
TikTok usage has exploded with the App being downloaded more than 1.5 billion times recently. Why not encourage your team to create a TikTok video of themselves and you can broadcast them all during an online session? Everyone loves a laugh. Let employees vote for the funniest and you can reward the winner with a voucher or a chosen gift. Employees need the light-hearted interaction and humor which they would automatically be attracted to in a normal working environment. Give it a go.
Times are stressful for employees whether they’re at the office, at home or furloughed. Children are home, spouses are often working at home and there’s less help than normal. There’s a lot of anxiety, stress and fears about, so grab the opportunity and offer online meditation sessions, virtual yoga classes, an hour off to zone out and quieten the mind. A calmer employee will be more productive, and their morale and motivation will increase.
6. Development and growth options
Employees may be feeling slightly stagnant while times are uncertain and there aren’t necessarily many hands-on options to shadow and mentor in a different department in the office, especially with social distancing requirements. Sign up to online learning channels like Lynda.com and give your team access to expand their skills and expertise. If your employees feel like they are taken care of and you as an employer are concerned about their development, this will most certainly boost their morale and confidence levels.
7. Creativity competition
Why not create an internal communications wall for your employees to express their creativity? Let your employees get creative and submit blogs, articles, photos, pictures and ideas. It could be anything from how to keep the kids busy while working from home, to sharing photos of daily walks, DIY tips or cocktail making masterclasses for everyone to enjoy. Morale and esteem can be bolstered as your employees’ personal interests and motivators come to light.
8. Organisational Podcast
There’s always a Mr. Motivational in every office. Someone who offers wisdom encouragement and a listening ear. A fun way to boost morale is to start a company podcast on topics of interest. It could be weekly or monthly and can be done by a different person each time. It could be related to work or the industry you’re in, or something completely unrelated, but relevant and fun. There are so many online tools to record these podcasts so your employees can listen on the go.
9. Diversity Day
Encourage your teams to learn and accept each other’s cultures, backgrounds and differences. This can sure improve morale when there’s a greater level of understanding and less of a feeling of alienation or difference. So why not have online cooking classes of different cuisines whilst in lockdown? Or send out a fun pack of information about different cultural holidays and observances? There are so many engaging and educational ways to become more knowledgeable and aware, in an enjoyable manner.
10. Talk, talk, talk
One of the simplest, yet most effective ways to boost employee morale is to be a listening ear to all your employees, no matter if it’s work or non-work related. If employees feel 100% comfortable to open up and speak through issues they may have, they will be well-equipped to feel comfortable and a part of the team, in a nonjudgmental way. You could also have anonymous channels where employees can raise issues or concerns which need to be brought to light, such as online surveys or suggestion boxes. There’s nothing more liberating and morale enhancing than being able to talk confidentiality and feel at peace. This will create a more conducive working environment where teams get on better and there’s no resentment.