During the Covid-19 crisis, the way we work in teams has changed significantly. Many offices have relocated their employees to work from home. Improving and maintaining employee engagement at this time has proven to be a challenge but there have also been some unexpected positive results.
Previously, people could rely on their colleagues to lighten their mood during the day and provide motivation. This crucial social element has now been missing from their work lives. Employee engagement is already critical for many companies. In fact, 85% of employees aren’t engaged in the workplace, and this might only get worse during these trying times.
With many countries experiencing a new spike in cases, a second lockdown is more than a possibility. While there is no cure, social distancing remains crucial and working from home might be the new normal.
Here are some employee engagement ideas to keep your teams moving forward during the lockdown.
Virtual Employee Engagement Activities
For some time, team building activities have been a popular way to improve coordination between your team members. They help colleagues get to know each other better and offer a sense of camaraderie, support, and trust. These traits are excellent at maintaining good employee engagement. Working in a team that gets along well makes the job a lot easier and improves everyone’s mood.
Working from home has made it challenging to arrange social activities to keep the whole team engaged. With 33% of employees considering leaving their jobs due to boredom, keeping some variation and excitement alive is crucial. Luckily there are virtual options to bring your remote workforce together.
Online Office Games
Icebreaker games are a great way to lift the mood and start the team-building process. You can still set half an hour to an hour aside to play such games online with the whole team.
Try to put your employees into different groups, so they have to work together to compete against others. Have them record their results and make a competition out of it.
There are many games online that are suited for such activities, such as quizzes, puzzles, Pictionary, and much more. These can be positioned as more social events or they can have more of a ‘work’ angle eg quiz questions to include product knowledge or facts about the company.
Health Challenges for Your Team
Morale might not only below during lockdown because of the lack of colleague interaction. Remember that some of your employees might have suffered a lack of activity and less motivation in their day to day lives. Employee wellbeing is an excellent area to concentrate on as a business owner. We have seen group online fitness sessions and a virtual walk. When your employees are fit and healthy, they are also more likely to succeed at work.
You can encourage a healthy lifestyle amongst your remote employees. Set different health challenges to your team and allow them to compete on these during the week.
For example, tasks you set could include to:
- Cardio/strength exercise eg complete X number of pushups, lunges, squats
- Running eg several kilometers a week
- Steps eg a daily target
- Meditation eg join video meditation sessions or set up your own
Meet at the Virtual Water Cooler
Working from home likely means your coworkers will no longer communicate with one another like they might have done in the office. This forces a communication gap you can bridge by actively encouraging your team to engage in small breaks together. A bit like they might have done to have coffee or chat at the water cooler.
You can easily set up virtual coffee meetings by arranging a video conference call via platforms like zoom and treating them informally. Allow your colleagues to chat about whatever they want and engage in random conversations. If you wish, you can include fun elements in these breaks to get the most out of them, like a question of the day, or a discussion topic.
This doesn’t need to be limited to coffee-chats either. You can also encourage your employees to socialize over lunch breaks. This will make it easier for them to keep to a schedule and experience some sense of what they were used to previously.
We have also received feedback that, because of communicating from home and being dressed accordingly, there is a greater sense of people being ‘themselves’ and enjoying this in their colleagues. One employee said, “Although we have been forced apart, in a strange way, I feel that this time has brought us closer together.”
In-House Ted Talks
Your employees each have their own stories and something unique to share. Arrange ‘Ted Talks’ where your employees are encouraged to share a skill, knowledge or experience with their team via video conference. Have them submit their topics and then choose one for an informal presentation. This is an excellent way for employees to get to know one another and acknowledge each other’s strong points and skills. This can be done at lunchtime so as not to impose on a working day.
Continue Employee Training Remotely
Remote working might be an excellent opportunity to encourage your employees to learn more. Personal and professional development remains an integral part of employee engagement and this area has experienced a sharp increase over the past months. Only 29% of employees are happy with development opportunities at work, so this is likely something worth improving.
Don’t halt this process due to lockdown! You can sign your team up to an online learning opportunity. It’s a great chance to complete a short course, like digital marketing skills or sales techniques. Have your team discuss what they learnt after and keep the growth going.
SERVICEBRAND GLOBAL Improves Employee Engagement, Even During Lockdown
The day-to-day in the workplace has changed, perhaps irreversibly, and a new normal has taken over. SERVICEBRAND GLOBAL remains committed to furthering employee engagement for authentic service organisations. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you engage your employees during the lockdown.