Admit it, you’re tired from the seemingly endless stream of virtual meetings. We all are. Starring at your colleagues through pixelated screens just isn’t as stimulating as in-person meetings. The missing body language and facial expressions make it difficult to read the room. Technical issues plague every meeting you’ve been in since March. But this is our new normal. We adapted to become comfortable with the awkward silences and sympathize with the audio issues. We find ways of connecting with each other to socialize beyond our households.
COVID-19 has added a new challenge to increasing employee engagement this year. Zoom meetings are here to stay so the question we face is how do you foster a sense of community among employees without a physical space to interact? Here are 4 ways to boost employee engagement from simple actions to running events:
Leadership matters in times of change. Transparency and communication are integral to keeping a team together and working towards the same goals. Actively reach out and let them know how they can get in touch with you. Set clear channels where information is distributed so people know where they need to go to find news. Connection naturally promotes engagement, so keep your employees in the know. Establish and maintain a short feedback loop to showcase how receptive and reactive you are to their opinions. Utilize tools such as Slack, Notion, Trello, or Zoom to facilitate team collaboration and share ideas in the online workspace.
One of the best ways to thank your employees for their work is to send them a gift. It’s an easy way to boost employee morale and engagement by emphasizing an appreciation for your employees. Convey gratitude through spoken or written words can make a difference in how your employee view their work. A short, unexpected message to reaffirm how well someone is doing can do wonders for their performance.
You can also thank them for their work by sending them a gift as a token of appreciation. Gifts can be a tangible representation of the accumulation of their efforts and confirm the value they bring to the business. Gifting can improve employee satisfaction as they feel noticed for their contribution increase loyalty to the company.
Giftpack makes gifting employees a breeze with its AI technology that tailors gift options to each individual to save time spent on picking individual gifts for your team. They cater to teams of all sizes so all you need to do is let them know who you want to gift and you’re budget while they take care of the rest. Using AI, Giftpack personalizes every gift to the recipient’s preferences with the option of adding a custom message for a touch of sincerity.
In times of uncertainty, make an effort to strengthen the bonds between each member of the team as they all play an integral role in the survival of the company. Integrate a human aspect of interaction before the start of activities as a way to check-in with your team and momentarily escape the responsibilities of work.
Start by opening a room serving as a virtual pantry during certain times of the week. Encourage employees to drop in while they finish their morning coffee to chat with colleagues. Give them the opportunity to check-in with each other without feeling like they have to talk about work and can share tidbits about their personal lives. Create social spaces online where people have a chance to meet new people and feel like they’re changing up their routine to experience something new. Make sure to highlight that these virtual rooms are safe spaces for sharing to reassure people that they are welcomed to express their thoughts.
Run frequent informal 1:1 chat sessions with your team to gauge how they are doing. Show them you care by taking time out of your day to schedule in specific blocks where you are just focused on your employees. Be present and focus in on those conversations to get an idea of how they are doing and if they need any other support. Give feedback on how they are doing to reinforce their value to the team. See greater productivity and increase satisfaction by taking care of your workforce and displaying kindness during stressful times.
Physical office parties may be a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean it should be excluded from the calendar this year. These events are essential to balancing work and leisure, giving your team a well-deserved break especially considering these circumstances. It’s still possible to use your events budget to host events by mixing online and offline aspects, making it unique and memorable.
Don’t be so quick to cancel the festive-themed holiday party at the end of the year. With enough preparation, you can make it just as impactful as years before by getting creative with the resources available. Let your employees know they will be receiving a party-themed mystery box to their doorstep, but they’ll have to resist the temptation to unbox it until the party! Enjoy the surprise unboxing together as a team in a show-and-tell style during the event to feel more involved and a part of the action. Run other activities alongside this such as quizzes and games to change up people’s routines. Find clever and unexpected ways to keep social activity alive and foster a strong sense of community.
While the future of office spaces is uncertain and social distancing may be here to stay, work must go on. We’re adapting to new ways of working during this period of trial and error. Think outside of the box to engage employees