Whether you're an employer or employee, the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic are disheartening at best. Morale is low, remote work is tricky, and it seems like everyone is struggling. Now, more than ever, it’s essential that companies find innovative ways to engage their workforce.
If you are a business leader who is struggling to understand how to positively and effectively engage with employees during a COVID-19 outbreak, this article will give you great ideas that you can try immediately.
Play games together
We spoke with businesses that have managed to establish rapport with their workers. Tom Winter, co-founder of DevSkiller.com realized that his employees are all obsessed with video games. So he implemented fun team-building activities centered around online games.
“Lately, we have been playing Triviador for team-building, which is an online trivia quiz game that is perfect for smaller companies,” Winter says. “We like to set up tournaments that pit teams within our company against each other.”
For example, he says, they’ve done “developers versus marketing,” with the teams connected on Zoom video conferences when they’re playing.
Take time to chat
During working hours, which are now done remotely, Andrew Roderick, CEO of Credit Repair Companies says he makes an effort to keep office chat on.
Rather than seeing this as a distraction, Roderick says to think of it as a tool that keeps people energized and positive while they productively work through the day—and an especially important continuation of communication at a time when people are feeling very alone.
“A simple group chat with a specific focus on general chat is perfect—taking away the talk about work in this chat, it can be a great place for people to share stories, memes and jokes that keep the team engaged with each other and energized for the day,” Roderick says.
Simplify your tech
One of the biggest morale-burners is when remote tech is simply not working (we all know how frustrating it can be when we have tech issues!). That’s why Eliza Nimmich, co-founder and COO of Tutor the People, an online and in-person tutoring and test preparation company, says it’s important to give employees the tools they need to thrive.
“When one of the team members is uncertain of what to do or how to manage a scenario, morale will come to a grinding halt when they seek to fix the issue,” Nimmich says. “If it gets too complicated, there is a risk that a slight glitch might become a much bigger concern.”
This means offering tech training sessions to give employees greater confidence inside their unique remote work environments. Offer extra coaching or preparation, and present your staff with a stable base for the challenges ahead, she says.
It’s also always helpful to ask for employee feedback.
This is a great way to engage with your workers and see what works and what doesn’t, says Michael Dadashi, CEO of Infinite Recovery. Dadashi’s company offers employee surveys, where everyone can openly give their feedback and share their ideas on how to improve processes and see changes.
“This way, they feel valued, and also help in shaping the company’s culture,” Dadashi says.
If all goes well, Dadashi likes to celebrate milestones and provide rewards. He does this for birthdays, anniversaries with the companies, and any other professional achievements. The employees receive a personalized card or email, or they receive a mention in online team meetings.
“These are small things, but are a great motivation booster,” Dadashi says.
On-site healthcare professional
If your business is suffering from low morale due to employees worrying about current or potential COVID-19 infections in the workplace, having a licensed healthcare professional on-site who can provide health screenings and COVID-19 testing is a great morale booster.
It can also go a long way toward bolstering your bottomline, since healthy and happy employees are the foundation of every company. Learn more about the possibility of having an on-site healthcare professional to medically guide you and your employees through this difficult time.