It's fair to say that the current COVID-19 pandemic has caught the entire planet off guard. The threat of the novel virus has since turned into challenging times and crisis influencing the health of individuals all over the globe, various businesses, and workplaces.
As the confirmed cases of affected and the death toll rises, many employees are facing coronavirus-related anxiety and stress as they all fear for their lives. As a result, many organisations that for years had rejected employees wishing to work remotely were left struggling to minimise the risk of virus exposure by making virtual work a priority while managing the operations.
Having staff work remotely includes a unique set of challenges for companies, including the problem of how to engage your team when you aren't seeing them on a daily basis. So, what can business owners and managers do to keep the emotional connection between remote employees and the company? Let's draw attention to five tips on how to maintain team engagement and ensure your employees have the enthusiasm needed to give their jobs 100% every single day.
Provide A Platform For Communication
Since communication is key in business and relationships, maintaining a connection with your employees through effective platforms is the first and one of the most important things that you should look into. As a leader, you need to help employees boost their motivation and deduce out of their concerns to focus more on their work.
To stay connected during the 'Covid Crisis' use platforms like Teams, Zoom, or Whereby for remote project coordination, and Slack or Workplace by Facebook for internal engagement and successful remote team collaboration. Establish your preferred platforms, agree on protocols, and circulate clear guidance for all employees, and be patient with those people that find technology more challenging and need some more time.
Communicate Often & Share All The Information You Can
After choosing the best communication platform, make sure to stay connected and start your workday with a quick meeting with all the teams. In addition to daily chats or texts, inform employees through proactive, impactful, and two-tone communication. This can help both you and your employees stay on track for providing better results to meet the company's strategic goals. At the same, try to stay transparent as possible as your workers are equally interested in being involved in the changes in companies and the future direction of the business.
Organise Regular Activities
To beat the monotony of working from home, try to be a little bit more creative with how you 'run business' and maintain a social buzz. Getting team involved in various social events helps to inject a bit of fun, create active participation, and bring some joy back into the lives of your employees. What's more, such initiatives strengthen the collaboration within the staff, help co-workers to know each other better, and increase motivation and enthusiasm.
You can hold virtual team building activities for all remote workers due to modern collaborative tools just like in the traditional workplace. The activity can commence with weekly games such as crossword or chess coupled with quizzes connected to employees' specialisation, coffee break chats, or drinks session with the team. You can also conduct virtual parties over chat app Houseparty that offers a range of activities to do with attendees, including "Heads Up!", "Quick Draw", and "Trivia" games. As an alternative, different online jamming sessions can be organised on Google Hangouts where employees can experiment with their hobbies and talents with activities like stand comedy, singing, playing the guitar, and others.
Think Of Your Staff’s Mental Health
In these difficult times, the health and wellness of the employees have become the main priority for organisations. Try to help to get rid of concern feelings by setting time to talk with them one-on-one, check in on employees, learn more about what is going on in their lives, and offer words of encouragement.
Reminding your team to support work-life balance and work in ways that are kind to their body and mind can also help to prevent burnout during this hard time. Don't be afraid to be clear about any updates, reach out, and let you employees know you are there if they need to talk.
Additionally, with the help of video conferencing platforms, you can organise a group yoga session or a mindfulness series to foster mental peace. Additionally, you can come up with virtual challenges for team members like pushups, sit-ups, and planks to ensure company flourish with a healthy workforce.
Ensure Personal Development & Training
As the COVID-19 outbreak has led to the digital workforce, businesses across the various sectors are trying to identify the solutions to bridge the skill gaps in some employees. You can provide useful material to the employees by using online learning resources or e-learning platforms that have paid and free courses to get skilled. Also, it would be a good idea to encourage social learning when employees can support each other and share their experiences.
Furthermore, some employees can be on furlough, which it's a great opportunity to invest in their personal development and retain your workforce. You can offer relevant online training that includes internal and external qualifications to bring a positive mutual return in the future.