In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are scrambling to return to business as usual within their current circumstances. On top of digitizing transaction methods and redesigning competitive strategies, employers must continue keeping employees engaged. Employee engagement activities are a vital component for any business’ success as it relates to the level of an employee’s commitment and connection to the organization, hence his/her performance and productivity. However, this has become a challenge of its own because of the new norm that is remote work.
Aside from survival, companies have flocked to Zoom and the like for a sense of face to face interaction. While this allows communication, these platforms can only do so much for the employee’s morale. According to global employment network Monster, 69% of workers are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home during the pandemic. Employers must, therefore, counteract these negative impacts by reimagining employee engagement in the new normal. Here are five modern ways to keep remote workers engaged.
- Encourage Health and Wellness
Provided the ongoing health crisis, employers should put a premium on the overall well-being of the employee. Since one’s health is a personal responsibility, it speaks volume when the company is concerned with that of each of their workers—especially when this is translated into concrete initiatives. One example is to provide employees easy access to self-care activities and services, such as online yoga classes, mental health counseling, and meditation sessions. This can be done by partnering with the relevant enterprises or, better yet, availing Sprout Wellness from Sprout Solutions for the complete package of holistic, digital wellness.
- Gamify Teamwork
Gamification, or the integration of gameplay to a nongame environment, is typically implemented on marketing campaigns and customer loyalty programs. However, these tactics of promoting competition and rewards can engage employees as it does consumers. A point system for team or departmental wins would not only bring remote workers together, but would also further incentivize employees to strive to meet objectives. In terms of online team building, occasional e-sport tournaments would tap into a trending interest among young adults and ultimately boost self-confidence, along with cooperation.
- Host Virtual Meetings and Casual Hangouts
A threat to remote work is the feeling of detachment from other teams and perhaps, one’s own teammates. This is especially difficult when collaboration is necessary. The simple yet effective solution is for team leaders to regularly check in with their members and initiate virtual get-togethers as one of the employee engagement activities. With work always having something stressful to discuss, hosting non-work-related chats and activities will increase the employee’s sense of belonging and their excitement to be part of the team.
- Send Thoughtful Care Packages
It is only fitting that employers go the extra mile, provided the significant distance between them and their employees. Whether for special occasions or ordinary days, sending care packages for workers to receive at their doorstep is a gesture that would foster employee satisfaction and happiness. For more creativity, employers can choose a theme and organize a selection of related items to have delivered to the employees’ home addresses. Even better, they can avail of Sprout Engage—HR assistance from Sprout for enhanced employee engagement.
- Celebrate as One.
During these trying times, any big win for the company would give employees hope and motivation. Not only would announcing these give praise to the teams directly behind them, but would also reassure others that their efforts contribute to these victories and thus, pay off. Employers or HR can extend the inspiration resulting from these successes by cascading the information to all employees through the company email or the main channel of communication. By knowing that the company is overcoming challenges or rather, advancing despite the constraints, employees will remain dedicated and confident in their position.
Keeping employees engaged from remote locations is undeniably a challenge for companies in the new normal. The greater the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the greater the needs of employees to remain well and committed to their work. Naturally, these new conditions also entail the evolution of employee engagement. As health grows in importance, wellness should be promoted; as team interaction declines, gameplay can be initiated. There are plenty more, innovative ways to counter these harsh realities. Although, with the health crisis prompting enough demands on businesses, it is best for employers to be assisted by third-party service providers like Sprout Solutions—to navigate the possibilities and optimize the art of HR.
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