Managing employee morale today, with lockdown orders, comes with many obstacles. Between 24/7 Covid-19 news, layoffs, irregular working hours, extended social isolation, and more, there are a lot of things going through employee minds that can put a dent into their productivity and their personal lives. But there are options available to get your team's spirit up. Whether they’re working together or virtually, tending to employee needs today is more important than ever.
The following ideas have worked for us and we hope to inspire some of you.
Virtual Office Olympics
Office Olympics spark creativity, generate laughs and make the team focus on something other than work. Be prepared to spend 15 to 20 min scheduling and preparing the games and scoreboard, but be prepared for lots of fun. You can find all sorts of multi-player games online, but don’t be afraid to make up your own game. You can also use features from video call services (e.g. Zoom’s whiteboard feature) to play classic games like hangman or pictionary.
Some examples of games you can play online: Uno, dominoes, battleship, trivia, quizzes, poker, charades, and many more.
Exercise helps with stress, release of endorphins and can be fun and competitive. Granted, some will take it more seriously than others, but it's an opportunity for employees to keep physically active and healthy. There are many mobile applications that your team and you can use to track and gamify exercises. The point of exercise challenges is to get your team healthy, any friendly competition and bragging rights that come out of the challenges is just gravy.
Some apps that you can find online that offer these services are Strava, Nike Training Club, DietBet, Endomodo, among others.
Virtual Happy Hour
Maybe it’s the coffee, virgin piña coladas or adult beverages, but one main reason why the watering hole is popular: it brings people together. For employees that are away from their regular place of work, the feeling of isolation can creep up all the sudden. Being able to have conversations outside of the daily grind not only helps to develop healthy relationships between team members, but also lessens the feeling of isolation that can hurt employee morale.
If you haven’t already you can download apps like Zoom, Teams, Slack, Google Hangouts, and others.
Prizes, raffles and gift cards
Bringing employees together by raffling out gift cards and other prizes is a sure way to break a pattern and have everyone shift focus instantly. This is also a great opportunity to help local businesses by purchasing items from them.
Care packages and mental health
So far, the ideas mentioned above speak to connecting colleagues and avoiding a feeling of isolation. It is also important to practice some me time though. Meditation, reflection, yoga, virtual therapy, walking, reading a book or taking classes helps team members connect to themselves.
Encouraging personal self-care routines can boost every aspect of an employee’s life, which in turn will make your business more resilient.
Keep communication flowing
Use more than one channel to communicate. Group chats work well. Instant messaging is more personal than email, and a call can clarify doubts and tone quickly while helping to put a voice to a name.
Each business is different, with its own struggles, successes, and most importantly, its own workforce. We hope the ideas above can help you and your team maintain a healthy morale, build resilience and Charge Your Business Forward.