Keeping the Team Virtually Intact: A Key to Long-Distance Employee Engagement During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Two months since the government placed Luzon on Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), many companies imposed a work from home arrangement. With this, employees have been doing their work and meetings virtually. This may seem more comfortable to a lot of people but it can be lonely for others who are used to having their early morning coffee and chatter with workmates before starting their day.
It may also seem a little different to employees who are used to having weekly meetings with their respective teams regarding their performance to keep them motivated at work. We are social beings and thus, are highly impacted by human interaction. Having this instant change of environment can be a bit of a problem.
During this time, how do we recreate those quick chats or chatter breaks to help our fellow employees cope with loneliness? How do we ignite the fire of motivation in our team who is used to having weekly meetings? How do we assure our team members and employees that we are still with them despite being miles apart? Here are some virtual means to help keep your team intact while working from home:
Conduct team meetings via online videoconferencing
Meetings are not only for performance discussion and strategizing. It can also be a medium for catching up, checking on how your team members are doing. Let them talk to each other like how they usually do in the office. Our mental health is greatly challenged by this health crisis and receiving support from our colleagues can be a great help to ease our anxieties.
Initiate virtual games for employees
We have more than enough online means to communicate with each other. As such, you can use online tools to facilitate virtual games that can definitely paint some smiles on your employees’ faces. Having this initiative can give them some time off and the opportunity to interact with their workmates. There are many online applications that you can use to facilitate virtual games, e.g., Kahoot, Blind Origami, and Charades. You can add cash prizes or work incentives to make the games more competitive and exciting.
Conduct online surveys to check employee welfare
Not all employees are vocal when it comes to expressing what’s going on in their minds. An online survey might do the trick to get them talking. This can help the employer or HR in monitoring employees and extend help if needed. Some people tend to get more fragile when anxious and it can lower their productivity to an absolute minimum. So it’s always a good idea to check on them from time to time, albeit personally or indirectly — and in this case, through an online survey.
Source for online learning materials
Aside from keeping the motivation alive, finding new means for employees to acquire additional skills while working from home should also be a priority. There are employees who can digest information better when they are learning through video tutorials or webinars. Others learn better through reading journal articles or white papers. Assessing which learning materials are more effective and implementing them accordingly should do the trick. Many webinars and journal articles from reputable organizations are readily accessible online.
Check on your employees personally from time to time
A simple chat can sometimes mean a lot to a person. It feels good to know that someone remembered you or is concerned about how you are doing. It would not hurt to have a quick chat with your employees on how they are dealing with the new work arrangement. And ask if there is anything you can do to help. Having a break from their work from home routine with some friendly chat can give them a breather.
While we make the most of working from home to stay safe, there are things that we need to sustain aside from our work performance and pantries. More than ever, it is also important to look after our mental health. Keeping your team and employees intact is a great help to let them feel that they are not alone and that there are people looking after them during this crisis.
“A happy employee is a productive employee.” -Erin L. Davis