Employers are struggling with keeping workers motivated during this long stretch of time of remote work during the health pandemic. Helping staff feel valued and engaged in their work can be tough when everyone is isolated in their homes and not visiting the physical office. Luckily, there are some effective ways business owners can boost staff morale during this challenging episode in history. Here are some ways your company can support teamwork and foster relationship building during the Coronavirus crisis.
Virtual Happy Hour
One place to start is to look for ideas to encourage socializing and friendships among the staff members. It may not be possible to have bonding outings, like dinners and company picnics, right now. Companies may be able to host virtual company events using video conferencing software or apps. Start by holding regular virtual happy hour sessions every so often. Invite employees to share their happy hour drink recipes and encourage socializing and water cooler talk among the staff members.
Icebreakers During Meetings
Another way to add some fun and foster bonding during the pandemic is to try virtual team building activities during staff meetings. When holding business meetings via online video with staff, start off with icebreaker questions to help team members feel more linked to the company and engaged in the topic. During longer sessions, schedule a few breaks to host some fun questions or show and tell activities that allow employees to share some of their personal life with their colleagues. End meetings with relationship-building questions to keep people connected to each other.
Outside of business hours, another way to foster teamwork is to host regular game nights online. Game nights for employees could be a virtual session playing popular board or card games. Some companies may host virtual trivia nights and allow employees to team up across their geographical areas and tackle questions and topics together. Be sure to offer prizes or other incentives to keep game nights interesting. Promote employee engagement activities like this via newsletters or social media.
Online competitions among staff members are also helpful when aiming to build more connections and reduce isolation. Be creative with employee competitions and think outside of the actual business model. Consider holding a cooking contest where staff members must share their culinary creations by posting recipes and photographs or compete in a real-time elimination-style task. Picture contests are great ways to keep staff motivated and excited about working together. Costume contests and spirit week competitions may also add some fun to the typical workday.
Stress Relief Sessions
It’s also important to focus on staff stress relief during the pandemic. Some employees may be impacted by the Coronavirus by coming down with the illness or having a friend or family member fall ill. Additionally, the toll of working from home and not seeing friends or family members may be intense for some staff. Parents may also be responsible for homeschooling while also meeting their work responsibilities. Employers should be flexible to family commitments and offer support in the form of stress relief sessions, such as meditation and yoga.
Rewards and Incentives
The last way companies can help boost morale and teamwork during the pandemic is by offering more rewards and incentives. Instead of penalizing staff members for not meeting goals, it may be more effective to offer incentives when achieving success. Rewards like bonus pay or unexpected gifts are also helpful in keeping employees connected in a positive way to the company.
Working as a team in a remote setting is possible if companies take steps to build relationships and show that they care about their staff. Team members can continue to build strong, positive connections with each other throughout the health crisis.