OK, so it’s been a tricky start to the year with many businesses needing to adapt to the ever-changing market and consumer behaviours in a strange new socially distanced world.
And whilst there’s no doubt that in time the world will return to normality, let’s face it, we don’t know when this will be. With many employees now working from home for the foreseeable future, how can businesses engage and motivate their employees?
For HR leaders across the UK and beyond, this is a major priority. So, as we complete our first month with our teams working from all corners of the country, we spoke to our Head of HR, Vicky Armitage who revealed a few our own learnings from the past few weeks and her tips on how to help your workforce stay happy and healthy whilst things are a little out of sorts.
For many employees, working from home will be an unexpected experience for them that might come with new challenges and worries. Whether it’s adjusting to changes in their daily routines, struggling to sleep at night or just caring for their children throughout the working day, employees may feel strained from the current lockdown. By simply offering our employees flexibility in their working patterns to adjust to our ‘new normal’, we’re aiming to ease their anxieties and help accommodate their routines to work around them.
Encourage Social Interaction
It’s no surprise that social interactions at work have been proven to improve employee well-being as well as business performance. So, when full-time employees who normally spend a majority of their time at the office surround by peers are now faced with a hours of working alone, maintaining a sense of belonging and regular interaction is essential. With video conferencing platform Zoom growing from 10 to 200 million daily users in just 3 months , it’s clear businesses see the value in creating face time with their teams. But try going beyond your typical meeting schedules – our teams hold informal daily stand ups to stay connected and keep the water cooler chat alive.
With many of your teams social activities such as sports clubs, eating out and national parks closed for the foreseeable future, many employees may start to feel somewhat unengaged at home. Your team leaders could help add a little pick-me-up to the working day by creating activities and challenges that they can participate in from home. At the Dining Club group, we’re bringing a bit of fun to our team’s working day with weekly online quizzes including ‘Through the Keyhole’ and ‘Rate My Plate’, plus dress up challenges to bring our people together and promote healthy competition between co-workers. And to finish off the week our Friday drinks are continuing, albeit online, to allow all employees to have a chance to relax and catch-up with their colleagues.
Whether your team are working from their home office, the dining room table or the sofa, recognition is just as powerful for team morale as when we’re in the office. For team members who have gone above and beyond or produced an excellent piece of work, ask a senior manager to contact that person to recognise what they have achieved. Our CEO regularly reaches out to people who have gone above and beyond, and our employee of the month polls and weekly celebration emails are continuing as normal. So, take the time to celebrate the little things across the whole business, whatever the occasion, whether it’s the anniversary of an employee joining your business or even their birthday.
Promote & Recognise Employee Wellbeing
This can be an incredibly difficult and stressful time for employees. So for any HR leader, ensuring your employee’s wellbeing is vital. HR should lead by example by informing managers how they can recognise signs of distress or mental health problems amongst their team members, especially for those with pre-existing conditions. Ask team leaders to keep in regular contact with their teams to ensure that they are coping and can support their well-being. We’re also encouraging our teams to take regular breaks simply for a coffee, a quick workout or to read a book to recharge and stay motivated throughout the day.
As we navigate uncertain times and adjust to a new ways of working, we’ll be constantly looking at new ways to support our team’s well-being, stay connected and motivated.
If you’re already rewarding your teams with tastecard+, their membership is full of deals and discounts that they can enjoy from the comfort of their own home. From pizza delivery and movie streaming, to self-development courses, online shopping and exclusive partner offers, it couldn’t be a better time for them to take advantage of their tastecard+ membership.