As the pandemic drags on and the weather turns colder, it is becoming harder to keep remote workers engaged as active participants in our organizational cultures. As we head into the holidays, this isn’t going to get any easier.
What can we do to keep people engaged, while reducing stress and anxiety?
We spend a lot of time working to develop our cultures and don’t want to lose that momentum. To find answers we reached out to some of our HR friends and customers who consistently do this well. We wanted to know their secret sauce. Here’s what we learned about keeping culture alive when working remotely:
- Do personal check ins: Making a call to a team member to check in on them personally can go a long way. They will appreciate that you care enough to make the call, but also, you may find that they could use some assistance or support.
- Recognize successes: Look for opportunities to recognize good performance. With remote work, it’s easy to take someone for granted, so be certain to notice and call out good work.
- Communicate more than you think is necessary: In a time when we don’t have many opportunities for water cooler chats, make certain that we’re keeping employees in the loop with the latest news. Because individuals learn differently, consider sharing important information in writing as well as verbally to make certain the messages get through.
- Offer support services: If you have an Employee Assistance Program, this would be the time to remind employees that it is available. If not, share information on local mental health and other community support services that can help those who are going through a tough time.
- Keep the fun: This really is important. Look for ways to inject fun into the workday. Some of the suggestions shared with us include:
- – Virtual scavenger hunts
- – Coffee or lunch hour chats that don’t discuss work
- – Picture sharing on Teams or other communication platforms
- – Peppy music at the start of meetings
- – Fun socks, crazy hats, or favorite team shirt days
What we heard most of all was that this is a tough time and it’s not going to get easier during the winter holiday season. Keeping in touch, being connected, and recognizing that the holiday season can be stressful, will help keep our folks supported and engaged.
Have questions or a best practice to share about keeping your workforce engaged? We’d love to hear from you!