Engaging Employees Who are Working From Home during COVID-19

man working remotely

The pandemic has made it all the more challenging for companies to engage their employees and has significantly redefined what it means to keep employees involved. Now that in-person work set-ups are still far away in the future or have become permanent solutions for many companies, engagement strategies must also evolve to fit the current times.

With the vaccines rolling out in the country, the workforce may return to normal in the next year or so. But until then, companies must double their employee engagement strategies to help achieve optimum communication, teamwork, and productivity across their ranks, starting with these strategies:

1. Sending care packages

The main goal of sending care packages is to make employees feel appreciated and remembered. In this difficult time, taking care of one’s mental health is more important than ever, and receiving a care package may be just the pick-me-up that employees need to get through the day. More importantly, it is a reminder for employees to take a break from work, take care of themselves, and find enjoyment in the little things in life.

Many businesses enlist the services of curated gift box companies to send out care packages to their people. Alternatively, some also create their own care packages to make them more personalized and memorable.

2. Encouraging non-work-related meetings

Remote teams spend a lot of time communicating through virtual conferencing, which is the most effective method of collaboration during this time when it is unsafe to meet in person. However, only conversing about work-related matters, especially stressful ones, can condition employees to dread these video calls entirely.

To avoid this, many businesses are jumping on the trend of hosting virtual casual hangouts where people talk about things other than work, such as their hobbies, interests, and current events. Virtual hangouts can also involve more focused engagement activities like online contests, movie parties, learning sessions, and other things that can keep employees excited for work.

man stressed out

3. Reminding employees to prioritize health

Healthy and happy employees work harder, are more motivated, and are less likely to get sick, which, in turn, helps companies achieve optimum levels of productivity and growth. That said, it is important to encourage employees to take care of their health and wellness–not only to show concern about their overall well-being but to also create a culture of positive work-life balance, especially while working remotely.

There are many ways with which companies can encourage their employees to take better care of their health. Here are some of the best examples:

Create a channel for food posts. To encourage employees to cook and eat healthy meals, companies can create a channel in their communications platform dedicated to sharing food posts, recipes, and nutritional information.

Start an exercise incentive program. Encouraging employees to exercise more is incredibly important during this time when a lot of people are not getting enough physical activity while following stay-at-home guidelines. To do this, businesses can offer incentives for losing weight, send simple workout equipment (e.g. jump ropes, yoga mats, etc.), or hosting workout sessions through video calls.

Send frequent reminders. Another strategy for some companies is sending frequent reminders to employees to take care of their health. These reminders usually include anti-COVID measures, but they can also include non-COVID-related information that will help keep people healthy and safe.

4. Checking in frequently

Managers are responsible for ensuring that all of their team members are doing well, and one of the most effective ways to do this is by performing frequent check-ins. Employees rarely speak up for themselves, which is why companies must double down on this measure and stay proactive when it comes to keeping their people connected.

However, the questions shouldn’t stop at a simple “How are you?”. More than that, managers should ask their team members questions like “Is there anything I can do to help you?”, “How can I help you feel more connected?”, and “Do you need more tools to help you become more efficient?” but without inciting feelings of self-doubt or making employees feel that they aren’t doing enough.

Employee engagement is a critical part of keeping a business productive, and thus, on top of its game. After all, employees are the greatest assets of any company, making it all the more important to address their needs, especially during this incredibly challenging time.

While it is still unsure when and if the world will go back to normal soon, companies can use these strategies to keep their employees engaged and motivated at work. Even if the work-from-home set-up is permanent for a company, adopting these strategies is imperative in keeping employees happy despite the disconnection.

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