Over 14.6 million people are still working from home; missing their colleagues and the hum of office hubbub. We are too and we know just how hard it can be sometimes. But in a time when we’ve never been more apart, we want to know how you have been bringing your people closer together.
Humans, not resources
Share your story with our community of how you have been bringing your people closer together.Latest Message: 4 months, 3 weeks ago
Uncover the ever-changing landscape of employee engagement, highlighting how to utilise the remote environment to bring your workforce closer than ever
Impact of COVID-19 on employee connectivity
The Changing Landscape: Employee Engagement
Of employees are not engaged in their workforce
Of companies with highly engaged workforces are more profitable
Of employees who feel their voice is heard are more likely to perform their best
Of UK managers believe their workers are more at risk of burnout due to the pandemic
As far as buzzwords go, employee engagement will always be on the tip of the HR community’s tongue, with initiatives proving to make employees more productive, customer-focused and loyal. This is also demonstrated within our own research, ‘HR in 2021: trends, challenges and priorities’, with 63% of HR leaders making employee engagement their number one priority this year, a 4% increase from 2020.
However, the current state of employee engagement is in serious limbo. Since the arrival of COVID-19 and the introduction of national lockdowns, even the most positive and productive people are experiencing stress and anxiety levels that have never been felt before.
Four tips to help bring your employees closer than ever before
Employee Engagement Techniques
Lead with direction and compassion
Taking into account the unfortunate length of time COVID-19 has been around, by now, HR should have a transparent plan of action. It’s important that you communicate stages or processes to your staff, ensuring they understand what strategies are in place to make work easier.
However, you can also be creative in how you direct this communication. Now more than ever, employees need leaders to show empathy and a sound level of understanding, so why not create an informal video message to help boost engagement levels from the get go.
Continue to share regular updates, host virtual Q&As, have weekly informal chats between colleagues and monthly Town Hall sessions where employees are kept in the loop, while having a chance to voice their own opinion.
Involve your team
Now your employees are operating remotely; there are going to be a number of distractions that can cause disruption. Coupled with further elements such as disengagement and loneliness, it’s never been more important than to make your employees feel like humans, not resources.
Samantha, a Field Trainer found that rotating the planning and hosting of weekly/monthly meetings while adding ice breakers to tactical meetings can help involve the workforce.
“Make it clear to everyone that engagement is a goal for the team and be consistent about hosting team building meetings. I’ve done team quizzes to help get to know one another, this or that PowerPoints to lead discussions around team commonalities, or just pose a random question to the group like what’s your favourite show to binge on Netflix – that can get people really excited!”
Share your appreciation
According to a study, 40% of employees who do not feel meaningfully recognised would not go above their formal responsibilities to get their job done. From an HR perspective, there will have been many shining examples of colleagues going the extra mile to help the organisation, so it’s only fair these superstars get rewarded.
- Host a virtual awards night
- Use your HR system’s social recognition feature to praise staff for their efforts
- Post a thank you card with a unique appreciation note
- Pay for company-branded treats such as cupcakes
- Allow employees to nominate their heroes behind the screen
- Praise your workforce with personalised video messages
Tools that incorporate virtual technology, social networking, and online portals make employee engagement limitless. While we are trapped indoors, the expansion of business technology can elevate communication by allowing information to be interchanged through multiple channels simultaneously.
Jennifer, a Program Manager, had this to say about intertwining engagement and technology.
“I’ve participated in a few calls with great companies lately, who all integrate Slack into their workplace for engagement. There are some tools within the platform to pair employees for random coffee dates and discussion boards. If that’s not possible, I’ve also heard of success with standing Zoom times for employees to connect with each other!”
Exploring connectivity stories from our very own
Natural HR Family’s Working From Home Tips
Stephen Holdnall, Implementation & Training Specialist
I like to separate work and home out on my computer by using two separate web browsers. Chrome for work and Firefox for personal use. That way my bookmarks and site notifications don’t draw my attention away from what I’m doing.
Natalie Davies, Senior Marketing Executive
Getting up at a reasonable time (not in a panic at 8:45am!), taking a shower and getting ready as if I was going into the office really helps me to get into ‘work mode’ and sets me up for the day ahead.
Mike Rennison, Developer
The best trick I know is to put on a pair of shoes when you’re working. It puts your brain into the mindset that you’re not at home.
Chris Bourne, Head of Marketing
Always set clear working and home patterns so that your time balance is similar to working away from home. While working from home, grab yourself a second screen and a good chair – your eyes and back will thank you later!
Chris Bowen, Product Manager
I wake up at 7 am everyday and get myself up out the door for a walk or a run. In the evening after work, I do a nice walk with my wife and our little dog; it really does break up my work day.
Reece Baggott, Marketing Executive
I like to start each day by making my bed. Despite being a small matter, it helps create a sense of accomplishment and sets the tone perfectly, enhancing my productivity and mindset from minute one of the working day.
What does employee wellbeing look like in 2021? 10 HR and business leaders tell all
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How Natural HR can help you to bring your people closer together
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