If you know anything about running a business, you’d know that the key to creating a successful company is high employee productivity and engagement. The key to those things? Happy employees.
But all the stress of coronavirus doesn’t exactly make for a happy (or chill) employee. Now more than ever, it’s essential for businesses to double down on their efforts to boost employee morale.
Hey, we get it. Without company breakfasts, sponsored happy hours, or even your coworker George’s off-color jokes, it might not be the easiest thing to do. But even in a remote environment, there are a few ways to keep morale high across your company during trying times.
How Companies Can Keep Employee Morale High During the Pandemic
1. Don’t Overwhelm Employees
Research shows that employees feel overwhelmed and unproductive amidst the uncertain climate of the business world. With new pressures and anxieties weighing down on employees, it can be tougher than ever for workers to accomplish basic tasks. (Heck, we’re lucky if we remember what day it is).
Make sure you’re not overwhelming your employees by asking them to accomplish more than their regular workload. In fact, if you can remove some of their workload, you should.
Consider implementing technology that can assist your employees by removing some of their daily tasks. Automation software like robotic process automation (RPA) can integrate with any existing business platform, to automate repetitive tasks.
With this technology, your employees will have less tedious busywork to do on a daily basis. This gives employees more time to focus on important, cognitive work while taking off some of the pressure. For more helpful software solutions that can improve the lives and productivity of teams that are working remotely, check out this list.
2. Keep Your Company Connected
The shift to remote work can leave employees feeling isolated due to the lack of human interaction they would normally experience in-office. The best way to combat feelings of isolation and increase morale is by keeping employees connected. Make communication easy by setting up video conferencing and instant messaging platforms across your company (that is, if you don’t Slack everything already).
Video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Skype, and even FaceTime are awesome mediums for face-to-face interactions between coworkers. Whether it’s from a computer or smartphone, employees can hold virtual meetings, meet up for coffee, or even have a remote happy hour to increase engagement.
Seeing coworkers and talking through daily projects and activities makes employees feel connected. Nothing like hopping on a quick video call to talk through a work-related problem, only to end the call with a conversation about fighting the horde at Costco or a rant about the annoying habits of your quarantine buddy (aka your spouse).
No matter what size your company is or how big your budget, there are a variety of affordable and free video conferencing options available. Figure out your company’s video conferencing needs and you’ll nail down the best technology for your employees.
There are tons of messaging systems to choose from to create groups or channels where employees can chat about their work, social life, and personal interests. You might be overwhelmed by the options. Just look for something that lets team members share funny videos, relatable stories, uplifting articles, and the latest memes about hand sanitizer (it’s funny until we realize this is our reality). It could be just the distraction they need to boost morale and productivity.
Distractions and productivity? Sounds counterintuitive, right?
Here’s the thing: when employees build strong relationships with their coworkers, feelings of seclusion diminish and comradery grows. If employees feel like they’re a part of a team, they’ll be more committed to producing good work and helping your company succeed.
We’re moving away from Ford’s assembly lines and we’ve figured out that a little levity never hurt anyone. In fact, it can be just the reset you need to max out productivity. Now’s the time to integrate the technology necessary to ensure that your employees feel connected and engaged.
3. Make Work Fun
Whatever business you’re in or work your employees are tasked with, there are plenty of ways to make work more enjoyable for everyone involved. When work is fun, employees are happier with their daily routines (who knew?). Here are a few easy tricks to make remote work more enjoyable and to boost employee happiness across the company.
Have you heard of gamification? It’s essentially a way to make normal business tasks seem like fun games for employees to play. The more engaging and fun the tasks seem, the more employees will want to complete them. Some ways you can try gamification at your company include:
Remote Power Hours
Set aside time on the calendar to all join and work on the same task or project. See who can get the most work done in a single hour. Get everyone together, shut off all other communication and distractions, and let the power hour begin.
See who knows the most about the company history, business goals, or product. Do trivia daily or weekly to spark engagement and interest across the company.
Set up friendly competitions to see who hits goals or gets the most work completed in a week. There are many ways to set up healthy competition at your company. Just make sure that remote games and activities are interactive and involved. You can even include prizes like e-gift cards to encourage participation!
Themed workdays can be as involved as your company is comfortable with. Set up casual Fridays or costume contests on the last workday of the month. This can be done both in-office and in a remote work environment. Plus, no excuses like “I forgot my costume at home.”
Imagine joining your team video call and seeing coworkers dressed as their favorite celebs or in full Jersey Shore attire, bump-its and all. (Joe Exotic is so hot right now.) Yeah, you’ll feel a little silly, but themed workdays are an easy way to boost employee morale and get everyone excited to go to work.
At the end of the day, taking steps to boost employee morale will help all of your workers feel happier and more engaged with their work. Putting some of these ideas to work can help keep employee morale high, even during the most difficult times.
Ask yourself: what could I do today to boost my employees’ morale? Then, ask your employees what they’d like to see implemented. Your team knows what works best for them and they’ll be happy to get a real say in the matter.
With the current pandemic, having some fun and slowing down can seem antithetical to keeping your business afloat. But your employees are the backbone of your company, and you’ll thank yourself in the long run.