We’re all facing tough times. The coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it. Everyone is attempting to get used to a new normal, for the time being. One of the new norms is to work from home. However, not every business owner has the luxury of being able to keep his/her staff members at home in order to do their jobs. Medical professionals, quite obviously, are on the front lines helping us all to contend with the current crisis. And they deserve our deepest gratitude.
Whether your team is working on site or from home, it’s important to do your part to keep spirits high. Here are three ways to do that:
1. Celebrate employee milestones.
As mentioned, life has changed. But that doesn’t mean everything in our lives must change. As we all contend with the coronavirus pandemic, we will continue to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. At a time like this, such celebrations should be bigger than ever. Yes – you may not be able to conduct a birthday cake sing-along at lunch time. But simply acknowledging the special days in the lives of your employees over Zoom meetings is a great way to keep your team happy.
“To keep your employees’ spirits up while they’re working from home, it’s crucial to continue celebrating employee milestones,” insists Vienna Stivala on Namely.com, “From birthdays and work anniversaries to personal accomplishments, you can recognize your employees by sending out virtual cards or hosting a virtual team event to celebrate.”
2. Be flexible and empathetic.
Some members of your staff may be having tougher times than others. Has anyone reported having a family member diagnosed with COVID-19? Have they become infected themselves? Are the parents on your staff facing difficulty with homeschooling their kids? Take all of the issues had by your employees into account. Show genuine empathy and loosen up so that they don’t have work as an added stress in their lives. They need your support now more than ever.
“During this period, accept that policies may need to be relaxed and less rigid,” encourages the U.K.’s Bluegrass organization, “With employers either needing to self isolate due to vulnerabilities or parents needing to mix work with child care now that schools have closed, show your empathy to the new situations your employees find themselves in.”
3. Host contests.
Contests are always fun. The prospect of becoming a winner and getting something for free is an opportunity most people love taking advantage of. As we contend with COVID-19, it’s important to initiate ideas that will give people something to look forward to. Hosting a company-wide contest also helps to motivate your team members to perform at their best. As Stivala notes, everyone loves some friendly competition.
“Whether it’s via Slack or on your HR solution’s news feed, you can throw virtual company-wide contests to boost your employees’ morale,” she writes, “From submitting creative ideas for things to do during quarantine to designing company-related Memes, you can host a variety of contests to keep your employees engaged. To make the contests more competitive, you can offer the top winners prizes, such as Amazon gift cards or food delivery vouchers.”