5 min read
The situation is clear: Our employees are dealing with more stress, fear and uncertainty than usual. As leaders, it’s important to prioritize employee wellbeing and put your people first – this means keeping a focus on how you can support your employees, whether physically, financially, mentally or emotionally.
This time of adjusting to the “new normal” means finding ways to support our people outside of the office. Done correctly, this can also help nurture company culture from any location, which is especially important as we look to find new ways of keeping remote employees engaged. Let’s dive into some of the ways you can prioritize your employees’ wellbeing in key areas.
Fostering a sense of community
Fostering a sense of community is one way to improve employee wellbeing. As social creatures, humans have an innate need to communicate, share stories and work together towards a common goal. Connecting your employees to one another can help create your own communities, in and outside of work.
Communities have offered comfort in difficult times and help us find solidarity and support.
As the Group HR Director at Reward Gateway, I’ve taken it upon myself to work with my team (which is 18 strong, across three countries) and think of creative ways to stay connected, focus on wellbeing and have some fun along the way. Here are some of the ways we’re keeping our dispersed people connected:
|1. Establishing an exercise club|
|2. Sharing recipes or food ideas|
|3. Creating a centralized space for connection|
|4. Sharing workday playlists for inspiration|
|5. Creating videos or filters for people to share|
|6. Starting virtual drop-in sessions|
|7. Having weekly virtual lunch calls|
The most important piece is to create an environment that’s open, honest and welcoming. We’ve started making our daily People Team meetings more fun by spending 30 minutes focusing on humor and bringing some lightness into our days. Recently, we’ve done quizzes, a yoga session and even a Desert Island Discs interview, which we're calling "Desert Island Hicks." Here's a peek at some of our other initiatives:
What are some things you can do to make your team catch-ups fun and engaging?
Embracing flexible working
Temporary remote work can sometimes blur the lines between “home time” and “work time.” But it’s important to let your employees know that it’s essential to take breaks from the computer, move around every couple of hours and not to feel guilty about using their lunch break or replenishing their energy.
It may also be a good idea to encourage employees to set a timer to remind them to take regular screen breaks too. Make sure they know when and how to “step away” each day as well – maybe this means working from one particular room or location.
Separating home and work time is key to increasing employee productivity and motivation. As a full-time remote employee, Craig Tanner, Senior Product Manager in the U.S., is familiar with establishing a routine. He adds, “The other thing I like is to still get ready for the day. Even though I'm home and could be in a hoodie, I try to still get ready for the day, do my hair, and put on ‘work clothes’ (although that's still just jeans and t-shirt). It just helps me transition from ‘home mindset’ to ‘work mindset.’”
Whatever routine employees decide on for their day, communicate the advantages of remote working and encourage them to use the flexibility it gives, including getting back their precious commute time! Employees can use the gaps in their day to:
|1. Spend time with their kids|
|2. Take care of their pets|
|3. Prepare a healthy meal for the evening|
|4. Take a walk outside or do an at-home workout|
|5. Read a book and take a break from screens|
And speaking of taking care of pets, one of our employees Roman Kokoszka, Global Business Insights Manager in the U.S., makes sure to focus on improving his work-life balance as well. He adds, “One big thing for me is knowing when to shut off. I try to make it a habit to set hard deadlines when the computer is on/off, otherwise personal and work life starts to blend. As spring rolls around, I’m really looking forward to lunch walks with Daisy again. These 15-minute walks do wonders for the mind and body.”
Meet Daisy, Roman Kokoszka, Global Business Insights Manager's, French bulldog, who is key to Roman's remote working lifestyle.
Showing employees appreciation
While a lot of employees are working from home, we realize that not everyone has this opportunity. In order to truly foster a community and improve employee wellbeing, we need to show frontline employees appreciation as well as remote employees.
People are naturally more motivated when they feel appreciated.
Encourage your people (and managers) to set aside time to thank those who are making their work from home a better experience, those who are going above and beyond to complete projects on time or those who are helping others. This is the perfect time to educate teams on how to use an employee recognition platform.
When these moments of recognition are shared on a social recognition wall it increases visibility and helps keep your company culture alive, no matter where your employees are and shows the effort that goes into each project, which may be hard to understand when people can’t see the hard work happening in-person.
Here at RG, we’ve created specific eCards with the goal of promoting employee wellbeing, fostering community and embracing this time of change.
It’s our goal at Reward Gateway to empower our people to keep their wellbeing in great condition. Hopefully these ideas have sparked new ways of thinking how to improve your employees’ wellbeing by fostering a sense of community, showing appreciation and embracing work-life balance. Let's make work engaging, no matter where our people work from.
If you’re looking for more ways to better connect your people during times of uncertainty or change, check out our new resource hub, which is jam-packed with tips for navigating the world we’re in now.