International Women’s Day is right around the corner and it’s fitting that this year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge. With so many of our people working remotely at the moment, it’s time to think about how we can make a big impact despite geographical distance.
This year, instead of sending physical items or doing the usual desk-drops in the office, focus on how digital tools can empower your people and enhance employee wellbeing.
As the Women’s Network Global Lead at Reward Gateway, it’s my goal to bring women and allies together, empower women to live their best lives, share inclusive stories and highlight those who lift us up. Check out some of the ways we’re connecting our people globally this International Women’s Day to inspire your own journey.
Step one: Start with a schedule
Here at Reward Gateway, our internal Women’s Network is working with the Experience Managers in each location to digitally bring excitement to people’s days. There will be a suggested schedule for the day for each location, with a mix of live online sessions and some other activities or online content and events.
We purposely tried not to book in too many live sessions as we know our people are busy, and we don’t want to overwhelm them. But there should be enough to celebrate this special day! We used our employee engagement platform to spread the news, which allowed others in the organisation the opportunity to get involved and share any great content or events to join too.
Step two: Celebrate internally and externally
We think it’s important to recognise our colleagues (every day, but especially during IWD) so we're launching some brand new eCards on our employee reward and recognition platform for our employees to use and recognise women and allies at RG.
It’s also great to recognise the people who have made an impact on our lives and careers externally. We’ve created two new external 'eCards' for employees to share on social media to recognise any women who have inspired them in their career and also to recognise any amazing allies that have supported them, too.
Step three: Incorporate employee wellbeing
Employee wellbeing in the workplace is key and this IWD we’re highlighting physical wellbeing. Many of us have not been able to attend our usual fitness classes or yoga sessions, meaning that we’re moving our bodies less than ever before.
We’re spending more time sitting in front of a laptop, heading straight home from work instead of to a Zumba class, or helping kids with school work at home, and it’s our physical wellbeing that’s taking a massive hit. So let’s rise to the challenge.
Here are 9 ways for women (and allies) to put a little pep in their step this IWD:
- If you are home-schooling at the moment, join in any home PE sessions with your children. It will make it more fun for them and you and is a great way to fit it in during the day.
- Head out for a walk with your partner or a friend (as long as you socially distance). This is a great way to make it more enjoyable and you will be accountable to someone else too. If you prefer walking alone, then invest in something like Audible and listen to the latest bestseller while you walk.
- Start small and aim to exercise for just 8-10 minutes if you haven’t exercised in a while. Creating these 'micro-habits' means they are more likely to stick and you’ll have less chance of feeling like you 'don’t have time.'
- Check out all of our fitness and exercise videos in the 'Move' section of your employee wellbeing platform. We have sessions to suit every level and a range of classes from pilates to kettlebell sessions.
- Get up from your desk every 20-30 minutes and walk around the house or office. Someone said that they do 10 squats every time they boil the kettle, which we thought was a pretty great way to strengthen your quad muscles!
- Try sitting on the floor more during the day or evening, apparently getting up from the floor is a great way to stay active and fit as we get older, and you’ll soon notice how much easier you find it to get up after only a week or two.
- Have some of your meetings over the phone (no one will be sad to miss a video conference for a change) and walk around the house or head outside for some fresh air and a walk while you talk business.
- Encourage your team to take part in the same exercise class online or start a walking challenge where you all share the miles you’ve clocked and see if you can beat another team’s distance. Everyone loves a little bit of friendly competition.
- Host a virtual fitness class in different locations to encourage people to take a break from their computer and move around. This year, Reward Gateway is hosting a yoga class with our partner ClassPass in every geography.
Lastly, we’re doing another financial wellbeing initiative this year – we’re announcing a special fundraiser and more information about our chosen charities in each of our geographies to help out other women in need.
Step four: Showcase powerful women
Shining a spotlight on those who have influenced the lives of others is a surefire way to boost motivation and start a conversation. Using our internal communications tools, we’ve highlighted inspirational women both inside and outside of Reward Gateway to share more voices in our organisation.
Here are some examples for using your communications tools on IWD:
- Ask your employees to share their own stories with the company. They can be guest bloggers for a day and share what means the most to them this IWD.
- Write a blog sharing top tips on how to become a great ally.
- Share the best content and videos of events happening outside your business so people can broaden their horizons.
We’ve all been challenged in more ways than we can count, but it’s up to us to rise up and keep pushing forward. Let’s help our employees do the same. I’d love to hear more about the ways you’re connecting your women and allies this International Women’s Day. Feel free to send me a message on LinkedIn to connect.