The Coronavirus pandemic has rapidly changed all of our lives, and has had a particular impact on how we work. As a result, many people are now working from home and are more isolated than they were before. There is now more of a need for teams to be communicating and engaging with each other to ensure employee mental health does not get too much of a direct hit.
Whilst this is a challenging time for many of us, there are still some ways that you can engage with your team and have fun. There will be plenty of time for more intense team building fun once things start returning to normal!
Meanwhile, take a look at our tips for staying connected with your team during lockdown.
Looking after your team during lockdown
Keep the fun flowing
Just because we are apart it doesn’t mean there can’t be any fun involved. Keeping social and having a laugh will keep morale up and will keep everyone better connected as a team.
To keep things interesting you can introduce virtual lunches and coffee sessions, play games such as online UNO or Scrablle and even arrange a virtual pub quiz for everyone for an evening.
Most employees can be just as efficient and productive at home, but for it to work fully leaders and teams must communicate well.
It’s important to have a proper communication system in place and to ensure that your team is familiar with the communication tools you are going to use. There are lots of programs you can use, including Skype, Microsoft Teams, Slack and Trello, but you should choose the programs and tools that the majority of your workforce feel comfortable using and can access.
You should encourage regular team meetings still and as a manager you should continue to have regular one-to-one chats with employees to see how they are and support them. Also, try to encourage video call wherever possible as this is much better than using regular phone conferencing.
Keep employees motivated
Employee motivation and engagement should be areas of prime focus for businesses of any size right now. You need to keep an eye on the overall attitude of employees, and be mindful that these are tough times for people both personally and at work.
Remaining motivated at home can be hard, especially if there is an added level of stress. So, how can you help to keep employees motivated?
- Give specific recognition more often and encourage all managers to do the same – this will ensure employees feel valued and appreciated which can boost morale overall
- As mentioned above, communication is key and will help employees feel less alone or burdened
- Give your employees clear and realistic targets that focus on outcomes
- Plan something for when lockdown is over for them to look forward to
Focus on employee wellness
Now more than ever, it is crucial that there is a focus on employee health and wellbeing. There should be an emphasis on maintaining a healthy work-life balance and support offered for both mental and physical health. We’ve got some tips below:
- Help your employees build a productive and healthy routine, even if this means straying from 9-5.
- Encourage employees to take short breaks throughout the day – this is vital both for mental health and to avoid strain.
- Encourage an open dialogue on wellness and mental health.
- If budget allows offer help in the form of e-learning and peer mentoring.
The most powerful thing leaders can do right now is be available and offer support where you can. Now is a time to be more flexible and to think outside the box about how your team can have some fun and keep communicating.