The last two years have radically changed the way that most companies do business and engage with their employees. The various lockdowns and restrictions have prioritized working from home and for the first time in decades, work-life balance has become more and more important.
The fact of the matter is, employee engagement needs to be at an all-time high for most companies. With staff not being continuously present in an office, and teams communicating virtually for the majority of the day, companies will now need to take extra steps to keep staff members engaged and satisfied in their roles. We took a look at some of the initiatives that companies are undertaking to keep their employees engaged. Here are a few ideas for you to implement in your business.
Recognizing Your Employees With Gifts
Gift-giving is one of the ways that you can show appreciation to your employees for their hard work. It is important for you to ensure that your employees feel recognized and valued for the job that they are doing. However, there is a fine line between feeling valued through gift-giving and being bribed by bad management, so make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.
Birthdays, work anniversaries, and recognition for excellent work are great times to give gifts to your employees and there are a number of appropriate ideas out there. If you are looking for budget gift ideas for employees under $25, you might want to consider branded headphones, Bluetooth keyboards, or even a subscription to their favorite podcast or streaming service to show your employees how much you appreciate their hard work.
Provide Them With Effective Collaboration Tools
The fact of the matter is that your employees are now mostly remote. They need access to projects and other employees with online tools and they need platforms that they can access from anywhere at any time. Collaboration tools are some of the most effective and budget-friendly solutions to ensure that your business can continue running even with a team that is scattered all over the world.
Look at platforms like Monday.com and Trello for collaboration solutions. They allow you to allocate tasks and projects to teams and individuals. From there, you are able to set deadlines, track progress and monitor the status of the project. They track time spent, allow for documents and files to be uploaded to each project and even integrate other real-time communication tools with the platform. It is engagement taken to a digital level.
Host Virtual After-Work Catch-Ups and Socials
Non-work-related team-buildings and social interaction are incredibly important for the strength of the teams and for improved communication between employees. The benefits of after-work drinks and bonding sessions have been proven over the years and shown to heighten the engagement between teams and individuals. In fact, studies have shown that after-hours socializing improves employee loyalty and happiness. It also connects departments and employees that may not be able to interact during business hours.
COVID-19 has severely impacted interdepartmental relationships and communication between teams. Remote teams have significantly less communication between them, especially on a more personal level. Companies have been trying to overcome this break in communication by creating online virtual socials. From online after-work drinks and catch-ups to creating “watercooler” channels on the real-time messaging platforms, it is important to keep non-work-related communication and engagement up between employees.
Make Time for One-On-One Coaching and Engagement Sessions
Many companies have admitted that leadership coaching, career development, and coaching have fallen through the cracks during COVID-19. With most of the business focused on business continuity, newer staff members and potential leaders are not receiving their time to be fully equipped with the relevant skill sets and training they need to develop in the company.
Companies are now re-looking at ways to create personal, one-on-one coaching sessions for potential leaders and managers. While Zoom sessions have been dominant in the last two years, 2022 has seen more in-person sessions. Travel is opening again and in-person office time is slowly being normalized again. Travel could also be used as an incentive to employees for hard work. So, you could combine a work trip with a training session for potential leaders and managers and kill two birds with one stone.
The last two years have been incredibly tough on businesses and employees alike. Employees have reported feeling incredibly disconnected from their colleagues and teams and basic processes have fallen away. 2022 needs to be a year where companies start re-focusing on employees and making them a priority. From onboarding new, remote employees to transitioning employees to different positions in the company, engagement and company values need to be kept top of mind at all times.