How to Keep Your Employees Engaged and Happy at Work During COVID-19

How to Keep Your Employees Engaged and Happy at Work During COVID-19

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has dramatically changed the workplace. Some businesses decided to nix the office and work from home, while others attempted to navigate safety protocols while in the office.

No matter what decision a company makes, it’s important to maintain a healthy environment for employees, so they know their health and happiness is a priority. What we’ve learned at SJ Innovation is that not only does high employee engagement help maintain a successful business, but it also attracts and retains good talent.

Throughout the pandemic, we have striven to give our employees a positive work experience through a variety of activities and incentives. Our efforts have proven to keep our employees happy, healthy and effective.

Next time your company’s employee engagement takes a dip, give one of these methods a try.

Keep things transparent

When it comes to leading a business through uncharted waters, transparency is key. Effective communication between employees and employers is the first step to a healthy environment.

If your business is transitioning to fully remote, find effective ways to communicate whether it’s through video chatting software or strong email chains. If you’re planning to bring employees back to the office, talk them through the decision-making process and how you plan to keep them safe. If your business is suffering due to COVID-19, tell them that.

Keeping information from your employees can lead to unnecessary anxiety and tension, which can lead to a low-performing environment. Effective communication between employees and employers is the first step towards healthy environment.

Maintain virtual team culture

If you’re working from home, it can be difficult to maintain the culture your team would have if it were in the office. Try finding a way around this virtually.

For day-to-day contact, try end-of-the-day check-ins with your employees to see if they’re having any challenges. Remember, this should not feel like you’re micromanaging. Make it about them and how they’re doing, not what else you need from them.

For large-picture culture, invest in team-building time. If you normally go out for lunch as a team on Wednesday, try having a virtual lunch hour when everyone can sit back and talk. Host a virtual happy hour to reconnect. Consider installing Fun Fridays where managers conduct fun activities or games for your employees.

Remember, any effort to connect here is better than no effort.

Virtual wellness sessions

With COVID-19 came quarantine and with that came added stress and anxiety. Although some employees may be thriving in a work-from-home environment, others may be struggling to adapt.

Try offering your employees virtual wellness sessions that focus on physical or mental health. This can be anything from yoga videos, to guided meditation to an online cookbook full of healthy recipes. By offering these options, you’re showing your employee that you care about all aspects of their life, not just what they can bring to the work environment. 

Encourage employees to take up non-work related courses

It can be easy to build a mundane routine when stuck at home, which can lead to tiresome work efforts. Challenge your employees to pick up a new hobby.

There are a variety of online platforms that offer lessons on musical instruments, self-defense, the creative arts and more. These classes can be great for stress relief and boosting moods.

Recognize employee efforts with rewards

Working from home can be isolating without daily breaks at the water cooler. It also makes it more difficult to recognize the good work your employees are doing. Be sure to make an extra effort to call out good work when you see it.

Of course, monetary rewards are great, but consider other incentives too. You can offer gift bags or gift cards as goal-setting incentives, but it’s important to recognize seemingly humdrum work too.

Consider starting a weekly email congratulating employees for their work. Pick out a few employees who have been rock stars throughout the week and highlight specific things they did to shine. Send the email to everyone in the office, so their colleagues can join in the celebration too.

At the end of the day, keeping your team engaged and happy at work is a matter of every single thing you do for them. From setting an example yourself to taking the time to listen to them, rewarding their efforts, and ensuring their health is guaranteed above all these.

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