Social-distancing has brought on many challenges to workplace communications. Employee engagement remains one of the key objectives for leaders during these times of separation as it requires different methods to maintain employee engagement despite social distancing. Engagement will determine how committed employees are during precarious periods and their productivity when working from home.
Remote communications are easily disturbed by disruptions and distractions. Additionally, some workers may find it challenging to allocate fixed working hours. Thus, organisational leaders must come up with innovative ways to keep workers engaged and satisfied while staving off loneliness.
Here are 4 ways to maintain employee engagement despite social distancing.
Create a Workplace Community Channel
While daily check-ins can help maintain online collaboration and team dynamics, a dedicated community channel provides a powerful virtual culture. This can be achieved through apps like Slack, where employees are invited to join an active workplace channel. Here, workers may collaborate on projects, pose queries, or upload inspirational messages to keep the organization going strong during these tough times.
Leaders of smaller groups have the opportunity to further enhance employee engagement by initiating one-to-one logs with each employee, in addition to the main community channel. This allows leaders to exchange more personal messages to check in on how staff are coping with their families while addressing any concerns they might have.
Small Tokens of Appreciation
One-time incentives may not be the be-all-end-all in employee engagement, but they can make a huge difference during quarantine season. Recent laws have imposed further restrictions on daily activities and most citizens are stuck at home with reliance on e-commerce for their essentials.
Leaders can raise staff morale by periodically offering virtual gift cards from vendors like GrabGifts and FairPrice. These incentives may be delivered by mail or made available online as e-vouchers for a contactless alternative.
These gestures of goodwill will help leaders express their care and concern for the well-being of their employees on a more personal level.
Advocate E-learning on Digital Skills
The recent pandemic has suggested that the workplace of tomorrow is likely to be remote and location-agnostic. The flexibility of work from home initiatives should provide some spare time for employees to improve their digital skills and prepare for the not so distant future.
Leaders can improve employee engagement by recommending and sponsoring workers to take on online courses during the less busy hours of their remote workday. Courses on the impacts of technology and digital literacy are popular and relevant in most industries.
Organisational leaders can go the extra mile by initiating a discussion with employees regarding these courses and exchanging some learning points.
Leverage on Social Media
Work-from-home offers greater flexibility and a rise in social media activity is inevitable. Leaders can improve employee engagement by being an online role model. This includes posting inspirational memes, recommending professional groups on Facebook, and re-posting or authoring informative articles on LinkedIn.
Remember to keep your tone positive and optimistic (but realistic) when possible. Connected employees are likely to stumble upon your posts and you want to leave the best impression to spur them on.
StrengthsAsia has helped many individual and corporate clients all throughout the region in identifying and maximizing their talents, in driving engagement and increasing motivation in their work and life.
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A devotee at the altar of language and a celebrant of expression. Laurenzo has written for various SMEs, MNCs, startups and international brands over the last three years. He specializes in topics of psychology, lifestyle, employee management, and digital trends.