As the world moved to self-isolation due to the pandemic, working remotely became the new normal. People have had to quickly adjust to sudden and significant changes, altering both their personal and professional lives to accommodate these trying circumstances. Yet, organizations still need to deliver high-quality work customers have come to expect — despite the new systems, distractions and increased stress.
Now more than ever organizations need to prioritize supporting their teams. At VPS House Technology Group, we are consistently working to ensure our employees know they have our full support and these trying times are no exception. Below, we outline four of our strategies to help lift employees during these uncertain times.
1. Engage with Your Employees Early and Often.
One of the most effective ways to increase employee engagement is to initiate employee engagement. It can often be intimidating for an employee to reach out with a problem or concern, especially if they’re already feeling more isolated from transitioning to remote work. Proactively reaching out to your employees frequently–checking in on how they’re doing both personally and professionally–will help increase both the flow of communication and engagement.
- Check in early: Confirm your team has the tools they need to succeed. This can be as fundamental as confirming they have access to things like a workstation that mimics a desk in an office, access to needed company software and files, and a secure Wi-Fi connection. If you find your teams don’t all have the needed tools, be respectful and considerate of their situation but make a plan to secure what’s needed. At VPS House Technology Group, that’s even meant happily mailing supplies to employees.
- Check in often: Conduct regular check-ins with your team. Scheduling (and keeping) regular times to connect demonstrates your commitment to your employees. It shows you care about the challenges your team members are facing and reminds them that you are willing and able to assist in overcoming those challenges. As a result, individual employees are more likely to report an issue that might be impeding their performance.
2. Maintain Positive and Streamlined Communication of Information.
Information is power. At VPS House Technology Group, we have an abundance of large televisions in our offices’ that display the various happenings and events, company announcements, celebrations and the health of the company. This kept each member of the team connected and informed. During times of uncertainty, ensuring everyone remains connected and informed is crucial.
Now that centralized screens are no longer a realistic option, at VPS House Technology Group, we’ve created a weekly newsletter to mimic our in-office displays. This newsletter brings together all the relevant information and latest updates for the team, and continues to share various virtual happenings and events, and company-wide celebrations. Our HR department often contributes to the newsletter, providing relatable and useful information on the current situation. Some of the most recent newsletter highlights include information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, upcoming virtual events, volunteer opportunities and even congratulatory announcements on a personal level.
These newsletters also provide an opportunity for feedback from team members: Listening is just as important as sharing. Incorporating surveys into existing newsletters can offer a low-pressure way for employees to provide feedback, offering insights into employee needs. Understanding these needs and concerns enables you to offer tailored solutions to help effectively alleviate pain points or continue valued practices.
3. Boost Morale with Fun Leisure Activities.
Incorporating fun team-building activities into the weekly schedule can help establish and maintain the level of comfort and trust needed for productive, constructive and resilient teams. In a relaxed environment, managers can get to know their colleagues on a more personal level — and vice versa. And, having fun with your coworkers increases morale.
Here at VPS House Technology Group we have incorporated small team challenges such as, “Two Truths and a Lie,” where employees would submit two true facts about themselves and one lie. Team members would then guess which statement was false. Though small, this activity can provide much-needed relief from stress, give everyone a laugh or two and enable everyone to get to know each other a bit better.
Showing authentic appreciation is just as important to team morale as getting to know one another, having a laugh and building camaraderie. Recently, VPS House Technology Group mailed a small surprise spring gift basket to every employee home. These packages were filled with goodies and were our way to connect with our remote employees, reminding them they are genuinely appreciated.
4.Trust Your Employees to Deliver
One of the most important elements of building trust is first extending trust. The bottom line is that your employees still want to deliver the best product possible to customers. Trust that they will continue to execute on this intent despite the current circumstances, unless they tell you differently. At VPS House Technology Group, we’ve extended this trust and been rewarded with positive results from our teams and for our customers.
These are unprecedented times. Everyone’s situation is unique and challenging. But through frequent and consistent communication, streamlining information sources, having a little fun, and trusting in your colleagues, you can help ensure every employee feels respected, supported and empowered to deliver their best.