5 Employee Engagement Initiatives You Can Run While Social Distancing

Mark Terry - July 14, 2020

The reality of social distancing and working from home has created a climate that may not seem conducive to new employee engagement initiatives. Whilst this is the case for some plans, now is not the time to put your employee engagement strategy on the backburner. In fact, it is at times like these that your employees need you to engage with them more than ever.

Keeping your employees engaged with their work and the company as a whole, means that you will need to implement new initiatives for employee engagement. In this blog we take a look at exactly what is employee engagement and identify five initiatives to implement now.

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is the act of creating an environment where your employees feel able to perform their best work. This environment goes further than simply the physical space that your employees inhabit, it also requires that you introduce initiatives that support communication, interaction and mental wellbeing.

5 examples of employee engagement initiatives to implement now

Implementing employee engagement ideas whilst your team is working remotely is essential to maintaining organisational engagement. However, identifying initiatives that can be introduced without face-to-face interaction can seem like more of a challenge.

Utilising the initiatives that we have outlined below, will help you to improve the engagement levels of your employees, both with your company and their work.

#1 Keep communication open

Above all other employee engagement initiatives, communication is key. An open, two-way dialogue between team leaders and employees is essential to ensuring that your team feel listened to and appreciated. Keeping communication open and encouraging genuine interaction will also help your employees to stay connected to your organisation and the greater team.

Provide your employees with a plethora of channels to communicate on, from email and intranet, to instant messaging, videos and more. An employee engagement platform can be viewed as a super channel to facilitate the interaction that you are hoping to see.

Once you have your chosen platform in place, be an active and engaged user, promoting open dialogue across all areas of your company. This type of solution will provide your team with one central hub for communication, bringing your organisation closer together, no matter where they are.

#2 Motivational speakers

One of the great things about motivational speakers, is that they can work remotely. They don’t need to be in the same room as your employees to deliver their talk, it can be done via webinars, videos and transcripts, so that everyone can benefit from it.

Introducing motivational speakers is a tried and tested way to better engage with your workforce, whilst showing that you care about their wellbeing. Talks can be tailored to focus on specific areas, from forming healthy lifestyle habits, to implementing strategies to improve performance and productivity.

Commission a motivational speaker to provide your employees with a calendar of talks that they can attend from home, and tailor them to your specific needs. Make sure that these talks don’t just cover strategies to improve work performance though – show your team that you value their physical and mental wellbeing as well by offering motivational talks on improving their personal lives too.

Make recognition public

Your team may not be in the office, but they are still working hard to ensure the success of your company, and it’s key to acknowledge that commitment.

Without the normal day-to-day office interactions, it can be difficult to keep track of who’s doing what and when. It’s important to implement infrastructure that allows you to better monitor your team and, so that you can more easily identify successes. Utilising video calls, or using an employee engagement app to interact with your team, will give you a better understanding of their work performance.

Once you have this infrastructure in place, use the information and feedback that you are getting to publicly recognise your team’s successes. Not only does this type of recognition encourage other employees to follow suit, but it shows your team that you are still actively engaged with them, whether you’re working remotely or not.

Introduce mentors

Providing your employees, especially those at the start of their careers, with a more senior mentor that embodies the culture of your organisation, is a really positive way to show your employees what your expectations of them are and to build intercompany connections.

Giving a junior team member a point of contact that they can learn from and begin to emulate, will help you to build a more connected and dynamic team that is committed to, and invested in, the success of your company.

Team competitions

Introducing a series of competitions between teams across your organisation, is a simple way of reconnecting your employees and bringing a bit of fun into the workday.

You can utilise these competitions to improve performance, or customer experience - consider a competition linked to customer reviews, or sales, to bring out the full potential of your team.

When implementing these types of staff engagement initiatives, it’s important that the reward matches the investment that you are expecting your employees to put in. If your team don’t feel that what you are offering is worth the extra work, then it is unlikely that they will actively engage with the competition.

Implementing new employee engagement initiatives might seem difficult at a time like this, but it is essential to the continued success of your company. Take time to implement an employee listening strategy to identify exactly what your team needs from you right now, and keep an eye on employee engagement trends to guide the initiatives that you put in place.

Implementing employee engagement initiatives during COVID-19

Introducing new employee engagement initiatives, at a time like this, is key to maintaining an engaged workforce. It is essential that, any initiatives that you do introduce are delivered with a focus on your team’s wellbeing, which is why our suggestions are all employee focussed.

Utilising software, such as an employee engagement solution, will help you to better monitor the engagement levels of your team and guide the implementation of your strategies. Choose a software that has the functionality to create an employee engagement survey to check in on your people, and how your new initiatives are working. Keeping your lines of communication open, and encouraging a sense of teamwork and belonging, is essential to maintaining organisational and work engagement during difficult times.