COVID-19 is a unique global situation that forced multiple changes in the business world, such as moving employees to remote work. It’s brought on a lot of change and with that, uncertainty for many. For HR professionals, it’s been a time to double down on efforts to engage with their employees and show them support is there.
It’s all the more essential to foster a positive company culture when facing uncertainty, as these moments in the employee experience are what make the difference when motivating teams. When people are apart and in flux, it often calls for a little creativity. But how can you bring the all-important, motivating purpose, play and potential into work?
To help, here are some creative ways that we’ve seen companies take to boost morale, keep employees engaged, and create a positive work culture.
1. Find relief through creative doodling
A team at PwC created a group art project called Quarantine Days that features drawings and doodles from individual team members. Each day, team members shared their doodles on a dedicated virtual chat.
This creative endeavor has helped relieve stress, reduce pressure, increase employee morale, and inspire engagement within the workforce. And they created some pretty fun drawings in the process!
“There’s a lack of structure in the way that people are connecting. And we’re needing to rethink how that works in the age of remote-working organization.” — Tom Welchman, McKinsey London
2. Redecorate their new office
Working from home isn’t going anywhere. For employees to transition properly into their new work environment, they need to create a space that looks, feels, and operates as a business office.
That’s why Kalderos, a health tech company, allowed employees to use a portion of their stipends to upgrade their home offices to get comfortable and ensure they have what they need to work effectively.
By helping employees to set up a comfortable and effective workspace at home, it not only shows support and understanding, but leads to better productivity and wellbeing of the team.
3. Reduce stress with meditation
Stress and isolation are being experienced by many during this time. To support their employees, Engine Group started a meditation series called [email protected] and it’s slowly becoming a part of their company culture. It’s an optional, 15-minute long daily exercise that helps with physical and mental health.
Meditation has shown a number of benefits like improved focus and productivity and decreasing stress, helping employees build resilience.
4. Make it fun with a lip sync battle
Zoom calls aren’t made just for business—they can be used for fun. Devils Backbone Brewing Company worked hard to keep their employees motivated and connected with themed happy hours via Zoom.
They started book clubs, had a Halloween-themed night, watched Disney movies, but the most interesting one has to be their lip sync battle. (Sadly we can’t find the recording of that!)
Maybe a lip sync battle holds the answer to the new way people connect.
“It is time to be more empathetic.” — Rajkamal Vempati, executive vice president and HR head of Axis Bank.
5. Bring purpose to their work with virtual skills-based volunteering
Supporting a nonprofit is a good deed. But what’s even better is devoting time and energy to a cause you believe in. And when you can match that with skills you have, the organisation, that’s when you hit a gold mine of meaningful impact.
With employees spread out, whether slowly returning to the office or at home, helping out virtually provides a winning combination of having an impact, developing professionally and personally, and connecting with others.
This is something Johnson & Johnson does— they use their employees’ talents for good by providing a variety of opportunities for them to volunteer their time and skills to an organisation or cause of their liking.
The number one focus
Employee engagement and morale have always been the cornerstones of productivity and a strong company culture. In today’s times, when employees are isolated at home, it’s essential.
As Brian Moynihan, Chair of the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council said, “The number one thing is to focus on is employees and customers: keep them well, keep them employed and keep them mentally healthy.”
Have you seen any other creative ideas? Share them in the comments below!