How do we keep teams engaged with Covid rates still rising and remote working still on the agenda?
Now more than ever, boosting staff engagement and morale is absolutely imperative and it is important for the whole team to stay connected. Digital marketing agency Spindogs has been working hard to keep its entire team engaged since the start of the pandemic.
Amanda Williams, Community Coordinator at Spindogs shares her top tips for motivating and engaging teams.
2020 was a year of change. Most companies, ourselves included, leapt from working in the office to working remotely. What started as an initial hope of returning to the office soon turned into remote working being the new norm. We were used to meeting colleagues for lunch or even just around the coffee machine in the kitchen. One thing that was important to us at Spindogs while we were all working from home was to keep things as social as possible. We are lucky at Spindogs to have a team called Culture Club. The team includes individuals from across the company who take care of the company culture, provide a forum for team members’ opinions to be heard and provide regular fun socials for the team to get involved. We have held screen-time socials, including two escape rooms, multiple quizzes, quarterly film chats and games, amongst many other activities.
However, as the months progressed and lockdown went into various different phases, it became increasingly hard for many of us to be constantly on the screen, even for those social moments. Our one word of advice for businesses is to be mindful of having too many activities that involve using a phone or computer screen, as people can definitely feel like they have had enough screen-time and need to take a break from their screens.
More than just a quiz
With this in mind, we have tried to think of a few ways to boost morale and give our staff treats that don’t just involve another quiz. Every month in the last year, we have sent something in the post to our staff members, ranging from postcards with positive affirmations to Halloween decorations. We were used to having regular hot chocolate afternoons in the office on behalf of the Culture Club, so we sent out a package with hot chocolate and marshmallows to the team.
In the summer, we got in touch with a local entrepreneur who owns a plant store in Cardiff. We asked him if he could run an online class for staff members and give advice on how to look after our house plants. We all turned up with potted plants and asked him where we were going wrong and how we could stop our leaves from drying out and dropping.
Top tips for keeping staff engaged while working from home
Over the last year, we have held several activities to ensure our team’s spirit remains high while we work from home. Using what we have learnt, here are our top tips for keeping staff engaged:
- Hold classes/courses that might appeal to your team. You can also try and engage local businesses, where possible, by asking them to provide advice and pass on their expertise to your team.
- It is a good idea for team leaders to have regular check-ins with their team. Make sure you schedule those one-to-one meetings!
- Check on your team’s wellbeing and offer support if needed. It is worth bearing in mind your team’s home life. For example, do they have pets, children, or care for a member of their family? These things, amongst many others, need to be factored in, and a more flexible approach to work has become necessary.
- Encourage personal development within your team. While everyone is working from home, some colleagues can feel like they are working in isolation, so it’s important to ensure they have goals they can reach while they aren’t in the office.
- Show gratitude and appreciation for your team and reward them for their hard work. You can do this by organising something fun for the team, like an online social or sending a card to say thank you – it’s the little things that count.