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Our staff are our biggest assets, without them our businesses most likely would not be as successful as they are. At times we may neglect to express our appreciation for them, but now is a time they need to feel supported and appreciated by their leaders.
Here are a few ideas on how you can show support and keep them engaged during these trying times:
You will have staff that are not only isolated from their colleagues but potentially also their families or support networks. Trying to support your staff remotely is going to be challenging but here are a few things we came up with.
●Indoor plants are almost the new chocolate so you could support a local nursery and have an indoor plant delivered to your staff homes.
●Care packages including items such as snacks (this is where the chocolate comes in), notepad (we found a great one here), or again, supporting a local business by ordering a fruit box or grazing box.
●Depending on budget & amount of staff, you could send coffee cards to staff, this also supports your local businesses.
●Encouraging staff to take their break during the day to go for a walk or make use of their one hour of exercise.
●Check in regularly with your staff, and this means picking up the phone and talking to them for 5 minutes to see how they are going, not talking about a work related tasks.
●Lock in daily/bi-daily/weekly team catch ups, keep them short & sweet, you could ask everyone to bring a positive affirmation or fun fact to the meeting.
●“Zoom fatigue” is a bit of a buzz word at the moment so you could mix it up by either using Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Facebook messenger (they have filters!) or WhatsApp. If you only use Zoom in your office you could always change your background so you could be at your desired holiday destination.
●Be mindful of pushing your staff too hard during this time. What we have found is that even though Directors and Managers are asking their staff to reduce their hours & pay but then still putting a lot of pressure on them to still maintain their regular work load & hours. Feedback that we have had from candidates is that if they can have the flexibility of working their 5 hours (reduced hours) over the course of the day, they are finding themselves more productive as they take proper breaks, refocus and actually end up working more than the 5 hours.
●Host a virtual all staff catch up, mid lockdown. There are lots of things you could do here, have a virtual drink (coffee or wine) with everyone, host a game like trivia or bingo.
●And lastly again, go out of your way to check in individually with staff to see how they are coping. You will be surprised at how far this will go with your staff, to show them that you care & you are still present despite what is going on.