Once upon a time, to boost team morale, you might have organized a lunch, brought treats into the office, or gotten everyone involved in a charity fun run. Now, you only see each other in tiny squares on a computer screen. There is no more popping over to someone’s desk to work out an issue. No catching up on the weekend’s events in the staff kitchen. Instead, people are isolated at home and juggling homeschooling, loneliness, and concerns about their friends and family. It is more crucial than ever to keep people motivated and connected while they are working remotely.
So, how can you keep the team spirit alive and well?
Send Out Surprise Packages
Why not bring a little bit of joy to your team by sending out surprise packages in the mail? You could throw in a few corporate gifts, a packet of candy, and some tea or coffee. It doesn’t have to be high-cost, but it will bring a smile to everyone’s face.
In 2020, we have returned to the simple pleasures in life – a good cup of coffee, playing board games with the family, and waiting for the postman to arrive with the 79 online orders you placed in the last week. If something unexpected arrives, it will mean that much more.
Set Up a Chit Chat Channel
Most teams are using a communication app like Slack, WhatsApp, or Google Chat to stay in touch. To keep everyone feeling connected, set up a channel designed for jokes, general chit chat, and memes. You might need to set some guidelines to make sure everything stays professional and above-board, but allowing for some non-work communication will alleviate the heaviness that tends to descend when people are feeling isolated.
Maintain Some Work-Life Balance
It is tough having a lack of separation between home life and work life. To help your staff find some balance, you should encourage them to take proper breaks in the middle of the day and set aside some time for socializing. Why not replace Friday night drinks with a new tradition? You could have a virtual happy hour, play an online game, or compete in a weekly trivia quiz.
Ask for Regular Feedback
There are several good reasons to check in with your team members. The first is that they most likely have some great ideas. The second is that asking people what they think makes them feel valued, respected, and heard – as long as their feedback is clearly taken into account when future decisions are made.
You could consider doing a staff survey to encourage idea sharing about how to work more efficiently or improve remote work communication. It is also essential to check in on your staff’s mental health in these testing times.
Use Team Project Tools
Amid all the turmoil, we still need to get work done and move forward with current projects. There is a wide range of online project management tools available that can help your team collaborate effectively. They will also help you track timelines, allocate responsibilities for various tasks, chart progress, and set reminders. We all have enough challenges in our lives at the moment without worrying about what work we should be prioritizing or who is responsible for what task.
Happy and motivated employees equate to more productive and loyal employees. We all know how vital team morale is, but now that so many people are working remotely, we need to focus on it more than ever before.
Photo from Chris Montgomery via Unsplash