Sure, there are multiple four-letter (mostly unprintable!) words we could use to describe 2020, but one word that most can agree on is probably long. Beyond the musings of a few epidemiologists, very few of us could have predicted a pandemic of this size and scope, nor could we have predicted just how much it would alter just about every facet of our lives.
Even if your business weathered the pandemic storm with minimal interruption, the reality is that this pandemic and all of the upheaval and change it bought to folks’ personal lives will have certainly taken a toll. With this in mind, we encourage you to bid adieu to 2020 – and hopefully the virus – by regrouping with your workers and setting them up for a positive start to 2021 with these feel-good changes that just about any company can adopt.
Get them together:
Sure, we’ve spent months social distancing, and we’re not suggesting you throw in the towel just yet, but there are myriad ways that you can help folks in your office connect after months of going solo. With Skype and Zoom better than ever, why not consider hosting a virtual Pictionary or Scategories game that you can all enjoy together? There are also some excellent quiz options (think pub quiz type questions) that can really amp up the competition and help your employees to reengage with the social side of business.
When the pandemic was in full swing, most businesses switched in to full-on survival mode, with many companies forced to completely rethink the way that they do business, both in terms of how their own employees are able to work and how they are able to connect with customers. With the dust now somewhat settling on this mad dash, now is the time to circle back and check in with your workers, particularly those that are toiling away at home with minimal contact with other employees. When you have these chats, be sure to ask about how they are actually doing and how they are coping with the changes to show that you genuinely care about their wellbeing and then, rather than ask for progress updates on the work they’ve been doing, frame it in a way that you ask if there’s anything that they need from you in order to be more effective or simply happier in their role.
One of the biggest issues with working in a largely virtual environment is that good work, or extra effort, can often go unnoticed because we become so siloed and hyper focused on our own to-do lists. However, through this pandemic, it is imperative that you show workers that you are keeping an eye on their contributions and that you do want to reward them for a job well done. As we always say, these perks don’t always have to be flashy in nature. Rather, they can be small tokens of appreciation such as sending someone a Starbucks gift card or looping in uber eats to deliver their favorite iced coffee and a treat one afternoon. Another option, since again, workers are so laser focused on their own jobs, is to send out an email each week announcing workplace achievements and accolades to keep workers apprised of what’s going on in the company and to recognize a job well done.
Take some time:
It seems crazy to recommend that folks take time off, especially if your business was shuttered at any point during the pandemic. However, study after study proves that taking time off is not only integral to mental health, but is also important to boost productivity. Now, some employees may balk at the idea of taking vacation when, well, there’s not too many places they can go, but encouraging time off to recharge and rejuvenate, even if it’s only in your backyard, can be just as restorative. Further, from a business perspective, encouraging them to do so ensures that you won’t have an empty office in the weeks after travel restrictions are lifted and all your employees scatter for a week away in a warmer climate!