It can often be challenging to keep employees engaged during the summer when people are chomping at the bit to get outside, take a breather, or enjoy longer days with family and friends.
But this year?!
The season takes the phrase, “I really need a break” to entirely new levels. Throughout the U.S. and around the world, many companies are just reopening or are ramping back up following an unprecedented time in history: the Covid-19 pandemic.
Feelings of anxiety and uncertainty have never been higher. From social distancing to working remotely, both employers and employees have had to adjust to significant changes since March. Not only have people not seen their coworkers in person in months, but many haven’t even seen their loved ones. Or even worse, they may have lost someone they hold dear. How do you continue extending sympathy and understanding – and try to keep your employees happy and focused during this unique summer season? Here are four tips to help you get started.
Provide wellness resources.
The coronavirus pandemic has heightened stress and panic levels everywhere. Provide your employees with the proper resources to alleviate their fears, stay well, and feel comfortable returning to society and/or the workplace.
- Allow employees to take extra breaks, leave a little early, or take one afternoon a week off. This added personal time can do wonders to boost a person’s mental state, overall well-being, and as a result, their productivity.
- Be sure your workplace has been thoroughly sanitized and is well stocked with masks, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, gloves, and other PPE to help employees feel safe at work. Take care of people physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Promote virtual team bonding.
Keep employees engaged via virtual team lunches, coffee breaks, and Happy Hours. Or, get creative and set up yoga, meditation, and workout sessions. Remember, people are missing the gym lately, too – and many may be bemoaning having gained some or all of the dreaded “Covid 19 pounds” during the pandemic. Yup, this tip also ties in with wellness – but at this time, don’t they all?
- Continue to celebrate people’s birthdays, work anniversaries, and other milestones and successes. Never let employee recognition fall by the wayside.
Get people outdoors.
Don’t fight summer – join it! Encourage employees to get outside on breaks or lunch. Maybe they can participate in Zoom meetings or webinars at an outdoor table or bench.
- In addition to cleaning the lungs and strengthening the immune system, fresh air makes people feel happier and gives them more energy and sharper minds.
Use laughter as the best medicine.
Harvard Business Review experts confirm that laughter in the workplace relieves stress and boredom, boosts energy, and spurs creativity, collaboration, analytic precision, and productivity.
- This summer, why not have some fun in the form of Hawaiian Shirt Days or Flip Flop Fridays, where everyone dresses and acts accordingly during meetings or team lunches? Use your imagination and consider what your team would respond to the best. Once people have had a chance to laugh and socialize, they’ll be more ready to settle into the real “meat” of the task or project at hand.
Need more ideas for boosting morale at your workplace? Consider a partnership with the experts at HR Works. Contact us today to learn more.