Many of us have been working from home for the best part of a year now, so putting some thought into boosting team morale has never been more important.
There are lots of workers who have completely settled into working from home, but some are starting to tire, whilst others are taking their first, rather strange steps into new jobs.
As you are most likely aware, having a high team morale can lead to increased levels of productivity, motivation and engagement, and this rings true whether you’re working in the office or working remotely. Meaning that it is important to continue to monitor and nurture your team when they’re working at home.
Boosting Team Morale
Being transparent with your staff is key to keeping up team morale, keeping your employees in the loop will help them to feel more connected with the company. It doesn’t matter whether you share good or bad news, your staff will appreciate your honesty. Of course, the more positive news you share the more it will lift the mood, and if the need arises to share bad news, it will spur your team on to work towards a solution. Try reiterating your companies’ message or vision, this will help to keep everyone on the same page, whilst reminding them that their work contributes towards a bigger picture.
Prioritise virtual learning
Progression is a valued part of many people’s careers, employees like to feel that they can learn new skills and grow their talents, but in order to do this you need to ensure that they are provided with plenty of opportunities to do so. With the move to working from home, it’s important to offer your staff the chance to partake in online courses and E-learning, this way they can continue on with their career progression at a rate that suits them, planning it around their work from home schedule.
Organise virtual social events
Now, we know that at this stage there are lots of people suffering from zoom fatigue, but that is no reason to stop organising online social events for your staff. It doesn’t have to be anything particularly extravagant (although if you want to go all out, then what’s stopping you?). It could be as simple as arranging a lunch time zoom call, for employees to drop into as and when they choose to. Just ensure that you are still providing activities and the opportunity for your staff to socialise with each other.
Establish regular check ins
This differs slightly from the previous point; you need to ensure that your team has the chance to regularly check in. Not only is it beneficial for you to see how your staff are managing their weekly workload, but also it allows them the opportunity to raise any concerns or ask any questions they may have. Scheduling regular meetings, in both teams and as one to ones will help everyone to stay connected.
Recognise hard work and achievements
Working from home has been difficult for us all, therefore by praising your employees for the good work they do will help to boost their morale. It also provides you with an opportunity to let your staff know how their work contributes towards the company’s goals.
You could also encourage your employees to praise each other, this will assist in creating a positive atmosphere and strong team spirit. Having a tight knit team is incredibly beneficial as they will be willing to support each other, having this whilst working from home is something quite special as it highlights that your staff work seamlessly together.
As suggested, boosting team morale can lead to a number of positives for both you and your employees. It’s important to look after your staff and their needs. Whilst there are many more ways to do this, some that you may have already implemented into your daily routine, these 5 suggestions act as a good starting point, especially if it’s an area that has fallen to the wayside in recent months.
Welcoming New Starters
Onboarding new employees when your entire company is working from home, is something that can be rather difficult to get right, but it’s crucial that you invest time in doing just that. You want new starters to have a smooth transition into their new role, ensuring that they are made to feel welcome by other members of staff.
Set up all necessary tech
This process will differ dependent on each company, but it’s important to define the tools and technology needed for your new employee to start working for you.
Determine what your new staff member has and doesn’t have and go from there. Perhaps it is wise to set aside a budget for each new employee in order to correctly set them up for working from home. You need to consider things such as whether you are providing them with a laptop? If so, how will you get this to them? Will it already have all the necessary software downloaded, or is this something you will dedicate time to organising via video call? There is nothing worse for a new starter, than being delivered a laptop but it then taking 3 days to get set up due to technical difficulties.
It also goes a step further than the technology, does your new employee have an adequate workspace? This may not be something you can fix in an instant, but you may have to consider providing them with a desk or office chair, besides it’s only what you would do if everyone was working in an office.
Set up training programs
Similar to setting up technology, your new employees will need to be trained in their role, but also in the practices of the company. Your training program should be varied and engaging, it’s hard enough to be starting a new job remotely, never mind having to sit through seemingly endless videos and boring training programs on your own.
Make sure that the company mission and values feature heavily during the training program, aim to bring the company and its aims to life, that way your new starter will have a much better knowledge of the company and the way in which you work.
Onboarding buddy or mentor
Offering new starters a buddy or mentor to help them through their first few weeks is a really great way of helping them to settle in. These mentors don’t have to be line managers or bosses, but perhaps could be a member of the team they’ll be joining. This way, your new employee will have another person to direct questions towards, they’ll be able to learn about the company and along the way they’ll start to build their relationships with other members of staff.
Brainstorm some fun team building activities that can take place over video call, providing a relaxed atmosphere where staff can get to meet each other and have a non-work-related chat will help a new starter get to know their fellow team members and vice versa. An Intilery favourite is to create a ‘Meet the Team’ presentation. This is where we ask each team member to fill out a series of fun questions, the responses are then compiled into a presentation which we go through together via video call. This has proved to be a great way to welcome new employees and find points of interest between us all.
Ensuring your new starters have a smooth transition into their new role is just as important as boosting team morale. Starting a new job whilst working remotely can be nerve-wracking and isolating, making sure that any new employees feel comfortable and welcomed is key to boosting their morale and confidence.
Again, there are a number of ways that you can ensure there is a good process in place for new starters, however these tips are a good starting point if you are unsure about what the best practices are.