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Hackernoon logoImprove Employee Engagement and Mental Well-being In 2021 by@prepawan

Improve Employee Engagement and Mental Well-being In 2021

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@prepawanPawan Kumar

Blogger and Inbound Marketer

The way we conduct work has completely changed. Before the pandemic, remote working or a few work from home days were allowed for certain employees. 

Now, remote working is our new normal. We have had to align our businesses to ensure that our employees are productive and have the necessary resources to succeed. 

But did we make sure that they still feel connected with the rest of their team?  

This article will help you understand:

  • Creating new and sustainable employee engagement practices that will reinvigorate productivity.
  • Cultivating a culture of recognition during times of uncertainty.
  • Building trust and connection through authentic employee communications.
  • Ideas to support your employees' mental health.

Let’s dive in:

1. Ask How Your Employees are Doing

“How are you doing? - It’s probably one of the most important questions you can ask your remote workers.

Small gestures such as initiating a conversation with your employees can go a long way in engaging them. This also talks a lot about your company culture. Don't wait for opportunities to ask big questions to your employees. 

Instead, start by asking how they are doing. Even though it might sound trivial, it sends a message that you care about them. 

As a result, you keep them engaged in the organization. In case your employees are feeling low, this simple question can help bring out their issues and challenges. 

2. Give Employees a Sense of Belonging 

What’s the best practice to keep employees engaged?

Giving your employees a sense of belonging is the best thing you can do. This practice is especially important since we are in the middle of the pandemic crisis. 

Most of your employees will be working in a remote environment. While most of them find it comforting and flexible, eventually, a social circle catches up. The best thing you can do is to provide your employees with a sense of belonging. Encourage team-building exercises so that employees stay motivated. 

For example, organize a fun hour once a week where your employees can get together. You can take the help of many remote working apps and organize fun games and quizzes etc. 

3. Communicate Regularly 

Communication is one of the best tools for employee engagement. As a team leader or head of the organization, it becomes your responsibility to create an open communication environment. 

Remember that communication helps bring forward the difficulties faced by your employees and creates an atmosphere of transparency. Initiate a conversation and ask your employees to join in.

For example, organize a fun Friday or town hall session, where employees can suggest improvements in the organization and freely discuss ideas. Regular communication helps employees feel that their voice matters in the organization.

4. Define Your Channels of Communication 

While communication is essential, it is also necessary for you to define proper channels of communication. This will provide the means for your employees to stay connected. Pick a tool that best fits the needs of your organization. 

For example, most companies encourage their employees to use Slack or MS Teams for everyday collaboration. You can look at the pros and cons of a tool and pick the one that aligns with your necessities. Alternatively, you can also use a tool like Asana or Trello to keep track of your employees' daily work progress. 

5. Encourage Knowledge Sharing 

There's always something new that a person can learn apart from their daily activities. As a leader, you must encourage knowledge sharing within your team. 

This helps employees keep up with the trends and understand the details behind processes. This helps serve your organization in two ways. Even if employees don't undertake additional responsibilities, they get to know how a particular task is executed. This enhances their portfolio. 

On the other hand, employees also become more interdependent when they learn about one or more tasks. Therefore, in the absence of a key member, the activities can go on as usual.

6. Encourage Peer-to-Peer Feedback

Peer to peer review and feedback are the best as they highlight several details that seniors often miss. Since your employees execute tasks, they are the best to share feedback about something. 

You can use tools like EngageWith to transfer reward points to employees or colleagues as an appreciation of their hard work. This helps in enhancing our company's teamwork and motivation.

7. Role of HR in Engaging Employees 

Engaging employees must be on the task list of your organization's human resource department. Whether your employees are working on-site or from a remote environment, make sure your HR team prioritizes engagement. 

For example, the HR department can organize Yoga and Zumba sessions and call a stand-up artist for a laughter-filled comedy session. Fun activities like these give employees something to look forward to at the end of the day. It also helps in busting stress and breaking the monotony of work. 

8. Meaningful Goal Setting 

Have you ever asked this question: “How to get most out of remote employees while we’re not watching them?”

Every organization has goals to achieve. This is eventually passed onto employees in the form of targets. However, sometimes people continue to fail at achieving their goals. This situation occurs mostly because of setting unrealistic goals. 

Understand how much you can do, where you stand right now, and what is expected of you. Based on these factors, carefully create a plan and then set your goals. This practice helps develop goals that are meaningful and achievable. 

9. Team Building Games and Activities

Remote team building is much different than in-office team building. When your team is never in the same room, you have to take a different approach to build your company culture. 

Make it a top priority for your remote teams to engage in regular team socializing. This will help to build a genuine human connection with remote workers. Plus, it has a big impact on company culture. 

10. Conduct Counselling and Employee Assistance Programs 

Since the year 2020 has taken the work culture to a remote environment, several things have changed. From productivity to motivation, collaboration, communication, and team management, all of these things need to be looked at from a distinct perspective. 

In other words, you have to accommodate the necessities of employees working from their homes. In this case, you must conduct counseling sessions and organize employee assistance programs to ensure employees’ well-being.  

11. Check-in Frequently and Be Proactive 

Be proactive in your responsibilities and hear what your employees have to say. Hold regular meetings with your employees in the form of one on one sessions. Ask their experiences on how life is at home and keeping everyone busy once work is done for the day.

This practice will help them open up and discuss the points working well for them as those that are giving them a hard time.

12. Have a Helpline Number Where People Can Reach Out

Prioritize your employees' mental health. Lack of a social circle can lead to the feeling of being isolated. If possible, give people a telephone number to talk freely and reach out for any help. Encourage the environment that it is always a good idea to talk about one's feelings.

13. Offer Emotional Support (as a Manager)

As a leader of your team, make sure you demonstrate empathy with your employees. Be understanding and avoid going overboard due to minor difficulties. Showing emotional support can go a long way in helping employees bring out the best and work in a stress-free environment. 

14. Send Regular Surveys

Sending regular surveys to check on your employees’ mental health is a great strategy. You can ask questions related to workload, work-life balance, anxiety/stress, and if they want to discuss their mental health with managers. These surveys can help you read your employees’ mental health and take preventive measures.

15. Encourage Work-Life Balance

Once you start working from home, the lines between home and office kind of get blurred, so instead of it being something fixed, it’s kind of a continuum. 

So you weave around and work within whatever time you have and try to spend some time with family and then get back to work. People also have to do household work as well, they need to get time off for ‘Me Time.’

Clarity is crucial for remote workers to be productive. Therefore, help your employees to achieve work/life balance by encouraging them to take regular breaks to stretch, walk around, spend time with family, or get a healthy snack. Let them decide their working hours.

90 percent of employees say that flexibility in their work arrangements contributes to their morale.

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