How Do We Engage Our Employees Through This?

Remote Work

May 7, 2020

Jane Whitton

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5 min

When the pandemic took hold in mid-March, we heard one urgent question: how do we keep our employees engaged through this?

Man stares past his screen waiting for motivation to strike. With Kudos, he would feel more connected to his remote team.

Table of Contents

When the pandemic took hold in mid-March, we heard one urgent question: how do we keep our employees engaged through this?

Between the logistics of ensuring physical distancing, enabling work-from-home technology, and re-evaluating operating budgets and annual goals, came a question about people.

Not a question about their achievements, which is a common theme in recognition conversations, but about supporting people’s mental health.

A time for focusing on employee engagement

Of course, our clients are concerned about losing productivity, and we all know that a mentally healthy individual is more productive.

Our busy HR clients, who are typically asked to prioritize everything, are now urgently required to focus exclusively on employee engagement. Now, they have more time to develop exciting engagement programs that work for their businesses.

We found that most of our clients were looking for ways to support their staff through this uncertainty; to create happiness; to help people transition to a work-from-home routine; to support them while they balance their work and parental duties; to remain connected.

It was less about achievements and points, and more about in-the-moment appreciation. And most of all, hope.

Connection and mental wellness programs

Since COVID-19 took hold, our most popular programs are about connection and mental wellness.

Many clients introduced a gratitude practice across their organization that encourages people to take a few minutes to focus on positive interactions between colleagues.

From checking in on each other to making a child laugh during a meeting, or helping them solve a work problem – our Kudos users are a grateful bunch.

Some kicked off the gratitude practice by having their president or CEO send recognition to all staff to show their personal gratitude for the team’s resiliency during this time. Leaders provide examples like those noted above to illustrate that everyone feels seen and supported through this change.

Other organizations use the Spaces feature in Kudos to collect work-from-home tips, ways to connect with loved ones, or suggestions on local businesses to support.

Some encourage their employees to share a picture of their workspace, the new “colleagues” they now work alongside (2 or 4-legged versions), or a screenshot of the co-workers they are virtually connecting with.

What’s next?

In all cases, we recommend that businesses recognize team members who support each other and build a culture of resilience.

We encourage them to highlight messages that articulate the types of behaviours they want to encourage across their business, now, and once the pandemic passes.

Overtime, these practices will evolve into “normal” program planning, that combines appreciation with performance management and includes values and behaviours, and contests and prizes.

We want to make sure our clients and their employees are ready for the “new normal.”

Even more, we’re offering additional programs to help our clients transition back to office work, so they can continue building a culture of resilience, appreciation, and performance.

The world and how we work within it may be different once COVID-19 passes. Still, for businesses that encourage activities like the ones mentioned above, the change will be worth recognizing and celebrating.

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About Kudos

Kudos is an employee engagement, culture, and analytics platform, that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition, values reinforcement, and open communication to help organizations boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance. Kudos uses unique proprietary methodologies to deliver essential people analytics on culture, performance, equity, and inclusion, providing organizations with deep insights and a clear understanding of their workforce.

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