Employee morale, retention, and culture - these are all worrisome thoughts all too common amongst HR professionals throughout COVID. With articles emerging even today including stats like “16% of working Canadians say their workplace is a frequent or ongoing source of feelings of depression, anxiety, or other mental illness”, it can feel like quite a challenge to ensure that your employees don’t feel this way.
However, on the bright side, there are multiple ways to enhance employee morale and strengthen their engagement in the workplace – even remotely!
Here are our top 3 techniques that we’ve implemented which have helped boost our team culture at Auvenir, not only throughout COVID but as we slowly transition into a hybrid routine:
- Social Events
We often overlook how invaluable the small water cooler talks can be while in office until you begin working remotely and suddenly realize that it is nearly 4 pm, and you haven’t thought of anything other than work! This is what makes company social events even more crucial to maintain culture and employee engagement, as it not only allows employees to unwind but they can be effective team-building exercises as well.
As most organizations are transitioning to the new norm of hybrid work environments, it’s important to have a mix of virtual and in-person events (when it is safe to do so of course!). A great way of increasing participation and ensuring there is some variety in company events is by having new hosts from different teams to lead each time. You also may want to consider reaching out to an external vendor to help organize a grand event. Now if you’re thinking this sounds costly, the cost of hiring new employees might take you by surprise!
- Employee Wellness Programs
Having one-time events can be loads of fun and memorable, but it can be challenging to accommodate each employees’ schedule, which more times than less results in many missing out on the experience. This is where adopting employee wellness programs can be a very flexible and effective way of incorporating ongoing virtual events. Wellness programs often include different classes each week with sessions such as daily yoga, fitness, meditation, and nutrition that are focused on allowing employees to take daily breathers to help prevent burnouts and improve their health. Many programs also typically have challenges and a component that allows team members to invite other fellow team members, which helps incorporate the socializing benefit of events!
- Anonymous Surveys & Constant Touchpoints
The concept of managers and HR regularly touching base with employees for one-on-one check-ins AND conducting consistent anonymous surveys may sound tedious to some. However, when you see stats which indicate that, “…about 3/4 of working Canadians would either be reluctant to admit or would not admit to a boss or co-worker that they have a mental illness and fear of stigma plays a key role in their hesitancy to disclose”, it puts into perspective how critical these touchpoints can be. Employers have a key responsibility to ensure that there is a safe space for employees to be open and not only create opportunities for them to comfortably share any concerns they have but to then in return, it also helps organizations take strides towards improving those concerns.
Employees play an integral role in the operation of every business, and we must ensure that all our employees are doing well and have the support to perform to their fullest. Finding and training strong talent can be challenging and lengthy enough for many organizations, employers need to actively make sure their team members are healthy and happy to fully contribute to the goals of the organization. This can be accomplished by encouraging employees to ask for help with mental health issues, gearing managers with the knowledge to support employees who are dealing with their own or a loved one's mental illness and creating a culture that makes them feel supported overall.
Just as we at Auvenir value our customers, we value our employees just as much!