April 29, 2020
It’s no secret that employees newly working at home are hurting right now: emotionally, physically, financially. How well do you really know what’s going on in their lives? Are they getting the support they need from you?
Fostering company culture from home can seem like a daunting task, but the rewards go far beyond the four walls of an office. Happy employees lead to happy customers. Here are some ways that you can show your employees you care.
1. Create a “digital pantry”
Many workers, especially younger, unmarried ones lack any social support beyond their workplace. Others have traveled far for job opportunities, leaving family and friends behind all over the world.
What they need is a “digital pantry,” a place to go to find support.
Setting up a channel on Slack or similar platform creates a space for your team to seek or offer help without feeling vulnerable. Maybe an employee can offer to grocery shop, run errands or pick up medication for at-risk co-workers who can’t leave their homes. Perhaps the office can offer surplus toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer and paper towels to employees who need them. You never know what your workers are going through at home unless you ask and leave the channels of communication open.
2. Host digital happy hours and game nights
Many people have been quarantined alone for weeks on end, so a weekly happy hour over or game night Zoom could be just what your employees need to keep morale high and to show that you’re thinking about them. Virtual social sessions provide the perfect opportunity to get to know the people who work for you, without the confines of office spaces dividing up the ranks.
3. Re-evaluate your benefits plans
Heaven forbid one of your employees gets infected with the virus. Are they going to be able to get the care they need? Reconsider how you are taking care of your employees’ and their family’s health and wellbeing and take actionable steps to better prepare for the future. They depend on you.
4. Wi-Fi stipends
The small gesture of taking the financial burden of Wi-Fi expenses off of your employees can make a huge difference not only financially, but also in their attitudes toward work as a whole. Simple ways that show you care can have the biggest impact.
5. Weekly goal planning
Before the pandemic, our team had goal planning sessions where we set one personal and one professional goal each week. Continuing this practice has been a lifeline through these hard times.
Not only does goal planning give your employees something to hold on to and carry them through the week, but the personal goals also help team members get to know each other on a more personal level. You learn what matters to people outside of work, such as their interests, hobbies and priorities.
6. Support local businesses through team-bonding raffles
Is someone on your team doing an exceptionally good job? Who won the most rounds at game night? You can give away gift cards to local businesses to people on your team who stand out. (Read more about supporting local businesses in our previous edition of Marketing Magnified here.) Better yet, ask team members to nominate people they think could use it.
By doing these things, you’ll lay down the foundation for a great work-at-home culture that will continue beyond the current crisis. It’s all about staying connected and moving forward as a team while in a virtual workplace. Remember the mantra: “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”
Kate serves as Marketing Coordinator at the CMO Council where she drives the social media engagement strategy and assists in content and creative development for the CMO Council’s biweekly newsletter, Required Reading, and monthly e-journal, Marketing Magnified. She is a first point of contact for interviews featured in CMO Council reports as well. Kate holds a bachelors degree in Communication Studies and Foreign Affairs from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and currently resides in the Bay Area with her rescue dog, Archie. When she’s not writing for CMO Council, you can find her chipping away at the endless stack of novels on her bookshelf or writing her own.
Get connected with Kate on LinkedIn here.
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