It has challenged our way of living and working, disrupting the status quo of life as we knew even a few months ago. Businesses came to halt, leaving hundreds of employees losing their jobs. After the forced lockdown, businesses are now creeping back to operations — while few have embraced remote working, some are working on a staggering employee strength. Amidst all the chaos, one thing that has hit hard is employee engagement. 

As businesses are opening up, HR leaders and decision-makers need to rethink their approach to employee engagement. While we are dealing with unprecedented times with not much clue what to expect in the coming days, here are a few tips that will help you to keep your employees engaged in the workplace.

6 Employee Engagement Initiatives and Activities During COVID 

  • Offer Counseling 

Yes, that’s the topmost priority right now. For so long, employees have been cooped up at home. A lot has changed in between. Some might have lost their loved ones to the deadly virus or might be recovering themselves. Some might be feeling anxious to step out of the house to join work. And some might find it challenging to adjust to the new work life. Offer to counsel your people to help them cope up with the situation. Only when they are free of their emotional baggage, they would be in a better position to focus at work wholeheartedly. 

  • Offer Flexible Working Hours

Although the lockdown has been lifted and we are unlocking in a phased manner, remember employees are still adjusting to the new schedules especially working parents. As schools and daycares continue to remain close, it might get difficult for parents to manage young children and work at the same time. Offer flexible work hours to help them adjust to the new schedule and focus at work. 

  • Recognize The Hard Work

During these difficult times, employees have gone the extra mile to keep your business afloat. Acknowledge their hard work in braving the odds by recognizing their efforts.  Call out the silent heroes of your organization publicly and appreciate their efforts. You can also consider giving a day off as a “gratitude day” for their relentless efforts during the time of crisis. Remember, a little appreciation and a humble ‘thank you’ goes a long way in keeping your employees engaged at work. Additionally, it helps to build a healthy work culture especially among your remote employees. 

  • TGIF Meetings

Taking cues from Google, you can consider organizing the TGIF(Thank God It’s Friday) Meetings where the leadership team can address the employees about the week’s highlights in the business. You can also consider doing an open Q&A session where employees can voice their questions and doubts regarding their job security, the future of the company, the way forward, etc. An open communication system not only keeps the employees engaged but you can build a loyal employee base in the coming days. 

  • Virtual Team Building Activities

If your employees miss one thing really bad is their social life and social connection. This may escalate to feelings of isolation, disconnect from colleagues, team conflict and reduced productivity. Virtual team building activities where the teams can come together to solve a problem together can help build rapport, understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses and build trust. 

  • Invest In Employee Wellness

Along with taking care of mental wellbeing, it is equally important to take care of their physical wellbeing too. A sedentary lifestyle, working long hours in front of a computer, not being able to step out  can all lead to different lifestyle-related health issues.  Arrange for tele-yoga sessions or virtual Zumba sessions where employees can get up from their seats, move around, get to flex their muscles and have some fun too, during the work hours.

Over to you

These are just some of the ideas to boost morale and engage your employees actively at work. You can pick an idea or two from here, or survey your employees to understand what matters most to them. You can then design your engagement programs according to the findings.