As companies have started to work from home again and teams are either working remotely or on the Furlough scheme, Michael had an interactive session with many HR leaders, discussing some of the challenges they are facing and what new plans employers are putting into place to keep up team spirit and wellbeing whilst employees work remotely.
Virgin Incentives were certainly able to take some inspiration from new initiatives HR teams are putting into practice and we hope you’re also able to find new ideas for your company and your teams.
Olympic game challenges for global teams
If you’re in charge of managing and motivating a global workforce with people working across different time zones and different countries, you could take inspiration from the Olympic games. One company we spoke to decided to bring global teams together by organising fun games and challenges such as ‘hand judo’ and ‘running for your country’ – brand ambassadors were chosen to represent their country and people came together via video to participate in Olympic equivalent games. This helped teams to stay connected, do something fun and focus on physical wellbeing.
Open independent lines of communication
One HR leader we met organised virtual coffee chat rooms where people could drop-in, meet peers and colleagues as they would in a canteen and have a social catch up. As well as coffee chat rooms, an independent and private telephone service was setup for employees to contact and discuss how they are feeling just in case some people did not feel comfortable speaking about their personal situation with other colleagues. This enabled teams to have a weekly pulse check with independent councillors and ensured employees made the time they needed to discuss about their personal wellbeing.
Series of skill sharing experiences
An easy and engaging idea to bring people together could be to organise a series of video calls whereby an employee shares a specific skill with other co-workers and teaches the rest of the teams a new experience. One HR leader we met discussed how this simple idea was very popular and employees ran and managed the series themselves. Employees shared a range of skills, including baking, makeup tutorials, mask making and how to create comic characters and make a comic book. This allowed the company to bring people together, all engage in a social and interactive way whilst people learnt a new skill and were able to share their own experiences with others.
Sending wellbeing care packs
Another HR leader we met with discussed how the business wanted to send something physical to employees as a gesture. Quarterly care packs were sent with different treats such as bath salts, drinks, luxury gels to help reinforce the importance of wellbeing. As well as a physical care pack, the business implemented a new social tool called Slack, which allowed people to stay connected for 1-2-1 conversations with colleagues and set-up social groups to help remain connected as smaller teams.
Virtual cocktail making experience
At Virgin Incentives we ran a virtual cocktail making class with our team, sending out different ingredients to everyone at home and a cocktail shaker. The team connected over Google Meet so we could ‘cheers’ virtually and share our experiences of making the drinks. Although activities like these aren’t exactly what we imagined we’d be doing at this time of year, it was a great remote experience which bought us together.
As many workforces continue to work remotely, businesses must get imaginative and find new ways to excite employees and inject some fun into their day. We hope some of these ideas give you food for thought and out the box thinking for connecting employees, uniting them under a common purpose and keeping them motivated.