As we continue to remain socially distant for the foreseeable future, organizations must do their best to carry on and adjust business strategies to fit the “new normal.” One of the ways businesses have adapted the most lies within their approach to flexible working policies. In fact, reports show that two-thirds of companies said at least 75% of staff were now working from home, with expectations that this trend will likely affect the traditional workplace moving forward.
With this shift in place, it is more important than ever for businesses to ensure that their siloed workforce remains engaged. Not doing so effectively can have a quantifiable negative impact on organizations as statistics show that a disengaged workforce leads to less productivity and ultimately hinders business growth.
A simple and often overlooked way to boost engagement among your employees is through an effective internal communications strategy – one that encourages transparency and aligns departments across the company while also serving as a tool to motivate employees and keep them engaged.
Just as companies focus on publicizing the “big wins” externally, they should take steps to celebrate internal PR wins as well. Whether it is simply to keep employees in the loop, show appreciation or communicate successes inside the organization, if your company is not already doing so, here are some (socially distant) best practices to help celebrate those PR wins internally and keep your staff more engaged:
- Intranet: Using tools like Microsoft Teams or Slack can break up the monotony of routine tasks. Take a moment to recognize a colleague’s achievement or share a funny story or meme to give everyone a midday laugh.
- Memos: Calling for submissions to include in a recurring newsletter gives employees a chance to speak up and connect with each other. Use this as an avenue to brag about successes from the past few days, share an exceptional note from a client or exchange non-work-related snippets, like favorite quarantine recipes.
- Food Delivery: Sending a tasty treat is a proven way to acknowledge when someone goes above and beyond what is expected. Schedule a small cookie or pizza delivery to praise an employee for their hard work or simply to say “thank you” in a memorable way.
- Make the Most of Virtual Staff Meetings: Designate a few minutes during the company-wide assembly for individuals to share highlights from the weekend, discuss timely topics or commend others’ victories.
- Virtual Happy Hour or Tea Time: Hitting pause on work gives employees a chance to refresh and reconnect. Set up a Zoom call to chat about bingeworthy TV shows, introduce your new “coworkers” (kids, significant others, pets, etc.) or provide updates on completed quarantine projects.
- Social Media: Publishing employees’ accomplishments to Twitter and LinkedIn lets others know that you value your staff. Create branded graphics and shareable content that highlights individuals’ certifications, work anniversaries or a simple appreciation post.
The ways in which you connect with your employees are not limited to this list, but there is no denying that internal communication plays an important role in an organization’s business strategy – especially in the current environment.