One of the casualties of the pandemic is the loss of office camaraderie. As we work from home and have most (all?) of our interactions via the screen, it can be difficult to feel connected with our colleagues.

Here are a few strategies to increase employee engagement during your virtual time together:

  • Infuse fun remotely:
    • Hire someone from Cameo.com to give a message to your team
    • Utilize Tribute.co to create a video tribute for a retirement or promotion
    • Happy Hour over Zoom
    • Share a favorite meme
    • Virtual contests (eg: craziest hat, wildest sox, funniest virtual background)
    • Whimsical polls (eg: are you wearing shoes, slippers, socks, nothing on your feet)
    • Show and tell (eg: share family members or pets, show home or hobbies)
    • Scavenger hunt
    • Posting on an internal network (eg: childhood photos, hobby, recipes, holiday wish list)
  • Do more time on synchronous events for the whole team/department:
    • Lunch and Learn with an outside speaker
    • Book club discussion
    • Town Halls
  • Provide employees with tangibles when possible:
    • E-gift cards, even for small amounts
    • Food delivery coupons to buy individual meals for a group lunch
    • Mail a box with a branded item(s)
    • Send handwritten notes, postcards or birthday cards
    • Sugarwish (allows you to curate your own box of candy)
    • Themed gifts (eg: Llama cookies and note You’ve done a llama hard work lately)
  • Mark occasions such as holidays and changing of the seasons
  • Celebrate individual and department wins – including the fact you have survived another milestone

Your culture isn’t any less important just because you aren’t together in person. In fact, it may be even more critical to foster engagement from a distance. Consider ways that you can add some appreciation, levity, and participation for your team and keep the morale up even when your time in person is down.

photo credit Caryl Stern

 

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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