Companies are looking at innovative ways to keep their employees engaged so that productivity levels and happiness levels are maintained even when they have to work virtually. However, it comes with its own challenges as not every employee would be able to/ or know how to work from home efficiently. Remote work entails physical distance, which can quickly turn into a mental and emotional distance if not checked. When the feeling of isolation sets in, they will be unable to work with their other team members. Most people get affected by this kind of solitary work so it’s important to get them to feel that they are part of a community. Some of the things that we do to keep motivation levels high and to ensure that their productivity does not dip are outlined below.
Remote team activities:
Organize remote team activities after work hours twice a week or on a weekend. Employees take turns to come up with activities that they enjoy including online chess, virtual meals, group video games etc. This keeps their engagement levels high so that they can focus better at work. Since everyone is working from home, video conferences also provide a peek in their homes. In such instances, they are always encouraged to introduce their family members or take a short video showing their favorite things around. This activity encourages team members to delve in their colleagues' personal lives and get to know them a little better which would further encourage teamwork and a feeling of cohesiveness. This game is actually more suitable for smaller teams but it’s highly effective.
This lockdown period is a great time to get the training of employees done as they have a lot more downtime. Regularly conduct ‘knowledge sharing sessions’ hosted by senior advisors which benefits the younger employees as they get to hear from the experts on the job. Compared to a traditional training method where a ‘teacher’ imparts this knowledge, there is a lot more comfort and camaraderie as one of their colleagues is conducting this. This has also proven to be an extremely effective way to get the new joiners trained faster and more efficiently.
Conduct regular sales days wherein an additional cash prize is given to the advisor who does the maximum sales in a team/day. Set achievable targets so that a higher number of advisors are able to benefit from them. Also, have flash sales days wherein an extremely low target is given to all for a very limited amount of time, say about 1 hour, If they achieve that they receive cash prizes. In addition, conducting group challenges where the advisors are allowed to choose their own partners and form groups which will then get head to head in various competitions throughout the week. These sales days and group challenges have proven to be great stress busters and also lucrative for the organization as we can almost always expect higher sales on these days.
Apart from these activities, regular routine of check-in and check out should be maintained as in when they attended office. Waking up and getting ready in the morning at the same time, wearing formals and other routine stuff would bring a sense of normalcy. This would also help create a good mind-set, which would help tackle all office tasks with vigor. A sense of belonging among colleagues would definitely help to get rid of the isolation blues. Regular updates with respect to the current local scenario and office work also help allay any fears or insecurities that they may have.