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More and more organisations are undertaking employee engagement activities today. Ritu Verma, Senior Vice President – Human Resources, Brookfield Asset Management, talks about how organisations can further promote work-life balance for employees in a remote setting.

We all love to work together in the office. However, with remote working becoming the new normal, it has brought on its own set of challenges. The current structure of remote working primarily focuses only on work. All work and no play can make life gloomy and have serious repercussions on employees’ wellness, leading to reduced productivity.

Organisations which had already been conducting employee engagement and team-building activities are now also undertaking various initiatives to support the mental health of their staff and keep their morale high. For instance, Brookfield Properties started a unique virtual initiative ‘Positive Pulse’ to drive fruitful conversations with leading experts on health and well-being. The organisation also hosted a virtual yoga meet with experienced instructors as well as a variety of contests for tenants and employees to show their creativity.

Apart from the ongoing initiatives and programmes, organisations can boost employee morale and foster team building in various other ways, including:

INTRODUCE UPSKILLING PROGRAMMES

Organisations can use online tools for imparting valuable training to their employees. Online upskilling programmes will help break the monotony of work and increase employee engagement. These will also inculcate a sense of commitment and gratitude in employees and improve their performance in the long term.

OFFER SPACE FOR ENGAGEMENT

Team leaders and managers can keep their teams engaged and productive by hosting contests virtually. Organisations can also conduct educational webinars involving industry experts. For instance, they can host insightful sessions on financial management, covering tips on how to manage expenses during this pandemic.

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SHOW THAT YOU CARE

Employees are the most valuable assets an organisation has and this must reflect in the initiatives that it takes for the wellbeing of its employees. Organisations can conduct online sessions with doctors or nutritionists for answering the health and safety-related questions of their employees. Sessions like these will add to the motivation quotient of the workforce and also build a sense of community. For example, through Positive Pulse, we are creating meaningful connections with our tenants and their employees as they work remotely.

GIVE RECOGNITION

As employees are now loaded with more work than ever, organisations need to give them recognition or find new ways to appreciate their efforts. A few words of recognition or appreciation can boost the morale of employees and encourage them to perform even better.

FOSTER FLEXIBILITY

Working remotely comes with its own set of non-ignorable household chores. Employees may find it a challenge to manage their house and office work simultaneously. They also require time to relax and unwind. Organisations should offer their employees utmost flexibility so that remote working does not become a hassle for them. They should also give employees the liberty to work on extended deadlines and encourage them to take adequate breaks to avoid monotony and keep their minds fresh. All of these measures, in turn, will boost the morale of employees and help them balance their professional and personal commitments.

It is equally important to improve communication with employees. Any team may struggle to operate remotely if the communication process is not defined or transparent. Therefore, teams should hold regular video meetings where members can discuss both organisational and non-work related topics. These will help them connect better and express their thoughts freely.