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Another week of lockdown. Yawn. By now, your staff are probably settled into a routine of working from home, but they may also have hit a lockdown plateau: fatigue (especially if they are also homeschooling); a drop in motivation; and a loss of connectivity to their work. You can help combat your team’s lockdown plateau by keeping communication levels up and letting them know you’re still there for them during these hard times. Try these four ideas to stay connected to your staff throughout lockdown.

Tip 1. Check in daily

Whether it’s a quick phone call in the morning with each member of your staff, or a larger group Zoom, daily check-ins are a great way to stay connected. Use this time to not only touch base on work projects for the day, but to also check in with your staff on a personal level. Just by asking them how their weekend was, or how they’re going in lockdown, your staff will feel assured that you truly care for them, and don’t only contact them when it’s work related.

Tip 2: Set challenges

Weekly or monthly challenges are a great way to stay connected to your staff while having some friendly competition. Set up a Zoom call to organise some fun challenges for your staff to complete and keep track of the winners on a virtual scoreboard. These challenges could be anything from who can track the most steps in a day, to who can eat the most dry weetbix in a minute. This is also a great time to learn about some secret talents your staff may have up their sleeves. A Zoom talent show may reveal a secret future poet or piano prodigy among your team.

Tip 3: Try online team building 

Another great way to keep your team connected during lockdown is to introduce some virtual team building exercises during your catch-ups. Online games such as Codenames and team trivia are great ways to introduce team building into your Zooms, while keeping it fun. Games like this are perfect for a Friday afternoon, as your staff wind down for the week.

Tip 4: Host a virtual lunch 

If your staff is used to having lunch together every day in the office, they’re probably missing these daily lunchtime catch-ups. A great alternative is to invite your staff to have a virtual lunch over Zoom, where everyone can enjoy a meal and chat with no mention of work to be done. Your staff can cook up their favourite meal for the catch-up, or to make the occasion extra exciting you could arrange to have their favourite lunch delivered to them at their home. Financial services firm Deloitte has already done the hard work for you to prove this works: in 2015, it conducted a case study to see how employees reacted to this type of virtual socialising and it was a huge success. It was found that the causal nature of the Zoom, the inclusion of food, and the Zoom having no formal structure allowed for the conversation to flow freely.

Emily Kennon

Author Emily Kennon

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