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How to Maintain Employee Wellbeing During a Pandemic

Dave Birchall

Learning & Development Manager

If you’re anything like us, you recognise that your workforce and its wellbeing are crucial to your organisation’s success. You want to keep employee experience, a people-centred culture and exceptional service at the heart of everything you do. 

 

That is why it is so important that you find ways to maintain and nurture your amazing teams during uncertain times.

 

Since the beginning of lockdown, we have continued with and introduced a range of wellbeing initiatives and activities. Some may provide food for thought for your own organisation.

 

 

Roll out training to managers

Your managers may have little or no experience of managing remote teams, let alone supporting team members during a pandemic, so they will probably welcome some guidance!

 

Here at Node4, we delivered Webex manager workshops on building a remote team culture, remote team communications, engaging a remote team and attention management for remote workers. 

 

We’ve also just launched a Trans4mation Leadership & Management programme to assist all of our aspiring and existing managers and leaders. The programme is designed to help managers stay focussed, sharp, and continue to lead productive, effective teams.

 

 

Keep the team spirit going

While the world feels rather chaotic, you can maintain a familiar corporate culture, and provide people with structure and community.

 

Throughout lockdown, we’ve worked to keep the wider team spirit going with live company updates (via Webex), remote coffee mornings, a Thursday pub quiz, team quizzes, office meetings, Yammer competitions and resources to help with home schooling.

 

There are further activities planned to help the workforce remain engaged and keep them feeling part of one team. Among them, there will be MacMillan Coffee Mornings and a collaborative charity fundraiser.

 

 

Look beyond virtual activities

Virtual coffee mornings aren’t for everyone, and there are plenty of other ways to help team members feel connected.

 

During lockdown, we created working from home t-shirts and caps to make us all feel united (as well as hide the lockdown hair!). We even shared our new branded gear with our pets for #BringYourDogToWorkDay.

 

 

 

Say thank-you

Recognise your employees for their efforts in the face of new challenges, like managing changes to their routines, coping with health concerns and juggling home schooling with work commitments. Small gestures of appreciation can add up to an employee feeling valued and connected to their organisation.

 

Last month, we delivered gift packs to our colleagues to say thank-you to them (and the friends and family that supported them) at this difficult time.

 

 

 

Signpost mental health resources

If you have mental health initiatives and resources in place already, make sure your employees know about them.

 

We regularly reminded staff of our wider company initiatives such as Mental Health First Aiders, a wellbeing programme, and online Reward Gateway with mindfulness, wellbeing and mental health support. 

 

 

Review your approach to performance development

Your employees still need direction and opportunities to develop, so ensure you can offer this remotely.

 

We have revamped our Performance Development model to incorporate strategic, team and personal objectives, helping everyone to stay calibrated to our organisational goals whilst maintaining opportunities to develop personally. 

 

We have also continued to sponsor self-guided learning, external qualifications and exams for technical accreditations .

 

 

Continue to innovate

Where there are opportunities to improve operational processes or resource for your teams, take them!

 

During lockdown, we introduced wide-ranging process changes such as SAP ByDesign. We also continued to expand our workforce in key areas, inducting more than 20 new starters remotely since March. Their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Although a strange situation for all, the experience of joining Node4 remotely was fantastic. I never felt like I wasn’t part of the company, and everyone I came into contact with was helpful and supportive. I do really feel like one of the team. The support from Service Desk, Learning & Development, HR and of course my manager was exceptional. Nothing was too much trouble and honestly I am sure that it would feel the same had I actually been in the office.”

Mandy Coates, Assistant Compliance Manager

 

 

Don’t get complacent

There are always things you can do to improve employee experience and support your staffs’ wellbeing.

 

The real difference at Node4 is whilst we have been doing all of the above, we are still looking to do more. We never sit back and think that was good enough – we can always reflect and improve. For me, as an organisation and leadership team, that’s what really sets us apart.