Even if it’s something you and your teams are already well used to, working from home for a prolonged period – particularly when we don’t know how long this is all going to last – has its countless challenges when it comes to communication…
So what can we, as employers, do to ensure our teams feel able to communicate effectively?
“A core concern for employers out there, no matter what shape, size, or sector of business is ensuring ongoing and effective communication between each member of your team. Your team’s emotional needs are very likely to increase during this lockdown, with lack of social contact and fears around job security and health, adding to the pressures.
Encouraging and facilitating regular communication is absolutely vital in demonstrating your support, keeping motivation going, and helping to ensure we all stay positive and mind-healthy!
And it’s been wonderful over the past few weeks hearing about (and seeing) all of the ways that businesses are keeping in touch with their teams, and ensuring those channels of communication are kept well and truly open. Some methods being employed are a little more traditional, whilst others are downright inspired – well done you lovely lot! 😊
So, what can we do to keep in touch with each other – both as an employer or employee, but also as a friend, family member, or neighbour? Here are just a few ideas that our Wellbeing Manager and Mental Health First Aider, Kerry, knows many of you are using brilliantly already (and for those who aren’t, I hope it gives you a little inspiration)… 🙌
Video Catch Ups | Seeing your colleagues face-to-face on a regular basis is a given for most of us and something that is hugely valuable – whether that’s bouncing ideas around, giving someone a high five for a good job done, enjoying a five-minute chat while you wait for the kettle to boil, or having that shoulder to cry on! Agreed, it’s absolutely not the same when you’re remote working, but there are lots of tech tools out there (Zoom, Google Hangouts and Skype are just a few) to help you bring your office to life. Popping catch ups in the diary at the same time every week – even just for half an hour – can be a great way to ensure you all get to see each other’s faces, check-in with each other, and enjoy a friendly coffee
Knowledge Sharing | It’s of course really important that you keep your team regularly informed about Government policies and company procedures during this time, but it’s also vital that you all get into the habit of sharing your own knowledge, experiences, and top tips! This will not only help bring you all together, but those nuggets of personal wisdom could really make the difference between someone having a good day and a not-so-good one… Whether that’s sharing ideas from the school mums (and dads) on how to balance home working and schooling, reviews of tasty recipes that you’ve tried, or simply posting out a motivational message or quote
Team Adventures | I know that many businesses amongst you regularly organise team outings and adventures, and there’s no reason why this should stop – even if we can’t get out into the big wide world at the moment. Admittedly, the ‘adventures’ are likely to be a little less adventurous than you perhaps previously enjoyed – but there are so many ways that you can get together as a team and experience new and wonderful things. Why not take it in turns to arrange a virtual event and then invite your colleagues – it could be anything from a mindfulness session, a foreign language tutorial, or a ‘dance off’!
Lots of the methods that we can employ to engage with our teams can also be used to ensure we stay connected with our friends, families, and local communities. Here are just few more creative ideas that can be used to keep in touch with those who matter most to you…
Virtual Pub Quiz | You obviously can’t head down to your local for the weekly quiz, but why not enjoy the friendly camaraderie and competition from the comfort of your own front room? There is a wealth of nightly and weekly quizzes available online, and I know of many people who are logging on and joining in whilst playing along with friends and families via video calls. A great way to spend the evening, with the added bonus of not needing to queue for the bar or the toilet!
Dinner Party with a Difference | Hosting a dinner party is one of the best ways to relax with friends – so why not try arranging a virtual one? Much the same as you would in the pre-COVID19 world, all you need is to prepare your guest list and send out invitations, design your menu, decorate your table, and get glammed up… Ask your guests to all do the same – and then go online together for a night of great food, entertainment, and good old gossip. The added bonus here of course is that you only actually have to cook (and wash up) for yourself!
Be a Good Neighbour | The elderly within our communities are the hardest hit – not only are they more vulnerable to contracting this terrible virus, but they’re also likely to be suffering the most from isolation and loneliness. If you know of an elderly person (or couple) who lives near you, why not write them a letter to simply say hello and to reassure them that you’re there for support? If you have children, why not ask them to draw a picture, write a poem, or create a piece of artwork – something that will most certainly help to put a smile on the face of them and their recipient!”
Wow, thanks Kerry! What a fantastic array of tips and ideas we can all give a go to help us communicate effectively with our friends, family, loved ones and colleagues 😊
Will you be giving them a try? If so, give us a shout and get in touch by telling us how you get on! Simply tweet us using @MyPaycare or drop us a message on our Facebook Page… we can’t wait to hear your stories!
Kerry B. Mitchell is an experienced Mental Health First Aid Trainer and heads up our Wellbeing and Training Division here at Paycare. For more information or to access an abundance of other health and wellbeing tips, please visit our regularly updated blog www.paycare.org/about-paycare/blog/, or for our full page of FAQs about how Paycare is responding to COVID-19, please visit https://www.paycare.org/coronavirus/ 🧡
If you or someone you know needs a hand with collecting shopping or prescriptions, or just wants someone to talk to, the NHS Volunteer Responders are also available to help on 0808 196 3646.
Until next time folks, stay safe! 👋