In the past 12 months of disruption, many companies have defaulted into survival mode. For some, this has meant a hyper focus on ever-shifting goals and objectives, while expecting their front-lines to carry increasingly heavier loads. The weight of expectations, mixed with uncertainty and fear, quickly can convert into fatigue and resentment and plummeting morale.
When team members' morale drops, your employer brand image starts to droop, which in turn converts to less than stellar reviews.
Here are 5 best practices companies can consider to help fuel employees' mental, intellectual and physical restoration in the new year. Use these techniques to help buoy and sustain positive employee morale, which in turn can translate to a positive review for your company.
1. Model and Encourage Self Care
According to the Harvard Business Review, leaders who prioritize self-care in their own lives are modeling it for their employees. This may include sharing their healthy-behavior rituals such as taking a walk in the middle of the day or prioritizing time away from work and email. Such behavior is indicative of a leader who understands that slowing down to speed up nets optimal results.
A step further would be to encourage employees to do the same for themselves, by offering time off or midday breaks specifically devoted to unplugged rituals, as well as investing in employee fitness apps or other gear that may support your team members' goals.
2. Give the Gift of Subscription Services
Handpicking (tailored to the employee) and gifting unique subscriptions such as Calm's meditative content library can help employees contend with work-from-home distractions such as televisions or other household sounds by transporting them to a more natural, soothing setting. Enabling your team members to tune into the serenity of nature, ocean waves or birdsong can help restore emotional peace amid a taxing work day.
Or, perhaps offer a benefits stipend that covers up to $200 (or, whatever amount) that employees can spend on subscription services. The company Fringe offers "over 100 delivery services, exercise apps, cleaning services and other apps of convenience among other offerings," according to this TechCrunch article.
"Even post-COVID, it's highly likely that many of these aspects of office culture [e.g., in-office perks and off-site perks such as gyms] will bear less significance with many CEOs vowing to allow 'WFH forever,'" according to Fringe chief executive Jordan Peace. "This means companies need a way to package their office culture and ship them home."
3. Encourage Mentally Stimulating Activities
"Just as physical activity helps keep your body in shape, mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain in shape during this time. Crossword puzzles, playing card games and learning to play a musical instrument are all great ways to boost your brainpower," according to Hackensack Meridian Health.
To this end, consider gifting your employees with a fun-pack of mentally invigorating games or activities, or even lessons for their aspired to goals: to play a guitar, to surf, to design jewelry, or whatever the particular interest may be.
4. Offer eLearning and Webinars
While encouraging your employees to learn to play the guitar may be one way to stimulate their minds, other methods may be more intellectually aligned with their career goals. This could include hosting expert-series webinars, online courses, virtual challenges, new-skills training, e-learning modules and more, according to this article on employee engagement practices.
By engaging employees this way, employers not only improve the value proposition of their collective team, but they also cement individual employees' feelings of commitment to the organization, and a renewed motivation, even amid the struggles of uncertainty.
5. Appreciate Your Employees More
It may go without saying that commending your employees for a job well done will prove invaluable to restoring optimism, encouraging continued high levels of productivity and overall, improved morale. But in a time where many companies have suffered revenue losses and others are simply battling to maintain status quo, it can be difficult for leadership to focus on the bright side, taking note of employees whose performance shines.
However, it is necessary to do so!
Individual performers are integral in helping your company breathe, even when other organizations are struggling to stay afloat. By celebrating consistent performers who show up every day, with a smile, you reinforce their value and loyalty to your brand.
"Leaders should be sure to celebrate company wins when they occur, no matter how big or small, in order to boost morale," according to this article at actiTIME.
By applying one or several of these 5 strategies to your organizational fitness plan, you can strengthen your brand and increase the odds that the next company review on Glassdoor will be a positive one. Motivated, happy employees are more inclined to deliver celebratory comments that build your brand while advocating your company as a Best Place to Work!
How managers at your organization actively support and develop their direct reports matters and will show up in company reviews. To get involved in the conversation on Glassdoor and start managing and promoting your employer brand reputation, unlock your Free Employer Profile today.