Remember those “water cooler” chats that you once had with people in your office?
You would stand in the common area and catch up on what you did over the weekend or share the scoop on that new restaurant you tried last night. Although those conversations seemed insignificant at the time, the interactions boosted morale and made your team feel connected. These moments, among others, contributed to team morale in ways that may seem difficult to maintain when you aren’t physically together.
Green Apple has been a virtual team since March of 2020, and we’ve learned a lot along the way about keeping everyone happy, collaborative, and engaged. Based on what we’ve learned along the way, here are a few of our tips for improving your remote employees’ morale.
Create Opportunities for Connection
Keeping your team connected and communicating is crucial when working remotely. Even when you can’t be together, you can create out-of-the-box ways to bring your team members closer together. We encourage you to get creative!
A few of the ways that we stay connected include:
- Daily Zoom meetings to discuss work and personal topics
- Virtual happy hours and lunches
- Increased use of collaboration tools, such as Basecamp
- Group text chains to share photos, videos, and stories
- Sharing recommendations for books, podcasts, shows, and movies
- Virtual team-building exercises
If your team is located within driving distance, and it’s safe to do so, plan team outings to help everyone have shared experiences. For some inspiration, the Green Apple team’s most recent team outings were taking a boat tour in a Kentucky cave and visiting a Tennessee vineyard. Even as a remote team, we enjoy finding opportunities to make memories together.
Send “Happys” to Your Team
Everyone loves a surprise. Even a small gesture, such as a handwritten card or a $5 coffee gift card, can brighten someone’s day. Recently, we’ve been loving Thnks, a platform that allows you to send thoughtful gifts of gratitude with just a few clicks. Remember that even a quick message of appreciation to your team can make all the difference.
Encourage Positive Language and Kudos
We say “thank you” often and freely at Green Apple, and it’s one of the things that gives our team a positive glow. Showing gratitude to those around you doesn’t take much effort, and it fills your workday with good vibes and warmth. Some might think, “well, they’re just doing their job,” but it’s still important to thank them for what they’re contributing to your team. When people feel appreciated, they feel a stronger sense of satisfaction and purpose in their work.
Remind Team Members to Take Time Off
When work and home collide, you may notice your team taking less time off. One of the advantages of remote work is that schedules become more flexible; however, that can turn into a disadvantage if employees begin taking fewer vacation days because they can balance work with personal matters. Encourage your team to take time to completely unplug from work so that they can come back refreshed and prevent burnout.
Maintain an Open Door Policy
Open communication is an essential piece of the employee-morale puzzle. Encourage your team members to express their challenges and worries, as they may otherwise harbor frustration. If you feel that someone on your team is feeling down or overwhelmed and they aren’t reaching out, it could be a good time to set up check-in meetings with individual employees to give them a safe space. Even when all is well, your employees may benefit from consistent communication to ensure they’re feeling balanced and supported.
There are a multitude of ways that employers can support their remote team members. Most importantly, though, your team wants to feel connected, appreciated, and heard by you.
Want to Improve Employee Morale?
Green Apple can build an internal marketing program that allows you to support employees while sharing your company’s message to help your team connect with your vision. Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.