2020 has been a year of change for all of us, we are now living in “a new normal” which in many ways is here to stay. The coronavirus pandemic has led to a shift in companies now working remotely, with teams distributed across the globe, and with the internet providing all means of communication.
Among the main risks to health caused by the virus is a secondary pandemic: the rise of mental health issues due to disruption of normal life, leading to a detrimental breakdown of routine, balance and overall well being. Even despite COVID, the shift of people now working in distributed teams has been happening for years: in the US, from 2005 to 2017, there was a growth in remote work¹ by 159%. As humans, we need purpose and a balanced life, and now more than ever this is being put at risk.
At DailyBot we believe that some of this responsibility to look out for one another falls to people in our workplace both with managers and team members. We believe that keeping teams motivated and happy not only is good for the company, but for employees' lives. For companies' benefit, an Oxford study² found that happier employees were 13% more productive. We spend a lot of time in our workplace; on average, a person spends a third of their life at work, therefore a happy workplace is vital for a happy life.
How you can keep your team motivated and happy
We believe that focusing on these areas with your team could really help to keep your team happy and motivated, with DailyBot providing a great way to lend you a hand along the way. Follow these 6 tips and look into the further articles and links for more information.
1. Create a happy and engaged team through fun online activities
We are all human and need daily interactions to stay happy, loneliness is a really important issue and often overlooked when evaluating distributed teams. Normally when in a physical office you could chat to the person next to you or have lunch with your friend from the downstairs office.
However with distributed teams this is not possible, leading to the need for remote solutions to engage the team in fun activities to break the ice and give some balance to the working day. Many of us have experienced the rise of “Zoom quizzes” and, whilst they have been enjoyable, there is a need for a sustainable and built-in icebreaker and fun activity function.
Our solution is through the use of DailyBots Icebreaker Question Templates, use these templates in your check-ins with your teams to bond and get to know each other better. You can automate the weekly scheduling of these activities, prompting interesting conversation over the internet.
Included in our templates:
- Book Club / Knowledge Club
- Your Passions
- Desert Island Handbag
- Team Activity Poll
- Collaborative Playlist
- Your Heroes
- Pet Monthbook
- Fun Remote/In-Person Team Activity Ideas
Of course with our Check-In function you can also make your own activity which you can then run weekly or monthly, the scope is unlimited!
2. By giving positive feedback and appreciation to employees
Positive feedback is vital to motivate and show appreciation to employees, normally in a physical office environment it is incredibly easy to show your appreciation through passing words and face to face meetings.
As workplaces move to an online environment with limited face to face interactions this is often the first thing to break down, with employees feeling like they aren’t being appreciated by those around them.
Combat this problem using DailyBot’s Kudos feature, using our commands and web application you can give your teammates Kudos to show how much you appreciate them along with their work. This creates a culture of recognition and feedback helping to motivate your employees.
Here at DailyBot we practice what we preach and personally whenever I receive Kudos from my teammates it puts a smile on my face and makes my day. One small gesture can go a long way.
3. Create a company culture
Company culture is a vital aspect of any high satisfaction workplace, by creating a positive culture you give value to employees allowing for self motivation and overall happiness. By setting out desired archetypes it gives individuals a purpose to strive towards these positive behavioral traits for self development and growth.
A Deloitte Study³ shows that 94% of executives believe that a company culture is vital for business success. With a strong company culture creating a positive feedback loop of happy employees resulting in a productive workplace.
But how do you create a strong culture in a remote workplace? At DailyBot we have introduced Culture in our Kudos feature.
Firstly, establish the team values you want your employees to aspire to by easily adding them to your workspace. Then if employees exhibit a certain company value, award them Kudos and state the value they fulfilled. This will encourage the team to incorporate the company values into every decision they make, bringing culture to the forefront.
Then using our visualizations you will be able to see which values are being most and least expressed. You can easily identify areas to improve and focus your attention, ensuring that you are establishing a balanced culture.
4. Create a workspace where mental health comes first
How has this changed with distributed teams?
With distributed teams it is naturally much harder to gauge how your teammates are doing. Limited face to face interactions means it is much easier for mental health issues to go undetected.Individuals struggling with mental health can put on a brave face and are not given the opportunity to discuss what is really going on. Often it is harder to have discussions about mental health and create a workplace where it is openly discussed.
But how can you do this in a distributed team?
- Raise awareness by providing information and creating discussion. Circulate literature and spread knowledge amongst your employees. Open up discussion by having organized sessions for people to discuss their experiences with mental health and how it has affected them. Overall, make steps to make the open discussion of mental health natural in the workplace, imagining a world where mental health is discussed as openly as physical illness.
- Implementation of mental health in all policy. When considering any kind of change to the HR processes always keep mental health in mind. Evaluate how this policy will affect your employees mental health, keeping it fundamentally embedded in all decisions and change.
- Providing mental health services as part of your remuneration package. We understand that you aren’t a mental health expert and don’t expect you to provide your fellow teammates with counseling and medical advice, this is why there is a point when it should be left to the professionals. Unfortunately in many countries mental health services are not sufficiently provided as part of insurance or state health programs. This is where companies need to step in to help out their employees. By providing comprehensive health insurance programs you are setting out a safety net for employees to protect their own health. This will remove the financial stress of healthcare and allow employees to focus on what really matters.
- Start asking “Are you okay?” in your workplace regularly. Although simple, this fundamental human interaction is overlooked, especially in a distributed team. A key part of mental health awareness is by individuals reaching out to those around them to check if they need any support.
This is where DailyBot stepped in to provide the Mental Health Check-In Template which can be used in your Employee Check-Ins. Using this template you can gauge your employees mental health leading to discussion and action.
Additionally our Personal wellness check-in (WFH) will gauge how employees are doing now they are working from home, allowing you to identify any issues. By implementing these templates into your check-ins you can quickly and carefully identify employees who aren’t doing okay, providing a process to help those who are struggling.
5. Provide structure and variety to your days
Working from home can lead to a very dull routine with very little variety. This is unsustainable for people long term as monotonous routines lead to employees becoming disengaged and unhappy. Using these tips and tricks you can transform the way you can structure your day.
Setting times to start and finish work by structuring your day around a set start and finish you contain your working life into a set routine.
Using DailyBot you can personally set your work starting time. At this time you will be sent your Daily Check-In, start your day by analyzing what you achieved yesterday and set out what you are going to achieve today. You can also identify any blockers to communicate effectively with your team if you have any issues
Gives you more time to yourself to get on with your tasks but still organizes 1 on 1s to stay close and updated to those around you
Schedule in regular breaks to break up your day consistently across the literature it has been found that taking regular breaks helps to prevent stress, maintain productivity and reduce the need for long recovery at the end of the day. The best breaks are those which completely remove you from your work, taking a walk or talking to your coworker. By returning to your work with a fresh perspective in the long term is highly beneficial.
Incorporate agile principles into your work by using project sprints you can break down projects into small focused sprints. By doing short sprints you will fully engage with a task then move onto the next task, creating variety and breaking up your time. This will also create a sense of achievement when reaching a short term goal rather than having daunting and seemingly impossible long term goals.
Limit your time spent in meetings by reducing the time spent in meetings you can get more done. Reducing meeting time however doesn’t have to mean poorer communication.
Here at DailyBot we believe that many of the regular updates you run with your team don't deserve a meeting. Using DailyBot we can help you automate those with in-chat updates, by sharing with your team what you are working on and highlighting blockers.
Additionally when in meetings use this fun chicken tool to bring back the attention in meetings when you get sidetracked to help you stay productive.
People either work too much or too little when left to own devices, need new ways to manage people and keep them happy with the current situation.
6. Measure the motivation across your workplace online
In a physical office you can easily gauge the atmosphere in the office, are people distracted and unmotivated or focused and engaged? This makes it incredibly easy to then make changes to the environment to re engage people. However, with distributed teams across time zones it is very hard to understand how the team is truly feeling. How can you make informed decisions using motivation data?
This is where DailyBot Mood Tracking comes in. Using a weekly automated and anonymous motivation question you can gather truthful and insightful data regarding how motivated your team is. Using our clear metric visualizations you can clearly see how motivation changes over time, allowing you to make informed decisions about managing your teammates. Identify issues quickly and find solutions, keeping a true pulse on your team.
To conclude, the way we work is changing, with more teams becoming distributed. This means we need to change the ways we keep teams happy and motivated as the old methods no longer apply. It has been proven that in the long run remote working allows you to live a happier and more balanced life. However working in a distributed team makes it harder to meaningfully communicate with your teammates and that’s why DailyBot is here to help you. Integrate DailyBot into your team to enable you to keep your teammates both happy and motivated, you can introduce it for free using the link below. Why not give it a try?