Remote Employee Engagement and Team Well Being during the Pandemic
In any interior design business, there are 2 components – DESIGN & BUILD. The Design part is technology-led with a Virtual Showcase of fit-outs so that the client can experience as ‘true to self’ as possible the outcome of the, but the build is always labor-intensive, onsite and hands-on.
Given the later situation, working during the pandemic has its obvious challenge. It was stressful, to say the least. We were in the same boat as others figuring out to make it all work the best way possible and over time we realized, it is as simple as sticking to the “culture DNA”
HIDECOR believes in acting as a ‘TEAM’ – community and growing together. So we went big on communication and introduced the “employee happiness initiatives”.
This included activities such as fostering personal connections and gamifying the team work, encouraging wellness programs and celebrating your workers to keep their spirit high!
We practiced a regular all-hands call. The whole team across all verticals over a call (mostly video-enabled) would come together to ensure everyone spoke to each other and speak of things mostly outside of work, check on each other, warrant well being and share a joke or two.
Having said that as a team we understood quite early on, critical virtue that will beat the Work-From-Home fatigue is Ownership. As we train all our employees to build ownership from the time of their induction with periodic reviews and goal setting, it hugely took away the stress of micro-management and paid off for our structured approach.
OPEN DOOR TO OPEN CALENDAR:
The higher-management along with group managers took it upon themselves to keep motivating the team members personally, to stay positive, and not get carried away with the news and cynical information on Media.
As we have an open-door policy in our office, we activated an open-calendar policy wherein an hour each day in every manager or leader’s calendar was open for anyone in the team to book – ‘no one should feel isolated’ – was the directive we acted upon.
STAGGERED WORK HOURS
Post the lockdown, we had our team to start coming to work in a phased manner. Once the smaller group was confident and comfortable they helped in motivating others to join the office with all protocols in places like – safe distancing of workstations and seating, mandatory mask at all times, handy sanitizers accessible to everyone, and frequent nudges to wash hands.
TEAM BONDING EXERCISES
We also, did a lot of team bonding activities, like Zoom team games and also an annual team offsite trip. Although the later was a much anticipated, heavily guarded and executed under stringent protocols and supervision of our Human Resource lead.
Overall, this pandemic has taught us to become more employee-centric, emphatic, and introduce policies that are much more dynamic and employee-friendly.