How to boost remote employee morale is a question on the minds of more and more business owners these days. If you have employees that are working remotely, how can you keep them engaged and happy? I’ve scoured the inter-webs and believe I’ve found some fun ideas.
How to boost remote employee morale? Virtually, of course.
- Thank you Notes
- Happy Hour
- Paint Party
- Talent Showcase
- Magic Show
- Movie Watch Party
Thank You Notes
Who doesn’t like to be appreciated!? We all like that! And we need acknowledgment as humans. It lifts us up and I think we can all agree that in these times we can’t possibly have enough positive reinforcement. This exercise will take some planning so be sure to give yourself and your staff some time to get themselves together. This can be used as a great team-building exercise. Send each of your employees a document with the names of all the other staff members asking them to list one thing they appreciate about each person. There are several ways this one can be executed.
Here are a few to consider…
- Have them all send the information back to you and organize it accordingly. Depending on the size of your workforce, choose one or two people to read the ‘thank you’ or ‘acknowledgment’ aloud without revealing the name of the person being thanked.
- Then have everyone guess the name of the person being acknowledged. This can be done either by taking an audible vote or you can have them hold up a paper with a written name (be sure to have them write it with a thick sharpie so it’s easy to see on camera).
- Have each staff member read their list aloud for all to enjoy. This can be a sweet way to build people up publicly which can always help boost morale, thereby boosting your bottom line.
- It can be difficult for some people to think of compliments to give others. Not all of us were born with this ability, but it’s a very important skill to develop. When you send out the list with names be sure to include a list of possible directions for them to go with their acknowledgments. It’s nice to be given some structure. For example, you can choose to make it fun by having them include two or three adjectives to describe the person. It will be nice for, let’s say, David, to hear that more than one person finds him ‘kind-hearted’ or ‘generous’.
Virtual Happy Hour
Cost: No more than you spent on groceries
Careful not to knock your glass over as your arm almost involuntarily shoots straight up in the air as I ask this next question. But, who misses happy hour? Me too! I miss happy hour. But, you know there is a silver lining to everything – even a pandemic that has taken away most of the things we once took for granted. Ok, I’ll get to the point. You’re already home so you don’t have to drive anywhere. No more does one of you have to refrain from the fun to be a responsible designated driver. Yes, I know, Uber and Lyft already solved that prior to these unprecedented times. Okay so here’s another positive. When have you ever charged yourself ten to fifteen dollars for one drink? Never! It’s so much less expensive now. Plus, it doesn’t get watered down from the ice as it sits at the service bar waiting to be delivered to your overworked self.
- It can be extra fun to have everyone share the recipe for their chosen libation.
- This year has been especially rough on remote workers who also have children to raise. Just a short shout-out to you folks. We see you!
- The following activities can be inclusive of families too. Think about whether you and your staff would appreciate having their loved ones participate. Then, of course, be sure to adjust things to be age-appropriate for the kiddos.
Robert has loved doing this with his friends. Then they do virtual poker too. We have a few clients that do an annual poker fundraiser. It would be fun to help them put it on virtually and raise a lot of money for kids with special needs or adults with PTSD so they can get horse therapy at the ranch.
Virtual Paint Party
Cost: $20+ per person
*you should be prepared to pony up for this one if you want people to participate*
While this option can be costly depending on the size of your staff, it can be a fun one! Your employees will appreciate that you were willing to invest in their extracurricular time – some of them will probably already love to paint. This can be stressful to even start to consider if you’re concerned about the total cost.
Just like everything else in life, it’s important to set expectations upfront. Think about how committed you are to follow through with this one and then consider what you’re willing to provide and arrange. Be sure to specify whether you’re willing to include kids.
Here’s how to execute. Send an email with the details of what you’re willing to provide. For example, You’ll be having a kit with several acrylic paint tubes, a brush set, and canvas (specify the size), shipped to their home. This way if they want to include their kids (if kids have been invited), they know what kind of investment they’ll need to be willing to make in order to participate.
See boosting remote employee morale doesn’t have to be hard.
Virtual Talent Showcase
Cost: Free to Nominal
Who doesn’t like a good talent show? Of course, this kind of thing will definitely increase anxiety for those who are more introverted so be sure to get organized and give people enough time to let you know if they’ve decided to participate as ‘talent’.
Here are some tips to help you pull it off:
- Assign someone to emcee the event so it runs as smoothly as possible.
- Use the ‘mute all’ through the showcase but be sure to ‘unmute’ for each performer.
- Decide whether you want ‘chat’ to remain active while the show runs.
- Allow time after each performance for people to clap and comment if you’re allowing that.
Virtual Magic Show
If you’ve ever seen a live magic show performed by a professional magician then you know there can be no substitute. But, nowadays we’re all having to pivot a little and that includes magicians and their audiences. I’ve heard this can be fun. This is, of course, on you, the leader of your organization to both pay for and plan, but your employees will have a blast. They’ll be especially thankful if their kids can get in on the fun. Even better if your magician is willing to put together a plan to teach a couple of tricks to any ‘kids’ watching the show. Let’s be honest, we all want to know how they pull that off!
Virtual Movie Watch Party
Cost: Membership to Netflix & Teleparty is FREE!
Of course, you’ll need to decide whether ankle-biters will be included and then choose your movie accordingly. It can certainly be fun for adults either way. Personally, I usually always rush out to the latest kid-friendly flix. There are several options for this kind of thing but https://www.netflixparty.com/ is a great one!
As far as some extras that you can offer as the leader.
Once the movie is decided and you know how many people (families) will be participating, you can send out some fun items that go with the theme of the movie. Popcorn and snack baskets could be fun too – depending on geography and cost. This can be a fun way to get team members together.
A final thing to think about that I believe is of particular importance. You’re asking the people who help you to participate in exercises that are generally considered team-building. Please don’t ask them to do this on their own time. Yes, happy hour is usually enjoyed after work. But that was in a pre-covid world. This is a new frontier! Act accordingly. Give everyone, including yourself, a little break. A well-boosted team will pay dividends.
Whether you’re a business owner trying to keep it together or a parent trying not to lose it as you do your best to hide in your makeshift closet-turned-office this has been a difficult year to navigate. Hats off to you! I see you. Keep at it. You may find that you’re crowned a virtual hero once we’re all allowed to gather together again.
Implementing some of these ideas will surely help you boost remote employee morale. Try one or two and let us know how it went. We’d love to hear from you! Tag us on stories @rebelfishlocal
You can also get your community involved. Here are some community outreach ideas. Human beings are created for relationships. Yes, we are probably the most isolated ever in our life but I hope this pandemic has made you appreciate your customers, employees, and your close friends even more.