8 ways to boost employee morale during the pandemic

healthy employees
 Min read
November 28, 2022

COVID-19 poses a great risk to physical health, but other casualties of the global pandemic include mental health and morale. Focusing on the physical symptoms of the virus is important, but don’t neglect the emotional symptoms of people impacted by the virus. Here are 8 ways to boost employee morale during COVID-19.

40.9% of US adults reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition related to COVID-19

Mental health breaks

A recent study shows that 40.9% of US adults reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition related to COVID-19. While employees are dealing with stress and trauma outside work, ensure that your workplace is a safe space for employees to prioritize their mental health. Encourage employees to take small breaks throughout the day or allow an hour of “on the clock” mental health practice where employees can exercise, meditate, volunteer, or spend time outdoors.

Mental health days

Sometimes an hour-long mental health break isn’t long enough. While updating office policies, consider packaging mental health days into your employees’ sick leave with a no-questions-asked policy. Allowing employees to take more time off may seem counterproductive, but self-care may actually improve productivity when employees are in the office. Help ensure employees feel empowered to say "I'm going to take a mental health day."

Exercise challenges

There’s nothing like a little competition to boost morale. While employees shouldn’t be physically close, encourage them to write their names on a digital leaderboard for exercise challenges and reward the winners for running the longest distance each week or making it to the gym a certain number of times in a month. In addition to bonding through the challenges, heart health will improve and endorphins will trigger positive feelings in the body.

Do your employees know their work is appreciated?

Employee appreciation

Do your employees know their work is appreciated? From free appreciation solutions such as handwritten thank you cards to financial incentives and gifts, take the time to let your employees know that their individual contribution is noticed and appreciated.

Flexible hours

Family obligations look different today than they did in 2019 and 2020. With Zoom school, flex schedules, hybrid working arrangements and grocery shopping for elderly parents, an employee’s free time is a lot less free. Acknowledge your employees’ obligations by offering flexible work hours for those who may need to be home in the afternoon or take care of the morning drop-off.  

Invest in tech solutions for teamwork

A 2018 survey of tech workers by Comparably showed that more than half of those surveyed report having a best friend at work. With social distancing measures in place and fewer people working in the office together the social benefits of workplaces are decreasing, especially for new employees and team members. Invest in tech solutions that promote collaboration through different means.

Nothing lowers morale more quickly than feeling unsafe at work.

Reduce risk

Nothing lowers morale more quickly than feeling unsafe at work. Prioritize your employees’ safety and health by making a few changes in the workplace. Assure your employees that their health is your number one priority by introducing the Wellcome workplace management platform to your office. This app-free, touchless check-in service allows the company to know who’s in the building, facilitate contact tracing, and track building capacity. It also enables employees to view the number of spots available to work in the office each day, and schedule their in-office days digitally.

Open communication

Unanswered questions are a detriment to office morale and uncertainty about job security and changing procedures can decrease employee effectiveness. To improve employee effectiveness, encourage questions by opening up communication and giving employees a way to ask their questions through surveys and emails. Send out email communication with updates to COVID-19 protocol, health-related news, and encouragement. For important changes or updates, connect with staff members through video calls.

Increased productivity is a byproduct of boosted employee morale. Take care of your employees’ mental and physical well-being, and they’ll take care of you for years to come!

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