I would love to share a story with you, which I have experienced myself. Over the last four months, I have simultaneously run Social Stories Club and the Edinburgh Innovations Startup Summer Accelerator. I miss the buzz of the office. I have been working from home for this duration. I make sure to get a lovely walk every day around lunchtime to come back refreshed, and I may bump into friends on the way, but it is not the same having a conversation when you are two meters apart. On Monday, as I headed back home from my walk, I saw a parcel had been left at my doorstep. How exciting! I began racking my brain to think who could have possibly sent it. It became clear very soon that it was my boss! I pulled open the cardboard packaging to find a note “thank you so much for all your hard work, I feel so lucky to have such an amazing team.” Alongside was a delicious box of chocolates. The immense gratitude I felt at that moment was beautiful and made me well up. I am so unbelievably lucky to have such a kindhearted and caring boss. At that moment, I felt so appreciated and connected. I was so moved by this gesture. Running a gifting company, I talk to businesses daily who are sending gifts to clients and employees. But only at that moment did I truly understand how united and special it feels to be given a gift by my boss. Here is a guide that our wonderful team member, Deniss, has written on how you can reunite your team with gifts.
As the world is adjusting to the new normal, will you be proactive?
A significant chunk of 2020 will go down in history as confusing and uncertain. While some of us were extremely busy trying to re-organise our businesses or working arrangements, others were furloughed with no work at all. But now, we are heading back, hooray!
We are slowly adjusting to a new normal as businesses are re-opening, and employees are heading back to the office. For business managers, team cohesion may be a concern. To put your mind at ease, in this blog, we will equip you with some of our best strategies to reconnect your team.
How to avoid division in the team and boost morale and productivity?
Robin Camarote, an organisational change management expert at Wheelhouse Group, exposes the bitter truth: after the shutdown, the employees will struggle to reconnect with their colleagues, leading to separation, and division at work.
The shutdown divided the workforce into those at the front lines – the “essential” who do it all, with far fewer hands and others, with too much time on their hands and growing anxiety and fear for the unknown. Naturally, when coming back to work, people will struggle to reconnect. As managers, leaders, or just conscious colleagues, we have to work together and address this issue.
Businesses need a strategy to reunite the team and its benefits.
The World Economic Forum stresses the importance of addressing this issue as soon as possible. Wishful thinking that things will get back to normal without action - would not help. Nevertheless, there are certainly ways to make the best of what is coming.
Thankfully, we thought about a 3-step process to help you with that:
- Firstly, organise a meeting to provide a forum for people to talk and reconnect. Be there to help, and provide open and transparent dialogue. Communication is important now, like never before. You should summarise what has been happening in the workplace: what has been done and what needs attention. There will be natural concerns about social distancing, cleaning and wearing masks, so make sure you have a solid plan in advance, and everyone is comfortable and informed.
- We all know that people want to feel valued and appreciated. Publicly praise the tough work of your employees, and thank all employees for all they have done and for being part of the team. Now is a good time to think about corporate gifts, don’t wait until Christmas. Purchase something personal with an interesting story that reflects your values. It can be hard to express gratitude to those you are most grateful for, but the smallest gestures of appreciation create lasting bonds. Make sure you think carefully about what you appreciate most about each employee to include in a note with the gift. The gifts that are appreciated the most are the unexpected ones.
- Re-shift the focus and provide guidance. After the first two steps are complete, make sure to refocus the team on work and provide guidance along the way. In here, you should outline the goals of the company and explain why they are important. You should make it clear that everyone is working in a supportive environment, and they can safely share their struggles and concerns. Feeling safe at work is important for employee morale and will ultimately lead to being more productive and staying in a job longer.
According to Simon Sinek, all humans want to feel safe, valued and appreciated. The workplace is not an exception. Even a small gesture will create lasting bonds, boost morale and improve productivity. Do not wait until Christmas to praise your team.
Here at Social Stories Club, we have been thinking hard on how we can help businesses to reconnect and reunite their teams.
We are happy to present two gifts that are aimed at reigniting the spark within your team and focuses on creating impact: Welcome Back to Work Gift Box and Welcome Back to Work Gift Hamper. Included in each gift is a story booklet so the gift recipient can learn how their gift empowers individuals with disabilities, educates girls in tea-growing regions, and supports reforestation projects.