Even if your workplace wasn’t quite ready for the digital transformation that COVID-19 has brought with it, by now you will be seeing just how quickly employees have been able to adapt.

The shift to virtual working has brought video to the fore. Whether it be Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, or Workplace by Facebook, here’s 5 ways you can be using video maintain strong employee engagement, both now and when this is all over.

Live stream

You may not have access to a studio or the ability to send out a camera crew, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have senior leaders and subject matter experts speak to employees directly. With the right coaching, anyone can run a live-stream from their living room. Live announcements or Q&As help employees feel connected and most platforms allow commenting in real time, boosting engagement further.

Team catch ups

If your teams are used to sitting within a few feet of each other, working from home may have a bigger impact than you initially realise. While project teams will likely still deliver work, a bit of comradery is what makes many teams so productive. Arranging a daily coffee or tea break group video call allows everyone have a brief check in, discuss what they’ve seen from their window or what inventive snacks they’ve been making and helps keep that team spirit alive.

1:1

One-to-to one video catch ups are probably the most important to maintain during times like this. It’s important not to slip into reliance on instant messaging tools and emails. While people may often put on a brave face especially in group call situations, there’s no doubt that many will find this very difficult. Regular (daily if possible) video chats with direct reports cement that there is a support network and make it easier to raise concerns and share challenges.

Virtual congresses and events

The events industry has been one of the hardest hit hard by the coronavirus. However we’ve also seen a shift to virtual events with adjusted programmes, which is great. Webinars and virtual events are nothing new, but now is the time to take them seriously and consider how you can ensure you are still offering an educational experience. A primary consideration should be how you can make the events interactive to truly engage people.

Socialising

In most workplaces, who you socialise with around the water cooler (or in our case, the biscuit barrel) isn’t limited to your immediate team. These are the relationships that are the hardest to maintain when working from home. Arranging social video catch ups that encourage different mixes of employees to come together and see each other can help maintain that social connection. It will vary with office size, but your regular office activities don’t have to stop; lunch and learns, crossword club, lunchtime gym sessions and the classic after work drinks or pub quiz – all of these can happen virtually and should be encouraged.

If you need any support engaging your workforce or providing guidance to leaders on how to use the channels available to them, please get in touch with us via internalcomms@ruderfinn.co.uk.