The festive period is a wonderful time for most people.
Usually, the end of the year means more time spent with friends and family, meaningful moments with the people you love, and wonderful memories.
Unfortunately, in the year of 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic hit, leaving people to deal with a very different version of the festive months. 2020’s unusual circumstances brings to light the more difficult parts of winter for today’s employees. Long nights and dark days can have a negative impact on team morale, even when lockdowns and quarantines aren’t in play.
Fortunately, the shift to remote working has pushed many business leaders to think more carefully about the tools that they can use to assist team members in maintaining a positive attitude.
Today, we’re going to look at how collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Nice Network Teams Talk can help maintain your team’s morale.
Using collaboration tools for morale
Lately, collaboration tools have emerged not just as excellent solutions for communication and team work, but also powerful ways to boost employee engagement and company culture. Through collaborative tools like Microsoft Teams or Nice Network Teams Talk, employees have an easier way to share valuable information for productivity and efficiency purposes.
However, Teams also gives your people a better way to connect, through immersive video communication experiences, and fun interactions. Here are some ways you can use Teams to boost employee wellbeing.
1. Reduce feelings of isolation with video
One of the biggest benefits of Microsoft Teams for remote workers in 2020 was the fact that it made it easier for teams to connect through video conferencing. When face-to-face interactions aren’t possible, video gives us a way to connect with our colleagues on a more human level. Employees can even use things like virtual backgrounds in Microsoft Teams to brighten up an office environment, or filters to make each other smile.
To help reduce feelings of isolation and make teams feel more connected, Microsoft even introduced Together Mode. This video conferencing feature creates avatars of each person in your meeting and imposes them into a digital environment, so you can feel as though you’re sitting alongside your colleagues in a shared auditorium.
2. Use Bots to Provide regular recognition
In a standard workplace, it’s easy to understand the benefits of recognition. Simply telling your employees that they’ve done a good job from time to time makes a huge difference to their feelings of satisfaction. With Microsoft Teams, it’s incredibly easy for team leaders to send an employee a message or tag them in a comment on a channel, saying thank you for all their hard work.
Microsoft Teams even comes with apps and bots that you can integrate into your collaboration experience to make the most of the way you recognise your employees. For instance, there are Karma bots that allow both business leaders and colleagues to award points for great work. You can also have automated systems that say “well done” to your employees for you whenever they submit a task or complete a piece of work on time.
3. Give employees a place to vent
Microsoft Teams is a convenient tool for improving communications between members of staff. When an employee has an issue, they don’t need to call a specialist for help -they could just send a quick message. However, some team members will still feel uncomfortable reaching out to a supervisor if they have a problem or negative feedback.
Microsoft Teams eliminates this problem by allowing you to give your team a way of discretely submitting their concerns. It’s kind of like slipping a piece of paper under the door of your manager’s office. Tools like Vibecatch allows you to constantly keep track of your employee’s feelings about your workspace, so you can really understand how happy they are at work.
4. Make sure no-one is out of the loop
In the festive period, it can feel as though you’re constantly running around trying to get things done according to hectic schedules and deadlines. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that certain members of your staff will have to say “no thanks” to the opportunity to connect with others on a check-in or voluntary meeting.
Just because your people didn’t have the time to join a meeting when you were hosting one, doesn’t mean that they want to feel as though they’re missing out on important information. Recording your meetings with Microsoft Teams is a great way to ensure that no-one feels left out if they’re snowed under by the holiday rush.
5. Set statuses to reduce burnout
Speaking of being snowed under, it’s crucial for every team member to get enough downtime in the festive months. As tempting as it can be for employees to burn the midnight oil on a difficult project, too much work can quickly lead to burnout. Whether your employees are working remotely or not, they need to make sure that they’re switching off from time to time.
Remind your employees to set their status when they’re away from the office for the rest of the day. Microsoft Teams users can implement a “do not disturb” mode that stops notifications from the channels they follow when they need a break. You can also remind members of your team not to message their colleagues if their status is set to “busy” or “away”.
6. Implement regular check-ins
Did you know that you can schedule regular check-ins for your employees through Microsoft Teams? Through bots like Jell for teams, you can automatically ask your employees questions about how they’re doing and get feedback straight away. The bot collects responses from your team members to give you a better overall insight into how morale looks in your organisation.
If the people in your company probably won’t have time for a check-in every day, or you feel like automated messages seem too impersonal, add a weekly video chat to your Outlook calendar. Teams can check the schedules of your employees for you to ensure there’s no clash, then remind everyone when it’s time for your talk.
7. Have a little fun
Finally, remember that just because Microsoft Teams is a workplace app, doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun too. Giving your employees a special room where they can take a break and socialize with colleagues can help them to feel a little less isolated during the holiday season. You could also use this room to run playful competitions like “worst Christmas jumper” for your team.
Give your teams the freedom to chat, play games, and share Gifs in their off-time, so they feel more comfortable with the people that they work with every day – even if they’re not face-to-face. You can even add snapchat filters to your face for an impromptu but hilarious video conference. We all need to let off steam at times – particularly during the winter months.
Bring your teams together this holiday season
Keeping teams engaged and motivated during the holiday season can be difficult. Even without a pandemic to think about, there’s the stress of visiting family to contend with, the rush of Christmas preparation, and the headache of cold weather. On top of all that, we’re all dealing with the emotional impact of dreary and grey days.
Whether your team is working remotely or not, having the right tools on-hand can be an excellent way to increase morale and open the door for more meaningful connections between employees. With Microsoft Teams, there are tons of ways for business leaders to strengthen then bonds in their organisation and open the door for a better company culture.
With Nice Network’s all-new Teams Talk, you can combine your Microsoft Teams strategy with your telephony, making it a comprehensive part of your full unified communication and collaboration strategy. That way, you can take advantage of all the benefits of Microsoft Teams every day!
Reach out to us now for more tip on how to leverage Microsoft Teams for your company.