Coronavirus  

Keeping staff motivated in lockdown

Keeping staff motivated in lockdown

As the coronavirus crisis continues and the UK remains in lockdown, financial services are finding new ways to keep staff supported, engaged and motivated while working from home.

For many companies, taking time to check on employee welfare is important.

GBST has a short meeting every morning via Microsoft Teams to see how staff are doing, while Intelliflo has been holding regular virtual team coffee meetings to check on employee wellbeing and makes sure everyone takes a full hour for lunch to ensure they get a proper break from work. 

Providing new employees with extra support is particularly important at Delta, which is currently onboarding seven team members and is looking to recruit more.

The tech company’s ‘lockdown-friendly’ extended induction process includes a full home office kit, frequent manager contact, remote buddying, and virtual daily meetings.

David Zwirn, group sales director at Delta, says he is keen to provide new staff “with all the practical and emotional support they need to make the roles their own and to feel part of the team during lockdown”.

Maintaining the social element of work

Virtual drinks over apps like Zoom are also popular with companies trying to recreate a social office experience for remote workers.

Online adviser OpenMoney has moved its weekly team meeting to Friday afternoon to allow for a drink and quiz, with 60 participants playing from home.

It is also using the time to share ‘lockdown moments’ with each other.

Clair Staines, HR and people lead at OpenMoney, says: “These are the stories that, if we were in the office, we’d talk about and share with colleagues.

“They can be anything from celebrating securing a delivery slot with Asda, to taking up a new hobby or sharing photos of new pets.”

Similarly, Intelliflo has recreated the company’s usual Friday workplace beers with drinks with a video conference call and has added a games element to keep staff engaged.

James Rawson, chief operating officer at Intelliflo, says: “We’ve started holding a Friday ‘pub’ meeting with no work chat allowed.

“Alongside drinks, the meetings include bingo, truth or lies, and quizzes to boost morale and help maintain the social side of work.”

Companies are also taking the opportunity to embrace their employee’s non-work skills, with national financial advice company LEBC holding a Eurovision-style song contest for staff, while Sharlene Collins, legal counsel at GBST, ran an online HIIT workout for the company’s more energetic workers.

Power of tech

Not everything needs to be enjoyed live though.

David Simpson, head of EMEA at GBST, says: “A member of the Australian team recently gave a Friday night cocktail making masterclass from his kitchen via Zoom.

“Thankfully it was recorded so those of us in the UK could watch it later in the day – rather than drinking mojitos at 7am.”

As a global company providing onsite client support, GBST is used to team members working across different locations, but Mr Simpson says the current situation will be a management test for many companies.