What a whirlwind of a year. The past 18 months have had so many ups and downs for so many! When the world shut down last March, HR had to put it into overdrive to make sure that our employees were safe. There were still so many unknowns. After checking in with employees to make sure they were set up for success working from home, it was time to figure out how to keep them engaged. There is no manual or training on how to navigate through a global pandemic.
Our HR team has always been big on staying in touch with our employees, as they are the people we serve day in and out. It was important to me that each employee knew that we were here to support them, both personally and professionally, in every way possible. These check-ins were as simple as a quick WebEx meeting, email or even quick phone call to just say, “Hey – how are you and your family doing? What can I do for you? etc.” You would be surprised how much those simple gestures can make someone’s day.
Unique Virtual Events
iVision has always been big on events, whether it be a social, volunteer event, lunch and learn, etc. HR loves hosting events that engage employees outside of the day-to-day grind. After a few months of the pandemic, we were able to gage what our employees’ needs were and it was evident that our employees still needed these events. We’ve had trivia nights, beer/wine tastings, mental health lunch & learns, coffee tasting, yoga during lunch, virtual concerts, you name it. We spaced these events out through different days of the week and different times of day to make sure every employee had the opportunity to attend an event, no matter how busy their schedule became. Getting to spend time together doing these simple things and seeing so many smiling faces filled that spot in my heart that I didn’t know was empty.
New Norms for Work/Life Balance
A year into this new way of working, our team started feeling like they were working around the clock. Work/life balance has always been extremely important to iVision. Our leadership team identified it was time to enforce new norms to ensure that our employees were able to have that separation between work and home. We kept the focus on making the most of everyone’s time and productivity by shortening meetings to give people breaks in between back-to-back meetings, setting clear objectives to maximize productivity of meetings, etc. By just enforcing these new norms I have personally already seen a huge change, which is great!
Clear & Constant Communication
Communication is always key! Our team has developed monthly COVID updates to continuously keep employees in the know. It is a great way to keep employees up to date on the most recent changes with new variants and safety protocols as things change quickly with no guide on what to do next. Our great 401k broker provides economic updates for us on the market, that has been great to follow over the last 18 months. We also love sending our employees tokens of appreciation throughout the year.
I am so proud of our employees! While we aren’t out of the woods yet, our culture and engagement hasn’t skipped a beat. I am anxiously awaiting till the day I get to see our employees face to face, but for now I will continue to wait till it is safe. I also cannot wait to meet all our post-lockdown new hires in person!