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It’s highly likely that, oh I don’t know – a PANDEMIC – has gone and gotten in the way of your best laid plans and intentions this year, including all those ideas you had for boosting company culture. If your team has moved from being office bound full-timers to flexible workers, it’s possible some are feeling uncertain about the security of their jobs. Maybe you had work perks in mind, like celebrations, team building weekends and free fruit in the kitchen, but now you’re finding yourself with diminished funds – and potentially even a lack of office to stick that fruit in!

Here are five ways to keep your team engaged, loyal and connected post-COVID, without blowing what’s left of the budget.

  1. Formalise Flexible Working

If your team has moved from being office bound full-timers to flexible workers. As mentioned by the Prime Minister at a recent press conference, adaptations to flexible working have helped people balance their care arrangements and reduced congestion on the roads – which we should try not to lose at Alert Level 1.

As you manage the transition of people back into your workplace it’s important to talk through individual flexible arrangements and be clear what is expected from both your employees and leaders.

Flexible working arrangements are about a healthy work/ life balance – and after what the world has been through recently, this could not be more important to achieve.

  1. Online awards ceremonies

It may be too costly this year to bring your team together for the annual awards night, especially if you’re spread across multiple locations. Instead why not celebrate successes virtually with an online ceremony?

Particularly for those who work in isolation, it can feel as though they are sending their work out into the void without recognition, so this is a great way to show your appreciation. If the budget allows, you could even send each team or team member a bottle of bubbles so they can enjoy a virtual ‘cheers’ together.

  1. ‘Wins of the Week’

For a more immediate recognition of individual achievements, how about starting a ‘Wins of the Week’ announcement? This could be carried out through an internal email or a Slack channel, or if your team is back in the office, it could be simply gathering around the water cooler on a Friday.

However you do it, this is a great way to acknowledge effort and achievement and keep the rest of the business focussed on the journey to success.

  1. Birthdays are free!

No matter how great your job is, nobody wants to go to work on their birthday! Allowing your staff a paid day off for their birthday, so they can celebrate, spend time with friends and family or just recharge with some ‘me’ time, is an excellent and cost effective way to show you care.

To work-around the issue of birthday’s falling on weekends or public holidays you can take it one step further and offer people the flexibility to use their day-off on any weekday of the week their birthday falls in.

  1. Dress for your day / casual Friday 

In this post-pandemic world, it might be time to throw out the rule that says staff must show up in stuffy suits even if they’re spending the day at the office. This is especially true for those staff members who have just spent the last few months working in their PJs – getting them buttoned back into shirts and ties could be a shock!

Allowing your employees to choose their outfits based on their calendar shows you appreciate them and trust their judgement. Some like to dress corporate for work no matter what, some would rather wear jeans and a t- shirt if they’re not seeing clients or heading out for meetings. Why not let them decide?

However, if you would rather keep the code corporate, simply recognising casual Fridays is also a great way to add a bit of fun to the end of the week.

 If you need a hand with workplace culture contact the team at Freerange Works on 0800 04 FLEX or email hello@freerangeworks.co.nz for a free consultation.