Engaging Your Employees – 3 Ways to Keep Employees Engaged During A Lockdown

Employee Engagement During a Worldwide Pandemic

Employee Appreciation Day takes place on 5th March each year – it’s a day for companies to reflect and thank their employees for their efforts in the workplace, however the past year has been a little different and companies could benefit from a helping hand in showing their employees they care for continued employee engagement.

The worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, and subsequent lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 have no doubt had disastrous consequences for most. The UK economy in particular shrank 19.8% in the second quarter of 2020 following the preceding lockdown, so it’s clear businesses are suffering. But whilst business owners have certainly had their own Covid-related difficulties to deal with, it can be easy to forget that employees have also had their fair share of obstacles to overcome as a result of the pandemic.

From being furloughed or having to work from home; to getting used to a different daily routine and having no-one to socialise and celebrate wins with; and even struggling to work effectively around children or just struggling with motivation in general – employees haven’t had it easy. Up to 80% of employees agreed that the pandemic is affecting their daily work lives and consequently levels of employee engagement are low.

Check out Employee Appreciation Gifts by M&M at the end of this blog! 

So how can we help increase employee engagement?

Employee engagement, defined as the extent to which an employee feels passionate about their job, has a direct impact on an organization’s bottom line, so it’s in the interest of any company to ensure employees stay as engaged as possible, even during a crisis. However, employees aren’t machines – they’re human beings with emotional needs… needs which are currently stretched to their limits, so what can we do to increase engagement levels whilst staying compassionate?

Understanding their challenges

Firstly, it’s important to understand the challenges that are being faced by employees. Being furloughed or forced to work from home brings heaps of hassle to employees. Setting up makeshift offices in corners of kitchens has become commonplace and when schools have been closed, working around children has also become the norm. It’s no secret that working around children sends stress levels high and productivity levels low, so it’s in an employer’s interest to support their working parents.

One helpful way to do this is to provide entertainment for the children so that they can play whilst their parents can get on with their work. These packs could include all sorts of items from branded toys to branded colouring packs and pens, and even some branded sweets. In fact, at the start of the first lockdown, we helped Circle Leasing to put together a ‘kid’s pack’ to send out to their employees with children. The packs included branded teddies, branded bags, and branded cookies amongst other items, and really helped to show their appreciation and understanding of the difficulties they must have been facing.

Showing employees they are valued

Sometimes, it’s just nice to be nice – you know, for the sake of it. Employee engagement can be enabled by ensuring managers make employees feel, supported and motivated whilst at work. Given that feelings of loneliness have doubled during the pandemic, it would certainly be beneficial to show employees that they’re valued without needing a particular reason.

Actively showing employees you care could be done by sending out ‘thank you packs’ consisting of a mixture of useful items and tasty treats. Jayva was one company who we helped do just that. We created and fulfilled ‘brownie boxes’ consisting of branded brownies, tea, and coffee, to send out to their staff to make the back-to-back video calls more bearable. Another company who similarly showed their thanks was Sensyne Health who we helped put together and fulfil ‘working from home care packs’ which included everything from branded power packs and notepads, to treats like cookies. Our fulfilment service will handle all packaging and postage of your merchandise, delivering your employees gift straight to their front door – find out more here.

At M&M, supporting our clients to come up with great merchandise ideas is nothing new to us but the pandemic and subsequent lockdows has certainly brought us new challenges. The launch of our service to fulfil and ship merchandise direct to multiple individual addresses has been a huge success and we’re excited to push it further. Not only can we work with you to come up with the perfect innovative idea, but we can also create and pack it all into a letterbox friendly parcel, as well as posting for you too.

So if you’re looking to engage your employees by celebrating a company achievement, helping to entertain their children, or simply brightening up their video calls with tea and cake, our engagement packs and fulfilment service could be just what you need.

Celebrating wins together

Another difficulty faced by employees having to work from home is the lack of social interaction. The cliche ‘gossips’ by the water cooler and Monday morning chats about what everyone got up to at the weekend are no longer part of everyone’s daily routines. Instead, they’ve been replaced by endless video calls which just aren’t the same as face-to-face connections. Perhaps one of the biggest losses to come from this is the fact that ‘wins’ and milestones are not as easily celebrated. When before, cake in the office to celebrate a birthday would have been standard, now it’s not the case. 

So, as an attempt to combat this, how about organising branded gifts to be sent out to employees to celebrate company ‘wins’ or important milestones as a team! Take Learning Curve Group , for example, who in 2020 reached a huge milestone of supporting over one million people to gain a qualification, despite having to switch from face-to-face learning to online learning as a result of the pandemic. To celebrate this, we worked with Learning Curve Group to put together and fulfil a pack which included branded socks and sweets as a thank you to their staff for their achievements whilst working from home.

Another company we’ve helped with celebratory branded merchandise is Safran, who recently celebrated 1000 ‘LTA’ free days. This means there was no lost time due to accidents. As a thank you, each member of staff was gifted a branded chilli bottle with their name engraved – the idea being that as the company is manufacturing based, employees are still requires to come into work, however with each member of staff receiving their own bottle there’ll be no sharing and therefore less risk of Covid spreading.

Check Out Some Employee Engagement Gifts by M&M. 


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