Employee engagement has always been a focus for organizations regardless of their size or industry for the simple reason that engaged employees produce better results and are more likely to stay longer with the company. With the recent shift towards remote and hybrid work, employee engagement has become an even bigger concern.
So what’s a small business supposed to do to engage hybrid remote employees in the digital first work world? You Slack it!
“Slack is a user-friendly and fun way to connect teams, in real time no matter where your employees are,” says Ciara Iannacci, ECHOtape’s Human Resources Assistant and Slack expert. “It’s a great way to build a corporate culture that helps engage employees, which in turn boosts productivity and retention.”
Like most companies, ECHOtape started using Slack as a means of communication, but during the pandemic, it took on a greater role at the company.
“We needed a safe place for our teams to stay connected to one another, to talk about stress and mental health,” Ciara says. While there are a ton of apps and integrations within Slack that address health, ECHOtape chose to create its own. “We started a Wellness channel. Every Monday we post about wellness, starting people’s day off right and keeping it fun.”
“One week we did a stretch at your desk clinic and recorded it via Zoom to share as a resource for those who couldn’t make it. Another popular topic was money saving tips for the new year. That thread took on a life of its own as colleagues shared credit card tips, cheapest place for gas and food, and so forth. Of course, the overall favorite is always pet related. The pet photos and videos are always good for a laugh and a smile.”
Another way companies are leveraging technology, like Slack or wearables, for workplace wellness is through virtual team challenges to promote physical activity. These challenges encourage all employees no matter their location to engage in healthy activities, such as walking or running a certain distance or completing a set number of weekly workouts. By competing against each other in these challenges, employees can stay motivated while building camaraderie with their coworkers.
These are just a few ways a small business like ours is facing the new wave of workplace wellness trends following the economic recession triggered by the pandemic. And it shows no sign of slowing down. According to Qualtrics’ 2022 Employee Experience Trends Report, Millennials and Gen Zs share different workplace values and norms from previous generations, prioritizing mental wellbeing, equality, and opportunities, which explains the recent job fluctuations. In response, organizations are seeking ways to improve the employee experience and take a holistic approach to foster a strong workplace culture.
Certainly Slack isn’t a complete wellness salve, but it has certainly opened the conversation up to our team in a positive, constructive manner.
At ECHOtape, we understand that employee engagement is directly linked to employee retention and organizational productivity. Healthy, happy employees are integral to our success! But there is another benefit: The engagement and connection we’re finding through Slack also boosts loyalty and impacts customer satisfaction, which means customers who are served by highly engaged employees tend to experience better and more thorough customer service.
And that’s a win-win.