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How to keep happy employees? The answer might surprise you…

Is it possible that this pandemic has only kept us home for two months? Or is possible that time has somehow morphed and lengthened as we soldier through quarantine, slogging through job losses, working from home, homeschooling and myriad other COVID-19 consequences.

Perhaps the only certainty in these uncertain times is that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted everyone. Bosses must manage staff that are returning to new work landscapes or stuck at home craving connection. The challenge those bosses face is one of motivating employees without overwhelming them. And while being stuck in the middle of a global health emergency may seem like the worst time to celebrate anything, it’s not.

According to Chris Guizlo, vice president of the public relations firm The Fearey Group, celebrating your employees is vital, especially now. Guizlo says to start by celebrating your employees’ personalities. While you may be physically separated from your employees, there are plenty of tech tools to keep you connected. Guizlo says his team stays in touch using Slack. On Slack, Guizlo created special channels for employees to share pet pics, favorite foods, reading recommendations, exercise tips and more. It’s a way for The Fearey Group to celebrate its employees’ personalities.

“We use lots of little opportunities to touch base with our team,” Guizlo explains. “And we provide a place to let people’s personalities shine.”

Guizlo also gives his staff permission to celebrate community. Every Friday, each Fearey staffer is given a $20 budget to buy lunch at a local establishment. The free food Friday allows employees to stimulate the local economy in the tastiest way possible. 

 At Better Business Bureau NW+P, we have been celebrating our staff long before the pandemic started. There are the potluck lunches, the opportunities to volunteer at local charities while on the clock, the random thoughtful gifts from the HR department, an annual company fun day, birthday cubicle decorations and much, much more.

So when staff from BBB’s Boise office had to pack up and start working from home, the camaraderie of tightknit teams had to unfold like so many other companies: over the internet, using video conferencing technology (and many, many memes). Though it may seem like the days of laughing with coworkers in the break room are a speck in the rearview mirror, BBB was recently reminded of just how precious those days and these days are.

The Better Business Bureau was recently honored as the No. 1 Best Place to Work in Idaho for medium-sized employers. It is an accolade that makes us proud. It also gives us something to celebrate – not the plaque or virtual party. But what we celebrate is our people, in all the little and large ways. Though we don’t get to decorate cubicles to celebrate birthdays, we do get schedule virtual meetings to talk about wellness services to help during these tough times.

It’s like our BBB head of HR Barbara Flynn says, being dubbed Idaho’s top employer is a recognition we hope each staff members grasps as their own accomplishment.

“In a time where our world is facing heavy challenges of navigating through the fog that is COVID-19, it’s that more important to celebrate the moments that brighten up our days,” Flynn says. “Our organization was grateful for the opportunity to showcase our culture and employees that contribute to it every day.”

The results for the Best Places to Work in Idaho are based on confidential employee surveys. The feedback from BBB employees validates for all of us that our programs and initiatives for our employees are having the positive impact we intended.

“Employees are one of the most valuable resources for a company,” Flynn says. “It is through the employees that a company can fulfill their business goals. This award provides the perfect stage for companies to highlight how they take care of their employees.”

Whether the stage where you recognize employees is spotlighted in pomp and circumstance or it’s a virtual room to share a laugh, it all adds a little glimmer of celebration when we need it most. So how will you celebrate your employees today?

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Written by Hannah Stiff

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