Today’s topic

7 tips to recognise & support your team (where-ever they are)

Employee engagement starts with listening to your team's needs and making sure that they are recognised. It can also be about making sure there's a birthday card, an acknowledgment of family difficulty or company-wide wellness practices.

Where to start with employee engagement

Besides hiring engaged individuals, and creating clear internal communication, let's think about how to ensure each individual feels as a part of our group.

At Alva, our intention behind recognising special events is to help our team know that they are seen. As with many things HR, it’s all in the onboarding and asking people at the outset: what are your boundaries?

How to respect boundaries whilst recognising people's individuality

The question of whether or not to celebrate birthdays, births, or religious holidays can cause many HR managers to worry about causing offence and even risk being taken to court. As ever, when we’re clear on *why* we’re taking action can help us to guide our actions.

Employee engagement is also about recognising that employees sometimes have difficult circumstances; not just give happy shout outs on birthdays.

If your employer brand speaks to valuing people, or trust, but you have no policy around bereavement leave or how to access mental health support, you risk showing staff that your values are skin deep. It is when times get hard that your employees will truly evaluate you as an employer. Make sure to be prepared to help.

7 tips for recognising your staff  

  • When onboarding staff, ask them if they celebrate birthdays - some people may have cultural, religious or personal beliefs that mean their birthday should not be celebrated
  • Note these and share with their team leaders, making sure you never mention a person’s age at time of celebrating
  • If you don’t already, have a standard celebration agreement; for example, birthdays give an additional day of leave, a gift card for a local coffee shop or even the release of personal development funding.
  • Keep birthday offerings standard and consistent across the workforce.
  • Make it clear that team members are not required to share the financial load of each other’s celebrations. That should be on you as an employer.
  • What is your policy around bereavements? Huddle up with your team, find the legalities in your jurisdiction and work out what is appropriate and what is legal
  • What mental health support is on offer? With the pandemic still with us, do your people know how to access support?

How we help the Alva team

For some inspo, at Alva we do regular engagement pulses and follow up on the results to make sure we're actioning change where needed. As data enthusiasts and nerds, we measure feedback on areas such as experienced workload, quality of leadership and collegiate support.

To think about stress, we have arranged mindfulness exercises and workshops. We have insurance that covers legal and financial advice for employees and, of course, sessions with health and wellness professionals.

Coaching is on offer coaching to our staff when needed (and then we have the lovely perk of having several licensed psychologists onboard! Never hurts, right?).

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