There’s no question. COVID-19 has permanently changed daily life as we know it. From social distancing and isolation guidelines, to non-essential business closures and a shift to remote work, the new reality presents numerous challenges. For many, managing a team remotely is a new venture in and of itself. Endeavor Mentor and On Plane CEO, Martin Low understands the need to transition quickly and has offered tips and resources to help companies adjust and keep teams productive.
Another area of this new work environment Endeavor Entrepreneurs have taken stock of is company morale and keeping spirits high during a time of global struggle. We talked to a few of them about creative ways they are maintaining company culture – at a distance. Check out some of their new, digital extra-curriculars and tactics for improving communication below!
Entrepreneur: Patrick Goodman and Jonathan Erwin
Company: Red e App
Red e App is the world’s first mobile performance platform for the non-desk workforce where you can prepare, optimize, and engage employees for organizational success. Pre-COVID-19, the development team did daily standups to stay up-to-date on tasks. With everyone now working from home, other teams like Sales and Success/Support departments are also doing daily standups via Zoom to sync up. To ensure the team still receives some lighthearted, social interaction, Friday afternoon company Zoom hangouts have been added to the roster where everyone can spend 30 minutes to just hang out, catch up, and sometimes play jackbox.tv.
“It’s been a great way to end the week together and for the entire company to see each other ‘face-to-face,” said Red e App CPO Patrick Goodman.
Entrepreneur: Leonard Napolitano, Steve Huey, and Eric Shriner
Company: Capture Higher Ed
Capture Higher Ed is making it easier for colleges to recruit new students by focusing on online behavior and student data. To help the team adapt to work from home life, CEO Leonard Napolitano has introduced a number of new initiatives. To allow for family time and household activities, meetings are not scheduled between 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., while Friday afternoons allow for music enthusiasts and their families to connect virtually and submit (family appropriate) songs for everyone to dance to on camera with drinks in hand.
“Parents love it as a chance for their kids to go while, and employees just naturally like the mix,” said Napolitano. To ensure operations continue running smoothly, managers offer open office hours where they open up their camera for a period of time where their team can come and go as they please, creating that informal “pop-in” moment. To show appreciation for the team, managers are also able to give DoorDash gift cards to employees, while all employees direct message three other team members a day with a three sentence message letting them know you are thinking of them.
Entrepreneur: Ankur Gopal
Interapt develops software to drive business performance and provides custom training to solve the tech talent gap. Since COVID-19, the company has experienced increasing demand for their services, leading to a push to hire over 100 new remote workers.
As the team expands and stays busy at home, a non-mandatory happy hour where no work talk is allowed happens daily, giving employees the opportunity to mix and mingle. The company has also provided employees with $100 gift cards to spruce up their home offices and create a space they feel comfortable in while isolated.
Entrepreneur: Sean O’Leary
EdjAnalytics partners with companies to bridge the gap between the potential of data and the power of competitive edge. To help employees balance their work-from-home schedules, Edj holds weekly happy hours that have recently become themed.
“A recent happy hour involved employees sending in baby photos of themselves, where team members took turns guessing who each baby photo belonged to,” said Co-Founder and CEO Sean O’Leary.
Need some ideas of how to engage your team online? Check out this article by Front CEO Mathilde Collin that includes a list of 25 activities and strategies to implement.