Employees’ engagement vital during pandemic

by LYDIA NATHAN / pic credit: facebook.com/digix

COMPANIES should find ways to keep employees engaged, particularly during a pandemic when most staff are isolated and working from home.

Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd’s innovation arm, Digi-X’s Fun Committee member Nicholas Ng said the aim in keeping teams or departments connected is strongly linked to the companies’ overall productivity which goes either way.

“Maintaining the productivity and morale of a company are always vital. Creating events and social gatherings have changed today, many are done online, but it will still give employees space and opportunity to express themselves,” he said at the “Digi: Your Employees Are Not Having Fun” webinar yesterday.

Ng said some of the more usual activities in the past included team building exercises like outdoor sports events, parties and celebrations for birthdays or anniversaries and weekend outstation visits.

“The pandemic pivoted all these kind of events, but there have been so many ways to work around it today using technology.

“Through trial and error, we looked at some of the things that will work and one of the most popular activities was allowing employees a platform to express interest. That way, we could plan ideas around different interests,” he said.

Another Fun Committee member Natalie Tan said when companies are larger, it makes it harder to engage different departments, but it is still important to do so.

“For example, at Digi-X, we conduct something called Hackathon, where teams are created to find solutions and initiatives for certain problems. It helps people build relationships while solving problems with people who you wouldn’t usually communicate with,” she said.

Tan said there are two ways to come up with ideas and get employees engaged involving effort and cost.

“A company can create events with low effort low cost, or low effort high cost, or high effort high cost.

“These include online events like virtual lunches, movie nights and virtual games, while for higher cost events like sports tournaments and company dinners, it can be planned,” she said.

Tan said it is important to know the company’s demographics so employees feel included and will want to join in.

“Some events may require activities for families, or for specific interests like book clubs. The same events will not work for everyone. That’s why companies need different kinds of activities, but the key is to keep trying.”

“Happy employees are an asset to a company because it increases one’s performance which leads to improved businesses. But it also needs the support of many different people, it is not a one man’s job,” Tan added.