The current economic environment is less than ideal for those whose primary career focus is on bringing people together (e.g., marketing, hospitality, human resources, event planning, etc.).
For anyone at a loss on how to keep your employees connected virtually or what to do in-lieu of canceled events or programs, here are some ideas and resources to support staying connected without risking the health of our communities.
Ways to leverage video conferencing:
Host remote “lunch & learns” via a video conferencing service and invite a guest speaker. Don’t have or can’t afford a paid video service? Google “free conferencing tools” for options. Can’t afford a speaker? Reach out to your network or community and ask if there is a topic anyone would be willing to voluntarily share.
With more team members working from home it’s important to give team members the opportunity to feel connected with one another and the company culture. An easy way to promote this is by opening up meetings 10-15 minutes ahead of time. This will allow for casual conversations to take place without cutting into the meeting.
Group video chat is another way for folks of all ages with shared passions and hobbies to get together! Virtual TV watch party, play date, book club, birthday party, or happy hour anyone? All you have to do is schedule a time, send out the instructions (along with some best practices when necessary), and have fun!
Use social media to do just that – Be Social!
Identify fun daily or weekly topics and encourage people to share and comment. For example, St. Patrick’s Day recipes.
Create a virtual scavenger hunt or photo tag of the day using a specific hashtag.
Post trivia, polls and survey questions as a way for consumers to interact with each other and with your brand.
But what about fitness?
As a proud health nut, I get it! Gyms and recreation centers, in general, are highly trafficked areas, but you don’t need a gym to get in a great workout or to reap the benefits and energy of working out with other people. There are numerous remote fitness programs with online communities that offer month-to-month subscriptions. You can also leverage video calls or video conferencing through the options mentioned above to “attend” your favorite classes and workout with your friends from the comfort and safety of your own home. Your favorite class can more than likely be found for free with a quick online search.
Some communities subscribe to various fitness on-demand providers — these services can be leveraged by allowing community members to access these services virtually rather than requiring members to come into the community’s facility.
Use apps for challenges:
The following apps allow you to create challenges for specific communities, groups, offices, and more. Be sure to set up some guidelines and timing and to promote education on the mental and physical benefits of fresh air and moving your body every day.
Charity Miles – Idea: Ask for buy-in from the group on which charity they would like to support for a given amount of time – 30 days – and have a virtual kick-off party!
Count.It – Idea: This app is more team-focused than individual but team members can be anywhere. The goal is for each team to work together and support each other throughout the challenge. All activity counts and is easily tracked with a wearable device.
Strava – Idea: Create a specific segment within your community and create various incentives like fastest, most improved, most consistent, etc.
Not all of these ideas will work for everyone everywhere but hopefully, these resources inspire some creative ideas that help us navigate through keeping our communities safe while remaining engaged at the same time.
Now let’s dig deep and get creative!
Feel free to comment on this article with other ideas so this can continue to build as a resource for everyone!