How To Help Agency Staff Beat the Winter Blues
The winter months post-Christmas are always difficult for staff as energy levels often dip, but with the ongoing pandemic restricting access to friends, family and leisure activities, it’s even more important to help property agent staff combat the winter blues.
Leading outsourced communications company, Moneypenny handles 2 million property calls and live chats each year for 16,000 property professionals and is consistently recognised as a Sunday Times ‘Best Company to Work For’ thanks to its efforts to keep its 1000 staff happy, energised and supported.
Here, Moneypenny’s Head of the Estate Agent Sector, Joanne Tattum, shares the company’s seven top tips to tackle the winter blues:
1.Small acts of kindness
These have a big impact on employee wellbeing and should include taking the time to say thank you for a job well done. This could involve sending out relaxation kits or small gifts with a handwritten note to employees. Our in-house video team creates personalised videos with birthday messages for staff and the senior management team often hand deliver flowers to employees doors, showing that the company really cares. Why stop at employees too – we regularly send our signature Moneypenny socks to clients too.
2. Use the power of the voice
Staff of all seniorities need to hear you and know that you are hearing them, especially when working remotely, so make sure you have regular two-way communication. Send a few less emails and use video and one-to-one calls instead to provide an opportunity for a more personal touch. We know ourselves that we can pick up so much more from tone of voice in particular, as it allows you to spot if someone is struggling and put extra support in place.
3. Make it physical
It’s well known that exercise can improve mental wellbeing, and while gyms may be shut, companies can still organise online exercise or yoga classes to get their staff moving. You could even try encouraging them to take a walk on your next update call to get them out into the fresh air.
4. Look after the mind
The new year is the perfect time for companies to introduce initiatives to help staff maintain mental wellbeing. Consider sharing tips to help with mindfulness, set up a team challenge that employees and their families can take part in and share useful resources to help navigate the stresses and strains of lockdown. At Moneypenny we’ve also set up a helpline for staff to call if they need any advice on any issues, such as family, stress, money, or even domestic abuse.
5. Be relevant
With so many people juggling home-schooling and home-working again it’s especially difficult to keep morale high. Think about what modifications you can make to help with this specifically – we’ve offered many of our team more flexible hours to accommodate looking after their children.
6. Use tech to bring staff together
If you use Workplace from Facebook, or Teams, in addition to managing critical company updates or workflows, these tools can act as the office kitchen for employees to socialise. We found that Workplace usage tripled thanks to remote working as the need to stay connected increased. If you don’t have workplace, traditional intranets and even WhatsApp groups can help to create the same effect.
7. Factor in fun
Why should team socials be restricted to Christmas? Schedule in some non-work related social activities to keep staff engaged and part of your workplace culture, such as video cook-alongs, quiz nights and fitness challenges.
Moneypenny has more than 1,000 staff and handles more than 20 million customer communications a year, for 21,000 companies, ranging from multi-nationals to start-ups. It has grown rapidly in the last four years, from £19 million revenue p/a to a projected £50 million this year. It is known for its award winning culture, its excellent customer service and low staff turnover.