Christmas is almost here, which means it’s time to binge-watch all classic Christmas movies. Home Alone is a classic holiday movie. The movie is about a young boy named Kevin McCallister who is accidentally left home alone while his family travels to Paris for a holiday vacation. Two criminals, who call themselves the “Wet Bandits”, are taking advantage of the empty homes on Kevin’s street. They plan to rob every house on the street ending with the McCallister’s. Kevin decides to strike back and defend his home against these criminals.
For many reasons, Home Alone is a must-see Christmas movie to end 2020. The movie teaches many lessons that can be applied to employee engagement. The significance of employee engagement has always been a concern for employers, but with COVID-19 it is now a big priority. The question is how do employers still keep their employees engaged when working from home?
Worried About What Your Employees are Doing Home Alone?
Below are four reasons how the movie Home Alone can teach employers about employee engagement, especially in this COVID-19 era.
1. Communication is Essential
Towards the beginning of the movie, the McCallisters are running around trying to get out of the house so they can start their Christmas vacation. Everyone is focused on the goal in front of them. Kevin’s family was in such a rush to get to the airport they didn’t communicate properly. They neglected poor Kevin which resulted in his family leaving him behind. Imagine the beginning of the movie like how the beginning of COVID-19 was. The McCallisters are running around in a frenzy, similar to how many people were during the beginning of the pandemic.
Because of the craziness of this year, employers are concentrating on keeping their businesses operating as normally as possible. Employers are focused on serving their clients and keeping their doors open. Employees may have gotten lost in the shuffle, like poor Kevin. According to the State of Communications Workplace survey, more than 60 percent of employees stated the company’s employee communication was not easily accessible. By making sure to utilize different communication tools to communicate internally, employers can make sure no employee is forgotten. These resources also help to engage employees, so they feel acknowledged and seen.
A few resources an employer could utilize in order to stay connected with their employees are:
Effective communication is a two-way process. Make sure to encourage your employees to share feedback. It strengthens employee engagement when employees are comfortable to share their thoughts. They then become more invested. For more ideas on how to communicate better with your employees read 11 Tips for Internal Communications to Boost Employee Engagement.
2. Encourage Employees to Connect With Each Other
After Kevin is left home alone, he ends up bonding with his elderly neighbor over their shared loneliness. Their friendship made them both feel a little less lonely. Plus when Kevin needed help, his neighbor was there to save him.
This is why employees should connect and collaborate with each other. Employees need to know they have one another to lean on when life or work gets tough. The National Research Institute found that employee satisfaction increases 50 percent when employees develop a close relationship at work. Employers should emphasize this need by promoting team bonding.
Encourage employees to get together by offering virtual happy hours, holiday parties, scavenger hunts, and other socially distant activities. Remind them to use the above communication tools to call and see how their fellow employees are doing. For another idea, read 5 Reasons Gaming in the Workplace Can Help Employees.
3. Adapt to Your Situation
Kevin is a great role model for being able to adapt to different situations. For a young kid, he was pretty spunky. He turned around a scary situation. Most kids might sit back and not do anything. Kevin on the other hand decided to defend his home against criminals. He adapted to solve his problem and creatively thought of ways to stop the Wet Bandits. Employers should follow Kevin’s example and adapt to the changes COVID-19 has brought. Now, employers may not need to outsmart criminals, but they do need to find creative ways to keep employees engaged.
For the employees who want to work from the office, employers must find a solution to safely achieve this.
Redesign a Workspace to Accommodate Social Distancing
Additionally, employers may need to add hand sanitizing stations, sign-in sheets, or adjust the workplace to make the work environment safe for their employees. By doing this, employers are showing they care about employee’s safety and health.
Need ideas on creating a remote work policy? Check out 7 Ways to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Remote Work Plan.
4. Watch Out for Employees Who Are Home Alone
At first, Kevin loved having the house all to himself. He was able to do whatever he wanted. After a while, he became lonely and just wished his family would return home to him. The pandemic has caused employees to stay at home. Many employees can relate to Kevin. Because of this, employers should be on the lookout to make sure their employees are staying healthy, both physically and mentally.
Isolation can cause employees to slump into a depressive state. According to the 2020 State of Mental Health Report, from January to September 2020 over 315,000 people took an anxiety screening test, and 500,000 took a depression screening test.
In order to increase employee engagement, offer different services for employees to utilize. It’s important for employees to focus on their health, so they don’t run the risk of employee burnout. For more tips, read Virtual Healthy Living: 5 Ideas to Jumpstart Employee Wellness.
Happy employees boost employee engagement. Also, engaged employees are more committed to their company. This leads to employers having less turnover within the company. It becomes a win-win situation for both employers and employees.
From everyone at The Olson Group, we hope that you are happy, healthy, and safe this holiday season. (Also, if you haven’t watched Home Alone this Christmas season, go watch it right now)
P.S. Interested in learning more ways to increase employee engagement? Stay tuned for more with our employee engagement series starting in 2021.