Employee engagement during lockdown: best practice and information sharing

A top priority for many business leaders during lockdown is how to support and engage staff through challenging periods of remote working. Here we learn about a recent successful initiative at Capgemini which sought to recognise the particular burdens on families with children.

According to Ian Wallace, a consultant at Sogeti UK, part of the technology and outsourcing firm Capgemini UK, many of his colleagues found it a challenge to adjust to working from home while dealing with young children whose schools had been shut.

‘It occurred to me that our children also found it hard. I came up with the idea of creating company-branded certificates which we could personalise and print and frame at home, to thank our children for adjusting and letting us continue to deliver for the business,’ says Wallace.

The company created three ‘Star Awards’ certificates – for younger children, older ones and those working with the company from India with families back home – which were then shared by email and on their company-wide collaborative “@Home” Teams space, which was set up during lockdown to support engagement and allow colleagues to interact informally.

According to communications expert Suzannah Rayner, the initiative went viral on LinkedIn. It was then taken up by other parts of the Capgemini Group globally and has piqued the interest of several external organisations. It was, she says, a ‘really positive way of understanding the issues faced by colleagues and saying thank you.’

‘One of my first and best decisions in response to this global pandemic was to place my trust and give my support to a wider group of current and future leaders in our company,’ says Paul Scales, who in his role as Head of Sogeti UK is part of a group with 25,000 professionals in fifteen countries.

‘My ask of this Extended Leadership Team was to help me engage and lead our organisation, teams and individuals through this period in whatever way we can – however large or small, everything counts. In doing so, we should be conscious, creative and collaborative and encourage the same of everyone in the business.’

‘The Star Awards is one great example of how we can unleash talent to do great things for our people and their families.’

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