Luxury hotel The Landmark London used its digital communication channels during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic to motivate and recognise staff.
Prior to the pandemic and consequent lockdown in March 2020, many of the hotel’s communications and recognition initiatives were held face-to-face. However, the vast majority of its 500 employees adopted a remote-working policy,so the organisation set out to engage and motivate staff through different means.
Nicola Forshaw, director of HR at The Landmark London, says: “We usually have a face-to-face communication and recognition strategy, so when the Coronavirus pandemic started to affect the organisation, we were mindful about how isolated our employees could be while working from home.”
Its staff meeting, called ‘team tea’ which was originally held in-person, transitioned online over Zoom calls in March. The organisation made sure that all employees received some recognition through this call for their efforts. In addition, The Landmark London partnered with Best Companies to launch an initiative called ‘Great managers’ in April. Team members can nominate managers who they feel supported them well during the pandemic. “There was no specific reward for this, but [the manager’s] name would go live on a national website, and published on social media,” says Forshaw. “We felt that this recognition could be more impactful over other cash-based rewards. In a pandemic situation, it is common to feel forgotten, so we really wanted to introduce these initiatives so that everyone remembered that we were still supporting them.”
The organisation also uses its private social media groups and a weekly newsletter to ensure all employees keep in communication with each other. The platforms were used to informally recognise the extra activities that employees were doing while in lockdown, with acknowledgments and virtual shout outs. “As part of the newsletter, we could recognise staff who have taken the time to improve their development such as taking training courses,” says Forshaw.
As The Landmark London reopens for business and staff return to full working hours, it plans to carry on its recognition strategy due to its success and impact on engagement. “The pandemic has taught us lessons about how we can effectively communicate and recognise employees while we are not all in the same room,” says Forshaw. “I think we will always carry on with this hybrid approach which is going to be really important for us for the foreseeable future.”