In these changing times, we’re focused on delivering an exceptional experience to our clients and employee recipients. Yes, it might feel like the world had turned upside down. We’re being stretched and challenged in ways we haven’t before - making adjustments to our daily routines, testing our relationships, all while trying to maintain focus and optimism. No easy task as we face a daily stream of conflicting news, creating fear and uncertainty for what lies ahead.
Our changing climate has created a shift in how we live – moving from fulfillment through social congregation (offering us feelings of community, connection), to a life of social distancing. We’re now relying on those close to us within our home walls and ultimately on ourselves to recreate those same levels of fulfillment.
Given the changing environment we now live in, what’s important within work (at companies) and with our people (our employees) is also changing. I wanted to take a moment in this blog post to share how we’re adapting to this change, and to share what opportunity exists for our clients and recipients, starting today with our In-home Experiences Menu.
Check out my personal video message here, and more specifics around this new and exciting product line below:
What's important for our people:
- Taking care of themselves and their loved ones:
Many of your employees have dependencies that you might not be aware of. They might be parents who are now balancing their day-job with homeschooling, with zero training and a finite amount of online resources. They might be a caregiver for an elderly parent or family member. Their priorities have shifted, so as HR leaders, it’s our job to create space for your employees to first care for themselves, so they can then care for those who depend on them without burning out.
- Creating community and human interaction:
As humans, we crave in-person connection, physical touch, and nearness to others - all of which have been swept out from under our feet, without much time to prepare. As people navigate change, we’re looking for new opportunities for real human connection and creature comforts amidst social distancing and Shelter in Place restrictions.
What's important within the workplace:
- Recreating connection and community amongst employees:
Those small run-ins and inter-office collisions we often took for granted while refilling our coffee cups or swopping meeting rooms are now missing. We’re separated from our managers, leadership and core teammates, not to mention our BFFs at work. This means communication can become challenging (getting lost in translation, delayed, or coming off as too rigid when in the absence of body language queues). And we might lose steam to reach full productivity when missing those opportunities to take those much-needed breaks for real human connection with our teammates (quick walks, sharing a funny story, etc.).
As employers, it’s crucial to create new moments of connection, leveraging the digital tools at your disposal. At Blueboard, we’re creating virtual coffee chats and employee-led fitness classes, and to keep it light, starting our day off with a fun Question of the Day on Slack to keep watercooler conversations flowing (two recent favorites have been: “What is your #1 feel-good song?” and “What comfort foods are your go-tos during times like these?”).
- Seeing and valuing your people:
It’s critical to see and value those who are working the hardest, staying scrappy and adaptable, or elevating their leadership skills to rally teams, now more than ever. Recognition is a key driver of employee engagement, and showing employee appreciation is low-hanging fruit - we just have to adapt our methods as we shift into digital-first communication channels.
This leaves us with a very important question:
What can companies do despite our current environment, starting today?
An effective way to do this is to recognize and value your people in a way where they can:
1) Connect with a community
2) Take care of their own wellbeing
At Blueboard, we’re partnering with top companies to recognize your people in a way that is personal to them and has the ability to be shared with the company to foster community while working remotely. That’s why we’re excited to roll out our hand-curated, In-home Experiences Menu.
Introducing Blueboard In-home experiences:
Despite social distancing, your employees need to take care of their wellbeing, right now. So we’re stocking up on in-home experiences that empower employees to learn something new (like music lessons, art courses, or language learning), to indulge in their passions (cooking lessons, in-home massage), or that empower them to connect with themselves or their surrounding community (life coaching, charitable donations, and volunteer experiences).
With our employee wellbeing programs, your employees get to choose the reward that is most meaningful and relevant to them, in their current state. Here are just a few of our favorite in-home experiences, with more and more rolling out over the coming weeks:
In-home cooking classes
Connecting with a passionate chef online is a great way to learn how to make something delicious in the familiar comfort of your own home. These intimate cooking classes are designed to inspire creativity while being coached via live video chat on a laptop/tablet. With a vast network of chefs all around the world specializing in all types of cuisine, you’ll have a variety of choices to learn something unique and exciting (and to make more healthy choices while fending for yourself at home :).
During times of uncertainty, it’s important to relax and be pampered. We’ll send a professionally licensed and fully-vetted massage therapist straight to your home so you can enjoy a rejuvenating 60-minute massage without even having to leave your front door. You pick the massage type (Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports, Prenatal, etc.) and if you have a gender preference for your therapist. This delightful method of treating your body to some much-needed healing is a great way to fit some "me time" into your busy schedule without the hassle. Just relax, and enjoy!
Interactive Murder Mystery
Why not bring the escape room to you? This interactive murder mystery kit is designed for puzzlers, true crime fans, and any self-proclaimed geniuses who are up for a little challenge. Each month, new clues are delivered to your doorstep. As the plot thickens, you’ll get closer to revealing the murderer. This experience is perfect for working together and connecting with loved ones so invite a few clever friends over and bring your best sleuthing skills to figure out who could’ve possibly committed the crime.
Mindful leadership coaching
Being a leader in today’s workplace can be incredibly demanding. To be the best leader you can be, it’s important to have the tools you need to keep your mind happy and healthy. During trying times, it is more important now than ever to incorporate mindfulness into your life and leadership approach. While many of us are now tackling challenges remotely, adopting mindfulness teachings can uplift both you and your team. An online mindfulness program will bring you tips on improving mental effectiveness and practical workplace applications of mindfulness. What you learn may inspire you!
Learn to play an instrument
The benefits of learning an instrument are innumerable. Suddenly your favorite songs are heard in a new light, your ability of expression bursts, and your focus is laser-sighted. Choose from guitar, drums, piano, bass, or whatever your heart desires! Learning an instrument is no walk in the park. It requires dedication, patience, and resolve, which all exercise important muscles for the rest of your life. Strum, pluck, or bang and find joy in connecting to music in a whole new dimension, all from the comforts of your home.
Do you ever feel like you’re stuck? Does daily life leave you feeling overwhelmed and under-accomplished? We all have moments in life where we just need a little extra help. Enter: your new life coach. Your certified professional life coach will create a safe place that is both nurturing and purpose-driven. Now is the time to treat yourself to a dynamic process whereby the coach and client work together to clarify goals, remove obstacles and co-create strategies to make real change in your life. By the end of your series, you’ll have gained the clarity to empower success and elevate awareness for a more fulfilling journey ahead.
Make a difference
In turbulent times, the importance of giving cannot be understated. This Blueboard reward is all about helping others. Make it a donation towards a charity you are passionate about, or work together with a Blueboard Concierge to find the right organization that speaks to your beliefs. You can rest assured that your hard work and recognition will help empower others.
Forget grades, exams, boring lecturers, and required classes. If you want to learn a new subject, hobby, or skill, online learning is a fresh way to fit discovery into your life, and to fuel the creative outlets your mind craves while sheltered in place. Online learning provides great accessibility and flexibility, allowing you to dive into just about any topic out there, at your own pace. The best part is, you get to choose exactly what you want to learn! Whether you need a push to get started on your first novel, want to implement mindfulness techniques into your routine, or your dream is to master a beautifully seared steak, there is an abundance of information at your fingertips.
With more and more fitness studios closing their doors in an effort to squash the curve, it’s time to invest in your fitness regime, at home. With the indoor fitness revolution, better known as the Peloton Bike, fitness is brought directly to you. The sleek, compact design fits into most living spaces and provides access to a variety of heart-thumping exercise options (from cycling to yoga, and more). Connect with users all over the world striving to be their best selves, all to the beat of the best soundtrack. Fair warning though, this machine can be addictive!
The best things in life are simple, and two of them are great food and great company. We’ll take care of the kitchen by sending you a private chef to cook a delicious meal in your home, themed around a menu of your choice. Whether you want to surprise your significant other or gather the family around the table, you’ll get to experience fine dining without even leaving the house.
With our changing climate, solitude and self-care are of the utmost importance. Invite a loved one to escape the everyday and spend the night at an upscale hotel to escape the stresses of day-to-day life. The beauty of staycations are how accessible, yet extravagant they can be. You can avoid the usual stress of traditional travel while still having a luxurious escape in solitary refinement.
Turn your home into a lab
With a curated KiwiCo science box subscription, you’ll pique your family’s curiosity while spending precious time together. Designated by ages, there are themed choices from science and engineering, art and design, geography and culture, and more. These kits provide DIY opportunities to craft and explore new worlds together while learning and instilling great habits. There’s nothing more valuable than seeing the flicker of inspiration in a child’s eye. Not to mention, less screen time!
The best thing about online learning is that you can learn wherever and whenever! Prepare to stretch out your mind, body, and soul with top instructors who will guide you through a series of asana poses in the comfort of your own home. With unlimited access to thousands of videos, you can fully customize your yoga journey with filters for any duration, level, or special interest. Use this time for yourself to meditate, clear your head, and get into tip-top shape. Namaste.
Contact us for our In-home Experience Menu
We’re excited to meet your employees where they are, right now with employee reward programs that are exciting and relevant. With rewards that are easy and comforting to share, across company communities like Slack, Chatter or through internal newsletters and Town Halls.
But we also don’t want to lose sight of what’s to come. Once the current situation subsides and people are able to go back to living their normal lives, the appetite for experiences will be even stronger. And when that day comes, all the things your employees love to do out in the world will be ready and waiting for them in our traditional experiential rewards menu.
We offer a range of hand-curated experiences, meant to inspire the opportunity to get out and about in the world. Starting with local adventures, unique to the employee’s market and typically for groups of 2 or more, ranging to bucket list-worthy travel escapes. From Michelin star dining to family-friendly backstage museum experiences, VIP concert tickets to hiking Machu Picchu, there’s a reward for every unique passion and interest. They pick their favorite and are connected with our celebrated Concierge team who handles all of their booking logistics and payment.
I’d love to stay in touch - feel free to connect with me here on LinkedIn. And if you’re curious to learn more about our In-home Experience Menu and to connect with a member of our Sales team, simply reach out for more information and a personalized demo online here.
With anticipation for what lies ahead,
Kevin Yip, COO and Co-Founder of Blueboard