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3 Ways to Engage Your Employees Right Now As an entrepreneur, you need to challenge yourself and your team to invest in well-being and social connectedness.

By Chris Schembra

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The boundaries that used to exist between work and life have been blurred and health and wellness have been thrown to the wayside. There's no better time than now to invest in your team's well-being.

Commuting, traveling and office distractions have become practically absent from our pandemic lifestyles. The time that used to be spent commuting or visiting the water cooler can now be invested in self-care and connection.

Consistent and meaningful interactions are necessary for remote teams to remain strong. An emotionally healthy team is a high-performing one. According to PwC, every $1 spent on emotional well-being yields a $2.30 return in productivity. So, skip the extra Zoom meetings and invest in well-being.

Here are three ways to engage your employees and start off 2021 with a bang:

1. Change up your employees' scenery

I know this is going to be a difficult thing to wrap a head around when we're in the midst of a global pandemic when our orders are to stay at home and be safe, but prior to Covid-19, the cost of domestic business trips in the U.S. totaled $484 million. Traveling helps us become more creative by increasing our cognitive flexibility. Increased cognitive flexibility paves the way for boosted empathy, and how do we develop empathy? We travel, we read a book, we learn a new language, we sit in our assistant's armchair for the day.

It's very jarring when you have an entire team of people that go from traveling constantly to not traveling at all. People miss their routines and people miss that access to different ways of thinking.

Related: 4 Tips to Make Working Remotely Work for You

2. Send care packages

A Metlife study shows that 59% of surveyed employees say health and wellness benefits are important for increasing loyalty to their employer. We know how well health and wellness companies do at creating partnerships with corporates in the form of discounted gym memberships, discounted access to a yoga studio. But in a Covid-19 environment, none of those partnerships are accessible.

Instead of creating partnerships and sending your employees externally to another physical location, why don't you bring the health and wellness benefits and send it directly to the home of the employee? If you take time to understand what your employees are going through, you can craft packages that meet the demands of those you serve. I'm not talking about one-shop-fits-all types of packages, but something customized for each individual employee. Wellbeing packages, sleep masks, new pajamas, new books, new things that inspire your employees, yoga kits, meditation books ... whatever it may be.

3. Be vulnerable

So many of the people working within companies in the American workforce are overwhelmed, lonely, unfulfilled, insecure, sad, tired, stressed, nervous or anxious. If leaders can be vulnerable and admit that they're feeling like this, it will inspire others to acknowledge their feelings as well. And that'll create more moments of connection than otherwise would occur.

Most leaders are programmed to think that showing vulnerability is a sign of weakness, but in fact, vulnerability is a great sign of strength, connection and empathy. Being vulnerable requires pushing boundaries and getting out of your comfort zone. When a leader models vulnerability they inspire their team to do the same and to deliver innovative and creative ways of work.

Related: Being Vulnerable Is the Boldest Act of Business Leadership

A lot of change has occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic. But not all that change needs to be negative. Be sure to make some positive changes in your team by engaging your employees through connection and wellness.

As an entrepreneur, you need to challenge yourself and your team to invest time into well-being and social connectedness. Your investment will not only pay off but payout.

Chris Schembra

Founder of 7:47

He is the founder and Chief Question Asker of 7:47, an advisory firm that helps companies create meaningful connections through its 7:47 Gratitude Experience, an evidence-based framework that helps leaders build a community and strengthen relationships.

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