WFH Halloween Event Boosts Team Engagement


A South Yorkshire-based printing company, adamant to keep traditions alive despite working from home, has adapted their annual workplace fancy dress contest to take place online.

Hosted by the largest UK-based online printing company, instantprint, The spooktacular fancy dress contest set out to help maintain both staff engagement levels and personal relationships amongst the team as one of the initiatives helping drive the printing firm’s people strategy.

Staff were encouraged to go all-out with a ghoulish get-up and could enter to win an individual prize or as a group, who would win the coveted title of ‘instantprint’s Halloween Champions 2020’. The contest was designed to encourage team members to talk to each other about things not related to work, help improve communication and also provided a safe corporate social activity.

Following the competition, managers noted an uptick in engagement, productivity and overall happiness, which was reinforced by the results of their monthly employee satisfaction surveys showing a boost of up to 20% in engagement and happiness-based rankings.

Speaking to Head of Team Experience at instantprint, Vicki Russel, she told us:

Like many businesses, we run a series of seasonal events so our team can bond outside of working hours.

While our full office teams are working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve been keen to maintain this same level of commitment, especially since it can be more difficult to feel engaged and connected during lockdown.

Events like this present a multitude of benefits for employees and, ultimately, the business as a whole. As well as engagement, it keeps our strong team culture alive while we’re away from the office and offers a sense of togetherness, which has never been more important than it is right now.”

Vicki’s Tips for Banishing Disengagement Demons

There are a number of disengagement demons lurking in the shadows when it comes to remote working. These 6 tips can help you combat them this Halloween and beyond.


1. Don’t be terrified by the tech

One thing we had to learn quickly was to embrace technology – we still have a lot of face-to-face meetings, just over video call now. As well as offering all of our in-house training digitally, we also provided every member of the team with the equipment they need to complete their jobs to the best of their abilities, including laptops and extra screens.


2. Value your heroes

Every story, especially the scary ones, need a hero to save the day. One of the ways we banish disengagement demons is by encouraging the team to nominate each other as brand heroes, or value champions. Not only is singing each other’s praises engaging, but creates a positive work culture as the team is always on the lookout to show their appreciation for one another.


3. Dust away the cobwebs daily

Not saying we have any lazy Lucifers here at instantprint, but by introducing daily check-ins for our teams, we can help make sure everyone’s on track with their tasks. We have team meetings every morning to catch everyone up on where we are with our latest projects and troubleshoot any progress blockers and find solutions to these as a team.


4. Exorcise the demons

One policy that hasn’t changed during the pandemic is our dedication to providing monthly 1-2-1s to give employees a chance to give honest feedback on the month to their managers. Scheduling regular 1-2-1s is a great opportunity to refocus any negative mindsets and offers both parties the chance to give feedback to each other which is a fantastic way to keep staff engaged.


5. Apparition appreciation

A little staff recognition goes a long way! As well as sending out certificates for our brand heroes, we also celebrate milestone employees’ anniversaries with the business by giving them a special gift and handwritten card from a manager.


6. Channel your spirits

There’s no such thing as over-communication. Not only does effective communication between staff lead to better relationships, but it also means a smoother journey for the customer. No need to get out your crystal ball – just have a team leader in each department send out a team-wide email with any important updates once a week to keep everyone in the loop with business developments.