Whilst many employers around the globe had already implemented some sort of work from home policies, we find ourselves in a position to implement full-time remote work policies due to COVID-19 overnight. So what are some employers doing at this time to keep employees engaged?
Although some employees are un-phased by organizational change and can find a number of critical ways to insulate themselves from the external changes, others may find these changes a disruption. It is therefore important for employers to cater to all personalities and employees using emotional intelligence.
At STACK IT we have tried some strategies below but would love to hear what you are doing at this time to keep your employees engaged.
1. Video Conferencing
I have seen so many memes going around with video conferencing fails, background noise and embarrassing situations. But is this necessarily a bad thing? The kids screaming in the background has been a way for us to bond with each other and with clients where previously that might have seemed unprofessional on days we worked from home.
We make sure we have regular video conferencing calls to keep connected and probably encouraged everyone to get out of their pajamas! Considering it’s still a working day, just not from the office.
Wearing makeup, doing your hair, dressing well and being presentable, especially if your day consists of Video conference calls with your team or your clients. This also brings up morale during these isolated times.
With video conferencing tools like, Google Hangouts, Microsoft teams, Slack, SKYPE, FaceTime etc.. It’s easy to keep your regular meeting schedules. What are you using at this time? We would love to hear about your tools.
The trick, however, is encouraging everyone to turn on their cameras so you can get that face-to-face focus and much-needed social interaction.
2. Staying engaged and keeping open communication
Employees who work remotely need to be engaged in meaningful ways by their teams and their leaders. Take time to reach out to remote employees in ways they enjoy. Some love the chat functionality while others may appreciate a check-in email or a text. We have so many options in this day and age to keep connected. Ask how they are feeling and how you can help with their work load?
Have you ever thought of creating quick and fun weekly surveys for your team to gauge how your employees are feeling? There are many online survey tools available at this time:
- Microsoft Forms
- Survey Monkey
- Google Forms
- Client Heartbeat
- Zoho Survey
- Survey Gizmo
- Survey Planet
Be open about the business. We have found that taking the time out to explain how our business is doing at this time has helped our staff understand the need to keep productivity going during these times. Most have come up with several different ideas of how to approach new clients and candidates. This makes them part of the business and long term plans and they feel appreciated. Maybe incorporate some brainstorming time once a week?
3. Recognize Employees and “Wins”
When we celebrate a win at STACK IT we have a big round of applause, hit a gong, or buy the team lunch. We also recognize personal wins by awarding gift cards, and give shout outs to the team member. How are you recognizing your employees now?
Write them a personalized message that recognizes their work and how appreciative you are of that employee. Recognize on Public Channels, like your intranet or LinkedIn. There are so many social media platforms now available to give your employees a “shout out” and these platforms encourage others to engage with the recognition as well. Public, recognition is a huge motivator for employees, and their peers to join in on the celebration and this keeps everyone connected
4. Online learning tools
Since employees are not spending time commuting to work, with all this spare time (especially for sales teams), now may be the time for them to update their skills and knowledge by taking some online courses, learn new skills, and develop their repertoire. What online courses are you using?
5. Team building Ideas
As employers we need to be patient that things will take some time to adjust and working from home can be a major transition for some employees who have always worked in an office, a schedule of meetings or expectations that applied in the office may not work with some of your remote workforce.
Have open dialogues and gain a better understanding of what’s working and what’s not. Do you need to adjust your meeting schedule to better accommodate a remote workforce? What creative ideas do you have for your team’s next team building event? Has anyone used any of the below?
- Virtual lunch
- Socialize over group chat
- Messy desk pictures
- Learning circles (game for sharing personal work styles)
- Team health monitor (sharing workouts, healthy food tips)
- .gif battles (funny ways to keep connecting)
- Strength finders
- Collaborative playlists
Management teams are thinking creatively to accommodate the changing needs of their workforce, with the ultimate goal of keeping their employees and teams safe. With these tips, and leaders committing to supporting their remote teams, every member of your team can realize their full potential and continue working with little or no interruption to their schedules and productivity.
As companies continue to adapt, we would love to hear some creative ways you are keeping your employees Engaged, Motivated and Productive in their jobs. Who knows, this may be the new norm!