Business leaders know that when employees are happy, encouraged, and fulfilled in their work, they perform better. So how do we help people stay connected to each other and satisfied with their jobs when they are working virtually? What steps are you taking to keep employees engaged and thriving? Here are some suggestions that will help employees – and organizations – win.
1. Use Video, Always
In the world of working virtually, have the majority (if not all) of your conversations with teammates, clients, vendors, or anyone else you work with via videoconference. Don’t just pick up the phone, turn on the webcam. Being able to see the person you are talking to not only allows for non-verbal communication, it encourages personal connection in the conversation.
2. Encourage Micro-Learning
Professional development is known to positively influence mental health. Not only do people enjoy learning new things, but they also feel valued by their manager and company when they are empowered to invest in their personal growth. Outstanding content, such as that found in Alterity’s content library can help address technical competency as well as other topics, including professional development, manager development, and stress management. If you don’t currently have a subscription, sign up for a free demo.
3. Schedule Virtual Hangouts
Using technology to enhance work product is a given, but workers can also utilize technology to increase engagement. A downside of working remotely is that employees miss out on those impromptu conversations at the coffee machine or in the break room. So, schedule them. Put virtual lunches, happy hours, or mid-day breaks on the calendar. Make them non-work-related, short, and un-programmed. Invite everyone and make it optional.
4. Set Clear Expectations (Both Directions)
Your office may already have clearly set expectations regarding work hours, responding to emails within a certain time, and what communication platforms are appropriate for different situations. Clarify to what extent (if any) these expectations have changed as a result of working remotely. Allow more flexibility in work hours, as work and home spaces intersect.
5. Establish Secure Communication
For security reasons, ensure your entire workforce knows how certain communications or decisions will be made and disseminated. Creating standards can help employees easily and quickly identify malicious attempts that threaten security.
6. Stay Accessible
Weekly one-on-ones and team meetings are very important. Managers should make a concerted effort to check in with their team on work projects, as well as how employees are doing personally. It doesn’t stop with managers — encourage your entire team to reach out to lend a hand, check the status of a project, or simply say hello.
In his book, The Truth About Employee Engagement, Patrick Lencioni writes that employees have three basic needs: to be known and understood, to know that their work matters, and to be able to gauge their personal development and progress. Staying on top of these three matters through the actions listed above can maintain or even increase the engagement level of everyone at your firm.
Feel free to contact our team of engagement experts. We are here to assist you in any way.