Thanks to COVID-19, more offices than ever are turning to remote work to keep their businesses thriving in spite of physical office shutdowns. When all your workers are remote, connecting with them isn't as simple as walking down the hall and opening an office door. Engagement is even more challenging when employees are worried, anxious, and potentially working around distractions from their children or spouses. There are, however, several ways you can continue to engage with your remote workers--and, in many cases, make your team operate more effectively together than ever.
1. Communicate regularly with your employees.
As you work with your employees through the COVID-19 outbreak, communicate with them as much as possible. Let employees know what to expect moving forward. If you're confident their role won’t be impacted as a result of the pandemic, let them know about it. If layoffs are a possibility for your company, consider what you can do to help employees seek new jobs or find work in spite of the overall crisis. Communication can help employees feel more confident and alleviate their worries in the midst of a crisis. That, in turn, helps keep their minds more engaged and those employees more focused on the tasks at hand, rather than worrying about the unknown.
2. Set aside time to chat.
Small talk: it's not just a break from the monotony of the day, especially for remote employees. Your remote employees may struggle to feel connected during this time. Not only that, they may have larger concerns and need the confidence of being able to connect with their colleagues on the same level they did before the outbreak. Set aside time for conversation at the beginning or end of your meetings. Allow more freedom to simply chat in the company communication platform (Zoom, Teams, Skype etc). Employees will feel more connected to the office and, as a result, better able to engage with and focus on their work.
3. Schedule regular meetings.
You don't want to fill your employees' days with meetings, especially when many may be working from home with their kids and have a limited amount of time each day to focus on key priorities. However, on the other hand, you do want to evaluate how your employees are doing: what tools they're using, what tools they need, and how they're getting by from home and whether they are motivated. Schedule meetings as a regular part of your week and evaluate what your employees are accomplishing and what they need from you.
4. Check in with employees individually.
During this period, employees may have unique concerns. How long are they likely to have to work remotely--or, in some cases, how long can they work remotely, especially if they have children to deal with? Some may question if their jobs are safe also. It’s important to check in with employees individually to get a better feel for what issues they're dealing with and how you can provide them with the tools and reassurance they need to stay focused on the job.
5. Try to connect face-to-face through technology, when you can.
You can't check in with your employees in person--but you can still connect face-to-face thanks to the technology you have on hand. Take advantage of video conferencing and video chats to connect more directly with your employees, helping them to feel more engaged and connected to the workplace.
As COVID-19 continues to produce uncertainty across the nation and around the world, many businesses are still up, running, and delivering the same high quality service their customers have come to expect--not to mention providing their employees with a little more security in an uncertain world. With these strategies, you can more effectively engage with your employees and keep them focused on the job at hand.
For all contracting, temporary, remote or permanent staffing requirements, we are ready to assist you. Contact us on 09 362 0528.