During the Coronavirus pandemic, companies have been forced to implement remote working, which may have caused changes in the productivity and working habits of a firm. Employee engagement has been a growing topic of focus for many businesses in recent years and as a result of the Coronavirus crises, this has become even more significant. Employers are now looking for effective ways to maintain or increase employee engagement while they are working from home. In this article, Jenny Jones – Director of ETL Resourcing, discusses how to keep employees engaged while working from home.
Ensure easy communication
Regular communication is essential. Managers are currently unable to be present in the office to reassure and support employees in person, so regular communications via email and phone are even more important. Keep employees up-to-date with new projects and company news; remind them that they are important and that you are there for them. It is also important to ensure that your communications are optimistic and addressing employees’ fears.
There are a number of online applications, tools and websites that can facilitate effective communication between employees including; Microsoft Teams, Trello and Google Docs. Allowing employees to simply and quickly stay in touch with colleagues allows teams to involve everyone in key decisions and updates whenever necessary.
Organise virtual ‘in-person’ events
A brilliant way to keep employees involved and engaged while working from home is to actually see each other, face to face. Obviously, in these times, this must be done virtually but luckily there are a number of virtual platforms to schedule video calls and meetings with employees.
Set clear but flexible expectations
If you want employees to be engaged and productive while working remotely, ensure that clear expectations are set. Employees’ normal working routines have been disrupted by these new working arrangements, childcare and the feeling of uncertainty, so be clear with employees about work expectations and performance. Trust employees to get their work done, but recognise that it might not fall within the standard workday.
Develop short, mid and long-term goals for each employee, and ensure that these link back to your company vision and mission as it’s imperative to make sure employees feel like they’re part of the company culture.
Employee engagement and recognition go hand-in-hand. In order to have a better connection with your remote workers, you have to recognise their strengths, weaknesses, and interests. It’s definitely an easy way to make your remote employees feel valued and appreciated. When managers show appreciation for their employees, it has the tendency to make employees appreciate their managers more, too.
There are brilliant resources online to help you successfully manage your team during this lockdown period. Take a look at this online course from LinkedIn to get you started: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/paths/remote-working-setting-yourself-and-your-teams-up-for-success