COVID-19: How to Keep Remote Employees Engaged?
The idea of remote working was already on the rise before the COVID-19 pandemic came to the fore and sent everyone into lockdown. This forced many businesses to adopt remote work even more in order to keep the organizations going. They have also had to change their work schedules such that the total number of people present is minimal. However, not many businesses are used to having their workers work from home. So, business owners and managers might have issues with engaging their remote employees during this period. You might also be in that number if you are going through this article at the moment.
The truth is, there are many things that your employees will have to struggle with as they work from home. There will be worries about childcare, probable illnesses, etc. that they also have to deal with. This is even more important if your workers are not used to working remotely. It is a transitional period for you and your company, and although there will be some complexities in the situation, you have to help your workers to remain effective. So, you have to provide all the support that your employees need in this period and beyond.
The support that you provide your employees with at this time will go a long way to reduce some anxiety that they might be suffering. If you are looking to engage your employees during this lockdown and you are short of ideas on how to go about it, here are 5 ways to keep your employees engaged and boost productivity even in this period.
Provide them with extra support
It is one thing to be supportive of your employees when you can see them. But when they are working from home during a pandemic with millions of people infected, then they need you to be more than just supportive. This is the time for you to go the extra mile for them.
It would be impossible for your employees to be effective and work productively, if they have to worry about some policies that affect them from their workplace or if they do not feel any support or engagement from their employees. They already have enough to deal with already with the lockdown and its impact. So, you have to make things easier for them than before. Now more than ever, you have to be flexible with your company’s policies. But when you check up on them constantly and engage them, providing them with extra resources, then you will be alleviating whatever fears and insecurity that they have.
Some of the ways you can help them include:
- Making sure that the email address and phone numbers of the company leaders and managers are on the different channels where they are easily accessible for staff members. This way, they are able to contact a manager if they need any help.
- Provide links and other sources to information and updates that are beneficial for them. For example, you can provide a link to the CircleCare app, because of its benefit to their health and wellness.
- Provide necessary information for people that are experiencing mental health issues, if you have any.
Support employee development
Every employee wants employers that are willing to support their all-round development. This will motivate them to also try to improve on their work and this will also lead them to be more productive. Now that they have to work from home, it becomes more difficult for them to do many things. So, they need more help. Other employees that have the capacity to continue to improve themselves even in this period are having to do more than they should. So, yet again, you have to give them more help than you normally should.
The truth is, everybody is forced to adjust to the happenings during this period. Having to remain isolated on lockdown at home for a period of time is something that we all are not used to. While some people might adjust fast enough, there are others that will need to take their time. You have a responsibility to reach out to both sets of people and provide the needed support. Now that people are having to work from home, you might have some of your employees that do not have the skillset, or resources for remote work. You should communicate with your employees to determine people that fall in this category and provide them with the support and assistance that they need. This is even more important if they continue to work on their personal and professional development.
Here are some ways from assignment geek on how to provide support for employee development.
- Identify gaps in tech skills and experience among your employees.
- Provide tutorial or webinar videos for your employees on how to use the tools for remote work.
- Provide tech help for employees and make someone available that they can contact in case of technical problems.
Organize video conferences weekly
This is something that you and your employees should be used to by now if you have had previous experience with remote work before the pandemic. Video conferences are a very important tool that allows you to reach out to both on-site workers and remote workers.
According to essay writers at UK assignment help, video conferences help to provide a sense of belonging and community which might have been lacking for individuals because of the lockdown order. It also allows your team to have face time with each other and relate accordingly. It is also an avenue to create engagement between your employees collectively.
In order to create engagement during a video conference, you have to ensure that you have an agenda. Once you start to discuss this agenda, allow all of your employees to contribute. Give everyone a chance to talk. However, you have to understand that this is not a boardroom. So, there are definitely going to be some background noises. You just have to be flexible enough to tolerate that.
Also, you have to encourage all your employees to tune in during the video meetings. Make it mandatory, but occasionally. Once a week is good enough. Just make sure you do not overdo it.
Create a breakroom online
Since most of your workforce is at home working remotely, they definitely would have missed that atmosphere with colleagues, friends, and coworkers. The time they spend having lunch together and catching fun would be missing. Even if you still have people that are working on-site, it is unlikely that they can eat together or do the normal chit chat (thanks to social distancing).
Many of your employees working remotely will crave to spend time out with their colleagues, but since they can’t do that at the moment, why not improvise?
One thing that you can do is create a channel, probably on social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Slack, where your employees can chat and relate and discuss every other thing but work. This will go a long way to get your employees engaged, improve their productivity in remote work, and also fill in the blanks for your employees.
Some of the things you can do to get them involved include:
- Sharing a theme or topic as a talking point for the day. It could be anything ranging from food to pets, photos, movies, etc.
- You can also create engagement by asking your employees to respond to your theme with a related GIF.
Send weekly email update on COVID-19
You want to ensure that your employees remain informed even during this period. While you can trust them to stay updated with the latest news and developments on the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown order. It would do you all a whole world of good if you can provide them with weekly updates as well via an employee engagement app like CircleCare. You could even delegate it to a member of staff as an added assignment.
According to many, there are a number of worries that are related to the present situation and how it is changing very fast. Your employees might also have legitimate worries about the business. Be sure to calm everyone down and provide them with weekly updates that they can look forward to and depend on.
To send these updates via CircleCare, you can develop images, videos or recorded audio messages on different topics such as:
- Company COVID-19 update – changes in policies to help the workers in this period.
- Weekly inspiration – share a business story that inspires.
- Mental health activity – share helpful links
- Call to action – tell them the next thing to do.
As your team continues to work from home during this difficult period, you have to show them that you care about them and are willing to help them in order to keep your employees engaged. Creating engagement for them might just be what helps them through this period of social distancing. Also, be sure to provide them with all the necessary tools and information.
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