Continued from 3 Steps To Improve Employee Engagement After COVID-19.
The survey results will allow you to make informed decisions across four key areas of employee experience:
- Physical Space
- Team culture
1. Consider Physical Space
Twitter has said employees will have the choice of working remotely permanently. Google and Facebook are telling employees they can work remotely until 2021. Now every organisation has to solve the office footprint puzzle:
- Was the office an unnecessary expense?
- Should working from home at least be an option for everyone?
- For those who require an office, do they require it every day?
The shift towards flexible working started long before COVID-19. The virus has simply accelerated it by putting every business continuity plan to the test. The office isn’t dead but it won’t be the norm for an increasing number of companies.
What does physical space mean for employee engagement?
Those who are enjoying working from home and have proven that they’re just as productive may resent the choice being taken away. They’ve experienced life without the commute and it is sweet. “If my company doesn’t trust me to work remotely, another company will”. There goes one of your best employees. 👋
Instead you’ll need a flexible workspace that can serve as meeting spaces for where remote team members can meet up and a full-time workplace for those who work best from an office. A remote + fixed hybrid.
2. Adapt Team Culture
I’ll start by stating the obvious (although somewhat unpopular) opinion: remote work can be hard on teamwork. Sometimes, there is no substitute for being in the room with people.
It’s even harder if half the team is in the office and the other half is remote which, as we’ve discussed, will become more common.
Team culture needs to adapt to make this flexible, hybrid, mishmash working environment work. You need to make it work with the managers and teams you have today.
What does team culture mean for employee engagement?
Managers account for 70% of variance in employee engagement — they’re a critical part of employee’s day-to-day experience. Managers need to step up to the challenge of leading remote or hybrid teams, even though they’ve had little training for this.
Support your managers to support their teams
It’s an organisation’s responsibility to ensure managers feel confident and well-equipped to lead their team as they recover from this pandemic.
- How can managers get feedback and development conversations back on track?
- How can managers maintain communication consistent when employees are a mix of remote and fixed?
- How can managers keep listening to employees’ individual needs and concerns?
They need training and technology that helps them be the best managers they can be.
3. Find Tech to Enable Managers and Teams
Every organisation has had to put together a tech stack to work from home; a suite of tools that allow you to collaborate remotely.
Some companies already had a carefully planned tech stack that made remote work a breeze, whilst others jumbled something together at the start of this pandemic.
What does tech mean for employee engagement?
Technology can have a massive impact on employee engagement in remote and hybrid teams when it accounts for the majority of interactions...
👍 Improved communication, alignment, clarity and productivity.
👎 Or a source of distraction, frustration, loneliness and a widening generational gap.
In any case, you’ve likely found a way to manage your documents, your tasks, your projects and your budgets remotely. But what about your people? This is the most common gap in organisations’ tech stacks and arguably the most important.
Find technology like Saberr that enables team managers to dramatically improve their efficiency and to get the most from all team members...
- Shows where managers need to focus to deliver maximum efficiency, with clear actions
- Provides structure and coaching to all managers and team members, in real time, with digital nudges
- Enables managers, even with little or no experience, to thrive
- Scalable; supports agile environments where teams form fast
4. Keep Focusing on Wellbeing
This year, many organisations have shown more concern and compassion over employee wellbeing than ever before. Let that continue.
Look out for specific employee needs
The survey gives insight into employee’s mental and physical wellbeing. Treat individual circumstances as individually as you can...
- Allow flexible working hours for anyone who needs it (e.g. those who are caring for others or need to attend a weekly therapy session)
- Enable part-time working or job-share arrangements for anyone who is unable to work full-time
- If someone is worried about using public transport, encourage them to travel off-peak.
Prepare managers to have tough conversations
Managers need to proactively support their teams to stay mentally healthy at work— that’s a skill in it’s own right.
Look out for unexpected trends
Off the back of the survey, several organisations noticed that employees were really enjoying eating at home. The ‘silver lining’ over the past four months was that they’d enjoyed a healthier diet than they had in years and they felt better for it. (Personally, I couldn’t agree more).
What does wellbeing mean for employee engagement?
Employee wellbeing is a core enabler of employee engagement and organisational performance. It’s a no brainer… we all want to feel that we are cared for. Truly cared for.