Ellie Francis, Managing Director of Nepturnal shares her advice on 3 ways to keep your team engaged when working from home.
What used to be the exception has become the norm. In 2020, building a remote working strategy has been top of mind for many organisations. Although businesses began the process of facilitating their employees to work from home to see them through lockdown, many companies now seek to make this a more permanent option for people, at least some of the time.
Initially, the focus was on establishing the technological and operational means for the team to work remotely. How will they access their work? How will they contact clients? How will they stay in touch? However, as we move into a more long-term phase of remote working, a much bigger question lingers.
How can we keep employees engaged if they are at home?
Prioritising engagement for remote workers is a key consideration for employers, whether they are upskilling and reskilling with the view to improving retention or trying to grow their team. People are specifically looking at what their employee experience is likely to be in this area specifically. It must also be noted that recent implementations of ‘work-from-anywhere’ policies within global organisations has hugely increased the pool of offers your team may get. This means that how you engage your employees just became infinitely more relevant. If you are focusing on building and retaining a loyal team, here are three key ways you can keep them engaged when working from home.
1. Host ‘Social Only’ Calls
While most businesses are no stranger to video calls nowadays, you may still only be using them for work-related communications or the increasingly dreaded (and usually out-of-hours) ‘zoom quiz’.
I recommend setting aside some time in the day each week to have a ‘social only’ call with the team just to catch up. This shows that you are genuinely interested in their lives and individual wellbeing - what could be more engaging than that?!
2. Make The Most Of In-Office Time
Our face-to-face interactions are limited at the minute, especially as the ‘local lockdown’ comes on-trend. So days your team spends in the office could be their only opportunity in the week to interact face-to-face outside of their household or family circle. Use this time wisely to truly communicate the ‘why us’ of your employment offer. Show your organisation’s personality and treat them to a cupcake on their desk, set up a (socially distanced) round-table to keep them involved with strategic planning or go crazy and host an in-person quiz! You will know what works best for your business, but show your team why they chose you and why they still love working for you.
3. Have A Simple And Flexible Policy
Writing a remote working policy can be difficult. It is easy to think that you must cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘i’, but the truth is that this can be disempowering for your employees. Having a remote working policy that is lengthy and overly prescriptive can cause those working from home to feel as though they are doing something wrong which is extremely disengaging. I recommend keeping employee experience to the fore and following our 9 Golden Rules for writing a remote working policy that is actually engaging.
As we now start to stabilize a remote-working arrangement that we were quickly and forcefully thrown into due to the pandemic, it is important not to allow the stress of organising your long-term strategy in this area to overwhelm you. Working from home is a powerful tool which aids both productivity and engagement and so will have a positive impact on your organisation. The key thing is to always focus on employee experience, this way, your team will work with you, not against you.
Ellie is the Managing Director of Nepturnal, an Employer Branding Agency based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She works with organisations throughout the UK and globally as partners to communicate the ‘why us’ of your employment offer with your current and future employees.
Enhancing employee engagement and retention has never been more important. Ellie strives to help clients boost retention and employee experience, increase qualified applicants per hire and lower hiring costs. If you would like to know more, visit https://nepturnal.com or connect on Linked In.