The world is currently facing many uncertainties, including a sweeping surge of work from home requirements. When your employees are suddenly required to work from home, and face-to-face communication is all but eliminated, how do you continue to engage your teams and ensure their success?
Thankfully, in the age of technology, the ability to engage employees is easier than ever. Many tools are at an employer’s disposal to create a positive working environment for employees – even when they are working remotely. How can businesses leverage these tools through a rapidly changing work environment?
Leaders can employ three key principles to guide a remote employee engagement strategy: Connect, Inform and Support.
The biggest change for many of your employees is adapting to a work from home environment. For some, this may be the first time they have ever worked from home. The lack of structure and coworkers can often make working difficult. Feelings of isolation and lack of motivation can arise from a sudden shift in work structure.
To combat this, leaders need to focus on ways to help employees connect. Whether providing forums for employees to chat with each other or scheduling regular video chat meetings, leveraging technology tools to supplement in-person interaction is vital.
The sense of belonging is not just for good company morale. According to an article in Harvard Business Review, “High belonging was linked to a whopping 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk, and a 75% reduction in sick days.” A rating of ‘high belonging’ refers to employees’ reported feelings of belonging.
Some strategies to improve connection while working remote:
- Encourage internal meetings to occur via video chat so employees can see each other as if they were in the same meeting room
- Establish ongoing communications between employees via instant message feeds or designated team channels
- Encourage managers to set up weekly check ins with their employees to discuss progress on projects and gauge employee well-being
As the world changes, especially in a time of crisis, it is important to keep employees informed of what is happening and how your business is handling the changes. Instill confidence in your employees that you are working to keep them safe and continuing to move forward as a business.
Another aspect of informing your employees is continuing to offer training and learning opportunities. Working from home can often become monotonous, especially if there is little social interaction available. It can also be difficult for new employees to find the resources they need when they are unable to stop by coworkers’ desks to ask questions. Providing ongoing learning opportunities, including training on the industry, can be a great way to keep employees engaged. In fact, a CareerBuilder study found that, “If offered, 73% of employees whose companies do not currently offer educational opportunities or workshops outside of work hours say they would be likely to participate if they were available.” Work to understand your employees’ needs and their desires to learn.
Some options for training materials from Mitchell include:
- Workers’ compensation industry terms and definitions, including key terms to understand pharmacy benefit management
- Industry educational videos led by Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Mitch Freeman
- The latest in drug updates, exploring the impact of topical medications on workers’ compensation
Another important aspect of keeping employees engaged is ongoing support from managers and leaders to help employees adapt to working from home. Consider offering the ability for somewhat flexible hours for employees trying to balance family, childcare and work. Offer advice to those who are working from home for the first time, from staying productive to finding a good work-life balance.
Most of all, make sure to continue to recognize your teams’ successes. Especially in a time of crisis, celebrating small wins and the power of people is a key way to keep employees engaged and successful. According to Gallup, “Recognition not only boosts individual employee engagement, but it also has been found to increase productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention.”
Overall, navigating the rapidly changing world right now is going to be full of trial and error. Not every strategy will work for every team; make sure to try different avenues and figure out what works best for yours. As we move through this crisis and toward a more stable environment, continuing to connect, inform and support your employees is vital to ensuring engagement.
Headquartered in San Diego, California, Mitchell International, Inc. delivers smart technology solutions that simplify and accelerate claims handling and repair processes, driving more accurate, consistent and cost-effective resolutions. Mitchell integrates deep industry expertise into its workflow solutions, providing unparalleled access to data, advanced analytics and decision support tools. Mitchell’s comprehensive solution portfolio and robust SaaS infrastructure connect its customers in ways that enable tens of millions of electronic transactions to be processed each month for more than 300 insurance companies, over 30,000 collision repair facilities and countless other Property & Casualty industry supply partners across the Americas and Europe. For more information, please visit mitchell.com.
This is a sponsored post from WorkCompWire marketing partner Mitchell.