Working from home has been common practice for quite some time now. Still, not every organization is comfortable with the idea of working from home. Some managers are concerned about remote employees’ engagement levels: remote employees see their colleagues face-to-face less often and aren’t always immediately in the know about what’s going on at the office, which can cause a distance to their organization. So, how do you keep your remote workers’ employee engagement high and make working from home a success for the long term? These five tips will keep everyone engaged!
Employees need more than just the required hardware, like laptops and phones, to work remotely. They also need the right technological tools to be able to communicate with each other. By now, most organizations are familiar with Teams, Zoom, or another similar solution for meetings. But employee communication involves more than just chatting and video calling. It shouldn’t matter where employees perform their work; everyone should have the same access to information.
With a communication platform that leverages multiple channels, like Netpresenter, you provide a central place for all employee communication. Whether it is an important announcement by the CEO or fun internal news such as birthdays and anniversaries – with one glance, everyone is up to date on the comings and goings within your organization.
Additionally, Netpresenter provides employees a choice for the device they prefer. When they are at the office, they will walk past digital signage screens. When they are at home, their screensaver or mobile app will show the same messages; even Microsoft Teams can show them the hot news. The player and app give employees a chance to respond to messages and interact with each other, reinforcing social interaction. In short: all employees stay connected, regardless of whether they are working from home or the office.
The municipality of Sittard-Geleen in The Netherlands has been using Netpresenter for precisely this purpose ever since the start of the corona crisis. ‘Togetherness is an important part of our organizational culture,’ Remco van Rijt, Digital Communication Advisor at Sittard-Geleen Municipality, explains. ‘And it has become even more important now we’re all working from home so much more. We like to use Netpresenter screensaver to show messages that evoke a sense of togetherness and commitment among staff. The screensavers serve that purpose perfectly for us.’
It can be quite challenging to assess whether everyone is doing alright when you don’t see your colleagues in person. Is everyone getting their work done, or is someone struggling? What is going on in people’s private lives that affects their well-being and work performance?
Periodic pulse surveys are an easy way to keep tabs on how everyone is doing. For example: create a weekly pulse survey to ask how everyone is doing or how they feel about the organization. The results of the pulse survey can be visualized clearly, making any downward trend immediately visible. It will enable you to act fast on any rising problems and make sure employees feel comfortable. For starters, you can encourage healthy habits with our free Workplace Wellness Templates.
When everyone works from home on their own, it can be challenging to keep track of shared goals. Some people prefer to work more flexibly to combine their work and private lives, making it harder to have daily or weekly meetings and coordinate processes.
In such cases, it helps to focus on everyone’s output instead of on the processes. This way, everyone is responsible for their own work. But for this to work, it must be clear what the main objectives are and what is expected of everyone.
Set collective goals and communicate these clearly. Publish the objectives on screensavers or in the mobile app, or show live Power BI dashboards with the most important KPIs. It will help employees to get a clearer view of their contribution to the organization. They can even adjust their tasks or the way they work to increase their (positive) impact on the organization’s success. It will boost self-confidence and motivates employees to perform tasks to the best of their abilities. It also gives the employer peace of mind when he sees teams are productive and on track to meet goals.
When it comes to recognizing employees’ efforts, it’s important to keep the journey in mind, not just the end goal. Working remotely can cast a shadow on some people’s contributions, making it hard to see who’s done what job. This can be overcome by making everyone’s efforts visible. Pay attention to everyone’s performance with messages on digital signage screens, in the desktop app, or in the mobile app. This will give your colleagues recognition for their work, as well as increase solidarity. After all: now, everyone can see how hard they’re all working!
The Brooklyn Hospital Center likes to show employees’ good performances by sharing them with the organization. Eric Sommer, Senior Writer & Editor at Brooklyn Hospital Center, explains: ‘When a team does something noteworthy, the so-called ‘small victories’, I go by, take a picture, go back to my office and put the news and the picture on Netpresenter. The team knows everyone on staff will know about their achievement. This makes the team feel appreciated. No other tool I know of has this immediate ‘Boom, make them feel good’ effect.’
Nowadays, organizations across the globe are increasing efforts to make their employees feel comfortable at work. Inspirational work environments and free joint lunches are just the start when it comes to making work as attractive and inspiring as possible. However, it’s hard to show appreciation with physical perks like a free joint lunch when employees are working from their home offices.
We’re not stating that internal communication can replace these perks, but it can be used in a different way to show that the organization values its employees. The screensaver and app can be used, for example, to promote fringe benefits that also benefit remote workers, such as discounts on gym memberships, discounts at stores, or training courses offered by the organization.