The pandemic abruptly forced many businesses to transition to a remote workforce. With little notice, many organizations struggled to support their remote employees while maintaining business expectations and meeting deadlines. Today, whether a company has hybrid workforce or a fully remote workforce, employers need to have a plan to help their remote employees adapt to their new working environment. Businesses can use the following strategies to help support remote employees’ wellbeing, productivity, and collaborative attitude:
- Offer on-demand remote training. Working from home has unique challenges. Employees can’t pop in to ask each other questions and physical resources are no longer on hand. Employees may have home distractions as well, such as pets, children, roommates, or spouses also working from home. Remote training can resolve employees’ most common questions and challenges while working from home. It’s also an opportunity to provide employees with digital resources to help them complete their work.
- Use multiple training formats. Some employees may dread watching recorded webinars, while others may struggle to retain information from audio recordings. Offering a diverse range of training formats allows employees to train on the platform that is most effective for them. Some examples include audio, video, downloadable worksheets, PowerPoint presentations, training led by a virtual instructor, open-ended Q and A meetings, and webinars.
- Avoid PowerPoint fatigue. PowerPoint can be a useful tool for training remote employees on new work procedures. However, employees aren’t likely to retain anything from a text heavy, 30-slide PowerPoint presentation. Limit each slide to a single concept or idea, use images, break content into short bullet points, and avoid making the headline the largest font on the page to ensure employees retain the most important information.
- Create a training library. The traditional work schedule doesn’t often mesh with a work-from-home environment. Remote employees may not be able to attend a required training at the specified time, as they have new constraints on their time. Their day isn’t just about work anymore. They may have kids home from school or elderly live-in relatives that require care. Record live training and save training modules to a workplace library for employees to access when their schedule allows.
- Keep virtual meetings short. People’s attention spans are much shorter on digital platforms than in person. Keeping meetings short reduces the likelihood of employees glazing over and missing important information. Some virtual meetings may not be necessary, particularly if employers can send the salient details via email.
- Lean on technology. Remote collaboration doesn’t have to be disjointed and clunky. Communication channels like Slack, Google Meet, and Zoom are all simple ways for employees to meet virtually. They can share screens, record meetings for future reference, and have some much-needed face time to discuss ideas and project progress.
- Ensure training materials are mobile-friendly. Remote employees may not have the time or quiet space to utilize training tools while at home. They also have other demands on their schedule, as mentioned before. As a result, remote employees often perform a portion of their work on their phones while not at home. They may prefer to listen to recorded training modules while driving or read over PowerPoint notes while waiting for an appointment.
- Moderate oversight. Employee stress is at an all-time high, and they are doing the best they can with what they have. Constant check-ins or demanding continuous updates feel the same as managers looming over employees’ shoulders while they try to work. It’s disruptive, induces anxiety, and hinders productivity.
- Monitor project progress. Remote workforce management often works best by monitoring project progress. If a project starts to fall behind or employees miss deadlines, it merits further investigation. The workload may be unrealistic, the employees may not have the tools they need, or the employees may be struggling with challenges at home. Identifying the cause of the delays can guide the next steps and modifications to workloads and expectations.
- Celebrate successes. Employee recognition is critical for workplace morale and productivity. It may be even more so in a virtual environment, as employees don’t have many personal interactions. Emails can be helpful, but videos or virtual meetings can be a more impactful way to recognize employee achievements.
Employee satisfaction is essential for maintaining morale, engagement, and productivity. It can be challenging to transition to a remote workforce, and missteps can erode a company’s reputation and employee retention. Contact Windermere Insurance Group to learn how innovative employee benefits can help support your remote workforce.