Contributed by: Jay Umaria, HR, Manager, StepSetGo
Work from home has been our new normal for a while now and maybe so for the foreseeable future. However, while we’ve all been able to now assimilate to our new circumstances, it’s been a journey of discovery and change for organizations across the globe. Keeping the safety of each employee a priority, every organization went through a major overhaul with the HR department at the core of this transformation.
Almost overnight HR departments had to create a new work ecosystem that ensured business continuity, productivity, and employee satisfaction through proper channels for communication. While technology took care of business continuity in a remote working ecosystem, it hadn’t accounted for engagement and a well-rounded corporate experience. After all, these were the building blocks that drove employee productivity and satisfaction in our pre-pandemic days. And in a time of crisis, it is even more challenging but necessary.
The HR department is the custodian of an organization’s most valuable resource i.e. human capital. Today, this department has had to evolve beyond just a mere sign on a door, but to a living breathing entity that’s adding creativity and life into the remote working environment. From providing direction, motivation and guidance, this department has to begin creating an atmosphere that’s conducive to the free-flowing exchange of ideas, camaraderie and a bigger sense of belongingness, irrespective of the presence of physical office space.
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So then, how can one ensure employee engagement in a remote working ecosystem?
Communication: An effective communication strategy must be incorporated by every HR leader to ensure that grievances (if any) are addressed and looked into. Communicating purposefully and regularly can help management look into problems employees are facing and try to devise solutions effectively and efficiently. Ensure that communication with coworkers is streamlined for a smooth workflow. Regularly conducting feedback sessions can help the organization work towards scalable growth.
Trust & Recognition: Trusting the employees for tasks and building a sense of accountability gives them a feeling of appreciation and also motivates them to work harder. It is an important aspect for each company to recognize hard work from time to time. Celebrating success should be a part of every company’s HR policies. It’s a culture of building not just a strong team but a family that encourages, supports and pushes ones another to be and do better. Timely appraisals may be difficult during the pandemic, but it should not be neglected altogether.
Enhancing Skills: Companies should build and execute interactive training sessions for developing and improving the working style of an employee. Enrolling employees in virtual courses they are interested in, sharing knowledge, encouraging them for personal projects would boost their capacity to work efficiently. Holding fun activities like game nights and online competitions should be the focus and how best they can leverage digital channels to meet the requirements.
Mental Health: Ensuring a proper work-life balance is a must in today’s day and age. The mental health of employees is of utmost importance, especially in a remote working environment. Therefore it is necessary to ensure the employees have sufficient time off and are provided help when needed. The management should ensure that work pressure shouldn’t be the reason for employee burnout. It’s important to make sure that the mindset of the team remains healthy.
Team Building Exercises: All work and no play makes jack dull. Remote work can get tough at times and it is the HR’s responsibility to ensure that employees are not feeling too overwhelmed. Hosting activities at regular intervals keeps the morale high and makes the team feel excited to work. Activities are also a great way to identify employee potential and bring out the competitive side of them.
About the Author: Jay Umaria believes in collecting great experiences that have led him to spearhead human resources at StepSetGo. As a Human Resources Manager, Jay takes a multidimensional approach towards workforce development. He believes that the holistic growth of an employee makes a company the desired workplace and ensures better productivity at work.