Good leaders are always looking for ways to improve their employees’ workplace satisfaction. Good leaders know that staff who feel more satisfied and appreciated are more likely to be hardworking and committed to their jobs. They also know that workplace happiness and a positive company culture rely on clear, open communication between staff and management.
So, with more people working from home than ever before, how do you, as a leader, maintaining open lines of communication when everyone on your team is working remotely and socially distant? And how do you keep staff motivated and emotionally invested, both in their individual roles and for the goals of the larger company?
Below are three ways to do just that during these not-normal times.
1. Recognize employee contributions
Want to really boost your employees’ commitment to your company? Show them some appreciation! One of the best ways to increase employee engagement is by showing how much you value their work. Many managers think this type of recognition should be demonstrated with raises or financial incentives. While those are certainly nice, those aren’t the type of rewards staff really want. They want to have appreciation shown in ways that don’t cost anything. Write a thank-you email, praise them in a company-wide messaging system (like Slack), assign them special projects, or grant them mentorship roles.
Recognition should be made a priority, not just for milestones for years of service or for completing a project. Acknowledgment should be given for putting in extra time on a job, providing excellent customer service, taking on additional projects, and for always being dependable. Praise doesn’t have to only be given when things go perfectly, either. Consider showing appreciation for a staff member who took a risk with a new client or project that didn’t work out. People fail, but appreciating their worth as a member of your team shows how much you value them.
2. Encourage team building
Just because all your employees are working independently from home doesn’t mean you can’t help foster a collaborative team environment. Good leadership starts with open communication and trust. Frequently checking in with your staff and encouraging them to do the same with their coworkers not only keeps everyone in the loop but also helps them feel more connected to each other. This helps create a sense of well-being, relieving feelings of loneliness or isolation some may be feeling. There are so many resources to help make this happen.
Phone conferencing is a viable option, but not nearly as fun as being able to talk to a coworker face-to-face. Video conferencing is great for one-on-one conversations so your employees can see how much you care, but even better is the ability to have a video call with the whole team. That makes sure everyone is on the same page, working toward the shared goals. Video conferences shouldn’t just be about work, though. Encourage your team to meet up for virtual coffee breaks or lunch dates! Work doesn’t even have to be discussed. This would be a great time to show your appreciation. How about a virtual “happy hour” after work? Your people don’t have time to be on scheduled calls all day, though, so you need to make sure you have a good team messaging system in place. This will keep everything organized while simultaneously allow your group to continually collaborate.
3. Conduct frequent pulse surveys
Want to know if the steps you’ve taken have improved engagement and communication with your remote workers? Then you should be conducting pulse surveys. These short, frequent surveys are great for employees to give feedback quickly. Still, more importantly, they allow you to get valuable information about things your company is doing well. If there are things workers are not satisfied with, the quick turnaround enables you to address the issues in real-time.
A final note
Clear communication between company leadership and employees has always been vital, but in these uncertain times, making sure your employees feel valued and understood is essential. Promoting a positive culture that increases engagement and supports the growth of teams will improve the well-being of your workers. There’s likely not a better way to keep staff committed to your company.
Finnegan Pierson loves business and has a passion for technology. Even more interesting to him is the combination of the two. As a freelance writer, Finn hopes to influence others so they can have a positive business experience.
“New hire’s remorse”—at least under this name—is a recent phenomenon that we broached last week. Also called “shift shock,” it arises when an employee regrets taking a job because it isn’t the right fit or is completely different from what was expected.