One of the most important things an employer can do to stay in tune with their staff is to be connected and be on their wavelength. It is vital today when so many teams operate using remote work or are under significant pressure. Some people work well in a virtual situation, whereas others prefer a physical building and community. Not only is it vital to stay connected with employees, but it is important to ensure they feel supported, particularly in times of change. Here's how to make a positive difference.
Engage Your Employees
One of the first things to do when staying connected with your employees is to engage with them and find out what they want. Offer some suggestions, such as an Employee Experience (EX) weekly newsletter or team catch up on Zoom (or whichever video conferencing platform you utilize). Employees usually come up with things you never considered that will help keep people engaged. Do remember to continue one-to-one meetings with people and ensure that managers check in with each employee to see how they are feeling, especially when people are working under pressure.
Create a Newsletter
Newsletters are effective ways of summarizing vital information in one go. Use them to send out important information and updates to your business. You can also personalize newsletters by including staff news, such as a wedding announcement, exam success, or even a new pet! Including items on well-being in a staff newsletter helps give the message you care about their health at work and creates a positive employee experience.
Use Staff Social Media
A lot of companies limit the use of social media in the workplace, but it can be a useful tool in engaging people. Use staff-only group pages for your employees so they can share ideas and news. WhatsApp is another helpful way for staff to stay in touch. If the employees set them up and administer the sites, they are more likely to be used. Employees can also connect on LinkedIn, which helps teams get to know each other and where specific expertise lies. Don't forget to set some ground rules when using staff-only social media, so employees understand it to be a safe space.
Arrange a Team Get Together
Getting to know employees as individuals is important, particularly when people are working remotely. A team get-together outside work helps staff bond and meet people in other departments, and thanks to Zoom, Slack, and other similar platforms, they can be run remotely. Examples include a coffee break social or a trivia night. Staff social nights out or even a communal lunch where each person brings a dish can break down barriers and get people talking. Get a small group of employees to organize events, so people see it coming from the workers rather than the manager.
Check-In with People
In the current climate, it is vital that people check in with each other to offer support. Use initiatives such as getting each employee to reach out to someone they haven't spoken to in a while to get the conversation going. By getting staff proactively supporting each other, it becomes a part of the organizational culture. The more people feel included, the more likely they are to share their unique ideas or passionately contribute to ongoing projects.
Develop Shared Goals
When an organization has a shared goal, it brings people together with a common purpose. Develop your corporate goals using proactive group work but don't forget to have fun too, as this gets people really engaged. Throw in goals such as a shared charity challenge for the yea or get everyone to learn a new skill unrelated to work, and you're well on your way towards a more connected workforce. Initiatives like this engage and fire people up, which positively affects work performance and creates a culture that others will want to join in, making it a powerful recruiting tool.
Creating a positive employee experience has never been more important as many work environments shift towards remote only. By engaging in positive ways, your team will be enthusiastic and positive about the work they do. You take care of your employees, and they'll take care of you.