Top 4 Takeaways from Communicating & Engaging a Remote Workforce
Recently, a lot has changed about the workforce—most notably, the influx of remote employees. Although a remote workforce is not a new idea, many companies have scrambled at the last minute to prepare employees for working from home, and chances are many companies will continue or switch completely to working from home permanently long after quarantine’s and shelter-in-place orders are lifted.
To help other Communications and HR professionals with this large and sudden change, ALI Conferences hosted the Communicating & Engaging a Remote Workforce virtual conference on April 23, 2020, with host Pinaki Kathiari, CEO & Co-Founder of Local Wisdom, as well as speakers from Morton Buildings, Chanel, Intermountain Healthcare, RMG Networks, and Vitiello Communications Group.
Here are the top four insights & strategies our attendees gained from attending:
Now is the Time for Change
Many of us understand that this change to remote work is new for some and adapting to it takes time. Whether that’s kids playing loudly in the background or compromising your call schedule with your partner working in the same area of the house as you. However, that helps make this a perfect time for trying new ideas and adapting to new norms. Don’t miss this opportunity to listen to what your employees are saying. Check in with them and survey—how can you help them adapt? What do they need from you? Quick pulse checks like this will help you create a baseline for future communications and engagement.
Changing it up…
Embrace New Technologies
Not only is it now a good time for a change, but it’s also a good time to test out new technologies and communication channels. There are a plethora of communication technologies available to you, including Microsoft 365, Yammer, Teams, Slack, and even your already established intranet. Use these channels to build a central hub of resources for employees—answers to questions, links to the official websites like the CDC, and more. Sandy Kostouros, Corporate Communications Manager of Morton Buildings discussed how her team created The Hammer Times, an online hub of information and videos for remote & on-site employees to reference. Invest in video recordings or webinars from leadership to employees, to inform your team on where you stand and what you plan to do.
And speaking of video…
Invest in Video & Storytelling
You know your front-line and remote employees are equally hard at work to make your customers safe and happy during this time. Now is a great chance to capture those heartwarming stories. As Brady White, Internal Communications Manager of Intermountain Healthcare said, “Storytelling is powerful and now is a great time to take advantage of that.” He shared in his session a couple of stories about employees who stepped up and beyond the call of duty—one of which was picked up by the media. Share these stories internally and externally to help spread good feelings and show your employees why they love to do the work they do.
Let’s keep those good feelings going…
Positivity is the Most Important Commodity
This takeaway comes directly from our host, Pinaki Kathiari. We can use all these strategies to create a positive atmosphere for all our employees. We are all going through similar challenges right now—balancing homeschooling children with working a full day at home, adapting to being inside 24/7, managing work-from-home schedules alongside roommates or partners, and more. Remember to have patience and understanding. Remember to take a few moments and breathe. We can all use a smile, so share those good stories, create a positive space, and give attention to those employees who need it. Ask what you can do to help them. Focusing on these ideas will build your employee engagement for the better.
Thank you to all our attendees, speakers, and sponsors of the Communicating & Engaging a Remote Workforce virtual conference. To see more conferences available, click here.
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