In the present scenario of lock-downs and remote working conditions, here are some tips to keep your employees connected and motivated:
Stay Home, Stay Safe and Be Productive!
COVID-19! Everyone today knows the word that has infected more than 2 million people across the globe and has taken more than 130,000 lives till date. The impact of this pandemic has resulted in country-wide lock-downs and businesses are downsizing and restructuring to remote working to survive this black swan event.
The year 2020 will be forever known for the paradigm shift businesses had to undertake to operate in a pandemic and beyond. While most of the companies provided Work from Home as a means to improve Work life Balance or to address critical family needs, these are usually for short periods. However, the ongoing lock-downs caused by COVID 19 has made Work from Home a necessity to stop the spread of this pandemic and survive the plummeting economy.
Work from home sounds like fun, but has varied distractions that could impact employee productivity. There are no in-person interactions, higher possibility of communication gaps, and imbalance in performance management- which can lead to lower productivity. At a time like this, work from home is a necessity but it is equally important to keep the employees engaged and motivated by adopting measures to ensure organizational health and deliverables.
We bring you 7 Tips to keep your employees ‘Work from Home’ productive during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond:
Check our blog : How will COVID-19 affect Performance Management Practices?
We must understand that for effective remote working, going digital is the key. In fact it is the digital technologies and digital business practices that have made remote working possible. So, firstly, equip your team with necessary tools and technology that will help them stay connected – both to the colleagues and the organizational data and remain productive. These include tools for conducting virtual meetings like Skype and Zoom, Instant Messaging like Hangout and Slack for instant communication and cloud storage like Google Drive, One Drive or Dropbox.
Equipping your teams with such technologies allows the employees and their managers to stay connected at all times. Enabling frequent conversations between the managers and employees will ensure employees are not feeling left out in these uncertain times and will help the mangers to drive engagement and keep the employees productive.
Did you know?
As per a recent study by SCIKEY MindMatch, only 0.2% of the IT workforce in India is capable or skilled to work from home.[Reference: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/ites/99-8pc-workforce-in-it-sector-incapable-of-remote-working-study/articleshow/75080948.cms?from=mdr]
Digitization has become an important aspect of our work-life even before working remotely became a necessity. We were already using e-mails for official communication, spreadsheets for data entry and instant messaging for communication. But adapting newer technology and tools like CRMs, Slack, Video Calls, can be little tricky for some people.
Ensure that while working from home, each and every employee is comfortable in using these new tools for effective utilization. For employees who are new to such modern tools, provide assistance and hand holding via one-on-one calls for better understanding and with easy to understand training manuals. The successful adoption for these tools is the key to effective utilization and being effective to drive organizational objectives and outcomes
With no fingerprint scanners and card swipes in the mornings and evenings, it becomes important to establish a sense of normalcy for employees. Daily check-ins via video calls, instant messages, group updates can be a great way to achieve that.
Here, adoption of HR Technology can help maintain a sense of decorum to the chaos that can result while managing every employee remotely. HR can conduct frequent feedback, surveys and pulse polls to get a better understanding of their employees working conditions and the overall workforce sentiments.
Remember each employee works differently and not every employee is comfortable with work from home. For some, a sudden shift like this could be stressful. As companies are increasingly shifting to work from home due to the corona outbreak, it’s vital to keep the communication channels open for your employees.
Provide steady emotional support to your employees at a time where work from home can be stressful and may promote negative emotions. Managers and leaders should encourage their employees and keep a level-headed tone during their interactions. Organizing de-stress videos or con calls once every other day can help lift employee morale and increase their productivity.
“To win the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.”- Doug Conant[Reference: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.therandomvibez.com%2Femployee-engagement-quotes%2F&psig=AOvVaw1XUxyfXImvm9NQw5YaZW_-&ust=1586894106704000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCMC2kcKX5ugCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAg ]
When you are working from home, there are tons of distractions including home-related tasks that may take up time of your employees. Especially during lock-downs, where all the family members are home together and demand attention.
In order to keep your employees productive and have better performance management, encourage your employees to have a dedicated work space for office work and plan their schedule accordingly. It may not always be possible to have your employees work for 8 hours shift but giving your employees flexibility in scheduling their tasks will increase their level of productivity.
“Understanding your employee’s perspective can go a long way towards increasing productivity and happiness.”- Kathryn Minshew[Reference: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.scoro.com%2Fblog%2F34-inspiring-productivity-quotes-from-high-achievers%2F&psig=AOvVaw1XUxyfXImvm9NQw5YaZW_-&ust=1586894106704000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCMC2kcKX5ugCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAO ]
They say “Treat your employees the way you would want them to treat your business in difficult times”. In times like these when the employees are likely to be stressed given the tough situation and the impending economic recession, it becomes imperative to recognize your employee’s efforts and good work. Use technology to acknowledge and appreciate all efforts that your employees are putting in keep the business afloat and proliferate these accomplishments organization wide. Identify those champions who are living your organizational values in practices and showcase them to other employees as role model to follow suit.
While working remotely, a list of tasks to deliver on a daily basis will become common for most employees and managers will be tasked to review work submission daily. In this process of task wind-up, the main objectives to achieve the results should not go astray.
Objectives and Key Result Driven approach for performance setting should be embraced through a modern performance management system. The focus should be on aligning employee outcomes to organizational objectives and transparently showcase the linkage to employees.
Technology plays a paramount role in making working from home a success for any organization. To keep employee productive during this period, a modern Performance Management System can play a significant role in engaging, aligning and delivering results. Ability to quickly re-align priorities would help businesses survive these troubled times. Thus a modern agile performance management system becomes critical for businesses globally. Let your employees work on goals which are being reviewed on monthly/quarterly basis but also facilitate on-going conversations between the employee and the manager for timely inputs and course correction.Don’t just focus on the “Goal Outcomes” but also pay attention to the “Tasks” leading to it. Empowering managers with effective record keeping related to employee performance will ensure objective performance reviews will only add to deeper engagement with your workforce.
Covid-19 has pushed for a sudden mandatory shift to remote working for most business including small businesses, major MNCs and even independent professionals. With the global economy taking a hit, it becomes more crucial to keep your business up and running by enabling your employees to remain productive and engaged while working remotely. The above tips and tricks will help organizations keep their employees productive during this lock-down. Switching to a digital and modern performance management system today will not only let businesses continue their work today but also beyond the current crisis.