The relationship between employees and employers is rapidly changing. Many employees desire more flexible hours, wish to work from home more often, and look to technological resources to make their work lives more balanced, efficient, and engaging. According to Global Workplace Analytics, a website tracking remote workforce trends, 80% to 90% of the U.S. workforce says they would like to telework at least part time. Many organizations may find it difficult to meet their employees’ changing desires while maintaining a stable and profitable business.
As the employment landscape continues to shift, employers should take the following measures to motivate and engage their employees.
1. Have employees conduct remote “spotlights”
Virtual meeting tools allow businesses to efficiently share content with clients, but these tools can also be used to bind a business internally. Have your team members connect virtually to talk about their work life from home, discuss what a typical day looks like and share pictures from their home town or local coffee shop. Connecting on a personal level can go a long way towards forming a cohesive work unit. An idea for conducting these spotlights is to have remote workers spend five minutes of a company check in call to present about their remote work life.
2. Implement a mentor program
Most companies already encourage or require employees to meet with their managers regularly. Creating a mentor program is an additional step that can increase employee satisfaction and engagement. Ideally, an employee’s mentor would be someone who understands the work he or she does and potentially someone who has been in the employee’s position recently (e.g., within the last three years). Establishing a mentor program is an effective way to cultivate and reinforce company culture and values, social awareness and knowledge sharing.
3. Regularly update your employees about company goals and performance
Your employees want to be “in the know” more than ever before. It is important to communicate early and often to inform employees of company performance and ongoing strategy initiatives. Transparency with employees about both company and individual performance allows employees to visualize the impacts that they make to the organization. An idea for this is to share a sales chart or realization leaderboard during company check in calls.
4. Survey employees regularly
Seeking out feedback from employees is a great way to encourage transparency within your company. If you understand the things that are potentially negatively impacting workforce efficiency or morale, then you can more easily address those needs and make employees happy and productive. Conduct quarterly roundtables where folks can split into smaller groups and discuss potential workplace improvements, training initiatives, etc. that would help them. After the roundtables, everyone can come together and elect a representative to share their group’s ideas. People will likely reinforce other ideas that have been shared by others as well as propose ideas that others may not have considered.
5. Acknowledge and recognize employee performance and initiatives
It is important for your employees to know that they are valued and appreciated within your organization. Motivate your employees by recognizing their achievements and professional development, in both private and public communications.
No one likes to be the last to know something, and this is especially true in the current milieu, where people expect instant, real-time data. Communicating with your employees about your business, including new projects, marketing updates, and resources will encourage your employees to engage with and commit to your organization. Having a forum for employee collaboration, such as Smartsheet, is a great way to encourage communication across varying business units!
7. Encourage volunteer initiatives
According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, there are positive mental and physical health impacts for people who engage in community service. This is a great reason to encourage volunteer initiatives within your organization. Allowing employees to work a comp day where they get work credit for volunteering is a great way to accomplish this. You can also hold company outings where your company travels as a group to a volunteer organization. Make sure to recognize those folks on your next company call!