As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change the way companies operate, many employers are unsurprisingly transitioning to a remote workforce. While a remote workforce may be a major departure for your company, it’s essential that your management team learns how to effectively navigate this “new normal” for the sake of employee retention – and your bottom line. As you gradually embrace the shift to remote work, here are some key practices for getting your company on track for a successful transition:
Be empathetic to employees. Just as your management and leadership teams must adapt to change, so must your employees. Now, more than ever, it’s important to show empathy to your employees, as many of them may be experiencing unexpected personal challenges during the pandemic. From kids being stuck at home to elderly parents needing more care, there are many personal changes your employees may now be experiencing. Offering some flexibility, especially as they get acclimated to their new work situation, will give them a chance to get used to a new type of “work-life” balance and make their transition to remote work less stressful.
Invest in the right technology. As remote work takes precedence, it’s become increasingly important for employers to invest in top-of-the-line technology to ensure employees can be as productive as possible working from home. There are a growing number of back-end and support technologies that can assist in creating a successful remote workforce, including network security systems; malware protection; project management tools; cloud technology; and time tracking software; among many others. As you build your remote team, it’s critical to assess which types of tech platforms are best suited for your employees’ most critical needs and implement a system that allows them to perform at the most optimal level.
Promote regular, two-way communication. With employees working off-site, there’s no denying that a lack of fluid communication can quickly take its toll on your company. Proactively fostering open, two-way communication between managers and staff is crucial to promoting collaboration among employees and maintaining strong morale among staff. There are many ways to promote regular communication, including establishing weekly video conferencing calls; integrating user-friendly communication software (i.e., chat bots and instant messaging); and providing daily progress updates to your team. By making communication a priority, you’ll demonstrate to your employees that you value their feedback and are committed to their long-term success - even under remote work conditions.
Remember, it takes time to effectively manage a thriving and robust remote workforce. By incorporating the practices above into your management protocols, you’ll elevate your organization’s performance, improve employee job satisfaction, and most importantly, create a remote work environment in which every member of your team can excel.
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