Now that most people are remotely working from home, how can HR ensure virtual Employee Engagement for the Employees?
Engaging employees virtually has been a topic of discussion for a few years now, ever since we first began to explore the working model. Managers often ask how they can manage virtual/remote employees better. However, with the pandemic and the entire workforce now working remotely, we absolutely need better ways to keep employees engaged than with just virtual workout classes and online learning. Here are three other ways that one can explore:
Goal setting: It is the time of the year when we are looking back at what went well, what did not and what the future should look like. Retrospectives translate well into the virtual environment. There are plenty of tools to help white boarding and ideating. I use Ideaboardz but I hear Trello is popular too. Once you have spent time on retrospection, ask employees to think through what part of their job they find fulfilling and how they can work on amplifying that the coming year. Science has shown that just thinking about the fulfilling bits makes work more enjoyable. What better time to spend time doing a thorough goal setting that while indoors during a pandemic?
Mentorship: We spend so much time running through work throughout the year that we rarely have the luxury to give mentorship the due attention it deserves. This is a great time to introduce employees to a set of potential mentors, find one that aligns with their need and encourage conversations. Employees have the option of having longer, deeper conversations at this point that lead to meaningful engagement.
Work on ideas: Lastly, take this time to run virtual hackathons, idea generation exercises and encourage employees to work on both small-scale improvements and big ideas. Maybe even hook them up with a coach. I am aware that innumerable organizations worldwide are encouraging employees to submit ideas on how they can help the world during this crisis. HR teams are pulling in employee ideas to help make work more flexible. Virtual employee engagement could be a potential hackathon topic and they may turn up with more ideas than you or I can. Then maybe you can come back here and share with me in the comments :
The most important part though is that employees keep themselves engaged. Too often, we put the onus of engagement on to the organizations. That approach is rarely effective. The duty of the organization is to enable employees to keep themselves engaged. Agree?