When a vast majority of businesses deep-dived into the nationwide lockdown back in April and May of 2020, most employees started to work in a remote capacity.
Regardless of how sudden the change was, most workers got into the swing of things and managed to deliver on their amalgamated, pre-pandemic goals, seemingly without experiencing any productivity dips. In fact, most employees armed themselves with laptops and committed to double down on their share of work in an effort to keep their jobs safe.
That's why today, as WFH stretches on, it's essential to know how to make employees' contributions be seen and heard, so they continue to stay engaged and drive organizations forward.
Don’t skip one-on-ones
It's no secret that most line managers who work from home have lots of hats to wear and many plates to spin. After all, there's a good reason why there have sprung hundreds, if not thousands of guides on how to cope with Zoom fatigue.
But, as Pete Sosnowski, Head of HR and Co-Founder at ResumeLab puts it:
If you make the norm of rescheduling or, even worse, canceling 1:1s with direct reports, you might shoot yourself in the foot.
For one, among the key drivers of employee dissatisfaction is the lack of ongoing managerial feedback, based on a Harvard Business Review study.
On top of that, if you routinely reschedule or skip 1:1s, you’ll miss a valuable opportunity to praise employees’ recent wins, discuss their professional development, solicit feedback and address potential concerns regarding prolonged remote work that might be short-circuiting their wellbeing.
Spend every ounce of your energy to have 1:1s with each direct report at least once a week, for 30 to 45 minutes. If you get it right, you'll send a clear message to employees that they are top-value assets at your organization and hence motivate them to execute on their deliverables with vigor.
Make the most of peer-to-peer recognition
Given today’s challenging circumstances, most employees are likely to remain offsite for months to come.
With the absence of a traditional brick-and-mortar office and multiple in-person interactions, superiors and peers no longer get to witness employees’ day-to-day grind, which might leave them feeling under-appreciated, or even unseen.
That said, employee recognition is essential to any organization's success, especially when it comes to remote teams.
It's fairly easy to weave peer-to-peer recognition into your company culture.
First off, consider creating a #kudos channel in Slack for each team and encourage staffers to praise each other when they walk the extra mile.
If you’re looking for a more self-running solution, you can also make use of Bonusly. It’s a recognition tool that gives remote workers an allowance of points they can give to co-workers for their wins. Afterward, employees can redeem those points for quick cash-out options, nonprofit donations or gift cards.
Provide tangible rewards
While it's true that the economic meltdown will likely prevent most companies from giving raises, you can still offer tangible rewards to your staff for A+ performance.
A great way to show appreciation to employees, especially now when most of them feel stagnant, is to invest in their skillsets. There are a plethora of conferences, live seminars, and online courses employees could tap into to brush up their hard and soft skills.
Companies can also put together a mentoring program, so struggling employees/new hires could get up to speed quicker, or introduce a self-development fund, so workers can choose what to learn and how to do it.
Lastly, because most employees have lost several significant benefits (e.g., free snacks, company lunches, and dedicated office space) as a result of switching to telecommuting, it's good practice to start offering perks tailored specifically to remote workers such as:
Max Woolf is a career expert at ResumeLab. He’s passionate about helping people land their dream jobs through the expert career industry coverage. In his spare time, Max enjoys biking and traveling to European countries. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.