Your company’s digital transformation to a remote workforce doesn’t mean losing real connections or personal bonds between employees and external partners. In fact, the opposite is true.
Strong digital workplaces cultivate interpersonal relationships, giving each employee an equitable and open opportunity to form real connections. Not only do employees benefit from a platform for their voice to be heard, but organizations can also get a holistic view of how their staff are feeling, what they’re thinking, and how they can be better supported.
Organizations can create a real sense of community for their remote employees through selecting effective and appropriate digital workplace platforms. On top of this, smart communications strategies and a little bit of elbow grease towards harboring an inclusive and equitable digital environment can boost team engagement.
Building Digital Communities in the Remote Workforce
Resources Available Anywhere, Anytime
Working remotely may leave workers feeling disconnected from the main hub of an organization. Finding information like training materials, reference documents, and business-critical forms on a traditional workplace server can be tricky. This can leave some employees feeling left out and scrambling for solutions.
A smart digital workplace solution can ensure that access to relevant resources and vital information is easy, instant, and always available from any device.
Companies can create a real sense of community by establishing a central place where workers can find documents, training material, and forms. On top of that, a built-in, future-ready employee hub creates a space for discussion, community-based problem solving, and building team connections.
Develop (Remote) Rituals
Rituals form an important piece of every employee’s life at work. Whether that’s a morning coffee, a watercooler chat, or a silent nod at the copy machine, nearly everyone has some type of ritual in which they find a bit of comfort at work. Rituals give people a sense of routine as well as help contribute to a positive team spirit and workplace engagement.
For remote and deskless employees, these rituals can be harder to pin down. With a dispersed team, across geographical areas and time zones, taking time to develop routine rituals can be trickier than it is for in-office employees.
Sometimes rituals come naturally. Other times team leaders may have to talk openly with their staff and find out what type of rituals they’d like to participate in. Here are some ideas to help develop rituals for remote and front-line workers:
- Schedule daily or weekly virtual meetings, with individuals and in teams, to discuss more casual aspects of work and life. Treat the start of this meeting as a relaxed catch-up, or coffee chat, and keep it light.
- Make routine posts on your organization’s intranet that generate engagement: highlight great work or extra effort from an employee or team, share relevant and interesting articles or videos, or post fun surveys or quizzes.
- Once a week, host fun virtual activities near the end of the day. Depending on your organization and employee personas, this could be anything from group meditation, to an after-work virtual cocktail, a trivia or pub quiz, or a physical exercise like yoga.
Taking the time out of everyone’s busy day to disconnect from their jobs is worthwhile to cultivate a strong digital workforce community. These routines can give workers something to look forward to that isn’t directly work-related.
Communication with employees and teams is a key element to find out what people like and what they feel comfortable with. No matter what style of team and types of personalities, you can always find certain rituals that harbor positive energy and boost engagement.
Team Training and Online Activities
LMS and digital training is effective, inclusive, and practical. Employees benefit from learning on their own time, asynchronously. But don’t some types of workers miss the traditional, in-person training experience? That feeling of joining your team and feeling part of something important?
Training and team activities can certainly be organized as a team. It doesn’t matter if each employee is joining from another part of the world. Getting together in an online space can do wonders for employee engagement and to develop meaningful connections within an organization.
The beauty of an all-in-one Learning Experience Platform is the flexibility it gives both employers and employees. Learn on your own, at your own pace. Or organize team learning sessions and group activities. The possibilities are endless. Find what works best for your team, and your company culture, to activate and boost engagement across remote teams.
Leverage Technology to Boost Employee Engagement
Workforce communication software platforms offer so much more than simply connecting employees to their work. Their power can be harnessed to boost engagement, cultivate a positive culture, and serve as a central information hub and safety net.
Creating real connections with individuals across organizations develops that feeling of community. Closer knit teams are willing to go that extra mile to make sure everyone is comfortable and supported. A strong remote workforce community helps foster employee relationships across roles and divisions, making sure everyone knows who to ask when they need help. More available resources and a communal openness to help out will drive innovation and productivity.
Integrating an intuitive, all-encompassing employee app allows organizations to offer their remote and front-line workforce a straightforward and easy-to-access digital meeting point.
With a passion for delivering the right message to the right audience, Teri is an experienced communications professional and Marketing Director for iTacit.