As we continue to live through the COVID-19 pandemic, at least one thing is clear, the work-from-home (WFH) setup is here to stay – at least on some level of most companies. This scheme has become the labor force’s response in contributing to the promotion of safety amidst the ongoing health crisis that has pushed several businesses to innovate on their traditional work methods.
Particularly in the Philippines, where the average daily cases continue to be on an increasing trend since the global outbreak back in March 2020, several industries have mandated – or at least opted to – delegate most of their workforce to do remote work instead.
This has been a breath of fresh air for both employers and employees. As a matter of fact, a study conducted by SEEK Asia (parent company of JobStreet), Boston Consulting Group, and The Network, showed that up to 50% of the workforce in the Philippines prefer doing remote work in carrying out their tasks. This represents a huge number of the working population, considering that a hefty chunk of the labor force in the country has grown accustomed to traditional onsite work.
One potential challenge (or perhaps an opportunity) that can arise from a WFH setup would be how to keep your remote employees engaged in their tasks and the entire organization. Look no further as here are 6 effective strategies that your business may employ to keep your human resources engaged. They keep the gears running, don’t you agree? 🧐
1. Take advantage of technology 💻
Since the dawn of remote work, the field of technology has also continued to advance and update its capabilities. Gone were the days where you had to use a flash drive to share files with a colleague. Nowadays, cloud storage has become prevalent and mostly free for basic tiers. File-sharing platforms like Google Drive, iCloud Drive, Dropbox, One Drive, and much more continue to prevail.
Collaborative apps like Slack, Skype, Viber, and WhatsApp are also now being used as alternatives to traditional calls and SMS.
Even HR departments of several businesses now resort to integrated HR and payroll software with time and attendance to digitalize their HR processes. GreatDay HR is a perfect example. With GreatDay HR, automate your businesses’ HR, Payroll, Time and Attendance, and many more. You can also remotely assign tasks, approve requests, share files, and manage the performance of your workforce.
2. Initiate occasional interactions online 🎭
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face interactions have been mostly discouraged unless necessary. In addition to the prevalence of a WFH setup, socializing among colleagues has been brought to a bare minimum.
This is an opportunity where companies could get creative in terms of engaging their employees. For instance, setting a few hours for certain days of the week to get employees together online and participate in games, talent shows, and the like could be an exciting way to initiate more interactions among colleagues. Funday Fridays or Humpday Wednesdays filled with games and prizes sounds exciting don’t you think?
Of course, this won’t be possible without a platform to hold such events. Luckily, GreatDay HR has the GreatDay Meet feature where it takes video conferencing to a whole new level with unlimited time and participants within a fully encrypted connection. Just do the planning and hold them via GreatDay Meet, hassle-free!
3. Give and receive feedback 🤝
I clearly remember in one of the coaching sessions given by our organization’s CEO (whose resume is filled with countless HR responsibilities before taking on this C-level role), she told me about the importance and relevance of giving and receiving feedback not only between managers and their team members but within the team members themselves as well. What struck me the most was when she mentioned how feedback is just feedback. That it is up to the person who receives it if he/she chooses to acknowledge or adhere to it. Looking deeper into that thought, this made me realize that her underlying point is that one of the most important things is either party feels heard and valued.
Organizations that prioritize this kind of culture usually have employees who feel important. Having employees with this kind of mindset feel happier and more engaged at work. Win-win!
And oh, don’t be afraid to give constructive feedback as well. At the end of the day, we are all humans and mutual respect should always be there even in a professional setting.
4. Be extra supportive to new hires 🆕
According to research conducted by Quantum Workplace, 76% of new hires felt less equipped to do their jobs compared to 85% of tenured employees. Simply put, most new hires appreciate focused support and would most probably need more when working remotely.
Managers can then be effective in this regard by communicating more and providing additional training opportunities for the new hire so that he/she can be more effective and involved. Most of these can be initiated during the initial onboarding of the employee. If doing this in person becomes close to impossible and holding it remotely is the best option, then why not try out GreatDay HR’s Recruitment feature? This can handle everything from screening and hiring, up until onboarding. This can be modified according to employee needs and gives managers the flexibility of ensuring that the onboarding can be as comprehensive as possible.
5. Show your team that you care 🧘🏼♀️
Fostering meaningful and holistic relationships with your employees, especially those who are mostly in a WFH setup, should be made a priority. Try stressing to them the importance of creating a sense of balance even when not in the office.
Managers can also try to be more proactive by taking into consideration your employees’ boundaries around schedules, task assignments, and overall performance requirements. When possible, try to talk to them about other aspects of their personal lives such as their families, hobbies, mental health, and workload.
Pro-tip: Consider setting up regular brown-bag sessions with your employees and simply talk to them. Get to know them more. Make them feel heard. Although brown-bag sessions are traditionally held over lunch, consider setting aside an hour or two of your day to hold this virtually.
To get to know them a bit better before this session, managers may try out GreatDay HR’s Company Mood feature. Get to know how your employees are feeling and overall disposition with just a few taps. See it in action here!
6. Employ regular personal surveys 📃
Try and conduct periodic surveys to check with your employees at least once a month if possible. Not only does this make them feel more involved in having a voice in your company but it also makes your lives easier as an HR or as a manager by enabling you to compare survey responses and see if there is a trend that can be addressed.
Some employees may be going through hurdles or work-related issues, and by getting to know these through the conducted surveys, managers can then come up with workarounds or implement certain programs to work on such issues.
GreatDay HR has a Polling and Survey feature which allows managers and HR personnel of companies to learn more about the opinions and sentiments of their employees. Build the survey and distribute them among your team members straight from the app!
With the current state of the world right now especially the Philippines in managing this pandemic, it becomes clearer each day that work-from-home will remain and continue to grow in the coming years as we live in this new normal. This highlights more than ever the importance and relevance of being able to understand and manage your employees, especially those in WFH setups strategically and effectively. Fortunately, there are many ways to do this, and most companies are even making it a top priority in both the short and long term. Organizations may also take advantage of existing technologies to automate their HR processes so they can focus more on helping their employees grow. GreatDay HR is here to help and to assist you in encouraging your employees to #DoSomethingGreat every day.
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