How to Maintain a Remote Workforce Engaged?By Sofía Hanna | Fri, 12/11/2020 - 08:00
Taking care of a remote workforce has been one of the challenges most companies have had to face over the past months. This matter has become even more relevant given the uncertainty of how long the pandemic will last.
This week, Singapore hosted the event SWITCH (Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology). One of the topics discussed was developing a remote workforce, upskilling teams and nurturing productivity. Amy Shultz, Senior Director of Product Recruiting at LinkedIn, led the conference and share do’s and don’ts for companies.
What companies need to start doing:
- Turning data into insights. Companies need to make employees feel confident about making recommendations and giving their insights, which could be very beneficial for new ideas and ways to do things around the digital office.
- Putting yourself in the employee's shoes. Trying to maintain the digital conversation as human as possible is very important to connect with those working remotely.
- Making empathy a priority. Understanding the situation everyone is going through can be difficult when we only see them on a screen. This is why now, more than ever, being empathetic is a must.
What companies need to stop doing:
- Sticking with the tried and true. The key nowadays is to optimize a new digital world. Trying new things and tools is what will set companies apart in the near future.
- Focusing on the wrong metrics. One of the top priorities at the moment is to take into consideration the employees' experience above other factors.
- Doubting yourself. Understanding that we do not have all the answers is fine at a moment like this, but we must be confident in what we know and share it.
One of MBN’s expert contributors, Jaime Zapata, Talent Management Director at TalentHow, has also shared his insights on how to evaluate remote employees’ productivity. Many managers assume that if an employee is sitting in front of their desk at home, they are not being productive, which gets in the way of two of the points mentioned earlier: "focusing on the wrong metrics" and “making empathy a priority.” Zapata says companies should make workers proud of what they are doing, encouraging ways of showing evidence of their results, making employees understand when they are not being as efficient as they could be, inviting employees to share their thoughts on possible solutions, making everyone feel like part of the team and maintaining communication as one of the top priorities.
Álvaro Villar, General Manager of WeWork Mexico and Central America, explained to MBN that now, more than ever, people have understood the role that workplaces play in our daily lives and that one of the biggest challenges is how to boost innovation without collaborative spaces. Workspaces must promote interaction, connection and well-being, he says. Even though there is no space for that, there are rituals that help create a shared identity among people to build trust between members and create an environment conducive to innovation and communication. Shultz also talked about the importance of replacing "watercooler talk" with apps like Slack that promote the generation of groups to talk and share interests, making the work experience more human and exciting.