If we were to talk about the connected workplace environment in the pre-pandemic scenario, we would refer to the office workspace, where all the employees gather to be productive, and managers manage the workspace. But the new normal changed it dramatically.
Everyone has their workspace now, their HOME. There were many discussions on the manager’s panel regarding the challenge everyone will have to face during such tough times regarding how to make remote employees feel connected; it seemed a mammoth task in front of HR personnel, but a challenge worth taking.
A survey conducted by a firm Future Workplace and Virgin Plus found that 45% of 2000 managers communicate through emails, and often they find themselves ‘ALONE,’ which impacts their decision-making ability.
What is a ‘Connected Workplace’?’
A connected workplace could be an umbrella covering every aspect of enterprise service management, bringing every member of the company together and embracing the departments’ actions. It maintains complete transparency from the ‘C’ level members to workers in an organization in layman’s language.
Importance of Connecting with Employees in the Workplace
Employees feel more engaged at work when they have more control over how they spend their time at work. Wondering why connecting employees is so important? Here are some benefits:
- It creates a sense of belonging, which leads to a better customer experience and boosted results.
- Managing workflows becomes facile in bottleneck situations.
- There is coherent functioning of all departments on a single platform.
- It creates transparency among the departments, be it the Human Resource or Logistics department.
- It helps the employees to have direct communication and have a sacred hierarchy in the firm/factory.
15 Ideas to Create a More Connected Workplace
It is a tough job answering how to connect with employees working from home or how to keep teams connected while working from home.
Here are some tips to help you create a connected workplace for your employees:
1. Making an objective to know employees PERSONALLY
The managers and human resource personnel need to connect with their employees at a personal level. This brings a sense of belonging, and the employees would love to continue with the firm for a longer duration.
To give an example, Facebook sends a gift to employees on their respective birthdays. We also have to keep in mind that there should be consistency present in such benevolent activity.
Recommended Read: 80 Employee Benefits Ideas for Remote Workers [2021 Guide]
2. Have more “engaged” employees in an organization
Enthusiasm, involvement, and employee interest are the capstones for any employee to be “engaged.” There’s a difference between being busy and being productive.
A person could be engaged when they are busy completing the work, but they could lack enthusiasm, keeping them from being productive. This is a thin line, and we shall scrutinize every situation discreetly.
Recommended Read: The Ultimate Employee Engagement Guide for 2021 (Complete Explanation)
3. Sheltered onboarding process
Here, the meaning of ‘sheltered’ is without any difficulties. The Human Resource personnel and the top-level managers should create a suitable and welcoming environment virtually for the entrant, which allows them to develop trust and give his 100% in any role he undertakes.
Make them feel connected by conducting virtual orientation programs and giving them the liberty to learn at their own pace. Sometimes, it’s hard to learn and understand remotely without any face-to-face interaction.
Recommended Read: How to Onboard New Employees [2021 Updated Guide]
4. Present opportunities at their ‘Doorstep’
Remote working has hindered the chances of employees to increase their connections and get themselves the opportunity to build their careers.
Virtually it is possible, but the chances of succeeding are less compared to the former one. A well-connected workplace would solve this problem, and the managers and HR personnel should keenly look into this.
5. Create a ‘Family-Like’ atmosphere
Every workplace department should be deeply connected to make it easy for all employees to connect virtually. An interesting idea would be advising ice breakers to everyone according to their comfort. This will solve the query of how to connect employees with each other as such an atmosphere lifts the entire room’s mood.
6. Going one step further
With challenges come new opportunities. HR professionals have to think about how to keep employees connected while working from home. Opportunities like using IoT and blockchain in the HR sector will give a boost to enterprise service management.
Understanding the behavioral pattern of employees by using AI and preparing employee-engagement modules would definitely be a plus sign for the company.
7. Give recognition to the voice Of employees
A virtual model of “Suggestion Box” must be created for the employees to put up ideas to advise any correction of any wrong-doing in the environment. The managers must recognize these ideas, and action must be taken regarding the same.
According to Forbes, employees who feel they are listened to are 4.6 times more likely to be motivated to do their best at work. Make sure you encourage open and meaningful conversations across your organization. Provide your employees with accessible internal communications channels to voice their opinions and ideas about the performance of the business.
Recommended Read: Employee Rewards and Recognition Ideas [2021 Guide]
8. Grouping based on interests
How to stay engaged with coworkers when working from home? A simple yet effective way to stay would be to create group chats based on interests like Bitcoin, Sports, Stock Market, etc. Let employees open up on their favorite topics with their peers, which will definitely help as a team-building activity.
9. Flow of information
The flow of information answers a crucial question of how to stay connected with coworkers while working from home as the flow of information is multi-directional.
Top —> Bottom, Bottom —-> Top, Left (Department 1) —> Right (Department 2), and vice versa.
The goal should be to have complete transparency with colleagues and peers with whom we are working.
10. Team building activities and social events
Our only way of entertainment is through video calls, online games, movies, and virtual social events during these tough times. Encourage this culture in your workplace for better connection. In Australia, multinationals hold online games and team-building activities for their employees every Friday night.
When asked why they conduct such practices, they said it improves manager-employee and employee-employee engagement, reflecting directly on the tasks they perform.
11. Smart recruitment
In the smart recruitment system, a prospective employee’s resume is circulated in the virtual connected workplace. According to the department’s need, a further recruitment process is carried out. This is beneficial in many ways, the key being knowing the prospective employee from the beginning.
12. Provide non-monetary increments to employees
In many organizations, the practice of providing non-monetary increments has started. This means providing home delivery of comfortable tables and chairs without any cost. This trend will motivate employees and encourage them to stay committed to the company.
The managers and HR professionals should interfere daily, professionally, and interpersonally. As Stephen Coven said, “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.”
14. 1:1 connect
Understand employee well-being; when there is 1:1 interaction, the employee feels seen and appreciated. Let them know that their presence matters to the company.
One-on-one sessions are important when it comes to performance management. It’s a great tool to give and receive constructive feedback.
15. Act of kindness and treating every employee with same respect
We don’t know what employees are going through every day. Be equal with every employee, give equal opportunities, involve everyone, and urge them to participate in virtual events.
Use emotional intelligence to tap into your employees’ emotions. Show empathy and seek to understand how the other person might be feeling.
Every manager should not forget that employees connect ideas, and ideas help the company grow scales. If the employees in the company are satisfied, we can see the results in the balance sheet. Try these 15 points as a motto in such difficult times and see the company flourish.
Originally published on July 2, 2021 04:05 PM, updated March 02 2022