The team at Nvolve have for the last 12 months developed knowledge by speaking with customers and industry professionals around what we call Workforce Excellence. You can learn more about Workforce Excellence here.
So, we have not only taken part in other company’s journeys to building great cultures but also our own. And now those efforts and what we have learned is more important than ever.
On a personal level, I recall debates over remote and telework between 2010 and 2014 during a time working for a University. During these times many education and research professionals felt that face-to-face contact could never be replaced. Then, there were others who saw the remote workplace as the future, regardless of physical human contact.
So, who won the debate? It really doesn’t matter now because we are in this situation not by choice but due to a crisis.
We now need to focus on the opportunities that remote work can provide.
In his article titled ‘Virtual’ doesn’t have to mean second best. Your remote team can outrun traditional ones Keith Ferrazzi noted that many leaders are struggling to lead teams in the virtual world.
Their efforts to get groups to collaborate or coalesce around a topic are met with crickets in the background and listless bobbing of heads on a screen.
Keith and researchers concluded that many of these teams were probably struggling anyway; it’s just the remote aspect of work has now shone a light on it.
My colleague, Roisín McBride explored 4 key areas that we woul like to share with you.
1. It’s time to truly install your open door policy
Although many leaders insist they provide an open door policy to employees, research shows that employees rarely see it as authentic.
There can be quite a few barriers in the way of a true open door policy in an office environment such as front line employees just not feeling comfortable stepping into a senior managers office. Or for remote workers its just unrealistic as people can be offsite, on the road a lot of the time or maybe not even in the same country.
But with new remote technology there is the opportunity to truly create that open door policy, even when everyone is not in the same place at the same time. We can utilize internal communication tools – such as chat and video calling, even feedback surveys.
2. Expand the Delivery of Learning Content
While employees are working remotely they need to also be kept up to speed with the latest technology, processes and skills.
Develop e-learning content and make it accessible for your employees so that they can learn and develop even while at home.
A great example is from Joanna Majer, Technical Manager at FESA in the UK. They made the decision to offer all of their courses to all employees, not just the training that is specific for their job role.
3. Continuous Improvement has arrived in your living room
How does a bottom up approach work in a remote set up? Our leadership groups or teams need to address the new issues we face from a remote working environment. And the best way to do that is to allow those who truly experience this environment every day to submit their ideas for continuous improvement.
Your employees that are on the front line – even if that line is in their own home, they are the ones who do this day in and out and know whats working and whats not.
In our first episode of the Workforce Excellence show, a new TV series we created, we were joined by Continuous Improvement expert, Frank Devine. Frank has worked with many companies globally including Coco Cola, Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson to name a few.
In this episode titled Continuous Improvement – What’s in it for your Employees – Frank states “it’s the employees who are saying – what kind of culture do we need to remove immediate obstacles?”.
4. Health and Safety
It won’t be much of a culture for us with sore backs!
Health and safety has been a huge topic in HR departments when it comes to remote working, and the recent remote transition happened so rapidly, that ensuring employees have a proper set up has not been addressed. We’ve been hearing of some large companies, very large companies who have not had a chance to address working conditions yet in employees’ homes.
Health and safety is the responsibility of both the employees and the employer. Resources should be available to support both the physical and mental well-being of remote workers.
Ideally employees should have an ergonomic chair and a proper desk to support their physical well-being and a reliable internet connection so that they have the ability to do their jobs.
Watch the webinar replay above and download the slides here.