Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there has been a major shift to engage and stay connected with employees while we work from home. Recently, we joined with The Post’d People Group, Keryn Koch, VP People at Commonbond, and a group of senior HR professionals to discuss strategies to help bridge the gaps in the new world of work. This week, we share the main take-aways from that discussion along with a crowdsourced resource worksheet we are building to support all people professionals and their companies.
The main questions to consider were: how can companies best maintain connectivity with their people to preserve and enhance corporate culture, employee happiness and productivity? What makes your company a special place to work?
Building and maintaining connectivity is not just the role of HR – it must be a shared effort and responsibility across leadership. There is not a one size fits all solution. One strategy may work for one company (or even just one team within an organization) and not for another.
To identify strategies to build connectivity we thought it prudent to first define exactly what connectivity means. We came up with the following:
Connectivity is when:
· Employees trust leadership and feel supported both professionally and personally.
· Employees believe their work contributes to the company’s objectives.
· Employees empathize with clients and have pride in the problems they are trying to solve.
· Employees are recognized for their work.
Strategies to build connectivity:
- Deliver individualized communication. Every situation is unique. What works for someone people won’t work for all. Understanding our people and what they need is paramount to building trust and connectivity with our people.
- Build consistent, transparent communication and deliver formally and informally.
- Communicate with empathy. Everyone is grieving in some way in the world of COVID. It is important to acknowledge these feelings and bring the company together.
- Given the economic uncertainties brought on by the world of COVID, provide transparent revenue updates so people know where the company is trending. This can be general, or when appropriate more specific. Giving employees an overview of how the company is doing will set realistic expectations for your team. in all-hands meetings.
- Provide training on “how to work from home effectively”. Again, setting expectations is very helpful.
- Train and conduct blameless post-mortem retrospectives to improve engagement and overall team output.
- Build a strong remote onboarding process. Just because we are all working from home, doesn’t mean our onboarding process should change. Assign a new hire buddy system to help integrate your new hires.
- Coach leaders on how to handle each of their people’s needs.
- Retrain managers on effective 1-on-1 strategies and ensure that they are being held at least every other week with their direct reports.
- Provide ways for employees to socialize outside of “work” and not to talk about work. Virtual trivia games and movie nights are easy and fun.
- Yoga and virtual happy hours may work for some employees at some companies but not all. Instead, try providing a space to have open and honest conversations about the current state of the world.
- Use the Donut Bot to simplify and automate cross-company conversations.
- AssembleHR provides people strategies for communication, empathy with employees and navigating the (work) world post COVID and following the Black Lives Matter movement