The importance of ‘connectivity’ with employees in the virtual office

October 30, 2020

Being a manager, an employer, is not an easy job. No matter how experienced one may be, this is a role that will constantly challenge and surprise you in equal measure. This has never been truer than right now. With many organisations today being a hybrid of virtual and physical workplaces, the pressure is on employers to ensure their teams remain connected.

Here we look at some of the ways that employers can retain a strong connection with their teams.

Time to strengthen your company culture:

New employees are attracted to companies who offer a great culture. This doesn’t change once they have been on board for some time. One of the best ways you can go about enhancing your company culture is by providing opportunities for team members to socialise, even if it’s only via an internal network such as Teams or Zoom. It is not how anyone would ideally like to do things, but it can be fun not to mention essential for keeping the camaraderie going.

Reinforce your values:

As well as a great culture, employees are increasingly drawn to those companies who have a purpose – a reason for doing what they do. During testing economic conditions, socially driven initiatives are often placed on the back-burner yet it is these causes that need support now more than ever before. By engaging your teams and asking them for ideas of how they and you as a business can help those in need of it most, the values you ‘sold’ yourself on as part of your recruitment marketing strategy become reinforced and aligned once more with those of your staff; thereby, providing a sense of common purpose and connectivity between employer and employee.

Provide a forum to listen, learn, and support:

Some of your team will be feeling vulnerable given the circumstances we are all experiencing. This in turn can cause anxiety, increase levels of stress, and impact mental health. Simply running a staff survey and putting in measures to overcome some of the issues being faced can have a significant impact both in terms of boosting staff morale but also making people feel that you are listening and care about them.

Stay on track with career development:

There will be employees who have had their sights set on promotion only for the pandemic to either delay their progress or place it on an indefinite hiatus. Either way, if they are a talent that you wish to keep then don’t use the current situation as an excuse not to continue their professional development.

Being ‘connected’ to the company is not just about having the right technology in place, it is also an emotion – Does my employer value me? While a promotion might not be feasible right now, you could position said employee as a brand ambassador for the company. Could they write for the company blog, share your content across their own social media profiles, or take on the role of mentoring a junior member of the team? Each of these things will develop their skills, enhance their promotion credentials, and boost that person’s sense of being engaged with the business.

Finally, keep talking:

One of the biggest complaints we see from Candidates right now is the lack of clarity from their employer over how the pandemic is impacting the business, the steps being taken to counter this, and what it means for their job security. At times of uncertainty it is essential to ensure there is a steady flow of accurate information emanating from the senior team to everyone else in the business. Irrespective of whether the news is rosy or comes with a tint of grey, it is important to be transparent and honest with your people.