The new normal of a flexible workforce has drastically impacted the way teams communicate. Digital communication, at times, can get lost in translation and leave employees questioning the intent of the message. In this episode of Yoh's Back to Work podcast series, Yoh UK’s Recruitment Manager and Technical Staffing Specialist, Ben Kendrew and our host, Joe McIntyre, evaluate how working remotely has affected team communication. Ben shares his insight regarding the steps employers can take to keep their employees engaged.
COMMUNICATION SHIFTS IN A REMOTE ENVIRONMENT
Communication is necessary to fuel collaboration within a team and positively impact the business. From a managerial standpoint, Ben notes that keeping employees engaged starts with fostering relationships with them individually and in groups. It is so easy to take for granted the everyday interactions we shared with others when fully in the office, whether conversations were related to work or not. With employees working remotely or on a hybrid schedule, it is easy to lose those daily interactions that make a team function.
When fully remote, digital communication can come across as more formal and lacking the spontaneous conversations that build trust and inspire the best ideas and creativity. The formality of video calls can almost feel like an interview versus in-person conversations in which body language is more easily portrayed. Employees can let their guard down, and you can get to know them better.
how employers can inspire collaboration
Over the COVID-19 pandemic, Ben and his team tried new ways to keep everyone interacting together. He created a "Drop In Clinic" (an open Zoom meeting) for his team to stop in and say hello, share their lunch break, and simply engage with each other. "Fun Fridays" included care packages sent to staff with a fun game and other goodies. The team finished work early and enjoyed time with each other remotely. Ben says. "As a manager, you can be seen as the boss, but when you're on the same level as everyone else, you are more open... and employees feel more comfortable coming to you with issues."
Collaboration is key to building trust with your team and creating a positive company culture. Minimal turnover is the greatest reward of having a solid company culture. Your employees want to enjoy working with you and develop bonds with their colleagues. Companies like this encourage their employees to build a career with you and shape them into future leaders within the organization.
the future of team engagement in an evolving worKforce
When asked what team collaboration will look like in five years, Ben comments that the talent pool will continue to widen. With remote work becoming a new normal within many roles, candidates are no longer limited to applying to jobs within a specific location. Onboarding methods need to be clearly defined for remote employees, as their needs come first to feel comfortable joining your team. Maintaining open communication and creating opportunities for new employees to familiarize themselves with their coworkers significant impact on a new employee's performance.
If you ask Ben, he expects more technology to be created within the next five years to continue engaging employees remotely. Could the future of your office be encompassed in a VR headset? Only time will tell! Listen to the full podcast episode to learn more expert tips for engaging your team and building upon team collaboration.