The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the number of people who work from home significantly. In the last couple of months, most companies have had to switch their operations to virtual to get work done and retain employees.
Remote working presents several challenges to employees especially those that were not accustomed to working from home. Given that there are a lot of distractions at home, it can be overwhelming for your employees.
One of the major concerns that workers have, particularly those in the regions termed as the epicenter of the pandemic, is their health insurance. Many of them are worried their insurance does not cover COVID-19 medical expenses. This concern could be diminishing their engagement in your organisation’s activities and could impact productivity.
If you sourced the services of a PEO to hire employees, you should inform them that their health is covered to put them at ease. What is PEO? This is an organisation that is involved in taking care of HR liabilities and responsibilities on behalf of an employer. PEO agencies are especially relevant if your ultimate goal is to expand internationally. If you’re opening a business entity in China, for instance, you can hire a reputable China employer of record to take care of your HR, as well as hire and manage your employees.
You could leverage the services of your PEO to engage employees while they work remotely as well. You can achieve this by having your PEO:
1. Circulate a weekly COVID-19 update
Providing information during these trying times is one of the best things that you can do for your staff. With tons of false information about this virus on social media, your employees must have access to Coronavirus facts.
Additionally, if you have international employees managing your overseas operations, it is also good to find out how they are doing given that the disease dynamics of Coronavirus varies across regions. In these update emails, it is good to highlight some of the policies that your organization has enacted to handle the pandemic. You can also request your remote employees to share their experiences in the fight against the pandemic.
Lastly, you could provide tips for maintaining mental health and physical activity. While at it, you could ask your workers to respond by leaving comments and questions that they have.
2. Host regular video conferences
During these pandemic times, people are required to maintain and practice social distancing. A regular video call either weekly or bi-weekly is a good idea to keep your employees engaged. You could leverage the numerous teleconferencing service providers in the market such as Zoom, Skype for Business, Google Hangouts, or Google Meet.
With a video call, your employees can stay safe and still get to interact with each other. Video calls make meetings more personal because people can be able to see one another despite being far away. They also offer you a chance to record the meeting. Therefore, if some employees were unable to attend the meeting, you could share the recording with them to keep them updated.
When planning meetings using teleconferencing facilities, it is ideal to have a set agenda so that employees feel motivated to participate. During the meeting, you give everyone a chance to speak so that their views on the matter at hand are heard. While some staff may be willing to attend these forums due to other obligations at home, you could make the sessions short to avoid getting them bored.
3. Encourage staff development
Your employees need to feel that you are supportive and are committed to their personal development now more than ever. Your staff is a diverse group of people, thus, not everyone is tech-savvy. Therefore, you need to invest in training to help them understand how to use the tech tools that your organization has now embraced to work efficiently. To provide support, you need to identify the gaps in tech skills that exist then get professionals to hold webinars to take your staff through the usage of remote tools. Ensure that you make videos for these webinars and post them on sites that are accessible to your employees.
Additionally, make your technical team available to handle any issues that your employees may be facing working from. When employees feel supported, you can be sure that they will enhance their output.
Your organization will come out of this pandemic unscathed only when you are supportive of your employees and when you enhance communication among your teams. Engaging employees is marked by mutual benefits because your staff will get the assistance they require and your company will continue to operate.
Ashley is a full-stack developer currently working remotely. She started her career as a front-end developer but then slowly started practicing back-end also. Now she is a mother of two beautiful children and dedicates most of her time to them.