How Work From Home Policies Can Keep Teams Connected
With offices sending workers home to reduce the spread of COVID-19, managers are quickly putting work from home policies in place to keep workers motivated, teams connected and productivity high. Consider these strategies to foster connection between workers and lessen the impact of social distancing.
Keep teams aligned & connected
Workers accustomed to the camaraderie of the office might find working remotely isolating. Keep workers connected and spirits high with videoconferencing and training.
Scheduling virtual meetings can also motivate workers to stick to a routine and ensure teams move projects forward and stay in alignment. Tools like Zoom are proving their value, as a videoconference is the best substitute for an in-person meeting. Don't limit yourself to audio-only calls or chat, either; turn on the cameras to see each other as often as possible.
Virtual classroom and eLearning expert Cindy Huggett encourages liberal use of video streaming, which "leads to more effective communication, because you can see facial expressions and catch other nonverbal cues."
For added value in those work meetings, leverage integrated learning management system features to simplify scheduling, take a head count and record meetings for future reference.
And remember, interpersonal connections go beyond work. Use videoconferencing creatively to bridge the social distancing gap. Schedule a videoconference to share lunch with a colleague or just catch up.
Invest in employee development
If business is slow, focus on employee development. What better time for employees to catch up on training, complete certifications or upskill for their own growth? Learning new skills keeps people's minds sharp and empowers them to approach job tasks with fresh ideas. LMS-based training is a natural way to keep employees connected and motivated while work from home policies are in force.
- To incentivize training, add a gamification element to appeal to employees' competitive side or engage them in an unfolding story. Offer badges, display leaderboards or give rewards for completion.
- Remote employees can easily participate in collaborative training or use the social learning features of their LMS to join forces and learn together—or gauge their progress against colleagues' performance.
Once you've returned to business as usual, everyone will benefit from their improved skills. And investing in employee development, especially in a time of uncertainty, deepens their commitment to their teams and leadership.
Address security concerns through training
Many employers require annual cybersecurity training. But, as work from home policies increase the need to remotely access sensitive information, consider refreshing employees' awareness of cybersecurity. An LMS-based training prior to providing this access is a great way to protect your company.
Adding training to prepare employees to recognize and handle phishing emails and other scams—including misinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic— can reduce risk in times of confusion.
LMS tracking holds workers accountable
Many employees will find it easy to remain productive even when they're working off-site. But others are likely new to working from home, so expect there to be an adjustment period. Support employees to keep up with their regular training and newly mandated security or other eLearning using LMS tracking.
Use automated messages and reminders, and encourage managers to reach out to employees who are not keeping up with their training. They can use standard or customized LMS reports to track learner activity, progress and more. Then they can determine how best to support employees' progress.
Maintain morale while working from home
Employee morale and relationships can survive through this sudden change in workplace practices. Throughout the duration of your work from home policies, keep employees connected to one another, to your organization and to their work roles while developing their future skills.