According to Forbes, by 2020, Gen Z will comprise 36% of the global workforce. Being digital natives who grew up in an internet-centric society, members of this generation are more likely to be comfortable with newer technology and more inclined to seek remote or flexible working arrangements, rather than pursue traditional corporate roles.
More and more businesses are having their employees work remotely; and in some cases, the entire team works remote. While remote work has several advantages it does come with its share of challenges. One needs to be aware of the difficulties which may arise and have an action plan in place to avoid unforeseen circumstances.
A 2017 study by Harvard Business Review found that . And when employees work remotely most or all of the time, they can find it hard to mesh with the company culture, which will hold back collaboration and hurt engagement and morale.
Employee experience is the key. Businesses that don’t consider their people fail to thrive. In the remote work era, Human Resources is evolving beyond its traditional roles of recruiting, payroll and compliance. HR plays a strategic role as a ‘people person’ and has broader responsibility to create a bond with employees, no matter where they are.
In my last blog, Best Practices for Hiring Remote Workers, I outlined some of the starting points for establishing a good relationship with your remote workers, like creating a welcome guide, building out a rich onboarding experience, and setting and understanding expectations. These processes can be the pivotal factor for determining the HR-employee relationship. Forming a strong relationship with HR from the beginning can enable employees to make connections beyond the people with whom they work directly, which in turn will bring them closer to the company as a whole. Having regular communication and engagement activities are also common practices that will enhance the HR and remote worker relationship.
What brings people together? As HR professionals, we need to think of ways beyond the common practices. Even small gestures can take a relationship a long way. can make the remote workers feel neglected.
Video Conferencing Still Makes A Difference
Video conferencing, an ancient but powerful tool, can support a rich employee experience, not only in the beginning or during the onboarding process, but throughout their tenure. Ensuring that managers have regular and frequent video communications with employees will go a long way to keeping remote employees happy.
You Need Tools and a Culture of Communication
Encourage your remote team members to communicate regularly with each other and get to know their coworkers. As a remote worker, who would not like to have a team who builds relationships with them beyond work? Online gatherings on the communications hub of your choice will give your remote workers a sense of belonging and participation. Good communication can’t be taken for granted and pushed to a later date and time, it needs to be cultivated. Sometimes just calling to check in can make a huge difference. And thanks to technology, we have tons of tools to make our work life easier. Check out our recommendations for the essential tools for distributed teams.
Get Serious About Engagement
Another HR service to build out is engagement for remote workers. A newsletter or company intranet page that discusses exciting milestones, business goals, new initiatives, and employee matters will have everyone on the same page. It is important to remember that engagement doesn’t happen overnight and requires continuous devotion. It doesn’t require a huge investment to establish close bonds – but it does require regular and sincere contact with your team members. Is your engagement strategy aligned with your business and team? Do you even have an engagement strategy? If not, it’s time to start thinking about one because employee engagement is as important the customer relationships that drive your bottom line.
It’s difficult to get to know coworkers on a personal level when you’re hundreds of miles apart. Want to make it easier? We, at Canadian Payroll Services can be your co-employment partner. We have a dedicated HR team to take care of your remote employees. Employ remote Canadian workers, leave all mandatory government reporting and filing in our hands, be fully compliant with Canadian employment laws, have Canadian-based employee benefits and retirement contributions, and most importantly keep your remote workers engaged and happy and you can have a greater peace of mind.
Here are 5 Fun Strategies Companies Are Using to Make Remote Workers Feel Included. Companies all around the world are having their employees work remote. You should, too!