Employee engagement in isolation and beyond: how you can make it happen

How are your employees responding to the current restrictions and preparing for the ‘next normal’? Are they thriving or just surviving? Perhaps that answer changes from day to day. We are all responding differently depending on our mindset, personal circumstances and location. Diminished workloads, the absence of feedback from colleagues or tangible outcomes, waning motivation and a loss of ‘professional purpose’ are just a few of the challenges many are up against. So what can you do if you find yourself in this situation? How can you improve your employee engagement?

Over the coming weeks we will be publishing a blog series, Employee engagement in isolation and beyond in which we will highlight what teams can do to keep their people functioning effectively and to prepare for the opportunities that will present themselves as markets transition out of lockdown. Each of the titles below will become a blog item in consecutive weeks.

Diving deeper into the digital world 

The digital age we live in presents a bewildering array of online tools for education, collaboration, and interaction, many of which are instructive and content-led. This blog series will explore how digital solutions can enable increased employee engagement, hone their capabilities, exchange perspectives, functionally onboard new hires, and keep learning active and engaging.

Below are the 7 applications of digital tools that we will dive into, each will become a discrete blog with content relevant to the specific application over the coming weeks, the first four are now live!

1. Practice, practice, practice

“If you can’t earn, learn” is a maxim that is especially relevant at this time. Perfect practice, after all, makes perfect. We will look at the power of video role-play in providing an excellent platform for practicing skills and sharing outcomes of different scenarios to solicit feedback from other team members.

2. Social engagement

Not all forums and discussion boards are a substitute for the kind of impromptu conversation that results in informal learning in the workplace. However, mobilizing teams around relevant topics, skill development, product knowledge, and working practices can help deliver a much-missed sense of belonging. We will explore how you can set up meaningful, engaging social learning opportunities.

3. Coaching

As a leading provider of customer service and sales coaching, here at Prosell, we’ve been using video conferencing platforms to observe and coach our clients for many years. Coaching is about addressing both the emotional obstacles and skills required for personal growth. We will share some essential tips to support your team leaders in ensuring their ‘virtual coaching’ is effective at a time when it is more important than ever.

4. Reboarding with empathy, how to keep it human!

Do you have the time required to design, check, and test new elearning content to prepare your people for a return to the workplace? Clarity, an empathic tone, and reassurance will all be required as you assist teams to orient and adjust to new working practices. Video is a fantastic medium for this scenario, whether it is instructive videos to watch or video hosted briefing sessions, nothing conveys the required emotional dimension like face to face communication. Don’t de-humanize the situation with avatars and diagrams; use digital to facilitate a clear and human message. Here we share ideas for how you can do this effectively and quickly.

5. Safe verification

As key workers, engineers and technicians continue to undertake repairs and maintenance in the field, with safe distancing in place, how can you effectively facilitate verification and feedback? We will look at how photo and video sharing can provide less experienced engineers with much-needed support to verify they are carrying out tasks correctly and provide relevant, contextualized feedback on their work at a safe distance.

6. Active digital development

The big format winner in online learning during the COVID pandemic has been video conferencing platforms. As organizations have scrambled to set up effective team working and communication they have turned to reliable ‘face to face’ formats. Digitally facilitated learning does not have to mean e-learning, with its inherent negative connotations of a one-size-fits-all approach that in reality serves no-one. Using digital formats to facilitate off-line learning tasks prior to sharing their experiences via video conference and then encouraging follow-up tasks, will foster deductive development rather than instructive boredom. We will share our experiences of creating engaging and active blended development activities via digital tools.

7. Functional onboarding at a distance

If you are fortunate enough to be hiring at this time, then tune into this blog as we’ll share how online onboarding can support the functional development of new hires. Engagement without any personal contact is understandably a challenge. But an interesting and interactive online onboarding process can help new hires engage with leaders and colleagues and facilitate peer learning in a similar fashion to what they would experience under normal circumstances.

Each of the blogs in our Employee engagement in isolation and beyond series will share real-world ideas from our clients which illustrate how you can engage, develop, and prepare your team for the future. We hope these tangible examples will provide some insight ad inspiration for how to hone and refine your own employee engagement and development strategy.

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