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

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

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been publishing a blog series called Employee engagement in isolation and beyond. We’ve highlighted what teams can do to keep their people functioning effectively. We’ve also addressed how to prepare for the opportunities ahead as markets transition out of lockdown.

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:

Below are the 7 applications of digital tools that we have explored in our blog series. Each forms a blog with content relevant to the specific application.

1. Digital facilitation, honing skills online through practice and feedback

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

2. Purposeful Social learning

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’ll explore how you can set up meaningful, engaging social learning opportunities.

3. Virtual coaching; our six tips for success

As a leading provider of customer service and sales coaching, 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’ll share some essential tips to support your team leaders in ensuring their ‘virtual coaching’ is effective at a time when it is so vital.

4. Reboarding with empathy, how to keep it human

Do you have the time to design, check, and test new elearning content to prepare your people to 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, from watching instructive videos to taking part in 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. Engage your teams in online blended learning — it doesn’t have to be all one way

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’ve 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. Digital formats can facilitate offline learning tasks, after which experiences are shared via video conference. Follow-up tasks are then encouraged to foster deductive development rather than instructive boredom. We’ll share our experiences of creating engaging and active blended development activities via digital tools.

6. Brand consistency just got harder, how to adapt to the challenge

As organizations open up with new safe practices in place, customers will assess and judge their experience on a new set of criteria. While customer service will remain important, it will be blended with how safe the customer feels.  We look at how individual perceptions of COVID risk can lower your ‘magnetic middle’ behavior and damage your customer experience. We explore why coaching is the best antidote to reduced standards and how digital support for coaching can get your teams displaying consistent brand behavior. Together, this drives customer loyalty.

7. Your guide to remote onboarding in a post-pandemic workplace

If you are fortunate enough to be hiring at this time, then tune into this blog as we share how remote 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.

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

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