For many, working from home has become the new normal. We have learned to adapt to remote life, but some things may be missing. “Drop-ins” are casual ways to give an employee a pat on the back. Different recognition strategies are outlined in Standard 1: Recognition Strategy in RPI’s 7 Best Practice Standards. These day-to-day methods of recognition are important for your recognition strategy, but with most employees working remotely, having those casual interactions are more difficult. Below are a few ways you can casually “drop-in” on your employees.
According to a Gallup study, 63% of women who reported having a good work friend reported feeling engaged with their work while only 29% of women who did not report having a good work friend reported feeling engaged. This emphasizes the importance of connection at work. This is even harder when most are working remotely, so making sure your employees feel that sense of community will help improve engagement.
1) A good old-fashioned phone call
Harvard Business Review went as far as to recommend daily phone calls with your employees. While this is still not the same as doing a lap around the office to check in with employees at their desks, the convenience and spontaneity is still there with phone calls. Take some time out of your morning to do quick 5-minute or less calls with each member of your team. Ask how they are doing and how you can support them. Be careful not to overwhelm them- too many calls could make it seem as if you do not trust their ability to work at home. Still, phone calls are convenient for quick “drop-ins” on your employees.
2) Short one-on-one meetings
These would have to be somewhat more planned than a phone call. Doing bi-weekly or weekly one-on-ones via Zoom will give you the space to dig deeper and check in on how your employees are doing. Bamboo HR recommends making sure you are using a video-chat service in these types of meetings. Being able to both hear voices and read facial expressions will make the conversation almost as good as if you were in the same room as them. Similar to phone calls, check in on how your employees are doing and help them set some goals.
3) Virtual coffee breaks
In the office, you might grab a cup of coffee and walk around to get some casual chit-chat in during the day. This is what many employees miss while working remotely. It is so much harder to take a quick break and talk about a favorite TV show or share pictures of pets. This can be done virtually, but it has to be more intentional. CNBC recommended scheduling Zoom coffee breaks so you can get in that connection time with employees. This allows you to bond more with your team and your team to bond with each other.
4) Have an open group chat
Again, team bonding is crucial when working at home. Bamboo HR suggests maintaining a group chat via Google Hangout or Slack to keep the communication going while at home. This allows more casual conversation, but also an easier exchange of information that would otherwise only require someone to stop by another’s desk.
This new workplace environment is unlike any we have faced before. Utilizing your resources and leaning on your team is the key to success in isolation.
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