I have the opportunity with my team to define what a human-first culture means, every single day, and to help companies worldwide discover what it means for them. We've made mistakes, and learned from them. We've grown as a team. This article is meant to share our experience - good and bad - not because we know better than everyone else. But because we are like everyone else: a team trying to figure out the best way to manage people and increase our remote employee engagement.
Here's our team story:
Like most companies, the pandemic forced Officevibe to work remotely full-time. The office has always played a major role in our company culture, levels of remote employee engagement, and the way we collaborate, so we knew it would have a significant impact on our teams’ morale, productivity, employee engagement, and stress levels.
After some time in the “new normal”, not to our surprise, we saw our employee engagement metrics take a hit and decided it was time to take action.
Together, we created a 5-step action plan:
- Properly assess and understand the situation via a survey
- Share survey findings and progress towards action with your teams
- Deep dive into the remote employee engagement survey results
- Work together to brainstorm meaningful solutions
- Commit to action items
5 steps we took to improve employee engagement in our remote workforce
Step 1: Properly assess and understand the situation
Before doing anything, we needed to evaluate the impact of the new professional and personal remote work realities on our teams’ employee engagement, stress levels and work-life balance.
💡 Tip: Equip yourself with relevant and efficient tools to do this. We used our employee engagement platform dedicated to Wellness to get an honest pulse on how our teams were feeling.
In addition to the quantitative results, we collected a great amount of anonymous feedback in our employee engagement survey which allowed us to open the conversation and further engage with our remote workers on the subject.
Our engagement platform allows employees to share their feedback anonymously, ensuring a safe space to share whatever is on their minds so that important conversations don’t fall through the cracks.
Key sources of stress that surfaced:
- Performance, workload, loss of cohesion within teams.
- Personal lives such as physical and mental health and work-life balance
- Loss of sense of control and the inability to reach objectives.
- Change and uncertainty, and the difficulty of planning and prioritizing during constant change.
Step 2: Share the progress with your team
As we settled into remote work and our home offices, apart from each other, it became essential to communicate even more than we used to on current initiatives. After a few weeks, we did a first analysis of the Custom Poll survey results and presented our high-level findings to all Officevibe employees.
Giving visibility to remote workers on how people were feeling overall let employees know that they were not alone in their sentiment and that we traverse hardship as a whole, as a team. It was also a good reminder that the employee experience is a priority for us beyond just the bottom line
💡 Tip: Stay engaged with your team at all times. We didn’t have concrete action items at this stage but following up on the initiative allowed us to keep the conversations open and let employees know we were working on it.
Step 3: Deep-dive into the employee survey results
Then, it was time to dig a bit further into the survey results and the feedback to precisely identify what mattered most to our employees and what could be done.
We found the root causes, the ones that we couldn’t control (hello governmental restrictions) and the ones in our company culture we could act on. As We win as a Team, it was important for us to have the employees’ input on the concrete action items we would take.
Step 4: Asynchronous collaboration to find the right solutions
This step of the process has been possible thanks to our new favorite tool – Miro.
How? Within a course of 10 days, we asked all of Officevibe’s remote employees to discuss and generate concrete employee engagement ideas around the main topics identified.
Everyone had access to the Miro board, where all the main topics and ideas from the Custom Poll were gathered. Each employee could participate on their own schedule, and comment and discuss specific ideas within the board, so everyone could benefit from their questions or details.
Here’s an example of how we structured the collaborative Miro board:
Once the board was filled, we asked everyone to vote 👍 for the most impactful actions.
We want the actions to matter and have a real impact, so what better way than giving everyone the chance to vote? With 5 votes each, employees could select the ideas that they believed would most positively impact the company’s wellness and stress levels.
Step 5: Commit to action items
The results of the vote gave us 4 concrete action items to be implemented within the following weeks.
These are our action items:
- A time management workshop
- A remote company fitness challenge for mental and physical health
- A team-based company event (try a murder trivia party) for cohesion
- A commitment to aligning on strategic objectives across remote teams
To ensure the actual delivery of these initiatives, our management team was responsible for assembling the right people and following up on the implementation. To this day, we have already delivered one item and two are currently in progress. And, we can already see the effects on our engagement scores.
There are no small ideas, all suggestions can have an impact.
Officevibe is here to help you improve remote employee engagement levels on your teams
We want to wish you, and your teams, health and success this coming year. Whether you are a remote workforce or not, take care of each other and actively listen to your people’s needs. We have learned that this is the only path to success.
Officevibe is here to support you in any way we can. For starters, we will continue to share our learnings with you. Secondly, our employee engagement survey platform is free for managers and teams. We hope the insights and honest feedback you can collect using our software will be a winning factor in your team’s remote employee engagement, productivity, performance, and mostly, happiness at work. Your best employee engagement strategy is simply and truly caring.