3 new tactics for connecting remote workers
Maintaining strong company-wide connections is challenging at the best of times, even if employees are sitting side-by-side. When you throw numerous locations, newly remote workers and a global pandemic in the mix, as one would expect it becomes all the more difficult.
While organisations pivoted to keep their employees safe and operations running smoothly, strengthening connections among remote workers became an additional focus for many companies.
With over a year of lockdown and remote work behind us, some of the early initiatives may have lost their initial impact, and leaders must find new and lasting ways to keep their employees connected.
As we continue to learn what has worked and what hasn’t in keeping our remote workers connected, we can draw inspiration from businesses who have successfully paved the way for us.
Here are three examples of global companies in different industries that have managed to strengthen company-wide connections during the pandemic:
automotiveMastermind is an organisation that transforms the car-buying experience to find people who are at the right point in their buying cycle. The global organisation employs around 350 'masterminds,' or employees, across several countries and in varying roles.
When automotiveMastermind originally came to Reward Gateway, the team was looking for a way to streamline the communication process and further enhance its culture of recognition.
The multiple time zones and cultures made this challenging, and the organisation also found that recognition was too localised and not distributed equally across teams.
As automotiveMastermind continued to grow internationally, the team decided that a centralised platform was necessary to sustain engagement, communications and recognition across the business.
The organisation partnered with Reward Gateway to create 'The Launch Pad,' an all-in-one employee engagement platform that was set to go live in mid-March, right as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the business to adjust to an entirely virtual model. In spite of this obstacle, the team decided to go ahead with the launch, as they believed it would help provide stability during uncertain times.
Lauren Herbers, Director of Organisational Development and Engagement at automotiveMastermind, says:
As everyone was shifting to this unknown of working from home, there was a space that felt like the company – that felt like being around friends and being in the office that they could relate to.
Masterminds now use The Launch Pad to access company-wide communications, including the latest COVID-19 updates, to recognise each other and to find other company information and ways to stay connected. Watch this video to hear from Lauren Herbers and learn more about automotiveMastermind’s journey:
Dunelm is the UK’s leading home furnishing retailer, and has 10,000+ employees working in a variety of roles across its stores, manufacturing sites, call centres and more. When the lockdown was first announced, the organisation decided to shut down operations entirely for a few days. Due to the nature of the business, some manufacturing employees would still go to work in person while all employees who could were required to work remotely.
Communicating these changes to its large workforce was a challenge, but Dunelm fortunately already had its Reward Gateway platform, ‘Home Comforts,’ in place. The organisation took full advantage of Home Comforts to communicate with its hybrid workforce, and created several dedicated hubs for COVID-19 communications and a variety of resources to support employee wellbeing.
Ben Waterfield, Internal Comms Manager at Dunelm, says:
What has been phenomenal and has increased massively has been the level of engagement – people reacting to things that we post, and more importantly the comments, the feedback and the questions. That’s something that’s been absolutely crucial and we’ve been able to use that to change our narrative and know what we need to be speaking about.
In addition to using Home Comforts, the team at Dunelm set up other initiatives to keep its remote workers connected and check in on them. At the beginning of the pandemic, managers set up WhatsApp groups with their teams to encourage regular communication while working from home. Improving employee wellbeing was particularly important during these times, so the organisation also asked all managers to call their teams twice a week to ask how they’re doing and show their support.
Watch this video to hear more about Dunelm’s successful communications throughout the pandemic:
MNF Group is a telecommunications provider that operates in Australia and New Zealand, and has over 400 employees. Because the company has a diverse workforce spread across different countries, the team at MNF Group had to be aware of the different needs of employees, as well as the different situations and restrictions in their locations.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic meant that MNF Group had to shift to an entirely remote workforce, while also becoming busier than normal due to the nature of the business. In order to keep up with these big changes, the company needed to make sure that employees had a central, accessible place to find all information, so MNF Group turned to its employee engagement platform, 'Launchpad.'
Emma Trehy, People Experience Manager at MNF Group, says:
We’ve used the platform consistently to make sure that everyone knew that was the one source of information to check in on and keep up to date with.
Launchpad was particularly useful to the team in that it allowed them to segment their communications to managers, different countries or other groups, as well as send out company-wide COVID-19 updates, so that all employees could easily find the most relevant information.
Hear from Emma Trehy about how the organisation has kept its remote workers connected:
As remote working continues to be the norm – and even in some cases, permanent – it’s important to find new ways to keep employees updated, and connected to each other, no matter where they call ‘work.’
Looking for extra support in connecting your remote workforce? Get in touch with us, and we can show you how our platform can help you build a virtual community and culture.