So many aspects of work and -life – have changed. We hang out at home, only to brush our hair and put on a vaguely decent shirt for that Zoom call. But, how often do we consider that the new way of working also means that employees might be feeling left out, and even somewhat abandoned? This means employer brand now also have to take on new meaning.
Scientists have proven that we need constant stimulation to keep all parts of our brain firing. Before COVID simple things such as driving to work and seeing a tree proudly displaying its autumn leaves, or even the car cutting across in the traffic were forms of stimulation. Now that many of us are, more or less, stuck in our homes, we’re not getting too much of that kind of stimulation that keeps us firing on all cylinders.
So how do companies provide the necessary motivation and stimulation to keep employees focused and ready to perform at their best?
The answer lies in a well thought through internal communication strategy supported by an execution plan which ensures regular interaction. In this virtual world, it is essential that staff members have reliable connectivity on multiple devices. The employer brand has taken on new meaning in the time of a pandemic.
For the HR department, retention and recruitment may not be a priority right now, but employees still need to want to perform. A lack of a sense of belonging will impact business outcomes. This is where a clearly articulated Employee Value Proposition (EVP) comes into the picture. Think about it as the glue that holds everything and everybody together.
A well communicated EVP can result in the retention of critical staff members, the attraction of better quality of talent and lower recruitment costs. Once you have defined and agreed your company values at director level, it is much easier to ger the relevant staff members communicate them on digital platforms.
The reach-out will help to substitute the meaningful colleague interaction previously experienced around the water cooler, the coffee machine or after work drinks. While many people might believe that employee satisfaction has been enhanced by being able to stay at home, the truth is that we feel the deprivation of work-social interaction. All the more reason that a clearly articulated and differentiated EVP is critical.
In organisations that have a more formal culture, regular status meetings should be scheduled. And in companies that value lively cultures, virtual happy hour parties can be arranged, for workers to come together remotely with a drink in hand to share their stories. This kind of togetherness will ensure that everyone remains a member of the tribe. Project teams will remain in teams, and not unsupported individuals. Affinity groups such as single people, mothers who have to home-school kids and working parents can connect and share ideas to feel supported.
Even if some companies would consider an EVP a ‘soft skill’, it can have a hard impact when team members across various functionalities in the business collaborate and commit to rigorous problem solving.
Centralised communication is key. There are many apps and intranet options that can be used as central repositories of latest information and management tools, especially in cases where work processes and protocols need to be amended to suit the circumstances. But a digital channel remains only a channel, unless it is fueled by a by a consistent employee centric strategy based on staff needs – in the tone of voice, look and feel of the company.
Working from home, people are increasingly looking to their leaders to, well, lead – and to reassure them through an authentic, on-brand experience.
The future might seem a bit uncertain at present, but with the appropriate End User Computing Solutions from a digital partner such as Altron Managed Solutions, this storm can be weathered – and even guide us to a better future. So let us make it our mission to surprise and delight, while avoiding content overload.
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