Return to work: How to improve employee engagement in teleworking?
Teleworking has proven its effectiveness for the sustainability of many companies during the health crisis. A formula that, in these times when social distancing measures have been relaxed, has started to be combined with face-to-face working, giving birth to a hybrid system in which employees can perform their work both in the office and in their workplace.
From the startup specializing in gamification for companies Emeraude Escape, they explain that “this new hybrid way of working is needed all over the world, forcing many organizations to reinvent themselves to continue to offer results despite the distance between employees. “. And, they add, “a few years ago, the idea of teleworking was scary, since it meant ‘too much freedom’ and extra organizational effort. However, nowadays, this is no longer the case because the physical and geographical distance between employees also presents many opportunities ”.
A year ago, Twitter allowed all of its employees to telecommute indefinitely. A decision that other companies like Facebook, Square, Shopify or Google have followed. Indeed, they report that working remotely saved them $ 268 million. Thus illustrating the reduction in expenses that remote work implies for companies.
In addition, you have to take into account that remote working allows you to hire employees anywhere in the world. This extends the internationalization of teams and allows companies to find the best professionals.
However, telecommuting has also been a challenge for many companies, as not all of the tools that emerged during the pandemic to help connect employees have failed to achieve the same level of worker engagement. From Emeraude Escape, they explain that “for companies, the most important commitment they need to get from employees who telecommute is collaborative engagement, because this transforms the level of collaboration of workers, moving it from information received to the total commitment to the company. “.
The bond is created by communication and is maintained with the interaction
To achieve this collaborative engagement, communication must be two-way. Currently, the information channel is generally one-way, for example with Zoom meetings, webinars with around 100 participants, messaging, etc. Faced with this, Emeraude Escape recommends developing channels allowing employees to interact with the content offered by the company.
Teams must be able to co-construct the flow of information and work towards a flow of collective interaction where each individual is able to actively participate in the conversation.
For this, it is convenient to conduct interactive meetings, participatory streaming and workshops. All of them, more proactive formats than simple meetings or webinars, which require no commitment from the participants, only passive attention. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain the attention of the participants through effective and dynamic communication tactics.
In addition, collaborative work tools for co-editing, collaboration, co-modification, etc. must be in place. Slack, Trello, ClickUp or Figma are tools that allow each employee to actively participate in projects and discussions thanks to freedom of expression and instant action. Using these programs increases productivity, which is why many companies have already joined them.
On the other hand, and from a social point of view, the most effective communication tool used this year is the Happy-hour Zoom, where more fluid conversations are generated between employees, thus promoting belonging to the team and group. However, despite the usefulness and relevance of this format, it does not encourage active collaboration between teams, since it is limited to strengthening personal links without contributing to the development of the company and its issues. For this reason, Happy Hour Zoom / Teams should continue to be the center of virtual interactions between employees, without however putting all the HR capital of team building into it.
Employee engagement is determined by degree of collaboration
At the same time, companies have increased the use of online games, especially multiplayer formats, as they allow collective engagement, regardless of the geographic location of players. This higher level of participation is applied in companies through virtual team building activities, contests, quizzes, etc.
In this sense, and according to a study carried out by Emeraud Escape, 54% of those questioned admitted having participated in a virtual social activity since the start of the pandemic, while 44% of those questioned preferred a collaborative virtual game activity.
Of these respondents, 62% found the idea of the business game “funny”, while 51% called it “exciting”. Figures that show employee interest in the most engaging, collaborative and fun games and activities. Many employees want to continue to organize stimulating events, 89% of employees surveyed want events with competition or immersion, 72% want their company to gamify training to encourage communication.
Collaborative virtual activities (games, seminars, escape games, championships, competitions, etc.) stimulate cooperation and mutual aid between employees and cultivate the feeling of belonging to the company, while increasing the well-being of employees in a fun context. At this level of collaboration, employee engagement is transformed despite teleworking and the imposed distancing.
Finally, from Emeraude Escape, they explain that “to achieve this, you have to apply all the steps mentioned above because it is only in this way that a total employee commitment can be achieved. This is the stage of participation, interaction, proactivity and cooperation, which promotes the integration of the team and, later, the growth of performance in the company ”.