27 March, 2020 | Rebecca East

Building employee experience remotely

Did you have viral pandemic in your 5-year business growth forecasts? No, neither did we.

It is frightening to feel out of control, but while there are things we can’t plan for or change, there are others that we can get a grip on and do something about. One of those is how you manage your workforce through a challenging time, to make sure your business and teams stay intact, happy and engaged.

That, we can help with.

Companies put a lot of thought and effort into creating an employee experience. It’s seen as a crucial element of any workplace, key to driving productivity and engagement.

That experience is created in several ways – designing an office space that’s comfortable and inspiring, offering perks such as free food and drink, organising social events that bring

the team together. But all of these things are a reflection of something much deeper – our culture, values and corporate character.

So what happens when we suddenly find ourselves in a situation where this ‘experience’ we’ve strived to create suddenly becomes…defunct? Many of us are now working from home in isolation. Our carefully curated shared spaces are empty. Our free breakfast bars are unoccupied. Our inspirational wall slogans are still there, but there’s no one to see them.

Of course, it’s only temporary, but this period can be a real test for how deep your employee experience really goes. How much of your experience sits at the surface? Is your business really as people-centric as you think?

Here, we compile a few ways to keep employee engagement going strong when the free bar has closed.

  1. Put people first: You’ve designed your workspace around keeping people comfortable and happy. Now do the same with your remote working day. Make sure that managers are talking to employees, ensuring they have what they need at home and are not facing difficulties – practical or emotional.

  2. Keep leaders connected: Experience is influenced by leadership. If your leadership team usually spends a lot of time talking to people and sharing ideas, keep this alive as you all work remotely. Whether it’s dropping into individual team video calls or hosting a weekly address, ensure leaders are still influencing culture for the better.

  3. Pay special attention to newer employees: If you have newer team members, they may not be fully entrenched in your culture – and could find it harder to stay engaged. Pair them up with long-standing employees who can stay in touch as they work from home, sharing their experience with the company.

  4. Build team spirit: As covered before, there’s more to building a team than finishing projects on time. Introduce social events – be it a quick virtual get-together or a running google hangout. Bringing people across the business together will help to keep your unique employee experience alive.

A performance management platform can be an effective step towards creating a people-first experience – and it can be implemented remotely. If you’d like to talk through how your OpenBlend tool can help during this time, or would like information on setting up a new OpenBlend platform remotely, call us on 01628 613 040 or email hello@openblend.com.

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