The future of work is all about the shiny and new — shiny collaborative resources and new concepts applied to old workplace standbys. But even with all that novelty, people are still the backbone of any company.
This is why investing in employees is still critically important to organizations of all sizes. The benefits of employee engagement are plentiful, especially as the coronavirus pandemic foreshadows an increasing number of companies relying more on remote work than in-office operations.
An estimated 56% of American workers have jobs that can at least partially be performed away from traditional office spaces. The future of remote work will be prosperous due to the availability of virtual and online collaboration tools designed to streamline communication and increase productivity.
Those shiny and new toys represent just one manner of investing in employees. As companies find more ways to invest in their people, they will continue to discover the benefits of employee engagement.
The Value of Investing in Employees
Pouring resources into employees tends to simplify work routines and maximize productivity. More than that, however, it provides relief and aid that employees welcome — especially in a world completely altered by COVID-19.
During times of uncertainty, many businesses make economic ends meet by ignoring essentials such as learning and development. When those considerations are left on the cutting room floor, the present and future challenges facing HR grow because team members inevitably feel personally and professionally unsupported.
Left untreated, personal struggles tend to morph into professional problems. A Mind Share Partners survey found that 61% of respondents say their mental health can bleed into their productivity; this proves that companies need to find a way to invest the full weight of their resources into employees and get their complete buy-in.
The benefits of employee engagement are apparent: Engaged employees are happy contributors whose enthusiasm is contagious and whose advocacy is invaluable. When employees feel supported, companies can achieve successful results in all scenarios.
How to Give Employees What They Need
Investing in employees should be a given for companies looking to thrive in the current and future work landscape. Depending on the caliber of resources and approaches organizations have at their disposal, that investment can take on different forms. Implement these strategies into your employee investment outlook during and after the pandemic:
1. Touch base regularly. Time means just as much to employees as their employers investing in all the hi-tech solutions they can. No matter what the future of recruiting and hiring technology holds, you should always make regular time to check in with your team.
Put time on the calendars of your team members each week, every two weeks, or every month to see where their heads are. With the future of remote work looking brighter, it’s even more critical to ensure that people who might be disconnected physically are still able to get the attention and support they need to perform at a high level.
2. Integrate online collaboration tools. Whether staff members are spread throughout the world or separated for only a day or two, the lines of communication can’t break down. Get them the tools they need to make those connections happen.
Add communication tools like Zoom and Slack to your tech stack to create a digital culture and keep your teams in constant contact. In particular, Zoom enables you to leverage the visual components to build personal connections with remote workers. It’s a small ask, but it can pay enormous dividends for employee engagement down the road.
3. Add resources to track changes in behavior. Monitoring the benefits of employee engagement must go beyond surface-level observations and metrics. Use technology to assess engagement and alter your processes.
A tool like ProHabits, for example, can connect remote employees and provide tactical and inspirational insights to distant co-workers. Track employee temperament to see the real impact of your employee investment strategy.
People are the most valuable resource any company has. Invest in them with collaboration tools and proper support — both professionally and personally — to make sure they never lose the passion that brought them to your organization in the first place.