The Coronavirus outbreak has a firm grasp on organisations. Now that people are working from home, as an employer you may feel that you are losing connection with your employees. Working remotely can be challenging as it requires a certain level of self-discipline. Also, it can be difficult for employees to still feel involved with the organisation which may be detrimental for their productivity. How can you, as an employer, improve productivity and maintain strong relationships with your employees?
Working from home requires employees to adopt new behaviour and a shift to a new way of working. As the Organisational Transformation team at IG&H, we approach behavioural change from the perspective of the ABC-model. The ABC-model found its origin in cognitive behavioural therapy. The model helps to analyse and influence behaviour. In this model, A stands for antecedents; anything that triggers behaviour, B stands for behaviour and beliefs and C stands for consequences. According to the ABC-model, focusing on antecedents and/or consequences is pivotal to changing the behaviour of people. In fact, behavioural change can be accelerated even more by focusing on positive consequences.
Knowing this, as an employer you can focus on antecedents to make sure that your employees can function optimally while working from home. For example, by facilitating an ergonomic workplace (e.g. providing desk chairs or additional computer screens). Additionally, they can reward employees for positive behaviour. This can be done by giving compliments or sending thank you cards when employees set an example by combining hard work with their private life.
Besides creating the right preconditions and rewarding good behaviour with positive consequences, we have some additional practical tips to stay connected with your employees:
Stay in contact frequently: it is of utter importance to stay in contact frequently with your employees and to make sure they have the feeling of being involved. Communicating frequently through online meetings and digital stand-ups, helps to assure that you are connected to your employees and to know what they are up to. This can be established by using Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype and Google Hangout.
Be available: make sure to be available when your employees need you. It is easy to drop by when you are in office, but for some employees it may be difficult to break down the digital barrier. Encourage employees to reach out when they have questions. It can be helpful to host digital one-to-one conversations with employees.
Address needs: especially during these unprecedented times it is important to address the needs of your employees. Ask employees whether they feel enough support from the organisation and whether they feel involved. There are plenty of digital options to facilitate this, for example through online surveys and feedback forms.
Would you like to learn more about digital collaboration? How to make working from home more efficient and fun for you and your colleagues? Or would you like to get more information on the requirements for setting up a home office? Please read the first part of our Online Best Practices.
Would you like to talk about working in a digital environment or use the unprecedented times to get a head start? We would like to help you explore new opportunities!