7 Ways to Promote a Virtual Work Culture and Improve Employee Engagement

Most people consider 2020 as the year of virtual work.

In reality, 2020 could just be the beginning of virtual work culture.

A recent Gartner survey revealed that 74% of employers plan to shift their employees to remote working permanently. While remote working cuts down on your expenses and allows workers to plan their workday, it can also impact employee morale.

virtual presentation banner in blue and white

This piece will cover 7 steps you can take to improve virtual work culture during the pandemic.

We also provide tips on how to ease transitions back into the office and provide for better direction and focus during a constantly “online” work-life.

You need to:

  1. Listen to your employees
  2. Foster trust among teams and their leaders
  3. Plan the necessary structures for the change
  4. Communicate all changes on time
  5. Focus on employee well-being
  6. Involve employees in setting company goals
  7. Provide regular feedback

The modern workplace is constantly evolving, but a well-defined company culture always keeps the employees engaged and motivated. Here’s an in-depth guide on how you can build a resilient work culture for your virtual organization.

1. Listen to your employees

Employees thrive in an environment where their concerns are addressed and their opinions heard. Studies have shown that 65% of employees that feel their managers are unapproachable are actively disengaged.

In short, your virtual company’s success depends on how involved your workers are.

Ensure you look out for conflicts, suggestions, and ideas from lower-level employees. This will earn you their trust and support.

For example, WordPress holds regular town hall meetings where ideas are exchanged among employees. It’s no wonder their employee retention rates are high.

a man in a virtual meeting
Manager having video conference.

2. Foster trust among teams and their leaders

A team is only as strong as its leader.

Trust is the most powerful driver of resilience and engagement. According to studies, employees that trust their leaders are 12 times more likely to be fully engaged at work.

Organizational culture is often nurtured by those at the top of the ladder. It is important to make sure that all team leaders buy into your core beliefs. Leaders should trust their team members, empower them to do their best, and communicate openly.

Dissuade team leaders from micromanaging employees. This will only erode trust and create a dysfunctional workplace.

3. Plan the structures needed for the change

Organizational structures help manage employees’ expectations, give them clarity and govern workflow. In fact, research has shown that retaining employees is 63% more challenging than hiring new ones. Lack of structure will have your workers looking for greener pastures.

Create a hierarchy that highlights information flow within the organization and clearly defines everyone’s roles. This will:

  • Ease the decision-making process,
  • Improve operational efficiency,
  • Enhance employee performance, and,
  • Eliminate duplication of functions

You should also identify the resources needed to make changes to your company into one that has a virtual work culture.

a man using a laptop
Man working in his cabin.

4. Communicate all changes on time

Effective communication is critical in a virtual company.

86% of executives and employees attribute lack of communication to organization failure. Keep in mind that your employees will be working in a remote environment, and any communication breakdown could stall projects.

All internal communication directly impacts operations and keeping in touch with your employees gives them a sense of shared goals with the company. Communication makes employees feel as though they are part of something greater and not just an end to a means.

You should, however, ensure that the communication isn’t one-sided. Ask your employees for their opinions. This will not only boost the employer-employee relationships but also aid in conflict resolution.

Technology is your communication “ace in the hole.” Use internal messaging tools like Slack or Google Meet.

5. Focus on employee wellbeing

Happy employees are the trademark of resilient work culture. A report by APA revealed that 89% of employees who work in companies that support employee well-being are most likely to recommend it to others as a safe place to work.

By focusing on employee well-being, you create a work culture that is driven by trust and support. This then makes employees feel cared for, which results in high levels of engagement and commitment to your organizational values.

Let your employees dominate the well-being conversation and ensure all viable ideas discussed are incorporated into your work programs. It would be best if you also create well-being activities and strongly encourage participation. The crucial point is to identify the main elements that most employees feel are important and implement them.

6. Involve employees in goal setting

Involving your employees in the goal-setting process makes them feel as though they’re part of the company. It’s worrying that very few organizations actively involve workers in creating organizational goals. This only creates a disconnect between the company and the employees. 

Your company goals give employees a sense of direction and set expectations of requirements as they work remotely. Keep in mind that you can’t monitor them often, so the goals will set the tone for work ethic and drive business results

Encouraging employee participation in goal setting also boosts productivity and employee retention as it ensures everyone knows the role they play in achieving success.

7. Provide regular feedback

The best way to ensure that employee performance alignment is by giving them feedback. In fact, studies have shown that over 65% of employees feel fulfilled at their jobs when they receive accurate feedback.

For example, holding meetings once a year won’t cut it.

Make feedback a regular thing. Be sure to reward good performance and provide constructive criticism where necessary.

Are You Ready to Support Virtual Work Culture?

Remote working is the future of businesses, and you need to keep your employees engaged in building a resilient work culture.

In a nutshell, you should listen to your employees, set up organizational structures, foster trust among teams & managers, communicate promptly, and focus on employee well-being. Additionally, you should encourage employee participation in goal setting and provide regular feedback.

One of the significant challenges of remote working is losing touch with your employees, and the above tips will help you keep them engaged.

Learn All About Employee Engagement and Change Management

If you’d like to learn more on improving employee productivity through engagement, connect with experts at Tagence to start your Change Management journey.

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