Employee Engagement and Working Remotely
We were lucky enough to pick the brain of best-selling author, Karen Mangia to get her insight on what leadership can do to keep employees happy while working from home. In fact, Karen wrote a book on working remotely in less than 30 days, making the impossible possible. She recommends that employers focus on routines, rituals, and boundaries for optimum employee engagement along with other tips and tricks.
What Do Employees Want Us To Know That They Don’t Want to Say?
1: The Reasons They Don’t Want to Go Back to the Office
According to Karen, the typical response employees give when they don’t want to stop working from home is that they don’t want to commute. This isn’t always the case. Karen went on to say that after doing 600 one-on-one interviews about working from home there were a few different answers, such as:
2: Employees are More Likely to Find a Job at Another Organization Than to Ask for What They Need
Karen says employers need to change the questions that they are asking employees to find out what they need. Try asking your employees these questions for more engagement:
3: The Biggest Factor That Erodes Trust is the Gap in the Say/Do Ratio
Employees are going to leave if they see a big difference between what their employer is saying, and what they are doing. For example, if your number one company value is trust, but you install spyware on their computers and insist they come into the office, it doesn’t match your values.
How Do You Define a Good Remote First Culture?
Leadership is Listening
Karen told us that the three most powerful words in leadership when delivered authentically are “I hear you.” All anyone wants is to be seen and heard, right? To promote employee engagement, employers need to be listening.
Companies as Communities
Employees want to have a sense of belonging even when they’re working from home. We need to help close the gap between what employers can offer and what employees expect. This can come in the form of creating a sense of community to increase employee engagement.
How Do You Break Down Company Culture Into Real Actions?
Karen says company culture ultimately boils down to values. She stated the Stress-Free Experiment as an example. This experiment asked students at Stanford to spend 10 minutes a day journaling, and some of them were specifically asked to journal about their values. The students who journaled about their values saw less burnout.
Burnout happens when you’re living outside of your values. For example, if you have a work meeting that happens every day when you’d normally have dinner with your family, your values are misaligned. Companies need to pay attention to this to keep employees happy.
If employers aren’t paying attention to employee engagement, the short answer is that people will quit. Karen stated that there are 2 job openings for every qualified worker right now. If they leave, they’ll have options.
Where Do You See Remote Work Going?
The innovation in the space of working from home and employee experience is exciting. The hope is that changes can be made to increase employee engagement and retention. Everything is adaptable, and Karen sees a bright future for this type of work.
You can visit Karen’s website at https://www.readsuccessfromanywhere.com/blog to access The Stress-Free Experiment along with other tools.