Upgrade your benefits communication
Without benefit fairs or your HR team being a short walk away, active benefits communication is far more useful than more passive approaches. Employers should invest in tools/solutions (communications platforms, decision support) and content (videos, benefits guides, benefits portals) to help their employees:
- Understand their benefits.
- Determine which benefits are right for them.
- Best leverage their benefits to achieve their personal and professional goals.
Recruit and train for new skillsets
Most people will adjust to remote work, but some will adjust better than others because they have the right skills and personality traits to succeed naturally. For others, you’re going to need to train them. For future hires, you may focus on making sure these traits are present:
- Agile. There will be change. How will they handle that?
- Resilient. When things get tough, when communication breaks down, how do they overcome that?
- Collaborative. Do they play well with others, and what role do they typically serve in a team setting? Can they translate their collaboration to a remote environment?
- Autonomous. While collaboration is important, autonomy is equally important; can they work solo, complete tasks, hit their milestones, and drive results without their manager popping by their desk?
- Self-starters. Are they innovative or receptive to new ideas, projects, and challenges? When they receive a new challenge, do they enthusiastically get to work on that, or does it worry them?
- Tech-savvy. Do they have demonstrated proficiency with picking up different technologies?
- Empathetic. Do they lead their relationships through empathy?
Solve problems with cross-functional, multi-generational teams
When Apple redesigned their HQ in 2015, they had a central goal in mind: they wanted to ensure “serendipitous interactions.” Even though the campus was 2.8 million square feet and housed 3,000 employees, they wanted to design it in a way that employees across functions and generations would “run” into each other and have the nuggets of innovation start.
That’s important. Every employee is unique, living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own experience, knowledge, ambitions, friends, routines, worries. Finding a way to bring them together to solve problems is one of the best ways to ensure your organization’s growth.
For example, you may be struggling to figure out how to engage employees remotely. By coincidence, you run into your coworker, and you both realize that they spent five years at an event marketing agency. You buy them a cup of coffee, and they’re able to inspire you with tons of ideas to build engaging remote experiences.
But you don’t need to be in Apple’s “spaceship campus” to achieve that—you just need cross-functional, multi-generational teams.
For innovation, especially the type that will drive your business forward or into new directions, assembling teams that span departments, roles, experience level, race, gender, sexuality, and age, will ensure a diverse set of perspectives. Diverse perspectives help you hone in on solutions that disconnected team members wouldn’t have.
Luckily for remote teams, this also ensures that remote members can work with folks across the entire organization, a vital method for making them feel integrated and engaged.
Quality of interaction, not quantity.
While your remote team will have fewer opportunities for day-to-day interaction—water cooler chats, random team lunches, after-work drinks, work jam sessions, carpooling—you can focus on the quality of interaction. Rather than spending your budget constantly throughout the year on small employee engagement opportunities, you may instead put it toward larger, more memorable experiences.