As organisations suddenly find their employees are no longer working from the office or travelling to meet their colleagues, they're fast adapting to a digital way of working.
Digital transformation of a culture normally takes years. The pandemic has almost certainly accelerated this process for businesses and employees.
So how do you manage this transition as a leader? How do you remotely support your employees through this transition?
As Monique discusses in her article, it goes beyond the tools. Intranets, messaging platforms, Enterprise Social Networks and advocacy platforms will get you so far.
They're the tools on which remote teams can operate but what about behaviours. That's a trickier nut to crack.
People adapt at different paces and start from different places - they also have different roles, motivations and expectations.
We know from experience that understanding the complexity of digital maturity is critical to connecting your employees - not just to each other but to customers.
Here are some tips:
Accept that not all employees will adapt digital behaviours at the same pace
Encourage leaders to engage in digital conversations - lead by example
Identify your digital ambassadors - use their example to show what good looks like
Don't make it all about work e.g. this afternoon we've had a "who can find the best animated GIF" competition going on in Teams
Be clear about the community rules e.g. what's acceptable and what's not. If necessary, create channels of communications - we have Gin Club (aka Parents Community) and Pets Corner
Get employees involved in generating content - share their office view, new home desk, coffee machine - easy ideas to get your employees engaged where there's no right or wrong answer!
Encourage the use of video. At home it's easy to stack your day up with calls but they're not always productive - if a video or voice recording can replace a call - do it!
It's so important that leaders engage digitally with their employees during this time of crisis. They need to show their visible, accessible and approachable.
Authenticity cannot be managed on behalf of leaders so have courage and show employees what it means to try new digital platforms (for the first time if relevant) - it will show your human side.
More than ever, it is important that your employees connect with each other and with their manager for support through a range of channels such as video conferencing, collaborative workspaces and messaging tools such as Jabber. Direct support of managers is key – yes, team engagement tips can be helpful, but manager FAQs alone are not enough. This is where your human resources and your learning and development teams can come into play, upskilling managers and staff in best practice for working from home and hot topics such as employee mental health. The digital employee experience, which goes beyond intranets, needs to significantly improve in most companies – microsites, integration, remote access and tailored messaging are opportunities we can work on, to name a few. Now is the time to consider what your next technology quick win should be.