With struggles brought on by COVID-19, many workforces have been forced to go completely digital. For most companies, this is the first time their staff is working fully remote and it can be challenging to manage.
How do you know what work is getting done? Can you accurately track how much time it takes to complete a task? When does working from home become home from working?
We asked eight thought leaders to share their best tips on how to successfully manage a digital workforce. Below you’ll find tools, strategies and policies to help you adjust your approach to workforce management.
Employee Engagement Software
Utilizing employee engagement software is a great tactic that HR professionals can use to bring people and technology together. Not only is the software an efficient platform for both the company and its employees, but it results in actionable steps to improve the workplace experience for all parties.
Candi Luciano, Y Scouts
Train Your Employees on All Tools
Provide training for all the software you will require your workforce to use. Whether or not you have used the technology before, providing training and refresher courses for your employees will help you make sure that your digital workforce is well prepared. Use this opportunity to answer questions your employees may have and to discover any potential problems you will face so that the transition to (or continuation of) a remote working environment is as smooth as possible. Updated documentation is key so that people can help themselves.
Dr. Marc M. Batschkus, Archiware
Implement Long Term Solutions
The workforce is going digital for the long term. It’s not just for 2020–75% of the workforce will be the millennial generation by 2025. Even though 60% of millennials reported feeling as productive while working remotely, that’s still a large enough majority for employers to take notice. The bottom line is that workplaces are becoming more comfortable in a digital environment. Whatever plans are being put into place must be considered as a permanent solution.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Find User-Friendly Technology
Ensure the chosen technology is appropriate and user friendly. Also, ensure that the user has the appropriate equipment to successfully utilize the platform. Provide training such as initial, best practices and one-on-one tutorials if necessary. In other words, set the employees up for success utilizing a new tool.
Sonja Talley, Arizona SHRM
Encourage Innovation and Creative Problem-Solving
We know that social interactions have become much more scarce since the teleworking boom. Technology has changed the way business is done in the wake of COVID-19. Those who had never heard of Zoom are now experiencing what some call “Zoom fatigue” from spending so much time on video calls with others. Businesses have realized that “curbside” anything is possible if you become creative enough. While COVID-19 has brought about an enormous strain on businesses, big and small, it has also brought about such incredible innovation that would not have been possible without the push into this new world.
Heather Karp, Goodwill Southern Arizona
People First Approach
HR’s job is to push managers to build better rapport with their team. The job will get done just fine; the relationships between managers and employees are what is crucial. HR should be pushing managers to handle the people part of the job as if they were in an important long-distance relationship. Professionalism blended with a personal approach.
Mack Munro, Boss Builders
Be Willing to Constantly Adjust
In order to bring technology and people together, a philosophy of continual improvement must be adopted at the core. No single system or platform is perfect and no person (employee) is perfect. In order to meet goals and objectives, we have to be open to analyzing systems, people, progress and achievements. Then we must be willing to realign, update, modify or change course in order for technology and people to “come together” successfully.
Niki Ramirez, HR Answers
Help Employees Become Self-Motivated
Many of the skills people need to be employable during and after COVID-19 are digital, which will enable, but not guarantee, resilience, creativity and the ability to collaborate with others. In areas where the pandemic is still an active threat, people need to be able to get work done while operating at a distance from co-workers. HR will have to create mechanisms to facilitate and ensure that managers and team leaders acquire the skills required to motivate and manage distributed teams.
Mark Christensen, Arizona SHRM