Updated: Mar 18
It’s fair to say that COVID-19 has changed the world, and some of those changes don’t seem to be going anywhere. Chief among them is the trend toward virtual. The pandemic showed employees and organizations alike that work could still get done even when people weren’t in the office. And now, they don’t want to go back. In fact, a 2021 survey of remote workers by GitLab revealed that one in three respondents would leave their jobs if remote working was no longer an option, and 82% agreed that remote work is the future of work.
Virtual is great for many reasons, including filling a massive gap when it comes to flexibility, driving satisfaction, retention, and hiring efforts. But, for companies that have traditionally operated in-person, this move to virtual may feel less comfortable, leaving some feeling disconnected from their colleagues, leaders, and organizational priorities.
With virtual here to stay, here are a few tips to help you ensure your employees stay connected and engaged.
Find New Ways to Connect
By now, we’re almost all used to Teams and Zoom meetings (although some of us still have to be reminded to unmute). Most teams are likely having weekly video chats and finding other ways to stay engaged with one another.
However, it’s still going to be a while before everyone is comfortable traveling for large meetings, town halls, and other events that many look forward to for needed connection. By making these events virtual-first, you can ensure all your employees can safely and comfortably access the information they need. And, by adding elements like virtual networking events, interaction through apps, and more, you can provide your attendees with the same rich experience. Even if you choose to hold in-person events, ensure you’re also providing equal access to your virtual employees, taking a true hybrid approach and considering the experience for your attendees who can’t be there.
If your employees used to get their information from being onsite at your offices, consider other ways to share essential information with them, including emailed newsletters, talking points that managers can share in team meetings, or posting more news to your intranet or employee app.
Ensure Equal Access
Most companies are also working to be more inclusive of all their employees, including hearing and visually impaired employees and those whose first language isn’t English. When considering virtual communication, it’s essential to consider all of your audiences and ensure each employee has access to the information (and connection) they need to succeed in their jobs. One of the great companies I work with, INGCO International, is at the forefront of accessibility when it comes to language services, and they recommend providing subtitles, captioning, and transcriptions as standard when creating content.
In this way, you not only ensure your employees have what they need to support your company, you show that you support them back.
Get Help from the Pros
Need help ensuring you’re meeting the needs of your increasingly virtual workforce? The experts at Tschida Communications have deep experience supporting companies of all sizes, and we would love to learn more about your needs and help you evolve your strategy. Reach out to connect.