Taking the step to transform your digital working world to drive meaningful change for your team’s ‘new normal’
It’s understandable that Slack and Zoom users have been multiplying by the minute over the past few months, as seen in recent data. With workplaces dispersed, business leaders are relying heavily upon these apps to connect their teams. A team that can communicate with each other regularly helps to maintain organisational culture and instill purpose and motivation in employees.
But adapting your office meetings to online is only step one. Step two is to use technology to create meaningful, lasting change for now and for after Covid-19 has ended; getting set up sooner rather than later to support inevitable transitions will ensure teams are stable and set on a successful trajectory.
Deloitte’s Global CEO, Punit Renjen, believes a crisis plays out over three time frames: responding, recovering, and thriving. Businesses have already responded and are currently recovering, which means preparations to step into phase three, thriving, is where the focus should lie.
Think about your workforce and what makes employees happy and productive. What initiatives do you already have in place that could be enhanced? Where can you incorporate tech to allow for better virtual collaboration, productivity and health? Find the right one(s) and you will steer any organisational change in a direction that benefits the business, leadership and employees.
Previous favour of face to face praise has been quickly discarded, with digital recognition being the new and necessary bridge between dispersed teams. This bridge allows employers to acknowledge employee achievements on the spot, allows employees to encourage each other and build team morale, and allows the company as a whole to foster a culture of appreciation. This appreciation transcends location, which is where the power lies in keeping everyone engaged from afar.
A designated platform just for virtual shoutouts provides a sense of community, and if you can develop it now, it will continue long into the future; the forced initiative becoming a lasting, integral digital experience of your business.
Tying recognition back to company values keeps those values front and center in your teams’ minds. You didn’t create them for nothing, so make sure you’re utilising them to their best potential.
Mental health and physical wellbeing
Personal health and wellbeing apps and online resources have always been out there, but only recently have they exploded, especially in the workspace. With the awareness around improved mental and physical health resulting in happier, healthier and more productive employees, more and more business leaders have been offering work benefits focused on these areas. Due to stringent isolation rules, office gym memberships, team sports nights, or a simple lunchtime run with a colleague, have been pushed aside. Online fitness classes and mental wellbeing apps can be done as a group (over Zoom) or done solo.
Either way, the benefit for the employee is there. Digitising work perks means employees can make use of them now and into the future, the power is in their hands, at their fingertips, to improve their wellbeing.
Feedback, both gathered and actioned, has forever been a top priority for any successful business. Pulse surveys have been an emerging favourite over the past few years due to their increased frequency of gathering feedback, compared to the more ‘traditional’ annual survey. For leaders that relied on in-person conversations to gain perspective as to how their team was feeling, they will now be forced to look for alternatives. Due to businesses having to make quick decisions to adapt to all things Covid-19, finding a digital feedback tool has been crucial to allow employees to share their thoughts and feelings. Pulse surveys mean that, with each change, each new initiative, new procedure, or even new tech system, leadership will know quickly what is working and what is not; they can be agile in how they move forward, which is exactly what is needed. Online surveys that allow you to track employee feedback and concerns over time mean you can adapt so your team doesn’t get left behind.
Learning platforms are a no brainer to incorporate into any business. It upskills your team so they can perform better at their respective roles and shows that you support their career progression.
Not just to be used for work reasons, personal development over online L&D tools widens individuals’ breadth of knowledge, which benefits everyone. Over this time, management has been seeing what skills an employee may have that is outside of their day to day role, that could be put to use. Collaboration between teams sparks new ideas, job descriptions change, and individuals make use of a wider range of competencies which makes for a stronger team overall. This all stems from incorporating and encouraging cross functional knowledge and training via digital platforms.
The technological transformations and initiatives that have been incorporated into workplaces to support them through the crisis will likely become the norm, and stay in play well after the Covid era has ended. Those are the kind of meaningful changes that are worth stepping - no jumping - into for continued success and resilience.