Driving Remote Productivity: A Guide for Operational Leaders

Employee experience is no longer simply a buzzword; rather it is driving company cultures across the globe. And in this time of crisis, the emphasis on employee experience is now more important than ever. As businesses have had to pivot and largely run operations with a now remote team, they are consequently having to come up with more ways to engage employees while making them feel valued and appreciated. They are also having to discover new and innovative means of driving remote productivity and offering distributed workforce training and upskilling to be the ultimate winners in the war for talent. And of course, they need cutting edge tools in order to keep the lines of communication open and everyone moving in the same direction.

So how do firms accomplish this? How in this time of worldwide pandemic are leaders and training managers supposed to train, upskill/reskill, and recognize employees when things seem so hectic and uncertain? Enter the era of people analytics. According to the 2020 Global Talent Trends report, “understanding and capitalizing on analytics is quickly becoming a must-have skill in HR”; in fact, within the past five years there has been a whopping 242% increase in HR professionals who possess data analysis skills. Why such a massive jump in the number of L&D professionals proficient when it comes to analytics…It is pretty simple really. Companies have access to tons of data regarding their employees, and not utilizing this data in effective ways is only going to be detrimental when it comes to cultivating the employee experience.

Putting People First…Especially During a Pandemic

The phrase “putting people first” traditionally used to mean the customer. Businesses were all about customer service, customer experience, building customer loyalty. And certainly, this still remains an important part of what drives the company mission. Now however, we are also seeing business owners and leaders prioritize their people. In other words, beyond employee satisfaction, businesses are now evaluating and adapting the overall work experience for the members of their team. Everything from the environment, to how communication flows, to how well training—both in-house as well as distributed workforce training—resonates, to how receptive employees are to a rewards and recognition system are taken into consideration. More and more firms are genuinely invested in their employees and how those employees feel about their jobs.

Over the course of a lifetime the average person will spend approximately 90,000 hours at work—far too much time for that time not to be both enjoyable and meaningful. And so we circle back around to the question of how we maximize those hours for employees and thus provide a positive overall work experience. Especially now as we face a virus that is redefining both life and work as we know it…

A recent article in Forbes specifically discusses employee experience during COVID 19. One of the key ingredients to ensuring that the employee experience does stay front and center: leveraging technology and the tools available. There are numerous platforms and resources currently out there that go a long way toward facilitating communication, streamlining workflows as well as offering companies valuable insights into how business processes are playing out. And these tools are proving extremely helpful when dealing with a remote workforce. 

  • Communication: Particularly with the rapid move to off site working, the use of platforms and tools such as Slack for instance is going to be hugely important for getting everyone on task. Video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Meet are also becoming increasingly crucial during this crisis. As there is uncertainty, regular interaction is going to be a necessary component of remote productivity.
  • Project & File Management: Not solely during this time of pandemic, but also upon returning to “normal” conditions, having tools such as Asana and Trello to align workflows and schedule out the various facets of a project can help business proceed much more smoothly. Hand in hand with project management, are the tools that provide a centralized space for crucial documents and other such files–enabling all applicable team members easy and fast access, such include Dropbox and OneDrive. 
  • Training: This is a major one. Again, here is where data and people analytics truly do come into play. Companies already have access to employee data and most probably need to start gathering even more. Such analytics can help when it comes to determining who may require reskilling, where gaps and weaknesses are, what types of microlearning modules an employee may need to review, also, who deserves recognition. Especially as we enter this period during which remote employee training and distributed workforce training are going to be critical, having the proper tools and platforms in place is absolutely essential.
  • Rewards and Recognition: Speaking of crediting and applauding employees when deserved…There are an increasing number of tools on the market that enable leaders to do just that, plus, have some fun with it. Leaderboards and badges, along with certificates and gamified scenarios are just a few of the ways that platforms such as Bonusly are reinvigorating the employee recognition process. 
  • Productivity: Staying on task is important, particularly during this trying time. But how can companies more effectively increase and ensure optimal remote productivity? Systems such as that which Evernote represents were designed to help companies better handle and consequently organize the massive volume of information coming in daily. These types of tools allow stakeholders to manage note taking, file sorting and storing, and project management among other tasks. Some liken this kind of platform to a “universal inbox.”

The key to surviving during this crisis and thriving beyond, is going to involve having a centralized platform which can easily integrate with some of these other tools and thereby provide a truly unified user experience for all team members. 

The Future of Work: It’s All in the Analytics

The resources are there. The platforms are readily available to training leaders and managers. According to the Global Talent Trends report though, talent professionals are finding multiple roadblocks in their path toward bettering the employee experience. Factors ranging from not having enough in the budget to lack of leadership, have hindered managers from successfully shifting to a company culture that features a more robust experience. If we have learned any lessons thus far from the coronavirus pandemic, hopefully it is that this has to change. And what’s more, it has to get personal.

This is why people analytics is on the rise. Just take into consideration the fact that today’s workforce is very diverse in terms of backgrounds, cultures, and also age. Companies employ Baby Boomers and Gen Z members alike. The only way to create a truly effective experience for an array of employees is through gathering and utilizing data. This is not difficult to do, not at all—not with the right tools. Tools that can be used to communicate, to train, to upskill, also to enable businesses to foster internal growth. One of the most overlooked areas when it comes to recruiting: internal recruiting. Largely, this is due to the fact that many companies just don’t have the necessary information on existing employees. Not to mention, they don’t have the upskilling training tools in place to help bolster internal recruiting. As you can see, it all really does come back to data and the technology available.

Rallyware can certainly help you make the most of your firm’s employee experience. Our comprehensive platform is the future of work! Schedule your free demo today!

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