Organizations are faced with several challenges when transitioning their workforce to remote workers, such as how can I ensure employees can communicate with customers, access the required systems, and continue to perform their job tasks. However, an often-overlooked challenge is maintaining employee morale and protecting the organization’s culture. Although 90% of employees say more flexible working arrangements would increase confidence, employees are now finding themselves with less of an option and more of a mandate as the United States begin to increase shelter-in-place orders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For existing remote workers, this mandate may remain business as usual. However, for employees who traditionally work in the office, they are finding themselves having to change their working styles to accommodate. These changes may negatively affect employee morale and work culture and result in a decrease in employee productivity and engagement. There are several initiatives employers can implement to help manage remote employee morale, such as manager check-ins, pulse surveys, and adopting a new work culture.
Manager check-ins, or one-on-ones, become an even more important meeting with employees. A check-in is an excellent opportunity to get insights on the status of projects and ensure employees are productive while working remotely. This is also an opportunity to check in on employee morale from a professional and personal perspective. Remember, it’s not always about work; employees are also faced with personal challenges in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees may begin to feel isolated from being separated from co-workers or stressed by the distractions of having their family at home. Check-ins provide the opportunity for managers to understand challenges from each employee and help identify mitigation strategies.
A pulse survey is a brief survey that is sent out to employees regularly to check the status of specific initiatives, identify trends, and adjust plans accordingly. As employees’ transition to remote working pulse surveys can be used to check in on the overall employee morale and to understand any challenges they are currently facing. Several survey-based tools such as Microsoft Forms can be used to build out a questionnaire to send out to your users. For organizations lacking the know-how, Wellforce, in partnership with EthosQ, has developed an automated Employee Pulse Checker with seamless integrations in Office 365 toolsets. At Wellforce, our motto is creating a healthier and happier workforce, which is why we provide this solution at no additional charge for our customers.
Adapting a new work culture
While pulse surveys are a significant first step in establishing a baseline and identifying trends in work culture, surveys are useless unless action is taken based on the feedback collected. For organizations that have a heavy emphasis on employees going into the office, we may detect an increase in employees, indicating they are feeling disengaged or isolated through the pulse survey. As organizations adopt remote work, employees are no longer able to meet face-to-face or enjoy company outings. A quick initiative an organization can promote to help mitigate this problem would be to implement video meetings and happy hours through video conferencing technology such as Microsoft Teams. Wellforce’s Employee Morale Index dashboard helps organizations identify trends and recommendations by the department based on the pulse survey feedback. Wellforce provides our Employee Morale Index dashboard to all customers for no additional charge.
We don’t know how long the COVID-19 pandemic will impact us, and remote work may become the new norm. Work culture and morale shouldn’t be ignored as organizations continue to plan for remote work. There are several initiatives organizations can implement now to get ahead of the cultural change, and better support their employees. At Wellforce, we want to help organizations rapidly prepare to overcome the technology and cultural challenges of working remotely.
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