As more and more workers take up the opportunity to request flexible working, employers are looking for new ways to keep these employees engaged and happy in the business. Traditionally, it has been more difficult to keep employees who work away from the main office engaged with the business since they’re unable to enjoy all of the rapport and team spirit that comes from working in the same place with the same team every day. Fortunately, the same technology that makes it possible for many staff to work remotely, also allows them to be fully engaged with your business. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways your intranet software can keep your remote workers fully engaged with your business.
Recognising good work when it happens
It’s likely that your office based teams aren’t fully aware of all the efforts that your remote workers put in. If you don’t do something to address this, then resentment can build over time which can be a serious drag on morale and productivity. Fortunately, your intranet is a great place to spread the word of a job well done. Ideally, you should set up a system that allows employees to thank each other for going the extra mile. Once you’ve done this, you should regularly contribute yourself to set the tone for how the system is used.
Aim to post about good work as quickly as possible when it happens so that your team understand just how important their efforts are to you. Make sure that all groups and teams are regularly mentioned to avoid any feelings of favouritism.
Whilst sharing achievements with everyone in the company is great, there are some situations where teams will want to discuss things among themselves before sharing them with a wider audience. Private channels make it easy to do this. They function in a similar way to Internet forums or Facebook groups and make it easy to kick ideas around before they are fully baked. They should not generally be seen as a substitute for formal meetings, instead they are the online equivalent of the informal team discussions that generally take place in kitchens and breakout areas in offices around the world. As far as possible, try not to set too many rules in these private channels beyond the expectations you would have of any employee.
Tell stories and share events
What do your staff actually do all day and how do they help other colleagues to do their job better? These might sound like obvious questions but it’s very easy for barriers between remote and office-based staff to be caused by misunderstandings about what different teams do. Using your intranet for storytelling is a great way to get around this problem. Encourage members of your team to take a few minutes to post ‘a day in the life’ type stories and let their colleagues know what they’re doing to make their jobs easier.
Depending on what you’re most comfortable with, you can either ask specific staff members to take part (perhaps new starters or people celebrating a work anniversary) or ask general questions and see who responds. Try to make sure that you get input from a wide variety of people and don’t end up in a situation where ‘the usual suspects’ reply to every post you make and the rest of the company ignore them. Variety truly is the spice of life in these situations.
Completed and useful profiles
User profiles on intranet sites can be pretty dull places unless you make the effort to push them the extra mile. It’s well worth including a few extra questions that allow employees to show a little bit of their personality when possible. Not only does this make people more likely to read the profiles, but it also provides icebreakers and potential topics of conversation for any team members who haven’t spoken to that person before. If possible, allow staff to be a little bit original and creative with their photos. Not only are they more likely to engage with their profile if you allow them to choose a photo that they actually like, but you also give them another way to showcase their personality and what makes them different. Above all, the user profiles on your intranet should give you a real profile of the person in question; detailed admin information is a topic for the HR department.
Hopefully, this article has given you a number of ways that you can use your intranet to better engage remote workers. With more and more workers likely to opt for flexible ways of working in the future, it’s important that you get your intranet setup right now so that it’s ready to serve the needs of your company for many years to come.
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