These insights are suitable for HR/Talent professionals who are taking the lead during the COVID-19 Pandemic to hire, retain and engage their awesome Product, Marketing, Communications & Digital teams. We have run a series of round tables, webinars and one-to-one feedback sessions with over 50 Australian-based businesses with a view to provide organisations current best practice and insights to help you during this transformative time.
Challenges companies are facing whilst their teams are working remotely:
New team members feeling included and part of the culture – Creating an opportunity for new team members to feel like they are part of the team, understand how things are done and forming meaningful relationships within the team and with stakeholders is challenging when working remotely.
Engagement and support – Understanding the balance between giving the right level of support versus being perceived as micro managing. People like to connect in different ways and in different frequencies. What is considered enough engagement for one, might not be enough for the next.
Capacity – Out of 50 businesses, 45% of their workforce have school age children. As a result, there are flow-on effects to productivity, work-home balance and mental health.
Technology – This includes new starters and existing team members who have issues with accessing systems remotely and internet connectivity.
Consistent engagement – WFH arrangements are normalising and maintaining team members positive engagement will be a weekly challenge.
Work/Life Balance Blur – Work and home life now occur in the same space and there is an increased sense that some employees are working longer hours given these lines are more blurred than ever before.
What can be done to address these issues?
- Strong IT capability – setting up and supporting team members with access and increased connectivity;
- Exercise & Mental Health programs – establishing resources designed to assist new starters with their mindset (and mental health);
- Culture Club – dedicated team who owns the responsibility of putting in place initiatives to support remote workers;
- Weekly wrap ups – end of week team virtual wrap up to share and celebrate each team members’ wins for the week. It gives everyone the opportunity to talk, be heard and connect (using video ideally);
- New Starters – introduction meetings put in diary and organised for the new starter with team members and stakeholders, this is completed by their line manager (including ‘accidental meetings’ or ‘water cooler’ meetings)
- Buddy system - appointing the new starter a buddy (not their line manager) to help them navigate their first few weeks and beyond
- Time zones differences – Hiring managers working in different time zones to have their working hours adjusted to the new starters’ working hours/time zone;
- New starter pack - includes company collateral, exercise bands, Fitbit, healthy snacks, company branded merchandise etc
- Video - New starter encouraged to make a brief video of themselves, what their new role is and their passions outside of work. This is distributed on the weekly wrap up.
Activities to help keep engagement high:
- Reach 70,000 steps every week (prize for the winner)
- Dancing, Yoga, Pilates and Zumba classes
- Fancy dress and best picture competitions
- Virtual drinks (wine & cheese can be delivered to team members)
- Team lunch (with Uber Eats vouchers)
- Most creative WFH set up competition
- Meme of the week
- Trivia night
- Virtual team exercise programs
- Birthday celebrations/Baby showers/Long Service leave announcement celebrations
- Monitoring Mental Resilience through https://www.workresilience.com.au/reports/
- Gifting additional carers leave days to assist with home schooling children for instance.
Note, this is not an exhaustive list and may not be suitable for all individuals/businesses.
Technology being used:
- Virtual meeting platforms: Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, Webex, Google Hangouts, Humble Dot, Symphony
- Slack: a multi-dimensional business communication platform
- Donut: a tool that strengthens your team’s relationships, empathy, and culture by connecting co-workers together to get to know each other better.
We are always looking to share information with the wider community so please follow us on LinkedIn or get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org
At Parity we’re so much more than recruiters. As micro-specialists in Product, Marketing, Communications and Digital recruitment, we’re obsessed with adding value to our community. We don’t just have an outstanding reputation for matching great talent with the best companies, we’re also proud to invest 10% of our annual profits into industry training and events through Parity Plus, a
recruitment industry first in Australia.
Whether you are a sports fanatic, shark diver or part time antique collector, we celebrate your uniqueness. Parity Consulting works with clients who embrace diverse and inclusive environments and empower their teams to bring their authentic whole self to work. We encourage people with different beliefs, abilities, backgrounds and life experiences to contact us.