This blog series examines the needs of the remote worker and the role employee profile information plays in supporting their communication, collaboration, and productivity. Read the other articles on onboarding remotely and the big role employee profiles play in the remote workforce.
Here’s how organizations can promote expertise and skills across the business to help ensure better collaboration and communication, and get the right people working on the right projects.
The good, the bad, and the new normal
The new working from home (WFH) economy sees around 42 percent of the U.S. labor force now working from home full-time. Europe is seeing similar trends. More people are likely to join the WFH economy, many propelled by the events of 2020. Likewise, businesses are more willing to adopt part-time WFH policies they may not have been considered before this year.
There are benefits for both employers and employees:
Benefits of an effective WFH policy—for the employee
- Time and cost savings from reduced commuting time
- More time for family/recreation
- Flexible working hours (focus on output not input)
- Increased focus (with an effective working setup)
- Flexibility to relocate and retain the same employment
Benefits of an effective WFH policy—for the employer
- Reduced overhead cost in office space and fit-out costs
- Access to a wider pool of candidates and talent
- Reduced environmental footprint
- Catalyst for digital transformation (encourages use of automation/digital solutions)
- Increased productivity with fewer impromptu and unnecessary meetings
Improve remote working
Enabling remote work is a little trickier than just flicking a remote working switch. As well as the benefits, this way of working brings its own challenges. These include:
- Collaboration bottlenecks
- Communication mishaps
- Lack of team building
- Career development delays
There are many ways organizations can overcome these challenges. One of the pillars of a successful remote working environment is promotion of company-wide skills and expertise. There is a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience that exists across your business.
Here are five ways to make sure that skills and expertise are not lost when everyone is working from different locations.
1. Effective People Search
With lots of people working from different places, it’s important to ensure employees can effectively find and connect with the colleagues who have the skills and expertise to help them do their job. Employing a search solution (like LiveTiles Directory) that is intuitive, easy to use, and accurate will enable better collaboration. This leads to less wasted time, the ability to hit deadlines, and, of course, less frustration.
2. A culture of celebrating new skills and promotions
A primary reason that employees leave their job is because they feel underappreciated. A culture of appreciation is vital for a business who wants to retain its best talent and positively impact its bottom line. One way of doing this well remotely is via your company intranet. With the right intranet solution, the celebration of skills and ‘wins’ can be supported through automation and webparts on your intranet. But don’t forget to reference these in team and company-wide meetings, while also promoting new roles and certifications. This will all add to a culture of gratitude, as well as promote a culture of career advancement which is critical for keeping the best employees.
3. Invest in team training sessions
The feeling of isolation is a significant drawback to remote working. Every opportunity should be given to bring employees together. And team training sessions are a perfect way to do this. There are plenty of payoffs to delivering training in group settings, including cost benefits, improved future collaboration, the development of new corporate relationships, and team bonding.
To get started, managers can identify skills and courses that an entire team or many employees across departments would benefit from. The first step should be making sure you have an up-to-date register of current skills and expertise. That way, you can easily identify the employees who should attend the course, class, or session.
4. Gamify skills development
When it comes to certain company activities, whether it’s a marketing promotion or a new process you’d like to trial, getting people on board can be a challenge. This is amplified when team members are working off-site. Gamification has become a popular way of engaging employees and developing skills. Across many technical and certification programs, there is an element of gamification that can be used to encourage healthy competition and add excitement for employees advancing their expertise.
The same concept can be extended to more social gamification activities – such as running clubs, step challenges, and language classes. All of which add to the culture of teamwork, bonding and togetherness that can be missed when people are not on-site together.
5. Place importance on skills advancement as part of employee reviews
In the current remote working environment, any opportunity for collaboration with your manager is invaluable. When it comes to skills development, it’s crucial. During employee reviews, effective processes can make sure there is an ongoing focus on skills development. You should also establish skills that are desired by both the employee and the company/manager, which will allow them to progress to next step in their career.
When developing employee profile documents, ensure there’s a mandatory skills and expertise section, and that its importance is clearly communicated.
Knowledge sharing at its best
Organizations need an effective tool to manage how skills and expertise are collected and findable across the company. LiveTiles Directory automates this process and allows for customizations. Organizations can tailor the service to their unique needs, no matter if you are a 100-person organization or 100,000.
Build your connected digital workplace. Find out more about LiveTiles Directory. Get in touch with the team today.