10 Tips To Engage Your Homeworkers

26 Apr 2021 9:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


Working from home is an essential part of the new world of work. And COVID-19 has seriously accelerated this style of work. Here are ten tips to help home workers succeed.

Homeworking is nothing new. But for reasons we all recognize, the concept is now being extended to new groups of employees, managers, and leaders. This brings a new raft of responsibilities, actions, and tools to learn for all of them. Specifically, it falls on our managers and leaders to create the culture required to support new ways of working. And encouraging wellbeing, effective communications, and productivity. And poor homeworking environments will lead to distractions and reduced motivation.

Here are ten easy-to-follow tips to help you create the culture and environment required for effective homeworking

1. Daily calls

Many experienced homeworkers and managers will tell you that a short pre-arranged call every day is the single most powerful tool you can have. This can be a group call for a large team. It teases out opportunities and challenges like no other tool and connects everybody instantly. Note that they don't have to use video; voice will be fine. Attendance is the key

2. Information tools, technology

An obvious issue, not to be underestimated, is to ensure that everyone has access to the proper hardware, software, and internet connection speed from day one. Allocate the budget required to ensure systems are up to scratch. These costs will be nothing compared to the loss of productivity resulting from workers sitting idle or managing a data breach.

3. Use Assessments (wisely)

Assessing an individual's ability to work alone at home will pay dividends. It's not always easy to work out who will or will not be comfortable working from home. Your assessments should be based on sound logic rather than invalid assumptions. Assessing the human factors involved, such as personality traits, motivation, preferences, motives, values, and home circumstances, will help determine if any accommodations are required. Some people may benefit from partial homeworking rather than losing all face-to-face interactions.

4. Don't skip the training

It should be obvious that everyone needs to be able to use the technology. With remote working, it becomes even more critical that these tools are used consistently throughout a team. This is not as easy as it sounds. For instance, leading tools that support homeworking are Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom, but there are many more. These systems are pretty intuitive, but supporting user confidence will accelerate their speed to productivity. People are apt to store and use information in different ways, which might increase data security risks, so training Is essential. A reasonable degree of training and practice will be required for employee engagement, productivity, and data security.

5. Supportive Culture

In any group of employees, someone will struggle with technology. And if it's not the tech, it might be the isolation or the changing work environment that causes frustration. Whereas it's easy to ask someone sitting next to you or by the water-cooler how they are doing, it's more difficult when they are working at a distance. Make sure that you have a support structure in place to tease out and provide the support required. Embrace this early as change can be unsettling and cause real problems – people don't always like to admit that they are struggling with the new culture or can't use all the tech!

6. Buddy up

Inevitably, working from home can sometimes feel like you're working alone. It helps if you have a buddy or a mentor to turn to and share your challenges and successes. In mentoring programs, both the mentor and the student often benefit. But mentoring may not always be appropriate. In which case, an 'assignment' buddy - someone working on the same or similar project – can be equally supportive. Evidence suggests that this both motivates and increases accountability on a project.

7. Legal Considerations

Working from home may demand additional written agreements. These may, of course, already exist. As well as covering remote work expectations, you may also need agreements to protect equipment, expense, confidentiality, and security issues.

8. Metrics

Metrics are helpful when managing people working from home. This is true for both managers and employees. Agreeing, setting, and discussing expectations becomes more critical when people work from home. Using and referring to scorecards, KPI's or OKR's regularly helps everybody understand your expectations and how they will be assessed. Note this should not be an excuse to change your organizational objectives and goals; there will be sufficient challenges to deal with anyway.

9. Spread the news

The lack of an office means you have to provide other methods for social interaction. Those interactions should include both information supplied by the organization and personal information that anyone wishes to share. The tools are less necessary than the messages. It could be something as simple as a WhatsApp, Teams chat, or a Slack group. Sharing good (or even bad) news; maybe an account win, or a big sale, employee award is motivational for employees working from home. You might consider having a "dress up for work" day and start your day with a video conference or creating an area for shared online positive experiences just for fun.

10. Townhall webinars

Weekly webinars are an effective way to share knowledge, ensure a consistent vocabulary and engage everyone. This can be made stimulating and enjoyable by representing a wide range of views with different presentation styles. The leader will manage the call, but bringing in presenters from other departments, team members, product managers, or support staff can be very effective. Alternatively, bring in an external expert to promote new working practices or to promote personal wellbeing such as mindfulness.

Conclusion

Ultimately working from home suits some people more than others, just as some people hate coming into an office or a factory every day. But by providing the right atmosphere, tools, and support, this can be enjoyable and productive.


About the Talent Transformation Guild

The Talent Transformation Guild provides resources for professionals that are preparing for upskilling being triggered by 4th industrial revolution and accelerated by Covid-19. Members include c-level executives, human resource professionals, consultants, and coaches. As a member-driven organization it promotes best practices via webcasts, webinars, podcasts, articles, white papers, research and conversations to improve and make the best of the talents of individuals for the benefit of themselves and the organisations they work for.

The Guild enable stimulating and meaningful discussions to help professionals prepare for talent transformations at individual, team and organizational levels. The Guild supports the Talent Transformation Pyramid, an open source model, designed specifically to recognize the widest possible range of talent influencers and skills. To date many decision-makers are caught in traditional, linear thinking and immediate concerns to consider this. The Talent Transformation Pyramid enables you to address the challenge by promoting more strategic thinking with a focus on an organization’s readiness to perform. https://www.talenttransformation.com/

About the Future of Work

According to the World Economic Forum, new and emerging technologies are affecting our lives in ways that indicate we are at the beginning of a Fourth Industrial Revolution. This new era will build and extend the impact of digitization in new and unimaginable ways. The Fourth Industrial Revolution can be described as the advent of “cyber-physical systems” involving new capabilities for people and machines. This will see new ways for technology to become embedded within societies and even our bodies.

With process automation, robotic automation, the internet of things the nature of work will change. Some analysts predict that more than 40% of tasks currently performed by humans will be delegated to machines. This does not mean that 40% of people will be put out of work but it does mean that most workers will have to upskill. HR experts are predicting this will dramatically change the landscape of our workforce.


About the Guild's Founders

Eric Shepherd an accomplished leader of international businesses and associations focused on talent, assessments, and success. Eric recently stepped away from a CEO role where he worked to build a SaaS company into a multi-million-dollar international assessment software business. Eric has also led industry and standards initiatives to promote best practices for assessments, learning, and interoperability. He currently serves as Chair of the IEEE P1484.20.2 working group developing Recommended Practice for Defining Competencies. Eric has previously served on Boards and working groups for:

  • HR Open Standards that defines interoperability standards for HR technology.
  • Association of Test Publishers and the European Association of Test Publishers that represents providers of tests and assessment tools.
  • The IEEE P1484.20.1 Standard for Learning Technology—Data Model for Reusable Competency Definitions working group.
  • IMS which defines interoperability standards for educational technology. 

Eric was instrumental in developing the IMS QTI interoperability standard and assisted with the US Department of Defense Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative to define the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) and the Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee (AICC) to define launch and track standards for Learning Management Systems.

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