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4 ways to ensure remote workforce success during COVID-19

HR teams are facing new challenges on how to keep employees engaged and productive. Here are four ways HR teams can encourage work-from-home success.

CHROs and HR teams are facing new issues when it comes to supporting the new remote workforces that have resulted from COVID-19.

Employees may be feeling isolated from their teams and disconnected from important company decisions. They likely have heightened anxiety due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. And these challenges can lead to lower productivity and focus throughout the day.

Here are some ways HR teams can address these issues and help ensure that employees stay successful and productive while they are working from home.

1.    Communicate openly

HR leaders can schedule regular company update emails, as well as virtual town halls where employees can voice their concerns and ask questions. Sugarcoating the facts can leave employees feeling uncertain and worried. It can also lead to anger if employees feel misled. Instead, CHROs can communicate any business challenges and changes clearly and openly.

If the answer to any questions aren't immediately available, HR teams can follow up once they know more.

2.    Address remote work security issues

The rapid move to remote work has opened up widespread cybersecurity vulnerabilities. That means employee education is a top priority and HR leaders have an important role.

After IT teams implement the right security measures, CHROs can then reach out to employees to address next steps, such as security awareness and trainings. CHROs can document, implement and enforce new policies and procedures for the remote workforce in the form of emails or virtual town halls, since they may be best suited to communicate these issues in a way that employees can understand.

3.    Measure employee engagement

The shift to remote work could have a major -- and possibly negative -- impact on employee engagement. Measuring that can be important.

HR teams can compile multiple questions into pulse surveys, such as how supported employees feel by their managers and how easy it is for employees to collaborate with their co-workers in their new environments.

Commonly used tools, with a remote work focus, can help keep employees engaged with managers and their teams when they're feeling unmotivated or stressed out. For examples, communication tools such as Slack and Teams offer plugins that can facilitate connection, such as randomly match co-workers for virtual coffee breaks and happy hours.  

4.    Promote wellness

When work and home are one and the same, employees may find it hard to set healthy, active breaks throughout the day.

Wellness programs can help improve employee loyalty and retention, reduce healthcare costs and boost productivity and engagement. HR can carry that through remotely by creating fun workout challenges employees can do virtually with their co-workers. Managers can use communication tools -- such as Slack or Teams -- to set up a channel for health and fitness where employees can post their favorite workout playlists, online workout classes and challenges to get everyone up and moving throughout the workday.

Next Steps

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