Remote working: How to establish a continued sense of belonging

If the COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything, it's that adaptability is key to survival

Remote working: How to establish a continued sense of belonging

If the COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything, it’s that adaptability is key to survival. As employers continue to let their people work from home, it seems as if organisations are finally reaping the rewards of investing in remote technologies.

And while digital management is on the rise, there’s one area that’s causing some consternation for HR leaders – establishing and maintaining a sense of belonging with remote teams.

HRD Canada recently hosted a webinar, in conjunction with DocuSign, on the importance of supporting and maintaining a global workforce amidst COVID-19. Throughout the debate, the issue arose of how best to maintain loyalty and connectivity without the security of operating in a shared space.

Speaking to Brian Freese. Sr. HumanResources Business Partner at DocuSign, we explored the idea of engaging with positive intent.

“The companies that are going to come out on top after this pandemic are the ones that lead with positive intent during this time. This will be the companies which are doing anything they possibly can for both their communities and their people.”

“Employers who’re going above and beyond in building personal relationships with their people, putting  employees first, are the ones which will reap the rewards,” explained Freese.

How companies act now, how they respond to this crisis, will be seen and judged for years to come. For organizations which already prioritise their people above their profits this is a time to really showcase your compassion. But for those certain unscrupulous employers, it’ll be a totally different story.

“Employer brand reputations are going to really be defined through this pandemic,” added Freese. “How employers really treat their employees will be in the forefront of everyone’s minds now and in the future”

“Organizations which are currently hosting town halls or large team meetings should still continue to do so through this pandemic.  This is key to maintaining a sense of connectivity and belonging. Once we begin the gradual return to offices, it’s likely that these group calls will still take place largely in a virtual environment. However, they’ll add immeasurably to a sense of togetherness and connectivity amongst your people.”

The message seems clear – be open, transparent and, essentially, ethical and your people will remain loyal, connected and engaged.

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