Tips For Working Professionals To Stay InGaged While Working From Home
At such a crucial time when transitioning from one working paradigm to another took precedence; additionally, one of the organizational priorities has been to keep the workforce engaged in a meaningful manner, keep them connected and productive.
The world today is battling a crisis that has gripped all of us unexpectedly, the gravity and the repercussions of COVID-19 caught all of us unanticipatedly. This unique situation demanded that we, at IKS Health, take decisions swiftly for mobilizing our business continuity plan. To make this possible we had the herculean task of enabling a large workforce, segmented by verticals and geography, to work from home. At such a crucial time when transitioning from one working paradigm to another took precedence; additionally, one of the organizational priorities has been to keep the workforce engaged in a meaningful manner, keep them connected and productive.
Our primary concern was that the Work From Home capacity detaches the workforce from the physical contiguity that an office atmosphere presents. While the operational teams were creating matrices to make sure that the service deliverables were being communicated and adhered to diligently, we worked towards creating channels for all seemingly peripheral communication and engagement that had now taken center-stage. At the time of crisis, it is essential that the right messaging goes out at the right time, this creates transparency, trust, and partnership between the organization and the workforce.
In order to reinforce our objectives amongst other communication methods, we conceived InGage, a platform that engages our workforce while we all are safe indoors. This virtual platform is instrumental in connecting the working from home workforce thus bolstering the feeling of the employees being connected to the larger organization. The platform primarily focuses on reaching out to our people with daily motivational quotes, tips & guidelines, learning hacks, and other activity-based challenges, thus addressing the feeling of isolation and disengagement that employees may have due to the lockdown. We have learning and development modules that address mental health, mindfulness, and various other learning tools, which would greatly help employees tackle the onset of any grim feelings. In addition to these, the platform also relays organizational and leadership messaging, campaigns that boost positivity and employee morale, and a health platform called Road to Fitness.
During times of crisis how you connect with the employees is important, the communication approach that IKS Health has undertaken during lockdown has helped us immensely in staying connected with our people:
Employee Advisories: At IKS Health, we made sure that we send out timely and detailed employee advisories to our workforce. These messages were a combination of email from CEOs desk to movement and safety messaging from the CPCO’s desk to keep the workforce updated with the new organizational directives. The advisories also detailed the procedures and any local government directive that may be beneficial to the employees, as we work out of multiple geographies. Each of the communication is carefully drafted to convey messaging, geographical distinction, and transparency.
Continuous information transmission: It is important to be in touch with the employees continuously. Even though organizations may end up over-communicating, it is the need of the hour. Employees are physically disconnected from the workplace, this may have a deeper impact that would affect employee mood and productivity. With continuous communication, the employees stay engaged and feel a meaningful connection with the company. IKS Health implements these through regular video meetings, virtual town-halls, leadership messaging, emails, video messages, and a cascading messaging framework.
Increasing Learning and Development Initiative: IKS Health recognized a unique opportunity in utilizing the down-time resulting from some of the operations partially functional during the Work
From Home transition, and we have successfully mobilized some of the initiatives through our L&D teams called #BeMore which encompasses various aspects of Learning.
· Digital Learner #BeMore - The platform enables employees to connect to the L&D modules remotely and undertake training in an array of initiatives. The platform also boasts of improving the process based trainings of the employees
· Manager Zone - It can be complex for managers to handle teams remotely. During this time setting up the right expectations is critical, this section on the InGage platform advises managers on tips and guidelines to tackle teams remotely and handle precarious situations
· Learning Cool Hacks - These are bite-sized learning hacks shared with teams for quick learning. Sourced from some of the well-researched articles, these hacks can be used every day by employees at any level to maximize productivity, increase focus, maintain mental balance and deliver optimum outcomes
Internal Communication and Engagement Platform: At IKS Health, we have a workforce that is a mix of various age groups and backgrounds. It becomes highly complex when engaging with such a diverse workforce, to be successful in such an endeavor we need to have something for everyone. For this very reason, we devised a platform called InGage that engages our workforce while we are all safe indoors. The platform has daily challenges, team challenges, mantra, learning bytes, reading, podcasts, and book recommendations, amongst other activities. The platform is accessible through any device, and in order to participate in any of the challenges, the employees need a valid employee id and organizational email id. The content on the site can be divided as follows:
· Mantra of the day - This section includes a daily feed i.e. an inspirational quote shared by IKS Health employees. We credit the employee who shares the quote, along with the original author of the quote.
· WFH - This section is a guide that includes - best practices to WFH, employee go-to list, and other interactive content.
· Challenge Accepted - This section includes daily challenges - a combination of individual, team and weekend challenges. For example - DIY Craft, Favourite Food, #QuarantineOOTD, Team call collage, board game challenge, wacky hair-do, and more recently Mother’s Day challenge etc
· Attitude of Gratitude - This is an organisation-wide campaign where we acknowledge the position of privilege that we have at IKS Health and are an integral part of the Healthcare industry as a support to the frontline healthcare workers as they fight against COVID-19. Leaders share videos that include reasons for all of us to be grateful for our unique position where we get to help frontline health workers from the safety & comfort of our homes while being secure about our jobs.
· Mood Meter - Mood Meter helps us recognize emotions within the organisation. Everyday employees are urged to choose the mood that they are in, and then we graphically represent the organisational mood. This helps us understand the mood and accordingly devise and develop engagement content/initiatives.
· Take a break! - This section includes tips and recommendations on what employees can read, watch and listen to everyday/over the weekend. Example - Books, Ted Talks, Documentaries and podcasts.
· Road to Fitness - IKS Health deeply believes in keeping our workforce safe and healthy, and we have started an initiative called Road to Fitness, the platform invites employees to take on weekly fitness challenges and share fitness tips. The platform also hosts health and fitness sessions under the banner of InSync that invites experts to cover insights on the health of the mind and the body in virtual sessions. We include an array of discussions like physical wellbeing and mental health through these interactions, we also emphasize on the importance of practicing mindfulness during these trying times.
Given the gravity of the current situation that may have a significant psychological effect on the workforce, it is pertinent that we stay connected and engaged with our people. An engaged and informed employee will operate from a place of trust that would in turn be visible in their productivity and thus outcomes. A well-formulated method of communication and intent to stay connected would be reflected in the workforce thus creating transparency, trust, and positivity in the (virtual) workplace.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house