Remote working has become the new norm for many businesses, and for those continuing working from home, it looks as though this will be the case for many more months. In fact, according to CNN Business, large corporations such as Facebook and Shopify are among the many businesses aiming to continue working from home after the pandemic. The reason for this is that it not only improves employee wellbeing as they are able to spend less time travelling and more time at home, it also keeps running costs low. However, having your team working from home while maintaining a high level of productivity requires a streamlined process and exceptional communication. Whether you plan to bring the team back into the office in the new year or are working towards remote working for the imminent future, here are some remote work communication strategies to help develop and enhance your processes.
Improving Your Remote Work Communication
The biggest hurdle of remote working is communication, as teams are no longer able to communicate verbally in the office and are now relying on others picking up phones and responding to emails as soon as possible. For many, this has become a frustrating challenge that proves concerning for productivity. However, with a clear and understandable communication plan, along with streamlining your processes and implementing communication software, you can easily improve internal communication. This is essential for businesses that require teams to work with one another to complete a project to a specific deadline, and where ideas need to be discussed.
As a leading recruitment agency in Milton Keynes, our internal and external communication is essential for us to remain safe during the current climate while aiding clients in finding viable candidates for their business. With our many years of experience, we have developed streamlined processes that create a smooth running recruitment process for both the client and the candidate, and with many continuing working from home, we believe our strategies will come in handy. Here are some of the many ways in which you are able to implement a successful communication plan for your team:
- Create A Clear Communication Plan
- Regular Check Ins
- Invest In Collaborative Software
- Train New Employees On Communication Processes
- Encourage Feedback & Minimise Interruptions
The first step to successful communication while working from home is to create a plan that works for your team. This plan needs to include a clear process for you to analyse productivity while also helping teams to communicate efficiently and effectively. Within this plan, you will need to set out strict guidelines for your employees to work with, helping them to understand the process and organise their projects.
One of the most effective ways to ensure everyone is on the same track is to produce an employee communication handbook, of which you can find tonnes of templates online such as the visually appealing and informative template on Venngage. This handbook can include everything from the platforms in which you use and how to use them, as well as how to organise online events, meetings and more. Through this, teams are able to organise themselves in an orderly manner, and everyone is on the same wavelength, which is critical when you have team members miles apart. Your handbook will also be beneficial for those that are new to the business and have entered the team during the pandemic, so be sure to include every aspect of the business and your communication strategy.
It is always important to place your trust in your team, and unless they give you reasons to think otherwise, allow them to take leadership of their part in a project, rather than constantly looking over their shoulder. However, this does not mean that you should completely neglect your staff, and you should always complete regular check-ins to ensure that projects are progressing. There are two ways in which you should do this; as a team and individually. Team check-ins allow everyone to ask questions, see where each other are at in terms of projects and discuss ideas to help each other move forward on their tasks. Whereas, individual check-ins allow you to assess employee progress to make sure that they are staying on target.
To achieve this, you should book check-ins for the same time each week to keep a schedule and routine for yourself and the team. For example, schedule team check-ins for Monday morning to discuss what the team will be doing and whether they need someone to complete a task for them, and another check-in on Friday afternoons to see what the team have managed to complete that week. For individual check-ins, it’s best to complete these at a time best suited to them or first thing in the morning once a week. Employee Performance has put together a handy article on how to complete manager check-ins, including a checklist to help you to structure your meetings.
Platforms such as Zoom have become increasingly popular since the lockdown, allowing teams to communicate verbally and through visual video. These conferencing software systems are ideal for business communication, as it allows teams to discuss ideas and queries in an office like manner. As body language is a large part of communication, it is advised that these tools are used for meetings internally and externally to give a more human feel.
Not only should you invest in software that allows for video conferencing, but you should also think about project planning and internal communications. For example, software such as Basecamp allows you to set tasks for teams including deadlines whereby individuals are then able to tick off tasks or reallocate them should they need to pass it on to another team member. This platform is ideal for projects and informing others when a certain tasks have been complete, it also allows teams to communication on the ‘campfire’ feature to discuss the project in question. Additionally, other communication platforms such as Plivo allow teams to connect with one another through message and calls while also setting reminders for meetings.
For clients looking for IT recruitment agencies in Leeds and the surrounding areas, it is important for them to communicate effectively throughout the process and ensure that their recruitment is thorough and effective. For this reason, our team have designed software that helps clients to interview and screen candidates to ensure that they can find top talent, even when being unable to see them in person. For example, our streamlined recruitment process and modern tools are easy for clients to use and allow clients to digital interview candidates. These processes not only enhance our ability to provide an exceptional service to clients, but it also helps our team to collaboratively work together to offer a leading and professional service.
While some businesses have struggled during the pandemic, many have thrived, increasing the number of job opportunities. However, although many candidates have landed the job of their dreams during the pandemic, training while being unable to sit with the new team member can be tricky. This is where internal communication is vital, as not only does it help the new employee to learn about the job role, but it can also help to introduce them to your team to help them feel welcomed.
Video conferencing tools that allow you to share screens such as Ring Central Meetings are ideal when training over the phone. It is also important to make sure that you have your communication plan, and handbook if you choose to create one, ready for when you recruit your new employees. The reason for this is that it allows the team members to instantly work well with your communication process and understand how to access meeting schedules and communicate with others.
The key to communication is to find a process that works well for all team members, so while a process or software may work for one team, it may not work for another. This will be dependent on the projects they complete, making it important for you to listen to their feedback on things that are not working for them. Listening to your employees has exceptional benefits, such as the following:
- Improves employee wellbeing
- Gives feedback on processes
- Encourages commitment
- Enhances creativity
- Improves employee retention
Asking for employee feedback helps them to feel in control of their projects and gives them the opportunity to speak up when something is going wrong. This will require you to create a welcoming presence that encourages them to come to you for help or to give constructive feedback. Worklogics has six helpful strategies on how to encourage employee feedback, which is extremely beneficial when working through a computer. Not only is feedback important, but you should also create a working environment that allows every member of the team to speak without being interrupted. This can be done through the regular individual check-ins previously discussed, as it allows for one to one discussions to express concerns and provide feedback on processes.
Improving Your Remote Working Communication
Communication is key to any business, particularly during the current circumstances that minimise the ability to meet face to face. However, by refining your process and using modern software to improve your communication, teams can work just as effectively as though they were in the office. Although the pandemic has created new hurdles and challenges for many businesses, there are plenty of methods and strategies that you can implement to maintain productivity and even hire new team members. If you are looking for finance, IT or sales recruitment in Bristol and the surrounding areas, then our team can introduce you to our streamlined and advanced digital processes to help you find top talent while you and your team work from home! Our team are able to provide you with not only the necessary tools but also experience and professional advice such as phone interview questions to ask, and how to retain top talent, enhancing your recruitment process.