Back in March 2020, companies across the globe were forced to move their employees from offices to a homeworking setup in a matter of days. But two and a half years on, it looks like home working and hybrid working are here to stay – employees have praised the improved work-life balance that it brings, while employers have noticed the increase in productivity.
However, there are still some challenges associated with working in dispersed teams, and one of these is effective internal communication and building a strong sense of company culture. These things are that bit trickier when your employees are not in the office every day, so you need the right tools and processes at your disposal to help make it happen. Here are our top tips!
1. Choose the right intranet for your company’s needs
A survey by Deloitte found that there was a 20% increase in employee satisfaction and a corresponding 87% increase in employee retention in organizations that implemented social intranets. By ‘social’ – we mean an intranet which is not just a depository of information, but has additional features that enable better all-round communication and updates about what different teams are up to. There are many intranet providers out there, and it’s important to select the one that is right for your business.
You should begin by conducting a thorough assessment of your business needs when it comes to internal comms, before making your selection. A good way of doing this might be via a survey of your employees in which you can delve deeper into what they think the best uses of an intranet are.
If you haven’t tried Engagy Comms, why not take a look? It’s a solution based on SharePoint Online, which can be tailored to suit the exact needs of your teams.
2. Make sure that your teams are in sync
Working in dispersed teams means that you miss some of those crucial in-office moments, in which members might chat to each other over lunch about the project that they’re currently working on, or the challenges that they’re currently trying to overcome. The lack of in-person contact might create an out-of-sight, out-of-mind effect, in which team members become much more focused on their own individual workloads and lose sight of the bigger picture.
A study has shown that 85% of employees said they’re most motivated when management offers regular updates on company news.
An important way to make sure that different teams across the business are in sync, which also creates a strong company culture, is whole-company meetings, sometimes known as ‘all hands meetings’ or ‘town halls’. They’re a good way to talk about the goals and targets of each team and how they fit together, to celebrate achievements, welcome new team members, and build a general sense of belonging.
With Engagy Comms, you decide what content is displayed on the main page and how long it will remain visible – which is perfect for notifying staff about company events, or providing links to summaries of what was discussed. The platform also allows you to build department info cards with all the information that is necessary for effective collaboration.
3. Be open and inclusive
In a remote work environment, it’s arguably more difficult to gather feedback from colleagues and to maintain a culture of inclusivity. That’s why it’s important to focus on open communication. One good way of showing your openness to feedback is by scheduling it into remote product catch ups. You can also use internal tools to solicit feedback from employees, either in an open forum or anonymously.
Studies show that employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work. And by actively letting your team know that you value their opinion on processes or methods of approaching a given project problem, you’re much more likely to keep them engaged in the long run.
With Engagy Comms, users can easily share their feedback – not just on how the platform could be improved to better suit their needs, but also on various projects that are detailed within it. In doing so, it supports you to be a more inclusive employer.
4. Make sure everyone can easily find the information they need
One of the major benefits of being in the office was that you could easily ask a colleague for support whenever you needed – be it to help with a given piece of work, or if you couldn’t remember where to locate a document. In a remote environment, it’s all the more important to ensure that all employees know where they can find the information they need and that all processes are documented effectively.
In a study measuring the intranet benefits felt by businesses, 85% of respondents noted faster access to information as a significant benefit, which increases both their efficiency and their job satisfaction.
Engagy Comms enables you to create various content categories, such as current company affairs, HR information or industry news. Build your own topics! Make it easy for your employees to find the information they need.
It’s all about putting the right tools and processes in place
Effective internal communication is all about using remote communication tools to good effect, and this all starts with selecting the right ones to suit your company’s needs. It’s also about getting employee buy-in for your remote work processes, and frequently asking your team for feedback about how things can be improved. A great intranet can support you to communicate effectively and in doing so drive employee satisfaction.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’re here for you. Check out Engagy Comms today!