- With many staff now working from home, here’s how to keep a look out for them.
With the government asking all non-essential staff to stay home and encouraging those that can work from home to do so, employers and employees across the country are having to get to grips with remote working practices.
That’s no different for car dealers, who are used to plenty of face-to-face time and are now having to adapt. If you’re looking for advice on how to keep home workers motivated, engaged and happy, read below.
Encourage face-to-face contact
While you can’t literally stand face-to-face in front of each other, there are plenty of video chat applications that allow you to have meetings and conversations with people while seeing their faces. Zoom and Skype are two of the most popular.
Hearing a colleague’s voice on the phone is great, but for many workers who might be living alone or being kept away from family, seeing familiar faces from work is a great way to build community and keep people engaged.
Continue team-driven activities
It’s easy to become isolated from the group when working from home and concentrating on your own thing, so if you have staff who don’t directly work as part of a team, be sure to bring them into group activities. This could be as simple as company-wide video conferences, or asking them to help out in other areas of the business that require working with others.
This has the benefit for them of making sure they feel included, but should also help to keep motivation high and ensure they don’t let their work load slip.
Build trust both ways
It can be difficult for employers to ‘let go’ of their staff, particularly if you’re used to having employees in front of you every day where you can see exactly what they get up to. So, when working from home, losing that control can be difficult.
However, employees like to feel trusted, so acting like Big Brother by constantly chasing them for work, checking up or adding to their workload won’t make them feel that way. To keep motivation high you should set regular check-ins but largely trust them to get on with it, and only start chasing if these check-ins prove they’re not doing what’s required.
And open a dialogue with them. Simply asking if the work is too much or not enough will help them feel trusted and valued.
Set targets to work through
Although, for most staff, trusting them to carry on with their job is a great motivator, you’ll obviously need to come up with a way of knowing what they’ve completed.
During a normal working day, targets can be a fluid thing, and moved around easily as situations change. However, when working remotely, setting daily and weekly targets for employees gives them something to work towards, a barometer for productivity, and more philosophically, helps build a routine and structure that can be sorely missed when working from home.
Check on their well-being
And last but not least, don’t forget to keep an eye on employees’ mental health. While some will be fine working from home and others might even thrive, others will find the change of routine and lack of social interaction difficult. Meanwhile others will find the very fact we’re living through a pandemic incredibly stressful.
You know your employees well, so keep an eye out for any changes in behaviour and don’t be afraid to quietly ask how they’re doing. These times can be difficult and everyone should be treated differently, so being understanding that for some staff the stress of the situation could result in some loss of productivity at times could help your employee, and therefore your business, immeasurably in the long run.