Promoting and maintaining employee engagement can be challenging in a remote, hybrid or flexible working environment. The added distance between employees, managers and other departments can create a lack of cohesion within your organisation.
So how can you inspire your remote teams to become more engaged? Video may hold the answer.
Why Is Employee Engagement Important?
Not engaging employees enough can lead to a myriad of problems. Low morale, management issues and even a toxic culture can result from ineffective communications and decreased engagement. With this in mind, it is important to explore the benefits of positive employee engagement:
- Enhanced Productivity – Greater engagement helps teams get to know one another, and build trusting and effective working relationships. With more open, honest and succinct communications, deadlines are easily met and each of your projects run smoothly.
- Increased Work Quality – Employees are more likely to be forthcoming about problems they’re facing if they’re engaged with their work. If the door to your proverbial office is always closed, some may not feel inclined to knock. But, if engagement is high and actively encouraged, you’re more likely to receive feedback from your remote teams that will help you resolve critical issues.
- More Positive Company Culture — When employees feel listened to and understood, everyone within your organisation benefits. High employee engagement promotes accountability, where everyone takes responsibility for their work and has a stake in the outcome of a given project.
- Continual Development Opportunities — In a remote working environment, it’s easy for continued personal development to slip out of focus, leading to a lack of growth. By actively seeking out ways to engage employees, you’re encouraging them to think about developing personally and professionally.
At its essence, flexible working patterns allow employees more time working from home or at a location of their choice. As a result, employees typically have less face-time with their managers and colleagues. Is there a way businesses can bridge the gap to drive engagement?
Using Video to Promote Employee Engagement
Video is effective in relaying complex or nuanced information, but it was a previously underutilised medium due to the complexity of creating, editing and publishing videos. With the dramatic rise in popularity and accessibility of video creation platforms for businesses, more organisations are putting visually compelling communications to the forefront of their internal communications strategies.
When compared to more traditional communication methods, video wins on all fronts:
Audio-based communication such as telephone calls can be useful in conveying simple information quickly. However, the visual component of the conversation is missing, making complicated ideas difficult to explain. It also makes tricky conversations with employees harder than they need to be, as this type of communication relies on tone of voice and a careful choice of words instead of the vast array of subtle body language cues and facial expressions that make up everyday human interaction.
Text-based communication has a place in promoting engagement, but it isn’t without its flaws. Important information in text format should be short and concise; otherwise, you run the risk of losing the interest of your audience. After all, nobody likes looking at a seemingly endless block of text, especially when distractions are rife when working from home.
So how does video fit into the employee engagement equation?
How to Use Video in the Flexible Workplace
Video can be used to great effect and in a huge range of situations to promote employee engagement:
- Use Video Calls for Meetings: One of the easiest ways to implement video into your day-to-day operations is by introducing video calls for meetings. Apps like Zoom and Google Meet are perfect for holding one-to-one or group meetings with colleagues. They make calls a lot more personal and help drive engagement by forcing employees to be present during meetings.
- Create Video Announcements: If company-wide emails and announcements are being missed, unread, or simply disregarded, it might be because your employees don’t find them helpful (or interesting). This can be disastrous for morale. Instead, opting to use a short, compelling video is much more intriguing. It’ll pique the interest of remote-working employees more than an emoji-filled update.
- Enhance Training and Development Resources: Written checklists and task lists are always useful, but videos can add another dimension to your training materials. By including videos as part of your training, you can offer greater insights into why your processes should be performed in a specific way. This helps add context to your employees’ roles, allowing them to perform to the best of their ability and even come up with suggestions for improvements.
- Flatten the Hierarchy of Communication: Usually, companies operating with a strict communications hierarchy – where ideas are passed upwards through the chain of command – never reap the benefits of their employees’ ideation. Building a sense of community within your organisation will set the precedent for employee engagement, allowing employees to be seen and heard, no matter their position. Introduce team members and team leaders through video to break down potential communication barriers. This will encourage employees to actively participate in group meetings and put their good ideas forward.
- Promote Internal Events: Company events provide great opportunities for your different departments to spend time with each other virtually and in person. When employee engagement is purely virtual, attendance at your company’s real-world events is never guaranteed. Many people are getting used to the idea of working from home, establishing new, healthier routines, and attending real-world events may be a bone of contention. Virtual events like after-work socials are a good substitute, but they’re harder to promote effectively.
Using videos to promote your company’s social calendar can inspire employees to get involved, leading to greater engagement and participation. It can also help reassure people that COVID-safe policies will be in place to protect them when hosting real-world events. Creating a visual recap of previous events or a teaser for upcoming events will get your employees excited about being involved, instead of drearily explaining to them why attendance is mandatory.
Improving Engagement with Video
Flexible working models are beneficial for most employees, but they can cause issues with engagement, spawning a myriad of issues with company morale and employee retention further down the line. Fortunately, there are several ways to promote positive engagement by bolstering your internal communications. Video has the potential to enhance company-wide communications, especially in flexible working environments, so consider adopting future-facing technologies to keep your company on track.