Regardless of the size, scope, or industry your business is involved in, the effectiveness of your employee management structure is essential if you intend on keeping your company a well-oiled machine with all of its parts in proper working order. This can be hard enough when you have the luxury of having everyone in a shared workspace where access to one another is constant and immediate. Office environments also have a more tangible feeling of community, which gives managers a grasp on the “people” side of their workforce.
However, with digital workspaces bridging the geological gaps, which used to force companies into the same building, a new and interesting array of issues has emerged for HR departments to tackle in order to replicate the same kind of strong bonds between supervisors and their team.
Fortunately, the adoption of online tools and virtual workspaces doesn’t only present challenges for employee/manager relations––it also presents a whole new way to communicate with your team that can potentially go beyond the limitations of the traditional office environment.
This has in turn spawned companies that could never have existed in the offline world. Some startups have tossed the traditional workspace by the wayside in order to invest in the limitless network of de-localized employees that might be scattered across the country (or the world!). Although you have many more skilled workers to choose from, employee management can turn into a nightmare without diligent control.
There is a bright side to this new world, however. Now, the internet enables location-less business to thrive and succeed without additional overhead. With a proper understanding how to utilize the internet’s redeeming qualities, you can forge even better human relations than where previously possible.
Here are a few ways to get a business off the ground running with a smart digital HR strategy:
1. Apply Traditional Management Procedures That Can Be Adopted To The Online World
Media is easier than ever to disseminate to employees through digital means. Training videos, corporate seminars, workbooks, and employee manuals are actually much more useful to employees who use computers as their primary office tools. Showing new employees the investment you make in their initiation and training period can leave a powerful first impression on them as well.
If this is an area you’ve invested time and effort into, a well-adopted and implemented set of training resources can be amplified through an intuitive online presentation.
Virtual training media can also significantly decrease production costs since the entire process has shifted to a digital workspace. Instead of buying dated equipment, you are able to invest your resources in creating high value training materials. Publishing and printing costs are a thing of the past.
2. Use Digital Tools To Turn Weaknesses Into Strengths
Using Internet tools in innovative ways to create a more holistic relationship with your employees is more possible now than ever before. Teaching them new things and urging them to go beyond their comfort zones will forge the kinds of HR bonds that will make your company stand out as a pioneer of online team building.
The new environment also gives especially motivated employees the chance to exceed your expectations. The collaborative possibilities of these new workplaces provide a new way to build trust and a unique sense of co-ownership with your most valued workers. This is especially inclusive when your employee base is small enough to encompass everyone into this kind of experience.
Above all, make an effort not to simply emulate physical work environments online. This kind of approach is not only shortsighted in terms of beneficial team building practices; it can also prevent you from advancing your brand through digital channels that didn’t exist before.
3. Craft More Open Lines Of Communication
When your employees operate miles away from you, maintaining the kind of constant supervision over their work is impossible. Instead, a constant line of communication should be established to form a mutual sense of supervision over the state of your employee’s workflow and productivity.
Effective communication will urge co-workers to be productive from a positive influence rather than out of the stress of constant over-the-shoulder supervision. Use multiple outlets for communication as often as possible and make sure it’s not always one-sided. Use these opportunities to give them a chance to voice concerns or ask questions that come up form time to time.
All in all, employees are generally happiest when they feel like their responsibilities matter and can see the results of good work. Having a “I need this from you” mentality rather than a “do this” attitude will eventually make your workspace into a community rather than a collection of sullied drones tiring away at an endless task list.
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