Although many food and beverage companies have to bring employees into their facilities daily to make food (manufacturers and restaurants) or sell food (grocery and convenience stores), others have settled into a new routine that doesn’t involve coming into a work building every day. Finding a rhythm that works and ways to be productive, ensuring deadlines are met and projects are completed has been the focus since March 2020.
But is your remote work arrangement the best one for your employees and the company? Will it be successful for the immediate future and in the long run?
Will your company culture that was in place before quarantine withstand the challenges of isolation? Will it ensure that employees and managers will be successful, productive, and engaged, without being in the same room? Below are some tips that may help:
1) Establish routines for communication, team connectivity, and goal setting.
It’s vital for managers to have regular conversations with their employees. Now that in-person meetings aren’t possible, do the next best thing: Video calls on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, or other similar platforms. This is the closest thing to face-to-face meetings now, and it’s a tool that companies with permanently remote workforces or employees have been utilizing for years. These personal conversations are a chance to check-in, make sure expectations are set and understood, and allow for the opportunity to discuss any issues, concerns, or problems that might be brewing.
Building on that, it’s essential for entire teams to have regular conversations too, not just side chats, but as a group. The longer people who usually work in the same physical space are separated, the easier it is for employees to start to feel isolated and unsupported.
Discussing expectations and projects as a group helps to keep team members on the same page. It’s a reminder that everyone’s working together towards a common goal.
A culture of support and connectivity breeds trust among managers and their employees.
2) Make sure everyone has the tools they need.
Without access to the right technology and communications tools, even the most organized and envisioned remote work situation could falter. An unreliable laptop can spell disaster for both an individual employee and a whole project. Does everyone on your team have the technology they need to do their job outside the office? If not, find ways to make those resources available, even if it means reimbursing someone for a purchase. This includes items like web cameras for team meetings and calls, headsets if the person frequently takes orders or needs their hands free to take notes, proper WiFi speed connection or hotspot.
There are benefits to having strong communication practices. Read more.
3) Shift the focus from daily productivity to meeting the target.
Remember that everyone – managers and employees alike – is possibly working remotely for the first time. Some might be juggling increased family responsibilities while adjusting to new distractions and the mental stress of readjusting their lives. The goal of finishing a project successfully for a client is the most important outcome. If it takes a little longer to do good work, managers should keep their employees’ new normal in mind. If something is slipping too far off track, however, it’s reasonable to discuss expectations and, if needed, consider shifting responsibilities to other employees.
Employees who know their managers have their backs and understand they’re working as hard as they can are more likely to feel valued and will be more engaged and work harder.
4) Continue to provide opportunities for growth and development.
It might seem impossible to offer or encourage training or acquiring new skills. Still, it’s important to remind employees that the company is willing and ready to invest in their professional development. Countless online learning courses and tools have been available for years, and with more people now working remotely, those offerings are sure to keep expanding. Studies have shown employees are more engaged with and committed to employers that support their desire to learn, grow, and build new skills. Engaged and fulfilled employees are also less likely to leave unexpectedly.
Culture doesn’t exist only in an office
The world has changed in recent months, and remote work is likely to be a big part of the food and beverage industry going forward for those who work in more corporate settings. A successful company will go the extra mile to ensure that the positive, encouraging culture that existed on-site continues as the team is spread out.
Kinsa Group has been a trusted ally for the food and beverage industry for 35 years and continues to provide remote recruiting support daily across North America. Contact us today for more information on how we can work together to attract strong workers – remote or onsite – to your company.
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