Now more than ever, having an engaged workforce is vital – both for employees’ own wellbeing and for that of the organisation. In uncertain times, workers often crave a sense of purpose to distract themselves from the anxieties that life might throw at them, and to give them something positive to direct their energies towards.
That meaning can come in many forms, such as the mission of the organisation and the good that it does in the world, or through the mission of the individual and the role they are playing - perhaps in ensuring their organisation can emerge from this crisis as quickly and strongly as possible. It can also come through the sense of connection that workers have with their teammates, and the feeling of camaraderie that can emerge in times such as these when we realise we are all ‘in it together’.
Creating and strengthening human connections is a key part of what we are calling the Work Made Human experience, and there are many ways to make it happen.
For starters, workers might no longer be working together physically, but that doesn’t mean they can’t stay in regular communication, and can’t also be recipients of the feedback and praise they might normally receive through casual interactions in the workplace.
Volunteering is another critical activity that can help connect a person to their workplace and colleagues. Not all volunteering needs to be via offsite activities – there are plenty of opportunities for workers to provide a range of services online, such as counselling – something that is especially critical in these stressful times. Organisations that find these opportunities and enable workers to participate will strengthen connections by helping workers also satisfy their need to ‘do more’ at this time.
And as we have already learned in our personal lives, digital technology can provide amazing opportunities to connect people with similar interests from anywhere in the world. In this current time where working from home is commonplace and the walls of the office are starting to dissolve, this is the perfect time to encourage and support workers to find kindred spirits in other locations – especially for multinational organisations – and build tribes that are bonded by shared interests and skills.
There are many tools a HR leader can deploy to help create these connections, from messaging and social applications to apps for monitoring wellness and managing work/life balance. Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM offers a number of ways to create these connections. For example, Connections is a tool to help employees find their tribe. It combines a directory and organisation chart with a personal profile for employees, enabling colleagues to share messages by ‘writing’ on their ‘walls’.
Another resource is Oracle Work Life (part of Oracle Cloud HCM) which includes fun, gamified apps. Workers who enjoy bonding around physical fitness might enjoy the My Wellness app, which can help them keep track of their activity and create competitions amongst colleagues. Similarly the My Volunteering app provides the basis for a comprehensive volunteer program, with personalised recommendations for workers based on their profiles, and makes opportunities visible across all employees.
By giving employees the tools they need to collaborate and engage more authentically, you can build engaged, motivated teams with that sense of belonging and trust.
As a HR professional, part of your role is to give workers a sense of purpose and certainty in uncertain times. Don’t forget however that you are not alone in doing so. You can join a community of more than 37,000 HCM professionals who are all keen to share ideas and experiences. We also offer a dedicated COVID-19 forum featuring webcasts with our HCM transformation experts.
We’d love for you to join the discussion, and look forward to hearing how you are creating stronger connections within your workforce.