A survey last month came up with a truly unsurprising finding. Close to 70% of employees working virtually feel they suffer from a lack of communication from management.
So much for the dream of working in your pyjamas in a nice sunny room — when you feel like it, that is — and still drawing down a fat paycheque.
“Unhappy employees who are disconnected from their managers and the company cannot take ownership of the mission, goals or big picture, which is the minimum requirement for the kind of engagement that impacts a company’s bottom line,” says Lou Solomon, CEO and founder of Interact, which conducted the study among American workers.
“Today it is standard practice for corporations to have people scattered across the country and around the globe, but the success of any culture still rests on relationships and human engagement.”
Part of the problem is when you escape that little cubicle, you leave behind a lot little things you never even noticed.
- It becomes an issue to contact people in your organization
- When you take a break, there’s no-one to chat with.
- And when you are in contact, 55% of those surveyed say their boss communicates almost exclusively by email.
No wonder they feel disconnected.
The survey concludes that to keep team members engaged and ensure productivity, executives need to be intentional and strategic about building a sense of connectedness with virtual workers. Leaders can find ways to stay close to employees including methods such as:
- Holding in-person town hall meetings, allow people to ask questions, and telecast them to the entire organization.
- Shrinking the number of people on project teams to allow for intimacy and trust.
- Discouraging an email-only culture, instead relying upon programs such as Skype and phone calls.
- Investing in high-quality video conferencing equipment.
You can read about the survey here http://www.interactauthentically.com/articles/research/