Remote Control: How to Foster a Culture of Learning While Working From Home

By Lawrence Schwartz, CEO at Trivie

As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you can’t (or don’t) measure. With companies now operating in a remote workforce model, measurement is not only important; it’s mission-critical. How do we ensure that employees are as productive as they could be? How do we help our teams prosper during the pandemic? How do we determine the state of mind that our employees are in; individually and as a whole? Whether Work-From-Home is strictly a “pandemic thing” or your company’s new normal, you’re going to need to figure some things out.

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Aside from the obvious health concerns, it would not be far-fetched to say that this pandemic presents one of the most challenging communication issues in corporate history. What worked with your employees all in one building, or even in multiple buildings, probably does not work now — and what didn’t work then definitely won’t work now. New strategies in communication are the new key to corporate health and employee productivity.

If you want to improve your communication dramatically, the first step is that you need to know if people are getting the message that you’re communicating. Not just participating in a Zoom call (probably on mute and multi-tasking), but actually hearing and internalizing the message. In a non-remote world, throwing a bunch of corporate information out might have been OK, but not anymore. Studies have shown that fewer than 20% of your employees will read it, but what’s worse, you have no idea how many “got it.” That’s not OK in a socially-distant, remote world where there’s no in-person training or follow up. As we help companies refine corporate training, we have found that a new communication standard is simple, easy to replicate, and can be measured.

Companies must focus on:

  1. Prioritization
  2. Transparency
  3. Measurement (remember, you can’t improve what you don’t measure)

To elaborate on these points, here are some tips from our clients that they have shared with us that mirror this process: 

“Employees need to prioritize and schedule their day. Not the meetings to have or not have, but prioritizing and scheduling everything – time for lunch, coffee breaks, dinner breaks- no work time after a certain point. A “groundhog day” schedule is not sustainable and will surely foster burnout and kill corporate culture.”

“Transparency needs to start at the top. Companies can use internal discussion tools to drive best practices among managers to their staff, and vice versa. Never before have employees had an opportunity for such free-flowing access to leadership. Companies need to embrace this new way of culture building. You should also  survey your employees to understand the emotional pulse of your staff.”

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“Measurement can only happen with data. To secure relevant data, companies need engagement through techniques that actually build and ensure engagement – like gamification. Gamifying training and other learning events are good places to start, and you can easily measure the progress.”

At some point, this pandemic will be over, and we’ll return to some sort of new normal, whatever that might be. In the meantime, now is an opportune time to examine corporate communication, invest in tools and techniques to measure this new communication paradigm, and prioritize a culture of learning.