Communication is always a critical best practice for nurturing and engaging a productive and loyal team. In the midst of COVID-19 uncertainty, however, it’s more important than ever.
At The Trade Desk, a global digital advertising technology company in Ventura, California, Vina Leite, Chief People Officer, says the company has been fortunate to have had a lot of prior experience with remote working and likes to think it is ahead of the game.
The company encourages a number of best practices, she says, to make employees’ remote work experiences the best they can be. She recommends a number of these to other companies hoping to keep employees engaged and productive during uncertain times:
- Preserve traditions that reinforce your culture. “Our CEO and members of the leadership team host a weekly virtual All Hands meeting that is recorded and shared worldwide, to keep everyone up-to-date with business priorities and news. These 30-minute broadcasts are filled with recognition as well as opportunities to help where needed. It is some of the most important time we spend together.”
- Encourage everyone to “step up with storytelling about ways your organization is unique, even while being remote.”
- Get together as a team more frequently than you usually would.
- Spend more time clarifying objectives and direction. “Remote communication can sometimes be confusing, so double-check that you’ve understood deliverables correctly.”
- Keep in mind that your tone and intent may not always be clear through online channels. “Some of our employees use emojis to express themselves and keep it light, while some may need to pick up the phone or use video,” she says. “Choose what is best for you.
Finally, find ways to connect that aren’t always “all about business.” Leite shares, “We have been successful at building community with a special ‘At Home’ online channel where colleagues share ideas and opportunities about everything from parenting challenges to mindfulness and creativity. Earlier this year we had a special art content that drew entries from all over the world.”
Think about what matters to your employees or what they’re interested in outside of work, and find ways to engage them in dialogue around topics of interest.
Communication matters now more than ever. Fortunately, today’s businesses have a wide range of communication tools that can help them connect with audiences wherever they are.