Intentional connections with employees key to strengthening remote work environments
Time and time again, research from the O.C. Tanner Institute has found that executive leaders who cultivate genuine connection with their employees create a sense of belonging that bolsters engagement, strengthens workplace culture and ultimately drives business goals.
Reminding people how they individually and uniquely contribute, and how it ties in to shareholder value and overall purpose, has never been more critical, says Gary Beckstrand, Vice President at the O.C. Tanner Institute. And as organizations are faced with the extra hurdle of remote teams, “finding opportunities to connect and support one another is a leadership refocus.”
“Leaders are moving from doers to influencers, and intentionally reinforcing that role to connect,” Beckstrand, who recently moderated a series of roundtables with HRD Canada, says. “The skillset is moving from a traditional approach to leadership to a different, more modern approach.”
The question is, will these marked changes in how leaders and employees interact continue as organizations move forward with back to work plans? The answer, according to the experts who participated in the roundtable discussion, is that they’ll have to.
Susan McGann, Senior Director, Enterprise Learning at ADP Canada, says she loves the increased emphasis on connecting because it recognizes the fact that we aren’t face-to-face any longer.
“There’s no water cooler to walk around — we have to create a water cooler-esque experience in a virtual space,” she says, noting one way ADP is doing that is by encouraging senior leaders to write blogs about their experiences that “give everyone an opportunity to lean in and understand their world.”