Article | November 28, 2020
In 2019, over 4.3 million people were reportedly working remotely in the U.S. This number does not include the ones who work from home partially or temporarily. If there is one thing we can infer from this statistic, it is that remote work is bigger than ever, and it is not a mere trend or a phase.
Traditional workforces are rooted in conventional standards of productivity and efficiency. While it may work for an in-office, always available team, it is less than ideal for a remote workforce. A remote team, by the virtue of being remote, is not as connected as a physical team usually is. There are several benefits to working from home, but there are some downsides as well. As per a study by Harvard Business Review, employees who work remotely are reportedly less motivated than those who work from an office. Low employee morale can lead to lower performance levels or dissatisfaction and it your responsibility as the employer to enhance the remote experience. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain morale as and motivate your remote workforce. Here are some ways to figure out how to motivate your team:
Develop a Remote Work Culture
Work culture is a buzzword used often in terms of employee management of human resource management. But what does it really comprise of? Work culture is an amalgamation of several factors that make up your entire office experience. In an office setting, it includes everything from your tasks and processes, to the lunch timings, celebrations, water cooler conversations, and even non-work related banter.
This is an impossible feat to achieve with a remote workforce because chances are that they never meet each other or talk beyond the scopes of work. Many people believe it to be the natural course of things and leave the situation be. But because of the nature of the remote workforce, it becomes that much more important to develop a work culture. So how to keep your employees motivated and develop an office culture?
Do not try to replicate an office work culture exactly, as it isn’t possible. Instead, try to start small traditions and rituals that work for your team. Whether it is sharing what you’re having for lunch or discussing a current issue, conversations make for a better team. You can also include several virtual activities at the end of the day to help everyone cool off.
Offer Flexibility and Autonomy
You can scratch your brain for ideas to motivate your remote employees, but studies have shown that employees who work from home are already more efficient than those who do not. One of the biggest reasons why multiple studies have shown remote employees to be more productive is that they are accountable for their own work and time, which is often not the case in the office. The autonomy that comes with working remotely tends to be a powerful driver in terms of efficiency. However, employers tend to micromanage remote employees in a bid to control an uncertain situation. This not only demoralizes your employees but can also create trust issues. The best course of action is to trust your employees and let them take care of the work in whatever way they like.
Remote work can often be a lonely process. There is no one to interact with and several employees report feelings of isolation when working remotely. Google shows a severe spike in the search team ‘how to stay motivated working from home’ since early 2020. The reason could be the forced shift to remote work.
Offer support in terms of interaction and regular communication. This will make your employees realize that you genuinely care about their well-being.
There are also other forms of support such as technical and resource-based. Make sure that a tech team is available to your employees at all times for support. Also, ensure that they have all the required tools to function at their highest capacity.
Update Your Metrics
Working remotely is very different from working from an office. The lines are blurred, and the personal and professional aren’t always separate. So it makes no sense to calculate your employees’ efficiency based on factors such as punctuality or time spent on a task. Instead, update your metrics to reflect end results. Creating a result based metric system such as the OKRs will allow you to measure the true efficiency of your employees and also motivate your remote team to function more efficiently. A result based system will encourage the employees to push themselves add to their work from home motivation.
Conduct Frequent Reviews
Remote work can be an extremely efficient process if the lines of communication are clear and precise. One of the quickest ways to ensure that is to conduct frequent reviews with your employees and discuss the work, shortcomings, and achievements. This offers feedback to you as well as your employees and helps you stay on the same page. Feedback loops are a great way to motivate remote employees working in an isolated environment.
Everyone works differently and is motivated by different factors. Some employees find motivation intrinsically, while others require external motivators. In any case, incentives work as a great motivator as well as a good form of reward for most employees. Incentivizing goals for the entire team can enhance the camaraderie and team efforts while motivation the remote team.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you manage and motivate a remote workforce?
The key to managing and motivating a remote workforce is communication. Communicate with your team frequently and understand their needs. Offer feedback and take their suggestions seriously. You can also introduce virtual activities, new rituals, or even a virtual hangout session for better communication.
How do you incentivize remote employees?
While most people think of money or bonus as an incentive, the nature of the incentives is such that the cost does not matter as much as the acknowledgment of the effort. Make sure to offer incentives for completing goals rather than abstract expectations.
How does remote working increase productivity?
Remote work offers a lot more autonomy to the employees than working in the office. They are responsible for their own productivity and this motivated them to function more efficiently. The flexibility of remote work also plays into this, as employees can work within the comfort of their own home.
Article | November 28, 2020
It’s been a challenging time, but it has shed a clear light on things that need to change. The COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone to reject former routines and adopt new, socially distant ones. Protests that erupted worldwide following the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and other Black Americans inspired calls for reform and brought systemic racism, police brutality, and white privilege to the forefront of the American psyche. Maybe—just maybe—these events could produce lasting, positive change.
Article | November 28, 2020
The accelerated integration of Artificial Intelligence into HR is poised to transform the recruitment market. Its rapid expansion has advanced a long-predicted change, as the industry responds to Covid-19 and the upheaval that almost all workforces have endured.
But how can HR best embrace this swift change, ensuring that AI and human practice is synchronised, to optimise the recruitment process? David Bernard, CEO of predictive recruitment platform AssessFirst, evaluates how AI can help firms to hire, retain and develop the perfect candidate.
A year ago, if you happened to encounter discourse concerning AI and recruitment, you would likely be reading one of two types of articles. The first would explain why AI will lead to widespread job losses. The second would counter that no, in fact, AI will lead to abundant recruitment and job opportunities.
And then came the pandemic. It became apparent to most that social restrictions would stretch beyond weeks or even months and the perceived relationship between recruitment and AI shifted: from the forecast of opportunity for recruiters to the implementation of AI solutions.
The Economist referred to the adoption of new technological solutions as “tech-celeration” in a report that collated business leaders' opinions - most of which spoke of our ten year evolutionary leap in digital adoption.
For those hiring managers not able to assess candidates with traditional face-to-face thoroughness, AI has offered recruiters remarkable solutions. Rather than simply assessing degrees, scanning CVs and inviting candidates in for an interview, recruiters can use tailored, self-adapting algorithms with which to find ideal candidates.
The emergence of artificial intelligence
In a traditional recruitment process, a single person or team of people is responsible for identifying and evaluating the candidate's soft skills. The efficiency of this practice is dependent on the recruiter's experience but, even with the most adept recruiters, the process can be problematic.
The very practice of conducting an interview, which is more complex than it is credited for, can result in the recruiter missing particular candidate skills - or misunderstanding them - due to cognitive biases. Similarity bias, confirmation bias, initial impression bias, projection, and groupthink are common occurrences when we need to make quick or pressured judgments.
And there is little a recruiter can do about these biases. Since they are the result of the complexities of the subconscious, recognising when we are conceding to these biases is difficult. The probability of acknowledging them and adjusting our decisions accordingly during an interview is negligible.
So what problem is this feeding? It leads to inconsistent judgments that vary from one candidate to the next. It fuels the lack of diversity in the workforce that most HR and business leaders are trying to address.
However, AI allows recruiters to use data from behavioural assessments and provide candidates with a standardised assessment. A fair vehicle - driven by customisable parameters – so that employer and prospective employee benefit equally.
Using AI to optimise the probability of success
Although AI integration has been accelerated by the pandemic, digital adoption was already surpassing traditional recruitment processes for companies like Vodafone, Tesla, and Google. These organisations – at one time ahead of the curve - are now discovering others are following suit.
At AssessFirst, we’ve found that our customers benefit most when candidate profiles are compared to top performing employees – or any employees for that matter. This ensures that desirable personality traits and skills for a particular role are found with accuracy and precision.
The probability of success within a particular role, within a particular team, or working for a particular manager, is suddenly predictable.
The threat of AI for human autonomy
We are amid an irreversible recruitment sea-change. And some fear that AI will eventually sweep away the need for human contribution. As a CEO of a tech company, I don’t believe this to be the case. Recruiters should see AI as means to assist the process rather than replace the recruiter.
Consider the prioritising of traits over degrees. This requires the computing of data from hundreds or thousands of candidates, analysed in the context of a fluid hiring process and environment.
Handling huge quantities of data like this at speed, with accuracy is impossible for the human brain. But this is what AI is built to do. HR and hiring managers can then immerse themselves in the human aspects: leaving data-handling to the intricacies of machine learning.
Rapport-building, mentorship, work-trials, and tasks will always require the human hand and eye. And, whilst a traditional interview is far from precise and objective, offering a role to a candidate without any human interaction is, most of the time, inconceivable and immoral. The judgment of skilled recruiters allied with data collected from AI will be required and desired indefinitely.
We must also acknowledge that implementing AI gives rise to new job roles and functions. People will be required to monitor, track, and adjust algorithms and data input. And, as the scope of AI tasks increases, humans will be needed to expand and refine that input and monitoring process.
AI presents recruiters with the ability to hire and manage candidates with greater efficiency than ever before. But, as John Giannandrea, Apple’s senior vice president of Machine Learning and AI strategy, has remarked: “The real safety question, if you want to call it that, is that if we give these systems biased data, they will be biased.”
This clarifies a key concern for all recruiters. AI is not a panacea, but a greatly beneficial and essential tool that requires the guiding hand, and learned minds, of human skill and interaction.
Article | November 28, 2020
With coronavirus recently being officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), this is an issue at the forefront of most people’s minds right now. While the UK has yet to implement widespread social isolation measures (at the time of writing), the government did set out measures to mitigate the effects of the outbreak. This includes ensuring that all employees who have to self-isolate are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). In a bid to soften the blow for small businesses, the Chancellor announced that companies with fewer than 250 staff will be refunded for sick pay payments for two weeks.