Our Digital Employee Experience
Our team here at Giesler is fully remote, working from our homes across the east coast, including Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. As our team has grown over the last two years, we’ve learned a lot about how to best work together over long distances. As your company and team starts planning for 2023, here are some of the things we have learned to help make our experience working together digitally not only great, but effective.
A lot of big companies tend to be bogged down with a lot of unnecessary or overly long meetings. So, when planning and running meetings, remember:
Have a set weekly meeting to discuss the most critical topics. If your team needs daily stand-ups, keep them brief and on point.
Include time in your meetings for team members to give feedback, ask questions, and contribute to problem-solving. Feeling that your voice is heard and valued is extremely important.
Think – does this need to be a meeting? Can it be shared and understood in a Teams or Slack message, or by email?
If a team member can’t make it to the meeting, consider recording the meeting so they can get the full picture later if they need to.
Create a list of do-outs if appropriate, so everyone knows exactly what they need to do to follow-up.
Outside of meetings, what is the best way for your team to communicate? For some, it may be Teams or Slack. Others, by text, email, or phone calls.
Consider team preferences and schedules, such as if they are on the road frequently, so they may prefer text for quick answers or email for longer ones.
Be flexible and respect team members boundaries. Working from home does not mean they are on call 24 hours a day. One team member’s boundaries may be different than another’s.
Make sure important projects are documented in a location that all the team members involved can access. It could be a task board, an excel document, or a shared calendar (or all of the above), but make sure it is updated frequently. This makes sure nothing slips through the cracks, especially for small teams working on multiple projects together.
Be careful with how many emails you send. Inboxes can get overwhelming! A quick message on Teams or Slack is sometimes all that you need.
“Don’t assume,” is a phrase applicable to many things, but in particular, don’t assume your team knows how to do or use something. It is better to provide training in several key areas:
What programs does your company use in its day-to-day operations? Most programs offer free tutorials, such as through Microsoft Support for its suite of products. YouTube is also another great tool to learn basic functionality, as well as more in depth tips.
Are there rules and regulations your industry needs to follow? For example, in the Department of Defense (DoD) Contracting space, we are required to follow the Federal Acquisitions Regulation (FAR), the principle set of regulations regarding procurement practices in the United States and the Defense Federal Acquisitions Regulations Supplement (DFARS), the supplemental source of regulations to the FAR. It is important for team members to be aware of and follow these types of regulations.
Cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is a vital piece of any business, and the weakest link of it tends to be employees. 95% of all cybercrime and security breaches are due to human error. 81% of security breaches are due to weak or stolen passwords. Anyone working in person or remote needs basic training in cybersecurity best practices.
Is working remotely for everyone? No. For some industries and companies, in person is a necessary component. For some people, they work best in person away from distractions at home. For our team and many others, our digital experience is an every evolving one, but one that works best for us.