HR’s Role : It’s time for Reinvention

The new working culture; worldwide distributed workforce and the concept of remote working

In this new era of globalization, companies have been very dynamic to adap, curfew imposed by the COVID19 has changed mentality of companies, where new strategies are being designed and implemented to create a new working culture. It is indeed a challenging step to take at first, but studies have shown that, this strategy has led to great positive results. The very essence of it to become successful, starts from the recruitment process. Companies who favor remote collaboration have put forward unique set of rules, regulations and working models to keep track of all tasks undergone by each employee; for instance, making use of software’s such as Zoom, Google drive, InVision, Webflow, Mozilla, Elastic and GitLab, Skype, Slack, Airtable, Calendly among others.

In-person interaction is no more a priority in a world where most companies are encouraging the “work from home” concept, especially for the recruitment department. With the use of advanced technologies and software such as video conferencing, meeting scheduling and information saved via the cloud, taking into consideration all the different steps included in the recruitment process and while choosing to promote the concept of distributed teams, companies have and should emphasize on creating and maintaining the feeling of being in-person even if their personnel are scattered around the globe. This will for sure brings up competitive advantages including the expansion of the potential talent pool beyond one physical place, together with providing employees with a complete sense of freedom based on the location flexibility.

Company researchers have come forward with various virtual technical solutions to be used as alternatives for in-person activities

Going back to the typical recruitment procedures; sourcing, assessing, interviewing, hiring, on-boarding as well as continuously communicating with distributed teams, the different approaches being adopted have been very unique and modern. For instance, making use of Zoom or Hangouts for virtual coffee dates to increase colleagues interaction, creating remote coding challengers for developers, using video conferencing for interviews, posting of pictures and videos on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Linked-in, Instagram among others for virtual psentation of the office, event participation as well as team bonding activities.

It is indeed important to adopt a targeted approach when assessing distributed candidates. Working remotely requires the employment of candidates who have characteristics that will fulfill the appropriate required skills, qualities and experiences. The degree of motivation, trustworthiness, dependability, availability, organizational skills as well as good communication skills become the basis for smooth operations. It thus becomes important for interviewers to ppare targeted questions to be asked during interviews. Interviewers should be sure to cover topics like candidate’s communication pferences, priorities, ways of dealing with distractions or interruptions, self-motivation and degree of autonomy. Complete transparency through cloud dashboards allows distributed teams to have a complete visibility on operations, which will as a result create a proactive mindset in cases of roadblocks and new challenges.

Not everyone can become a member of a distributed team as it requires exceptional talents

This is where the degree of creativity, pcision and proactive detailed response rate become good indicators during assessment. It is of an utmost importance to create an attractive and appealing company website with user friendly options to expose detailed job description for remote vacancies, sharing of images and videos picturing the office as well as a repsentation of employees doing home office on a world map.

Some companies came up with ideas of offering stipends to help employees purchase required tools to create a comfortable working environment at home or also providing a welcome kit to encourage maximum productivity and effectiveness. To be able to shift from in-person conversation to digital friendly options, it becomes particularly important to condition both an individual’s mindset as well as personal behavior. By putting forward the pros and showing that there are very few cons in distance working, candidates are more and more orienting their choice towards home-based jobs. A distributed workforce does not only benefit employers but is also a repsentation of an employer’s mindset where there is a great consideration for employees. Flexibility becomes a concept which is now being integrated more and more in work life thus making them feel less pssurized and more comfortable resulting in self-motivation to increase productivity.

By making use of video interviewing or video conference meeting, it is not just considered as a convenient tool, but it also creates a more inclusive experience. It gives employers and employees the possibility of recording and storing videos for future use which will eventually limit unconscious bias. It can also be used for educational purposes or as supported evidence backing hiring decisions. It is furthermore a good mean of generating automatic reports for assessments, removal of geographical barriers for recruitment and hiring processes and brings up, on a humanitarian ground, the possibility of opening doors for candidates with physical disabilities with very good profiles.

Remote interviews vary, depending on the job in question for which a candidate is being interviewed for. While interviewing a software engineers consist of assessing their coding and developing skills, interviewing a potential human resource manager is completely different where his management and psentations skills will be assessed. A company must be fully equipped with all necessary tools and software with valid licenses that he may be needing. It has indeed a snowball effect where monitoring should be done by the procurement, IT as well as legal department to ensure smooth operations.

It is important for employees to feel part of the family even if they are miles away

Leaving aside all the important professional elements involved in the way of working with distributed teams, a social working culture is of prime importance as well. Usual face to face conversation in a mess room between colleagues for example, is nonexistent in this new era. This is an element which normally gives employees a sense of belonging and ability to build up a social network. However, rather than focusing on the challenges, focusing on the re-creation of those in-person elements virtually will be more fruitful.

Organizing virtual team buildings, providing a customized email template and address including company name and link, will build up a sense of belonging. Developing a sense of belonging typically starts as from the onboarding process. The first impssion of a new hire is normally the one kept for a lifetime and determines whether the latter will stick around for a long time and grow with the company or not.  It should be the goal of a company to make new recruits feel welcomed. For example, sending welcoming or congratulation emails, make a virtual or on-site psentation to existing team members, instant integration to internal group chats, Facebook page and Instagram among other to help foster working relationships.

The main purpose of integrating a new member is of course to get the job done. But, to ease integration, it is of prime importance to set up training sessions to help them understand the tools and software being used. Leaving an employee in total darkness is a weakness which might push him away. A strategy adopted by some companies are the assignment of a mentor to help anytime needed which will indeed be very helpful during the first few months.

If a company wants to succeed, all employees must be treated equally and fair. Be it an employee working in the office, telecommuting, a freelancer or a part-timer, no one should be left aside. It is a company’s responsibility to make sure that each and every one is treated equally and accordingly. The basis is to provide all relevant information in a clear and simple way about what is expected from them. Their reporting line must be clearly specified and psented to them. No one should be forgotten when there is any social gathering be it virtually or in real life.

Every company has its own values and culture

By continuously gathering every employee for the reinforcement of these values and frequent follow up by leaders, with time, it will automatically be inculcated, thus promoting decision making aligned to it. Encouraging employees to always participate will one day make they feel like one united family.

Employee satisfaction and motivation towards continuous improvement is driven by recognition and consideration. Companies who adopt these approaches will never lose their employees for silly reasons. This empowers employees to always push themselves towards excellence.

A well designed and organized enterprise is guaranteed success if they master best management practices together with employees abiding to all established norms and values, rules, and regulations. By being completely explicit about important information such as working hours, communication channels, organized reporting line, flexibility and professional communication skills, distributed teams will only become another normal working culture. The worldwide concept of working remotely highly promotes best practices such as transparency, empathy, consideration, and recognition leading to self-motivation and excellence orientation, thus giving the best image of a company.

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