The virtual workplace comes with a new set of challenges that all companies needed to adapt to quickly. One of these is that relationships now require extra effort and intent to build and maintain. The absence of things like non-verbal social cues and body language often makes it difficult to “read the room.” How does this affect the relationship between employee and employer? What factors affect employee engagement, and how can we improve engagement through a computer screen?
Organization development expert, executive, and team coach, Christine J. Quinn, has spent her entire life learning about employee engagement and how to create high-performance teams. Her insights on this episode are summarized in the acronym C.H.E.C.K.
C — Change Agent
As leaders, it’s vital to create trust and build authentic relationships with individuals in the organization. But as the environment today changes and is now different from what it was a year or even a month ago, leaders also need to be able to recognize what’s happening and help employees adjust to this change. Christine says that leaders, therefore, need to be agents of change.
“I’m not going to say that [trust and relationship are] not important today, because they still are, but I think leaders need to take a step further and build on authenticity to be a true change agent. Because what’s happening is leaders need to help their employees understand the new environment and the new ways that they’re going to need to approach this new world.”
H — Hope
We often think of leaders as visionaries and those whose direction employees follow in a company or an organization. However, in times of crisis, the vision may often be unclear.
Christine says that if the vision is unclear, then leaders need to instill hope. Hope carries over, even if it means updating the current vision or developing an entirely new one.
“The future is a little bit uncertain, but employees need to be hopeful. So from [leaders] being a keeper of the vision and reiterating the vision, to the ones that instill hope. Hope is an important component in today’s environment. So that individuals and employees can focus on opportunity and priorities.”