Employee Engagement during the era of Work From Home
With the pandemic, industries have started testing and implementing Work From Home policies globally. The demand for conferencing tools and collaboration software is very high, with educational institutions pivoting to video tools to keep on teaching. All industries are showing a trend of not wanting to settle and instead choosing to be highly innovative and agile in order to ensure that business is not affected.
With most of the global workforce working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employee engagement is falling across industries. With employees not getting constant exposure to the company culture, it is difficult to maintain the organizational culture remotely. it is easy to lose organizational identity in such a unique time.
Since this is an issue that is prevalent across industries, across geographies and across hierarchies, this has become a critical problem that some of the largest companies in the world have begun to address already. Industry stalwarts like RB, Amazon, Mahindra and several companies in the Bajaj Group of companies have taken to virtual volunteering, a concept which has been steadily growing in popularity in recent years. More and more companies are coming forward to explore virtual volunteering for themselves.
Virtual volunteering is as simple as it sounds: volunteering virtually using the internet or your phone to contribute to a particular cause. This is not to be confused with micro-volunteering, which focuses more on small individual acts in a silo. Virtual volunteering is a broader concept that can involve virtual interaction with social organizations as well as direct beneficiaries. Moreover, virtual volunteering can be both effort-intensive and skill-intensive, both of which are properties that micro-volunteering lacks.
Virtual volunteering can involve projects like preparing educational materials for the children who are missing out on school because of the pandemic, translating storybooks into regional languages so children can keep reading during the summer vacations, making a marketing plan for an NGO trying to reach out to a wider audience or solving the supply-chain issues that NGOs are running into due to the pandemic. These are all activities that can be undertaken from the comforts and, more importantly, the safety of our homes. Just like on-ground volunteering, these activities are incredibly high on impact.
Ensuring that employees have a way to keep giving back to their communities even in times of such global distress ensures that employees stay aligned with the values of their companies. Pivoting to virtual volunteering expresses that no matter what happens, the employees of the company will always be given the opportunity to contribute to society.
Furthermore, many virtual volunteering projects are big and require collaboration among volunteers. These projects can help teams stay connected even while maintaining appropriate social distance. Constant communication and collaboration outside of work are more important than ever right now because having lunch together or sharing a kind word with a coworker at the water cooler is no longer an option. Employee engagement professionals understand the importance of promoting interactions among employees that are not directly related to the business and virtual volunteering is a great tool to achieve this.
At Goodera, we have curated a slew of virtual volunteering opportunities across cause areas, ranging from education to healthcare and fighting COVID-19. With almost all of our clients opting for virtual volunteering, we feel there is a definite shift in the industry and virtual volunteering will continue to be an integral part of employee engagement in the future, even after normalcy has been restored.
If you’d like to start some of these initiatives and start virtual volunteering in your organization to fight COVID-19, click here.