“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” - Simon Sinek
Your team members are the basis of your business success. When they are engaged, they are emotionally invested in the success of your team and will do their best to contribute. Engagement isn’t just something that happens though, it takes some effort to cultivate, especially if your team is spread out and working virtually.
For busy executives, engagement is important, but it can often take a backseat to the other key tasks on their plates. Fortunately, virtual administrative professionals may be in a position to help. Here’s how:
Why invest in virtual engagement?
Engagement is about much more than employee satisfaction scores, it’s about fostering a sense of belonging and feeling invested in the success of the company. In one human capital trends survey, 79% of respondents felt that fostering a sense of belonging in the workforce was important to their organization’s success.
When the team works virtually, it’s easy for people to fall into their little silos and feel disconnected from everyone else. This can be a danger zone for companies because when employees disengage, it’s often a short step before they’re looking elsewhere for that sense of belonging.
Investing in measures to improve virtual engagement can:
- Help you to retain skilled, valued employees.
- Improve employee productivity. In fact, Gallup found that companies with engaged workforces outperform competitors in earnings per share by 147%.
- Result in higher-quality work from your employees.
- Help to improve overall employee mental health and wellbeing.
- Help to facilitate better communication. Engaged employees feel comfortable communicating in the virtual environment and will offer their ideas and feedback.
- Help to lower any absenteeism. Engaged team members want to be present and are less likely to feel demotivated about doing their work.
- Help to boost customer satisfaction. Engaged employees tend to really show up for clients and do their best to give them a good experience.
What can administrative professionals do to help?
There are a number of things that an administrative professional can do to help boost virtual team engagement:
Help manage communication
Communication is an ongoing challenge, especially in virtual workplaces. It can be easy to get caught up in all the tasks you have to do and forget about communicating with the team, and yet, team communication is a vital component of building engagement.
Your team wants to hear from you! They want to know status updates, share in good news and hear about any employee recognition. This helps them to feel more connected to the company and importantly, to those in leadership roles.
Putting together those communications can be time-consuming and often ends up falling into the “later” pile for busy executives. A virtual administrative professional who has their finger at the pulse of company happenings is in the perfect position to put those communications together. That might mean they do most of the legwork in preparing emails or other communications before the executive signs off and sends it out. This is a great way to ensure that the team does hear from management regularly.
Put together engagement surveys (and report back)
Engagement surveys can be a great way to get an inside view into how your employees see you. A well-designed survey encourages employees to offer candid feedback and to feel safe in doing so. Companies can learn valuable insights that can help shape how they work.
Administrative professionals can often put those surveys together using tools such as SurveyMonkey. They can also research the sorts of questions that should be asked and help to design a survey based on the goals of the company. The EA can then send out the survey and follow up with reminders to complete it by the due date.
Once the survey has been distributed and results have come back, administrative professionals can analyze those results and pull out key insights to report back. They can sit down with leadership and review those findings, along with any action plans as a result.
Organize recognition or activities that boost morale
Injecting any sort of fun into the workplace tends to help boost morale and belonging, as does recognition of team members. Virtual administrative professionals are great at keeping track of things that should be recognized, such as birthdays, team wins, and individual achievements. Find ways to celebrate virtually, even if it’s a simple message in the Slack channel. People tend to feel good about being recognized and it also communicates the message that the team is valued.
EAs can also organize fun team activities from afar. Many virtual teams struggle with ideas for bringing everyone together, but there are lots of things you can do. A whole industry has built up around “virtual fun” for teams!
For example, some companies have “team coffee” via Zoom when they want to get together. They might send everyone a gift card for coffee so that they can order their favorite beverage. There are also fun activities associated with platforms like Slack or Zoom. For example, apps such as Trivia Games | Virtual Coffee for Slack allows you to set up fun games or quizzes to help bring everyone together. There are also various companies that run virtual team events on Zoom.
An AP is great for both researching options and organizing what you can do as a team.
Resources for administrative professionals
Here are some resources that administrative professionals can use to help boost virtual engagement:
- Slack. The cool thing about Slack is that it’s an easy form of communication that can be used for all manner of team engagement activities. From trivia games to creating a channel specifically for giving shout-outs to team members, it’s a great way to pull everyone together.
- Virtual holiday party ideas. This list has 33 ideas you can use to create some fun around the holidays, or, of course, you could adapt these ideas for any time of year. Adjust for things like people who don’t observe certain holidays.
- SurveyMonkey. Use this popular tool to put together engagement surveys for your team. Use either email, Slack or your task management tool to remind people to complete it by the due date.
- Loom. Loom is a video messaging tool that provides you with a great alternative to typing walls of text. You can record screen shares as you talk and quickly get messages out to the team. Use it for things like sharing good news or communicating about results so that the team can see. It may be a good option if you’re not able to hold a team meeting, and allows for the message to be recorded as you have time.
“To win in the marketplace…you must first win in the workplace. I’m obsessed with keeping employee engagement front and center.” - Doug Conant, CEO Campbell’s Soup.
That about sums it up. If you can cultivate an engaged team, then you have a much better chance of doing well in the marketplace because your team performance will excel.
Virtual administrative professionals are in the perfect position to help boost engagement among remote teams. They have a close connection with everything that is happening. Your AP can research and find the right tools and activities to suit your team dynamic.
Looking for a great virtual administrative professional for your company? Worxbee recruits the best. Talk to us today about how we can help you.