At Healy Group, we place a high value on positive interactions with our clients. Our Healy Spirit workplace culture encourages client connection, outstanding personal service, and creative solutions.
As employees shift to working from home, here are some practices our team is using to stay engaged with each other and our clients while continuing to live the Healy Spirit.
Suit-Up the Team
Make sure your team has the hardware, software, and training they need to work from home.
At a minimum, your company should employ at least one platform that employees can use to communicate with one another. Some options include Google Hangouts, Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business. Access to email and a secure network is also a necessity.
We checked with each employee to make sure they had laptops or personal computers with a strong internet connection at home. In some cases, we allowed employees to take home the computers they use at work. If they had issues connecting to our network, we helped them arrange remote IT help.
At Healy Group, we use an online in/out board to help our receptionists and colleagues track the availability of our employees. Each day, we log into the board and update our status. Our status options are: in, working remotely, gone for the day, vacation, and in an out of office meeting. That helps our support staff quickly address requests and direct them to the right people. Since most employees are now working remotely, it’s even more important to remind employees to log in and note their availability.
Even the best preparations can still run into technical snags. Many employees have children e-learning and spouses working from home alongside them, so their internet connections can tend to slow down. To alleviate some of the frustration of slow internet connections, a strategy that some of our employees have adapted is setting aside certain hours certain family members can use the internet. Others suggest that you just might need to remain patient with the slowness.
Remote workers are proven to benefit from technology that enables video conferencing, as it mirrors face-to-face connections. Virtual meetings are the new way to connect with family, co-workers, and clients. At Healy Group, we use Zoom for department meetings, client meetings, and other employee gatherings. The key is to choose a platform and connect frequently. Make sure that employees are comfortable with any new technology you acquire to prevent any confusion. Be patient. It might be clunky in the beginning as your team learns to manage and use the new tools.
Employees and clients may face adversity adjusting to their new routine and dealing with the uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing. Staying connected and sending the message that you care is paramount. Healy Group is conducting virtual department meetings to stay connected and check in on our colleagues.
To maintain a sense of community and humor, we’ve been posting fun pictures on the Healy Group Facebook page of our work-at-home furry and family co-workers, stay-at-home weekend activities, and our new routines. Additionally, co-workers are sharing funny videos through email to keep spirits high. It’s not the same as sitting around the lunch table with your colleagues or chatting with friends in the kitchen, but for now, it’s a way to relieve the stress of not having those connections.
Likewise, we are checking in with our clients, not to sell or promote new products, but to show concern, offer support and answer questions. Need to make a presentation to a client or carrier? You can upload PowerPoint presentations and other documents and data on most virtual meeting software.
We use virtual meetings to help create a sense of routine and normalcy. Do you have regularly scheduled meetings or events? Use virtual meeting platforms to continue these routines when possible. For example, Healy Group women who participate in a monthly spiritual reflection about a common reading are continuing to meet on Zoom once a month.
Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Your clients and your team want to hear from you. They want to know that you are there for them. Keeping in touch with your clients now can make a difference down the line. They’ll remember you called or sent an email or helped them troubleshoot a problem. Even if your clients don’t have access to computers, you can still check in with them by phone.
Keeping Employees Engaged and Happy
One of the biggest challenges employers face when their employees are working from home is keeping them happy and engaged. The following are five ways that you can boost remote employee engagement:
Recognize good work
Encourage work-life balance
Demonstrate a collaborate culture
Be compassionate and understanding
The COVID-19 pandemic has required employers to take actions like asking all employees to work from home to protect their health. Telecommuting is a great way for employees to do their work without risking exposure to the disease, but it comes with its own set of challenges.
At Healy Group, the Healy Spirit continues. It has definitely been challenging, but, nevertheless, Be Better, Love Wins, Do the Right Thing, and Make it a Great Day is the glue that holds the Healy Group and our client relationships together.
Be Safe. Be Well. We are available. Contact us by phone or email with your questions or concerns.
About the Author:
Scott Johnson is the director of purpose and passion, and a mentor, leader, and head cheerleader for Healy Insurance division. In his professional life, Scott embraces the Healy Spirit, helping others and giving value first. He is also the author of Insurance Caffeine, an E-magazine featuring commercial and personal insurance-related topics.