As a manager or HR professional, you may be thinking about how to keep your young employees engaged when they’re working from home.
It’s important to understand what you can do to support them, and what strategies you can employ to get things back to business as usual.
Employees aged 18-30 typically bring some positive traits to the workplace – they’re ambitious, want to make a positive impact, and care passionately about alleviating societal injustices. However, they are also prone to ruffling the feathers of their older colleagues.
Yet it’s important to keep in mind that many young workers are just starting out in their careers. They may feel like they don’t deserve to be there, as they lack the experiences and achievements of older colleagues. They may be the ones always looking upwards for career progression and never getting there, or the ones trying to organise a meeting for the first time.
The thing is, working from home doesn’t make these problems go away. If anything, it only exacerbates them, as they can no longer rely on their physical presence to make people know they’re there.
It’s up to you and your HR team to pick up momentum; to reinforce the fact that business goes on, and to help your young colleagues flourish when working remotely.
Here’s our advice on how to achieve that.
1. Be honest
Even though it’s pretty stressful at the moment, there’s no need to fake positivity. It’s important to share the truth, and not to hide the negatives. You should encourage everyone to share how they really feel, which will help build meaningful relationships and a culture of honesty.
2. Check in
It’s easy to ask how someone is doing. What’s more difficult is actually listening to what they say and understanding subtle signals. This is more difficult to do when everyone’s working remotely, so it’s important to look carefully at the language colleagues use to communicate with you and to see the hidden picture.
3. No micromanaging!
Do you get involved with every project just because you can? If so, unless it’s for a legitimate reason (such as a really important, business-critical document or presentation), then it may be because you don’t trust your people to get things just the way you like. If that’s the case, and your people are intelligent, capable workers, then you’re probably micromanaging them. That can make them feel stifled and undermined, and unable to grow as they can’t claim anything as their own.
Trust your people to do their jobs.
4. Be clear
Being vague isn’t the way to build confidence. Be clear and precise with what you want to happen, with solid workable plans.
5. Don’t expect miracles when it comes to productivity
Many of your colleagues will still be getting used to working from home. For some, it may not be the ideal environment.
With distractions aplenty, stress levels up, as well as the regular temptation to check the news and social media, you may find that attention spans are dipping.
Many will also be worried about losing their jobs, particularly young people who have yet to build the resilience needed to get over these concerns. To combat this, give them the freedom to make mistakes, allowing them to bounce back stronger.
We hope that this guide will help you and your organisation make the most of the current situation.
For even more advice and guidance, then be sure to check out some of our latest articles.