If a crash course in "remote working" had a prerequisite, it would be the quick read of "How to Succeed When Things Change".
Remote working is now fundamental for many organizations if they are to succeed in the COVID-19 business landscape and beyond.
The key to remote working success is in the ability to corporately align and automate clearly defined daily functions in order to produce world-class work product and a WOW customer experience.
The technology allows us to synchronize the work we do. We are also able to use system data for multiple purposes which saves time for everyone.
The advantage goes to those who can "adapt fast".
The Short Cut To Successful "Remote Working"
Establish the workflows - A workflow, defined here as a sequence of administrative processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion. To ensure successful remote completion of these processes, the workflows must be accurate to accomplish the task, understood by the users, and automated for transparency. High quality workflows are fundamental to successful remote working. To establish a workflow, determine your world-class outcome and then back into the few steps it takes your team to produce it. Train the team regarding the requirements of each step.
Secure the right Business Management System - This is the technology, the platform, that undergirds accomplishment of the workflows. The business management system houses the virtual customer accounts, billing, accounting, dairy/follow-up, and documentation systems. Remote working is paperless working. It facilitates the remote ability of one worker to jump into the system on behalf of a vacationing worker, for example, when needed, to serve customers, suppliers and other key relationships. Identify and implement the platform that works best for your organization.
Set protocol for Worksite Set-up - Just like any onsite workstation, appropriate ergonomics is fundamental for remote working. Beyond ergonomics, the remote office set-up should replicate what people like about their in-office system while dramatically improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the work being done. We've found that three monitors works best. Here's a short but fun explanation why, IQ Drops 10 Points With Multiple Monitors".
In-Person Simulation - As quickly as the COVID-19 quarantines emerged, so did the popularity of Zoom calls. Zoom, and other similar video conferencing platforms, allow people to virtually meet. They can see the person or people they are talking to which takes the quality and impact of the call to a whole new level whether for training, an interview, taking a break together, celebrating, company wide meetings, etc. Remote working without the ability to video conference comes off flat. Without a visual connection, there's a higher risk of isolation, boredom, lack of connectivity, etc. ...very detrimental to workplace culture.
Employee Supervision - The business management system facilitates employee supervision and coaching much like it allows workers to back each other up when needed. The information and activity on the system is transparent. Supervisors are able to view the work that has been done virtually. That's why "documentation" is so important. If it is not documented, we'll have to assume it didn't happen. The workflows build proper documentation into the process which facilitates supervision and, almost more importantly, collaboration.
Virtual Training - People tend to be eager to maximize their virtual capabilities. Employee learning conducted online through an app or other virtual platform has been a highly rated way to learn even before the COVID-19 quarantines. Even employers without a remote workforce offer online training where it makes sense. Identify and implement the most important training that will be incorporated into your remote-working plan.
Culture and Connectivity - Successful remote working requires a shift in the way we lead. Leadership must be visible online. The team wants to be excited about the team they are working with and need to know how things are going. Conducting a monthly 1-hour CEO virtual state of the union meeting is critical. Also, make sure managers/supervisors virtually check-in with the people they coach at least once a month. Listen to their good news. Address their obstacles and issues. Empower them to come up with ideas. A virtual meeting goes way beyond a conference call. It is an online meeting where you can both see and talk with each other online.
Building a company with a remote workforce can be one of the most socially, environmentally, and financially healthy directions an organization can take. It can actually increase profit, EBITDA, and the business's value.
VANTREO is here to help. We stand ready to provide you with the information, education and tools to help you and your remote team navigate your insurance world online. If you would like more information or have any insurance or risk management question at all, just let us know. Reply here.