It’s clear that unprecedented change is impacting every business, even if this seismic shift hasn’t impacted your bottom line. You and your team are in a state of continuous transition and are trying to plan for an unrealized future. This high level of uncertainty is exhausting and can easily cause irreparable damage to your company’s overall morale and to individual employee engagement.
Employee engagement is a serious and real indicator of how your company is performing now, and, most notably, how it will perform in the future. Engagement must be tracked, analyzed, and supported proactively. This is a huge undertaking for any executive, especially if your team is working remotely and you can’t rely on in-person engagement initiatives. Luckily, you can leverage the expertise of your executive assistant to keep a pulse on engagement, execute cultural initiatives, and provide insights that will help you make better decisions.
An employee engagement survey is a great first step in understanding your team’s needs. If you don’t have a measurement system in place, your executive assistant can look into companies like CultureAmp and Qualtrics that specialize in creating employee engagement surveys. This research will help you and your assistant understand the basics of measuring engagement, what types of questions are most helpful, and how and when to deploy the questionnaire to your company.
If you already have an employee engagement survey you’re happy with, your executive assistant can help you collect, synthesize, and process the results. While it’s still important for you as a leader to read through the results yourself, delegating the deployment, collection, and organization of the data to your assistant is not only viable, but a huge time saver.
If your company has struggled with employee participation in the survey, ask your assistant to own the communication plan with regular reminders across email and Slack. Some companies find it helpful to create organization- or team-wide incentives for 100% participation.
Communicating openly and regularly with your team is critical to helping your employees feel connected to the company. Rather than setting up another Zoom meeting, what are alternative ways you can communicate and how can your assistant help?
Your assistant can draft and send company-wide, weekly emails with updates from each team, reminders about upcoming milestones or events, and even personal tidbits like what you’re reading or watching that week. These brief emails get everyone on the same page for the week and serve as a signal for people that the week has begun—a way to start together, remotely.
Your assistant can help with your company’s all-hands meetings as well. If you have a presentation template, have your assistant add fun or uplifting slides for celebrations and shout outs submitted by employees that thank their coworkers for a job well done. Remote working makes it difficult for people to see what their colleagues are working on or what’s happening with other people at the company—so it’s especially important to highlight success and make the team feel whole.
Researching cultural initiatives
As many offices have closed, some of the perks and benefits that your team enjoyed may not exist anymore. What are the perks your team misses the most? How can they be replicated, substituted, or reimagined? Your assistant can look into inventive options and research initiatives other companies have implemented. Here are a few examples you can delegate to your assistant:
- Gifting. Your assistant can coordinate sending your team something special like new swag, plants for their home office, or coffee/tea delivery. They can even look into the results of your employee engagement survey and map out activities or perks based on your team’s interests.
- Slack integrations. Companies like Donut plug into Slack and automatically connect colleagues and encourage them to take a break for a brief, virtual hangout. Your assistant can also work with your IT team to implement a birthday or anniversary Slackbot reminder by using a tool like Zapier. And finally, they create new Slack channels dedicated to something other than work—a book club, a new TV show, or one simply for memes.
- Home office stipend. Your team might be missing some of the usual equipment found in the physical office—a supportive desk chair, a monitor, a mouse, a computer stand, etc. Your assistant can poll your team to find out their wants and needs for a comfortable home set-up and then coordinate buying and those shipping items.
Employee engagement is paramount to retention, recruiting, productivity. While you can’t outsource how invested you are in employee engagement, there are so many ways you can leverage your assistant to help—allowing you to think deeper about your business and the people who make it run.