In a Virtual Company, every second spent with an employee counts. Due to the barriers of the virtual workplace, companies must be deliberate about how they create a strong company culture that increases employee engagement and motivation. In a brick and mortar company, time is specifically allocated for training, whereas virtual companies must find ways to effectively utilize training time to also communicate and connect to their employees.
These are 5 ways to use training time to engage and motivate virtual employees:
1. Turn on your webcam! Ok so, this is one of the major benefits to working from home…gym clothes, no makeup, bed head. As the trainer, be prepared to at least give your introduction via video chat. This personalized communication will go a long way toward not only making a connection with your employees, but engaging them in your training. Encourage others to do this as well as they feel comfortable. Remember, a...
Congratulations! You’ve taken the leap and decided to start your own small business working in the Federal Government sector! You know that Federal Government contracting could lead to enormous growth for your new company. The government even sets aside specific contracts solely for small business contractors.
What is a Small Business?
Is your company
Organized for profit?
Independently owned and operated?
Not dominate in its field on a national basis?
Does your company
Have a place of business in the US?
Operate primarily within the US or make a significant contribution to U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American, products, materials, or labor?
If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, you are a small business! It is easy to assume that you automatically qualify as a small business for the purpose of federal government contracting. However, this is not the case.
As indicated in my earlier blog entry, Harkcon found many advantages to starting as a virtual company. We also encountered several drawbacks, most of which centered around lost opportunities for face-to-face interaction, sharing ideas, team-building and inter-company communications. We quickly realized that, in order to be successful as a virtual company while remaining true to our Guiding Principles and maintaining a people-centric culture, we had to identify ways to overcome these obstacles.
With some trial and error, we’ve learned to virtually replicate key features of the physical office space – be it water coolers, conference tables or break rooms – in order to create socialization “touchpoints” to address these issues and establish/maintain an environment of open communication, active collaboration, and unselfish contribution; a place where people truly enjoy their work…and working with others in the company.
“To be a successful virtual company, you need to find ways to connect your isolated workers and emphasize soft skill development as much as technical competence.”
Running a small business is a challenge. Not having your staff physically with you as you run your business could be perceived as an even greater challenge. If you’re willing to leverage today’s technology, you can “connect” with your employees, no matter where you or they are, and provide the oversight, project management, training, and social engagement all employees need. With a little foresight and planning, you can overcome the biggest obstacles of running a virtual, including:
Maintaining clear and open communication with all employees
Providing opportunities for employees to create personal and professional relationships