Work models are changing in the wake of COVID-19. Many organizations have switched to entirely remote models while others are opting for hybrid workplaces, preferring employees only come into the office a couple of times per week.
These models are helping employees to feel safer and achieve a stronger work/life balance. One worry that many businesses have, though, is that having a remote or hybrid workforce is going to cut into their ability to implement or further their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Your organization can improve its efforts by asking the right questions.
Are All Employees Getting Equal Facetime?
Oftentimes, those who receive the most facetime with superiors are more frequently granted raises or promotions. It is important to remember that right now, a disproportionate number of women need to work from home to support children who either cannot or are not comfortable going back to full-time in-person schooling.
Make a point to reach out to employees who are more strongly affected by COVID and are working primarily from home. They deserve equal facetime as those who are able to make it into the office more regularly.
Schedule weekly one-on-ones via Zoom or even just phone calls to get an update on their projects as well as their feelings on their current work environment.
Are You Providing Enough Digital Training?
Some people are naturally tech-savvy or were brought up with technology while others may not have had the same kind of access. Providing not only the tools to work remotely but the training to work with the company’s technology is crucial.
This type of training may require you to bring employees into the office unless they are comfortable learning over a platform like Zoom. Either way, be sure to provide people with the support that they need to thrive in a digital environment.
Are Remote Management Techniques Used to Support or Police?
Research shows that management techniques and strategies often depend on the gender or race of the people being managed. When employees do not feel trusted to do their jobs or feel like they are constantly being policed, they are often less productive, not more.
Instead of using your ability to remotely access your employees’ computers to spy, use it to support through training or project collaboration. You should also take a hard look at your current practices. Are you treating your employees with equity when it comes to reviewing their work and checking in? Self-checks are important for any DEI effort.
Have You Reviewed the Data?
The most powerful DEI effort tool that you have in your corner is data. Take a look at how you have approached managing employees. Sit down with the whole management team as well as your human resources (HR) team or DEI advisor to take a look at everything as a whole. The more you know about the way your team has been working, the better you can create a strategy going forward.