Inspire 2021: Create a Plan to Inspire WFH Employees

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Trends change. I’m writing this blog in November 2020, and trend watchers estimate that ten years’ worth of change has been compressed into the last nine months.

Our kids are learning (or struggling) with virtual education. Walmart's online orders are up 79% while local, small businesses are financially stressed. We are no longer gathering with friends at our favorite neighborhood restaurant but searching for unique to-go options. We have sat on our sofas, watching Netflix, for an extra 500 hours per person.

Holiday ads have a drop-ship-gifts theme. This also includes ideas for motivating a business team during the holiday season.

Our work teams joined the work from home (WFH) force with a flurry of Zoom calls last Spring.  Now, we hear, “That’s not worth a Zoom…can’t you just send me a Teams message?”

Inspire 2021 plan

How do we motivate those suffering from Trend Whiplash? How do we keep our team motivated, and how do we inspire? That is the business question for 2021.

Now is the time to create your Inspire 2021 plan. Inspiration sparks in many ways, but here are 3 foundations to include during the planning phase. 

  1. Complete a review of 2020. What inspired your team in 2020, and what ideas failed? As a business leader, how can you improve upon what works and suspend anything that is demotivating? It is time to ask a lot of questions.
  2. Technology innovation and assistance may lead the way to inspire and motivate. What tools are available for your 2021 plan? And how do they fit with your productivity and security roadmap?
  3. Employees need a sense of belonging. How do you create an environment and best practices to support remote employees?

A review of 2020

Of course, business mistakes were made in 2020. In Spring 2020, business leaders across the nation had to make quick decisions and transition to a WFH environment. Some ideas and decisions lead to a surge in creativity.

Other decisions had unintended consequences, and they demotivated the workforce. IT managers scrambled to create secure VPNs, and HR managers crafted new protocols.

In 2020, MainSpring created a Work From Home Guide, and it quickly became one of our most popular blogs. Now is the time to review the Guide and adjust your 2021 plan.

Remember, some ideas may motivate one team and leave another group feeling unsupported.  Now is the time to talk with your business team leaders and mentors. It’s time to survey your employees.

In addition to the MainSpring WFH Guide, here are two helpful blogs and stories created by our team:

  1. Securing Communication Channels During COVID-19
  2. The Risk of a Distributed Workforce

Technology that motivates

As technology managers and integrators in the Virginia, Maryland and DC region, MainSpring knows the importance of technology is the WFH pie. Some technology solutions can keep your employees engaged, ease the stress and  inspire collaboration.

As you are planning to inspire in 2021, be sure to include technology upgrades. Do your employees need new laptops, tablets, touch-screen monitors, or upgrades to software? How about collaboration tools or even a custom mobile application that fits your process neatly? 

In 2020, many companies focused on technology security and policy within their WFH plan. As we head into 2021, it appears that many of us will continue to work from home. One way to keep your WFH team motivated is to improve technology and tools.

It is also time to review the year with your IT team and managers. What are their ongoing needs? Consider that it may be a wise business process decision to hire consultants or even a Virtual CTO. 

A Virtual CTO can tap into a wide range of experience and technology professionals to bring the latest WFH solutions to your company. A diversity of talent and ideas may just be the spark that your company needs to excel in 2021.

“It’s like a mini-discovery chat with a group of heavyweight tech-leads whenever you need to make a vital technology decision”—4 Reasons You Need a Virtual CTO. At MainSpring, we believe that 2021 will be the year of technology trends and the Virtual CTO.  Are you ready?

A sense of belonging

Indeed, the first step to fostering a sense of belonging is to survey your employees. Their feedback matters and should be integrated into your 2021 plan.

Recently, I read a study by that found that 19% of WFH employees feel lonely during the workday, and 80% wish that co-workers would communicate more often. Perhaps, it is wrong to surmise that our employees want to be in a home bubble and complete work without collaboration. 

Recently, I posted a blog about onboarding new remote employees. As we fine-tune our corporate policies and procedures,we must ensure that we include "human interest." The way to keep employees, attract WFH talent, and inspire is a sense of belonging.

Launch 2021

Trends have changed in 2020, especially business trends. Call it whiplash or shellshock, but most of us are feeling the impact of rapid change. It is not too late to create an Inspire 2021 plan.

MainSpring is a technology solutions provider in the DMV region. How can we help you create a 2021 plan?