Employee Engagement Starts with a Global Connection

September 26, 2016

Employee Engagement Starts with a Global Connection

The world is your job market, thanks to the ability to work remotely, and a far more globalized landscape. There’s a wealth of interesting and purpose-filled opportunities to pursue.


For managers, that means it is also easier than ever to lose your best people. It’s a mistake to overlook the employee experience as a critical part of your digital transformation.


At Vidyo, our team is spread across many countries around the globe. I know first-hand that the engagement switch is flipped when we feel an emotional connection to our employer, and that this process begins from the moment people meet one another. Yet, employee engagement can become harder to sustain as we become more distant. Ironically, we need to leave the office behind in order to solve the biggest challenges of our time.


Employee life cycles—from onboarding to training and succession planning—need much more than exchanges of information to be successful. The foundation of the employee experience needs a living and breathing emotional component in order for engagement to gain traction. Emotional connections in the workplace, just like at home, are in the end built on consistency.  


Here are a couple ways to connect in dispersed and constantly changing work environments:


Diversity Awareness Is Extra Important for Remote Teams


While the benefits are numerous, remote teams can have mixed feelings about their setup. It can be easy to feel disconnected or isolated. A remote team used to mean New York and L.A., with a small scattering in between. Today, it means New York, L.A., Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia. By getting serious about diversity and inclusion programs, we can better understand each other in a meaningful way, improving engagement. Professional relationships fostered through simple diversity and inclusion projects can ultimately pay dividends in talent development and retention.


Spend Less Time Directing and More Time Connecting


Millennials in the workforce are generally passionate, self-directed learners, placing their trust in peer reviews, personal brands, and transparency. It’s no longer about putting in office hours but about making things happen. As a manager, focus on consistently providing them with the best tools available, and let them run with it—freeing you up as a leader to spend more time, energy, and mental bandwidth building relationships with all of your team members.


Just as we are building a talent pool without borders, by accessing emerging economies that are tied to our future, we’re at the same time steadily changing the notion of what the future of work will look like. It’s not going to be office-to-office under perfect conditions. The future of work is in the field, tackling a checklist of scientific, environmental, and humanitarian global missions. This will require resilient technology and more even more resilient teams driving these missions. Should we expect our teams to be super resilient without an emotional connection when times get tough?


Talent retention moving forward will require both a true employee experience and an emotional connection to feed it. In-person communications technology that creates seamless boundaries is helping us to do so.

The Authors: 

Tami Golan is SVP of HR at Vidyo, where she is responsible for leading the strategy and initiatives for organizational development, recruiting, performance management, compensation, and benefits across Vidyo offices worldwide.