Although the core remote work capabilities were functional, the county couldn’t get additional equipment to employees’ homes. Gilbertson’s department worked with vendors to distribute hardware and also with Rossman’s HR team to solicit worker feedback.
Gilbertson continued, “We wanted our staff to be flexible and responsive to the residents’ needs.” We ask for feedback even now. Is this thing helping you? Maybe we should try something different.
Stewart and her team at VITA decided to focus on quick wins in the midst of the swine flu.
Stewart said that everybody was struggling with how they were going to accomplish it. Our motto was suddenly ‘quick wins’. What are we missing? What do we need to do to quickly roll out?
An example was described byStewart.
She said that none of them had been fully vet. There were three-week challenges. We need a dashboard for X, Y, Z. The data comes from seven different systems. You have to figure out how to implement it. It was possible for the organization to shift from project work to quick wins using the tools we had. After they shared it with their teammates and then the business, there was a lot of confidence that we could implement things quickly.
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County Incorporated Work-From-Home Lessons into Practice
The time at home gave both offices time to develop some best practices, which they plan to continue in the future. During the Pandemic, Stewart and her team learned online collaboration and quick rollouts.
Communication tools are used by both government teams to keep their personal connections high. A variety of video chat tools are used by the county.
Rossman said that during the Pandemic, they used communication tools for simple things like a quick check-in or team meetings. People who worked early shifts or late shifts could quickly log on and get a little bonding going on because it was tough, and we didn’t want people to be isolated during COVID. Many locations are more collaborative as people return. I can see the tools continuing through the future as we find that they are working.
Flexibility is a key factor in employee retention.
VITA’s Stewart said that attracting talent is important and that they learned a lot about work-life balance during the Pandemic. We are looking at different strategies to allow people to care for their children. The top performers have done a great job, and we want them to do it again.
He said that the best talent will not stay with you if you don’t flex with your employees. I need to stake my career on that one. Think about how you can do it.