You never thought you’d be here–navigating your business through a global pandemic that has changed nearly everything about the way we work.
You’ve learned to cope with the quarantines, the safety protocols and the financial uncertainty. Still, now you’re facing one more potential pivot: the switch to a hybrid or fully remote workforce.
You’re thinking: What happens when my employees are no longer together as a team? Will they lose motivation? Will communication break down? Will our bottom line suffer?
Maybe you’re already experiencing some of these issues–but it doesn’t have to be this way.
The core principles of the Great Game of Business®–educating and empowering employees to think and act like owners, and engaging them by giving them a Stake in the Outcome®—can help eliminate the risk of disengagement that comes with remote work.
The pandemic is far from over, and if your company was able to make the switch to a remote or hybrid workforce during the pandemic, there’s a strong possibility it will be permanent. The move to remote work goes beyond COVID-19 safety–the US is facing an unprecedented labor shortage in 2022, creating stiff competition for talented workers.
This means you’ll not only need to offer flexible work options to attract new talent–you’ll need a strong, people-centered culture to keep them.
The Great Game of Business helps create this culture, and can help unite your remote or hybrid team, leading them through the pandemic and beyond. Here are five ways you can use The Great Game of Business to create a stronger remote workforce.
1. Connect Employees to the Business–And Each Other
The traditional office setting can feel like the center of a business–where employees socialize, and your team meets to discuss significant new developments. When your workforce separates into their own homes to work, they can feel isolated and "out of the loop" with how the business is doing.
The Great Game of Business keeps employees in the loop by holding weekly or bi-weekly huddles. During these quick, rhythmic meetings, problems are discussed, successes are shared, and rewards and recognition are given to team members. The team reports the financials in the areas they own, discusses any variances, and presents their forecasts.
When COVID hit, the owner of the company Cisco-Eagle and The Great Game of Business practitioner Darein Gandall was grateful for the way huddles connected his team of 135 employees, saying:
"When you go to the huddle, you know exactly what's going on within the company.…when times are hard, the huddles are a godsend…there really was a way of keeping everybody together."
2. Encourage Collaboration Across Departments
As a remote employee, it's easy to feel like a problem is yours alone to solve. The lack of shared office space makes getting input and support from other departments difficult.
The Great Game of Business recognizes that a problem in one department affects the entire company and believes the whole team should be involved in solving it. During weekly huddles, problems are discussed, and if one arises that the team cannot solve during a 30-minute meeting, the team may decide to tackle it by turning it into a MiniGame™.
A MiniGame is an engaging, short-term activity designed to pursue an opportunity or correct a weakness within your company. Employees celebrate a MiniGame win with a predetermined reward, strengthening their bonds with each other and acknowledging their impact on the company's success. They have a theme, a defined goal and timeline, and a visually exciting scoreboard.
MiniGames help your employees collaborate across departments while solving problems and driving results for the company, and all components can easily transfer to a remote workforce.
3. Foster Trust Through Transparency
Remote work creates physical distance between you and your staff–but that distance can feel much wider when your books are closed and employees have no idea how the company is doing financially.
By practicing open-book management (OBM) and providing employees with financial literacy training, The Great Game of Business sends the message that your company has nothing to hide, which in turn increases trust, and gives workers the comfort of always being "in the know".
As business journalist Bo Burlingham says in Jack Stack's 2019 book, Change The Game:
"There is no clearer way for leaders to demonstrate the trust and respect they have for their employees than by sharing with them information that is normally kept hidden and treated as confidential and proprietary and by teaching them what the information means and how to use it for the benefit of all."
4. Increase Employee Visibility
Without face-to-face interaction with leadership and co-workers, it's difficult for remote workers to see their impact on the company's success clearly, and many worry that their remote status will get them passed over for promotions.
During weekly huddles at Great Game™ companies, leadership routinely offers rewards and recognition to team members who have gone above and beyond and gotten tangible results.
The Great Game of Business helps every team member discover their "line of sight"–their direct path to impacting the company's Critical Number–the number The Game is centered around. Weekly huddles and frequent MiniGames remind employees that their work matters–that they are seen and valued.
5. Create a Culture of Ownership
It's hard for remote employees to develop a sense of ownership within the company when they don't see a clear benefit in sight outside of their monthly paycheck.
Not only do Great Game companies open their books and provide their team with financial literacy training–they invite them to share in the company's success through rewards and bonus programs throughout the year.
Bonus programs are tied to your team meeting its Critical Number—the team-supported metric that serves as the goal for winning The Game. Each week during the huddle, your team members know exactly where the company's Critical Number stands and exactly what they need to do to affect it.
The entire team is involved in the goal-setting process, from identifying the important elements that move the company toward the Critical Number (called Key Drivers) to creating and implementing their own MiniGames throughout The Game.
Because people support what they help create and have a Stake in the Outcome® through the bonus program, employees stay motivated and engaged in achieving the company's goals.
Create an Engaged Remote Workforce in 2022 With The Great Game of Business
You've made it this far–your company has weathered two years of a global pandemic, adapting and evolving along the way.
But the battle isn't over–during your transition to a remote workforce, your team needs you more than ever to help them feel connected, motivated, and valued.
The Great Game of Business can help you do it.
When you unite your team through weekly huddles, rallying behind the goals they've set together, they feel connected to your company and each other.
The magic of MiniGames helps departments remain collaborative, rallying as a team to tackle problems and engage with new opportunities.
Your employees trust you because you trust them with the important financial details.
They're thinking and acting like owners.
In 2022, they're playing The Game–and they're ready to win together.
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