Zooming in to connect: Internal communication and employee engagement of remote workers during the Covid-19 pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic changed the way organizations approached the concept of remote work. Employees who used to share the same physical workplace were now working in virtual workplaces. Yet, the need to keep them engaged did not change as employee engagement is one of the key determinants of an employee’s productivity and thereby, the organization’s financial health. The responsibility of ensuring employee engagement has always been a part of internal communications. However, with employees now working remotely, internal communications professionals had to change their traditional engagement strategies to adapt to a virtual environment during an unprecedented global crisis. This study aims to answer the research question: How did internal communications professionals in The Netherlands engage remote employees during the Covid-19 pandemic? The study is significant as organizations are now moving to a hybrid working environment as a result of the changes brought about by the pandemic. Employees are now urging their organizations to allow a hybrid working environment as working remotely during the pandemic inadvertently resulted in them having a better work-life balance. Hence, internal communications professionals will now once again have to adapt to engaging employees in a hybrid workplace while blending their traditional strategies and the new strategies they devised during the pandemic. This study takes a qualitative approach to the research question. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews conducted with 11 internal communications professionals in The Netherlands and a thematic analysis was conducted on the transcripts of these interviews. The interviewees worked at organizations across industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, and consumer goods, and even academia. The study found that organizational culture, technological tools available and the role of leadership were significant in determining the engagement strategies deployed by the internal communications professionals. It also found that internal communications professionals believe that human connections with colleagues have a significant role to play in employee engagement and their strategies were aimed at fostering these offline connections in an online environment. The study also found that the use of technology made the organizations less hierarchical and more inclusive.
|, , , , , , , , ,|
|Dr. Radhika Mittal|
|Media & Business|
|Organisation||Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication|
Asha Mahadevan. (2022, June 27). Zooming in to connect: Internal communication and employee engagement of remote workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Media & Business. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/65022