May 7th, 2020 | Ken Schnee, General Manager - Technology, Media, Entertainment, and Hospitality

4 Tips for the Tech Industry During COVID-19: Establishing Emotional Virtual Connections for Employees and Candidates

The sentiment of the world is changing with the development of the coronavirus. Throughout the world, both businesses and individuals face uncertainty when having to make strategic decisions. People are staying inside, communicating through virtual tools. As people stay home to fight this pandemic, many technology companies have ramped up hiring, as an increasing amount of people are using their services while they work from home, go to school, and try to sustain emotional personal connections.

With this physical distance between people, technology companies are trying to maintain a strong company culture between their current employees and their new workforce. In order to sustain a positive virtual work environment, companies need to build trust throughout their businesses.

The following four tips can help achieve a strong culture in a virtual world – for employees as well as candidates.

1. Maintain a Sense of Community and Caring from Management

The COVID-19 virus has created a feeling of anxiety in both personal and professional lives. Employees want to feel informed regarding what is going on in their company. Strong company-wide communication builds trust in times of adversity. To keep employees informed, managers and leadership can host reoccurring open-agenda meetings. These meetings encourage dialogue and visibility through Q&A. Employees can feel connected to their company and in touch with leadership.

Companies can also practice communication through recurring well-being surveys and check-ins. These surveys can create a feeling of community and caring throughout the organization. Additionally, research shows that employees want to feel psychologically safe. Now more than ever, mangers should check in with and their employees and see how they are doing. Adding humanized communications can display greater interest in employees on a personal level.

Many technology companies are ramping up hiring to support increased demand. Companies can show a maintained sense of community and caring on social media to help attract new candidates. Candidates want to apply to companies that support their employees through these tough times. Posting photos and posts showing a strong sense of community can also inform people that your company is hiring.

2. Emphasizing Your Company’s Purpose

The COVID-19 crisis has affected everyone in some way. Businesses can act at this unprecedented time to contribute to their purpose. Companies can partner with organizations that align with their own mission. Beyond donating money to charities, businesses can offer resources to those in need, host trainings classes, or advocate for individuals or organizations.

With news headlines becoming increasingly difficult to read, goodwill can go a long way. Many companies are offering free use of their technological products. Companies can also donate their time and virtually volunteer to train others. With so many displaced workers, individuals are looking for skills and development trainings to apply to work.

Many technology companies have a large social media presence. They can use this power to advocate for non-profits and organizations that are helping the community. With social distancing and orders to stay inside – many people don’t know how they can help. These companies can use their platforms to promote ways to help the community.

Company leaders can also host interactive trainings to help with personal development and growth. With such a large knowledge base, companies can also host virtual trainings for people to learn new hobbies. During their idle time, individuals are looking for pastimes, projects, and trying to develop new skills. Some examples include learning Photoshop®, Microsoft Excel®, or other apps. People are also looking for reasons to smile – some fun trainings companies can offer can include learning to cook a particular cuisine, learning a new language, or DIY projects.

3. Promote a Culture of Virtual Sharing and Personal Connections

Many companies are focusing their resources on working from home tips and tricks. But with everyone in different situations, companies can focus on creating a strong virtual culture to help build trust and morale among employees. Since people are meeting remotely, managers can host virtual happy hours, activities, or games. Teams can gather online and share what they are grateful for in their personal and professional lives. Ending the week on a positive note can put people in a better mindset.

Additionally, co-workers can get to know each other better. In fact, research shows that people with friends at work are seven times more likely to be engaged with their job. Moreover, a recent study found that 60% of workers would be more likely to stay at their job if they have a friend at work.

4. Maintain a Strong Candidate Experience in Onboarding

Several technology companies are seeing increased demand for their products. As a result, they are ramping up hiring for many positions. Candidates are grappling with the pains of social distancing and quarantine. Even in this virtual world, companies want to maintain the same positive candidate experience throughout the hiring process. Interviewers can take the time to get to know candidates via video chat to help in establishing a sense of trust.

After the candidate goes through the interview process and accepts an offer, they begin the onboarding process. Technology companies want to maintain a thorough candidate experience. Additionally, companies are expecting the same fast turnaround times for pre-hire materials. For companies that are hiring during the Coronavirus pandemic, partnering with strong background check provider can allow for quick and efficient onboarding. By maintaining a positive onboarding experience, companies can demonstrate their company values and how they put their employees first. Additionally, on the employees’ first day, the HR department can schedule meetings to welcome the employee. Anything that the company would typically do to welcome a new employee in person, can be done virtually.

Contact Us

In this new normal, people are eager for social interactions. Engaging with co-workers and teammates can provide that emotional connection and support that everyone needs during this time.

To learn more about Establishing Emotional Connections, please register for our webinar with Citrix here.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.