How Can A Virtual Event Be Used For A Business To Effectively Communicate With Their Employees?
Virtual environments have become increasingly popular amongst organizations for many different reasons. Virtual environments allow organizations to connect with remote employees and individuals, reduce costs, and improve the stability of their organization. Market Research Media Limited, has proposed the influence that virtual events will have on organizations worldwide. According to this marketing firm, virtual events will experience an annual growth rate of fifty six percent by the year 2015. In the same regards, technology researchers are predicting that nearly seventy five percent of the workforce in the United States will engage in some type of mobile aspect regarding their employment by the end of 2013.
Benefits of Employing Virtual Solutions
As virtual workplace operations continue to expand exponentially, organizations are being given the ability to take advantage of this unparalleled opportunity. Organizations are able to utilize virtual events to expand their reach of their brand, and leverage virtual communications to maximize the impacts that their brand has on the world.
Forbes conducted a poll in 2009 of more than seven hundred fifty business executives, regarding the expansion of virtual environments. The business executives revealed many different reasons why they prefer a virtual environment and technology based meetings in opposition to traditional face to face physical meetings. Some of the reasons given by the executives included:
- Decreased costs
- Decreased time
- Additional flexibility
- Ability to multitask
- Increase productivity
- Less peer pressure
Despite the advantages of virtual events and meetings, there is one thing that virtual events lack. They do not allow physical interaction with employees. What is being known as the engagement challenge is something that business executives are having to deal with now, due to virtual environments that they never had to tackle before.
What Is The Engagement Challenge?
With the increase in virtual environments, business owners are facing a brand new challenge. This challenge involves keeping their employees engaged and connected to the organization that they work for. Employees that are employed in a virtual environment, will experience a loss of community, belongingness amongst fellow employees, and human connectivity. Research regarding productive business practices has found that employees that feel a sense of community, will in turn, enhance their productivity within an organization which in turn will increase the profits for the organization. This helps to lead to increased employee loyalty, and a lower turnover rate within the organization. The question that remains in this scenario, is how employers can replicate making employees feel connected in a virtual world?
- Management must figure out a way to prioritize their virtual employees. They must be willing to provide support, enabling the virtual employee to overcome challenges they may experience in their workday. They must be able to perform all of these tasks, while keeping the employee connected to the organization.
- Technologies must be set in place that serve the interest of employees. These technologies will need to provide mechanisms in which the employee can connect interpersonally with the individuals that they work with, regardless of the distance between them.
- Face-to-face contact with virtual employees is necessary. Even if this connection is through a web-cam.
- Smaller corporations struggle with engaging employees more than larger companies do. Larger organizations have formal processes that they utilize to actively engage and motivate their employees. They utilize sophisticated platforms, a formal training process, and offer locations that virtual employees can go to in order to engage with other virtual employees.
The success of a virtual environment is going to depend greatly on the management that is put into place to handle the virtual employees. Managers that actively engage with their virtual employees and treat them as though they are part of the team, through different forms of electronic contact have the most success with keeping a productive group of employees happy. If the manager that the virtual employee is working with, neglects to connect with their employees, turnover rates will be extremely high in this department.