Remote Work Doesn`t Have to Be Alienating: A Recipe to Keep Employees Well-Connected and Engaged

Remote Work Doesn`t Have to Be Alienating: A Recipe to Keep Employees Well-Connected and Engaged

Working remotely can make people feel disconnected and often takes a toll on creativity and connections between colleagues. How can human resources transform and avoid the “out of sight, out of mind” effect? It seems we might have found the secret sauce recipe.

Method: the HR transformation

“In less than a week, all of our teams became 100% remote which can be quite an adjustment for teams primarily focused on employees and their wellbeing. In human resources, we have moved all regular HR operations (administration, payroll, reports, recruiting, etc.) as well as onboarding online. 

While some parts of onboarding, such as GDPR training and meetings with different departments, are easier to do online and remotely than others, we are trying our best to cover the social aspect of onboarding. We have online coffee breaks, conference calls, daily challenges, and the mentorship program,” said Valerija Marenče, Head of Human Resources, Adacta Fintech.

The key ingredient: employee engagement

“Remote work reminded us of the importance of social interactions – not only for our work but our overall wellbeing. Our teams got really creative when it came to re-inventing remote social interactions. Some of them gathered online for an afternoon coffee break, others to play games and some are even doing yoga. While these are great initiatives, they are usually limited to a specific team. We wanted to create something everyone in the company could be a part of. This is how we came up with daily challenges,” said Lucia Josić, Recruiter and Employee Engagement Specialist.

What are the daily challenges?

“Daily challenges are activities, encouraging employees to participate on an organization-wide Microsoft Teams channel in a fun way, either by sharing a photo of their home offices, furry friends, or taking a quiz to see how much they know about the company. We designed the challenges with a mission to bring a little bit of joy to our employees as well as keep them connected, and get to know each other from a different perspective,” explained Lucia. 


Toppings: different initiatives

“Changing jobs can be scary even under normal circumstances and even more so in the current situation. Therefore, building meaningful connections with colleagues remains one of the top priorities of human resources,” said Valerija. “We have many different initiatives helping new employees to fit in as well as encouraging current employees to stay connected while working remotely. For example, the Ljubljana office is known for its Lunch with the CEO initiative which is an opportunity for employees to ask our CEO everything they want while having a great meal. We felt it was important to keep the initiative alive despite not being able to eat at a restaurant. While we were unsure how the food delivery and eating lunch on a conference call will turn out, we got great feedback from the participants.”

How was the remote lunch with the CEO?

“Lunch with the CEO turned out quite fun and informal. We had the time to get to know each other and I got some good book and movie recommendations. It was also interesting to see our business from the CEO’s perspective.” Matej Dujić, Software developer
“I am glad I accepted the invitation for lunch, and not just for the tasty food and relaxed setting. It was an Ask-Me-Anything kind of lunch where we got to know the CEO and each other. I think it is great that the company keeps these traditions going even though we are all working from home. Boris also updated us on the challenges, goals, and strategies in the current situation, so it was as informative as it was informal.” Klavdija Učakar, Software developer
“The idea of having an online lunch with the CEO while working from home was great. We got to know our CEO and some of our colleagues better, listened to their interesting stories, shared our ideas, etc. All of that while eating a meal from our favourite local restaurant. Thank you for inviting me!“ Larisa Fekonja, Software tester
“Lunch with our CEO Boris Bajić is something I have never done before, let alone in this way in front of my computer. 😊 I have noticed that he is very open and willing to listen to every idea that we had. He also encouraged us to collaborate more with our colleagues, share our ideas, and try to use all the benefits that technology offers. We have also discussed how to extend these technology features to others. It was a relaxed meeting that we need to repeat sometime.” Žiga Trdina, Systems Engineer
“I really enjoyed the Lunch with CEO meeting. It was a great opportunity to meet my colleagues from different departments and talk with the CEO about our hobbies, ideas, and visions. Especially while eating delicious food ordered from our favourite restaurants. 😊” Eva Gashtevska, Software tester
"Lunch with the CEO is not just lunch but also a great networking event. The biggest advantage is that you get high-quality time with your co-workers and the CEO as well as an opportunity to share your own stories, experiences, and views. It is a friendly event from which you will certainly not leave hungry. 😊” Ivana Ranchikj, Software Tester
“This time, Lunch with the CEO took place online, which was a great experience. I think this is an excellent chance to meet your colleagues and talk in a relaxed environment. By having a conversation, you also learn something about them and their lives so you immediately get the feeling that you know them better. Another great thing is that we can ask the CEO the questions we always wanted to ask. And I got my pizza delivered to my home - what more could I wish for? 😊” Tina Zovkič, Business Consultant
“A cosy experience despite the quarantine, great way to meet people from various departments. I hope next time we meet one another in person.” Martin Vavpotič, Business Analyst

Improvement on the side: the future based on the feedback

“With so much uncertainty we can`t predict what the future holds for human resources but we do know that as a team, we have to be agile in finding the best ways to support all of our employees, those working from home as well as those coming to the office. We are constantly collecting feedback from our employees and adjust our activities and initiatives accordingly. Sometimes, the best way to plan the future is to look at the past,” concluded Valerija.

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Hi, we’re Adacta—a leading software provider for the insurance industry. Our insurance platform, AdInsure, gives Life and P&C insurers a future-proof way to streamline their operations and processes.

Hi, we’re Adacta—a leading software provider for the insurance industry. Our insurance platform, AdInsure, gives Life and P&C insurers a future-proof way to streamline their operations and processes.

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