Innovative methods to strengthen relationships when working remote
The COVID-19 pandemic is giving us opportunities to creatively strengthen relationships using innovative methods. Whether it is connecting with customers, collaborating with co-workers, or celebrating community – at Brewer Science we have identified several methods that have proven successful in these endeavors.
Connecting with Customers
Prior to the pandemic, we were able to build rapport and strengthen relationship with customers via meeting with them in person. With travel restrictions in place, we have identified a couple unique approaches to ‘meet’ with current customers while building connections with new ones.
Coordinate with the customer to have lunch ordered and delivered. Brent, one of our Account Managers, missed taking one of our customers out for lunch to build and strengthen that connection. He set up a virtual video lunch, coordinating with the customer. It was a first for both parties, but our customer enjoyed the lunch and opportunity to connect.
Virtual Conference or Trade Show
Conferences and trade shows are a great avenue to present/attend and meet with current, or future, partners and customers. Luckily, many conferences this year have moved to an online platform. Recording and presenting a virtual presentation is an easy way to continue sharing company updates at a lower cost. Brewer Science's Xiao Liu, Senior Program Manager, presented “Introduction of a New Carrier System for Collective Die-to-Wafer Hybrid Bonding and Laser-Assisted Die Transfer” at the Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC).
Webinars provide a good opportunity to create and share content showcasing the company’s and employees’ expertise. Webinars also provide a way to answer questions from current or future customers, confirming your position as an expert in your field.
Julie Littrell, Senior Director of Human Resources at Brewer Science, participated in a recent webinar, Best Practices for Virtual Internships. Amy Skyles, Learning & Development Manager, shared how Brewer Science is maintaining connection during times of change in a webinar. Rachel Jung, Director, PMO, participated in Digital Trailblazer, a round table discussion sharing the value we've experienced implementing enterprise software solutions.
Collaborating with Co-workers
With most companies changing to a remote working status, collaborating with colleagues will require flexibility and creativity with communicating. Staying in touch with your coworkers/employees, and ensuring new hires feel welcomed and informed is essential during a time when face to face communication is not feasible.
Whether it be through Zoom, Google Hangout, Microsoft Teams or a different video sharing platform, virtual events for employees are a great way to connect. At Brewer Science, we've organized lunch time musical performances featuring our talented employees, virtual coffee breaks that allow our employees across the globe to attend for a quick chat or discussion, a virtual scavenger hunt utilizing our internal website, and many other opportunities.
When water cooler conversations are not in the daily mix, we have found different opportunities for employees to share interests and conversations with colleagues outside of the work agenda. Using a ‘Scrapbook’ page to allow all employees to share personal tips, advice, photos, tokens of appreciations, videos, etc. with fellow coworkers is a creative way to fulfill this need and have a collaborative tool for colleagues to connect.
In a time when the New Employee Orientation doesn’t follow its usual tour and seminar, we have identified ways to ensure new employees not only feel welcomed, but also onboarded in an efficient and inclusive manor. By sending out “Welcome Packages” full of Brewer Science swag, we can provide them with a sense of community and connection, even when based afar. With the Brewer Buddy program, new hires are paired with another employee in the HR department to establish a familiar connection they can come to with questions and concerns. Jessica Albright, new hire Content Marketer, was paired with Cheryl Hoener, one of the talent acquisitioners at Brewer Science. Both are Leos and their “Type A” personalities really hit it off. “I felt like I had a friend a Brewer Science before I even started! It was reassuring to me to have someone I could come to when figuring things out as I was onboarding – especially not being the office,” states Jessica.
Now more than ever, it’s important to share support with the people in your community. At Brewer Science we were able to help at the front lines of the pandemic by providing surgical masks, safety glasses and swab kits to local hospitals. Realizing not all companies have this ability, we have identified some additional methods to celebrate our communities during this time of need.
Depending on the business/industry, there could be some translatable skills to offer teaching within the community. For example, Lori Calderas, Industrial Hygienist, provided Fit Test Training for PPE and N95 masks at a local nursing home as part of their preparation for COVID-19.
If there is an annual event that can still be held while maintaining the CDC guidelines – do it! In a time where everything feels different, provide some normality with keeping the scheduled event and altering aspects which put people at risk. For example, every year the Brewer Science headquarters partners with local organizations to host a recycling event for the community. We were able to still provide this event by incorporating safety practices like providing volunteers with masks and keeping community members in their vehicles at all times.
We appreciate your insight! Do you see yourself implementing any of these ideas within your teams? Do you have innovative methods of connecting with customers, collaborating with co-workers, or celebrating community not listed in this blog? Please comment below with your thoughts! One more way to celebrate community that wasn’t listed above – Share this blog, via LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.