Technology has long been a part of the network marketing world, and usage has only increased during the pandemic. Video-conferencing platforms have allowed teams to be more fully engaged than they might be otherwise, a trend that has also shown itself in other industries that have been forced to pivot to remote work.
Such solutions as cloud storage have also enabled teams to remain connected, collaborative, and productive.
In network marketing, technology has been a critical aspect of the business for a long time. The pandemic has heightened the benefits of innovative tech for the sector as a whole and for the individuals working within it. While this past year and a half has come with a considerable amount of heartache, it has also highlighted the importance of interpersonal relationships and team engagement.
Technology has allowed leaders to connect with and engage team members in new and exciting ways throughout the pandemic. The trends we have seen emerge during this difficult time are likely to persist and inspire further developments in technology-enabled engagement.
Why Team Engagement Is So Important
Team engagement has become imperative for leaders. Before this era, many industries recognized the value of engagement, but with an exodus to remote work and a sudden disconnect between team members, engagement became more important than ever to boost morale and productivity.
Studies show that engaged teams are satisfied with their work, responsibilities, and involvement, and engaged team members will more often feel that their roles are essential. Some of the key tenets of team engagement include the perception of meaningful work and psychological enrichment. Supporting these tenets through engagement can take many forms; whatever the course a business takes, leaders need to acknowledge the importance of engagement for the sake of productivity and overall success.
With external factors causing increased levels of stress and uncertainty, engaging team members in organic, encouraging ways has become more important than ever.
And with the use of technology, leaders can successfully encourage increased engagement, connect with team members, and foster a sense of recognition, especially during difficult times.
Technology as a Means of Connection
Forming genuine connections and frequent interactions have long been a challenge in network marketing, where teams tend to be spread out over great distances. But it is a challenge that has been met through video conferencing services like Zoom and WebEx — platforms that have taken on added importance during the pandemic. While face-to-face conversations took on a new form, the facilitation of live chats with teams has helped reduce feelings of isolation while simultaneously promoting a more structured day-to-day environment for team members.
Many leaders have learned throughout the pandemic that going beyond collective video calls can make a significant difference in team engagement. Making an effort to engage with team members one-on-one through video conversations, phone calls, direct messages, or other personalized means of communication can reinforce the sentiment that leaders care about their teams not just as larger entities but as individuals.
Investing in the right software and tools has made a significant difference in connecting teams through technology. Some companies found that providing a stipend for improving home tech allowed team members to boost productivity and demonstrate leaders’ dedication to their teams. Opting to utilize software like WalkMe, which can guide applications and allow leaders to send encouraging pop-up messages en-masse, also promotes more efficiency and a greater sense of belonging.
Connecting to team members individually can be challenging depending on the size of the team, so delegating outreach initiatives and determining the most efficient and effective ways to engage and encourage team members will vary. Surveys to determine concerns, priorities, and ideals may help leaders identify strengths and areas of improvement in engagement efforts.
Leaders may also pursue a course that encourages individual and team-wide connection to core missions and goals through digital surveys or remote meetings, prioritizing team members’ voices and encouraging them to provide actionable feedback.
Peer-to-Peer Recognition and Collaborative Initiatives
Cultivating a culture of recognition and appreciation can be an effective way to boost engagement, and there are plenty of software options available to encourage peer-to-peer recognition. Encouraging team members to lift their peers can create a warm and positive culture that promotes productivity and satisfaction.
The threat of isolation among remote workers has been a prominent concern for team leaders, and one solution entails more collaborative environments. Utilizing tools and apps that allow real-time collaboration on projects can allow team members to boost their creative output and foster stronger relationships with each other.
In the Digital Age, gamification is a buzzword that leaders would be wise to consider integrating into their engagement efforts. Encouraging P2P recognition on its own can have a positive effect, but integrating leaderboards, awards, rewards, and challenges can foster a healthy competitive environment that celebrates top-performers and compels teams and their individual members to improve. Considering the demographics, ideals, and goals of a team before integrating gamification will be key, as these practices are often more effective among a younger workforce, but encouraging friendly competition in other ways can still be a productive engagement tactic.
Technology has long been a staple in network marketing, and its importance has only become that much more apparent. It has enabled greater connection, collaboration, communication, and overall success and will continue to do so long after the pandemic is over.