Engaging employees is hard for employers. But in a remote working environment, it is even rigid. Keeping them engaged during remote work is the key focus of the employers as they have to do it the ‘virtual way’.
The question for the HR team remains: is it demanding to connect with employees during the new normal? The answer is no. We’d be covering employee engagement strategies to make your remote teams happy and stay productive during the WFH scenario.
First of all, what is employee engagement?
Employee engagement makes employees feel happy, productive, and loyal towards the company. Employees nowadays don’t just want a salary, but they need appreciation for value, growth in their career. If you fail to give value and a happy workplace. They are most probably going to quit.
The positive side of keeping remote employees engaged provides greater levels of productivity, performance, and satisfaction among the employees.
Before employee engagement strategies for remote teams. We recommend you implement tools to help them stay connected and have seamless interactions between teams. Consider these tools:
Employee engagement strategies you should implement for remote teams
#1. Virtual recognition and rewards
This particular remote engagement strategy makes a difference by improving the satisfaction levels of remote employees. Even working remotely, employees need to know they matter to the company. Without any recognition, your remote workforce is more likely to get disengaged.
Therefore, ensure that you plan rewards and recognition initiatives that don’t stop. Virtually recognizing employees is simple; a thank you on video calls will work. You can ask your team members to acknowledge when someone exceeds their expectations. You can also opt for remote-friendly options such as gift cards, reward points, etc.
#2. Conduct regular employee engagement surveys
As an employer, you need to know what your remote workforce wants. Employee engagement surveys are the way to go. To get results from your survey, you need to address specific questions that address workplace issues and be open about the survey.
Here are some questions you can include in your employee engagement survey:
How do you feel about work today?
Are you proud of working for [organization]?
Do you enjoy working with your team?
Future orientation questions
Do you see yourself working here in a year?
Do you have the tools needed to maximize your potential here?
Have you recently thought about leaving [organization]?
Are there any problems with our culture?
How can we help improve your engagement at work?
What practices do we need to change?
Once you have analyzed the results of your employee engagement survey, you’ll be able to identify the areas where you need to work the most.
#3. Stop micromanaging
Team leads and managers believe in a need to micromanage the work. They recognize that without micromanaging, no task will get done. This misconception can make your remote employees disengaged. Employees want to work with autonomy and feel trusted. Micromanaging them will make them feel alienated and lose productivity.
Combating this problem is necessary for employers to focus. The solution is managers need to set expectations with the aid of KPI strategy. Setting specific goals for remote employees will provide them with an opportunity to grow, promotes transparency, and eliminate the need for micromanaging.
#4. Improve engagement with better work-life balance
The employer needs to know that employees are not machines. And when they are doing remote work doesn’t mean they are available 24x7. According to a study, working long hours backfired to company success.
That’s why maintaining a healthy work-life balance helps remote employees to reduce stress and prevent burnout. Here are some strategies you can implement to help the employees to maintain work-life balance:
Promote flexibility at work.
Encourage time off.
Take mental health days.
Create realistic deliverables.
Scheduling weekly check-ins.
Eliminate challenges and roadblocks.
#5. Remove unnecessary team meetings
As the companies are shifting to remote work culture team meetings are constant. It is because the companies are trying to compensate for the lack of face-to-face interactions that used to be a part of regular work culture. However, unnecessary virtual meetings can prove harmful to already stressed-out remote workers. These virtual meetings can get replaced by a team-wide email. For the necessary virtual conferences, mark a calendar and ensure only vital people are in the interview.
#6. Keep remote employees engaged with collaborative tools
A study has found that 63% of the employees wanted to quit because inappropriate communication interfered with their ability to do seamless tasks. Many professionals are working as distributed teams making the interaction difficult.
Thankfully, we have the technology to fix this issue. Remote working tools like Slack, Zoom, and Skype helps to stay connected with the virtual team members. Employers must incorporate online tools to help the remote workforce. It allows the communication flow without a break in the task.
#7. Virtual knowledge sharing sessions
According to research, knowledge sharing positively affects employee engagement. This happens simultaneously when the workplace is open. But during remote work, it is a little bit difficult. Put some effort into structuring it. Here are some practices to follow that’ll help you to kickstart online knowledge sharing sessions:
#8. Plan fun activities for employee engagement
Giving your remote employees a chance to ditch their desks and interact with their team members will keep them engaged. Here are some of the employee engagement ideas when looking to plan fun activities:
Celebrate birthday week and work anniversaries: Let your employees know that you care for them beyond their role by recognizing special events such as birthdays and work anniversaries. It fits well during the remote work culture.
Monthly parties: A team that bonds well works together. Hosting a monthly-team party provides you with an opportunity to bond with the employees.
Skill-based games: For example, organize virtual puzzle competitions among teams. Solving puzzles promotes communication, better bonding. Attach incentives for adding more competitive spirit among remote work teams.
#9. Make your remote onboarding process fun
Organizations work hard to provide a seamless onboarding experience, and remote onboarding shouldn’t be demanding. Making new employees feel at home and connected in a virtual environment is key to retaining them over time. Consider hosting get-to-know virtual video calls where new employees interact with existing team members. Make a list of icebreaker questions to make the conversation easier for the new employees. An interactive onboarding experience will encourage new hires to participate in company events in the future.
#10. Create remote work policies
The freedom to work from anywhere can be exciting. To keep remote workers in sync, you need to craft remote work policies that set up expectations. These policies will give remote workers a tangible connection to the organization and let them know they have the same responsibilities.
The policies must address things like remote communication guidelines covering when everyone should be available for meetings. You can also use this opportunity to reinforce data protection policies when sharing information with clients.
Employee engagement strategies are crucial for engaging remote workers and improving overall productivity, happiness, and satisfaction. It is all about understanding what your employees want during the remote working scenario and working towards it.
Ginni Agarwal is a Talent Acquisition Expert at Upright Human Capital with extensive experience in Tech and Non-tech hiring. The company aims to provide a healthy workplace for the right set of talent to the company without any fear of losing our human capital. She loves blogging, writing articles about Talent Acquisition, and the recruitment industry. She has been associated with the Talent Industry for a while. She enjoys sharing her experience with others.