The shift towards remote working has had some great benefits for both individuals and businesses, but it does pose some new challenges too.
From cutting down on commutes to reducing office costs and offering employees more flexibility, it’s easy to see why so many people are keen to see how hybrid or remote working can fit into their gameplan.
Some of the issues around managing a remote team can easily be ironed out and others take a little more work – like keeping remote employee engagement high. Get to grips with giving a remote team just what they need with our handy hints.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is how much your employees feel connected to and invested in your company and your values. It’s social, intellectual, and emotional and is about much more than just how many hours they put in or emails they get answered in a day. Employees who are engaged are more driven and enthusiastic – and have a higher sense of wellbeing and purpose.
Why is employee engagement important?
Not only is employee engagement important for making sure your team feel better and more focused about their job, but it can also have some big benefits for your bottom line – especially when it comes to improving retention and reducing churn.
The more engaged employees are, the less likely they are to look for a new job – which is good news when you consider that Gartner is predicting a 20% turnover rate for the foreseeable future.
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Engagement-building ideas for remote employees
Help your employees feel connected, wherever they’re situated with these useful suggestions.
1. Set up virtual coffee mornings
When you’re in an office, there are lots of natural moments to have a chat. Sharing little snippets about life and work over the kettle or at the printer can help forge friendships and reduce stress.
It’s hard to generate those moments when working remotely, as every meeting or call tends to have a purpose. Set up a time for people to pop into a virtual meeting and chat about anything and everything to help keep relationships strong.
2. Keep an eye on unnecessary meetings
On the flip side, there’s the opposite problem – when a meeting is scheduled for something that could easily have been an email. A day filled with back-to-back meetings can be stressful and it’s harder to keep an eye on things like that when people are working remotely.
Ask your team to be mindful about how many meetings they are setting up and, if possible, to look at the calendars of their attendees beforehand.
3. Create a way to share peer-to-peer feedback
Feedback from managers and team leaders can have a massive impact on employees, but don’t forget about the value of peer-to-peer feedback and how it fits into remote teams.
Setting up software that allows easy peer-to-peer recognition is so useful when a team is hybrid or completely work-from-home, because it offers an easy way to share the kind of positive comments or boosts that are often passed on in person.
4. Introduce and prioritise proactive rest time
While it might sound counter intuitive, one useful way of helping employees feel engaged when working remotely is to give them time off. It might be a meeting-free morning, extended lunch breaks or the occasional Friday afternoon off. Perhaps you could consider a four-day work week, or even a nine-day fortnight as a compromise.
Working remotely often means staying highly connected to the office in a way that can blur work-life boundaries. Showing that rest and relaxation is important can help address this.
5. Be brilliant at onboarding
Get it right from the very start by building a strong onboarding experience for remote workers.
The onboarding period is crucial when it comes to helping team members settle in, especially if they work remotely. Investing in making sure it’s social, efficient and most of all, welcoming will go a long way towards boosting remote employee engagement.
6. Invest in quality communication tools
Ideally, you want your employees to keep in touch with you – and each other – as easily as possible. Quality communication tools can make a big difference.
Market leaders like Slack, Chanty and even Microsoft teams all help to keep the channels of communication open and allow a more informal way to pass on messages or make plans.
7. Play games and have fun online
Make sure that some of the time you spend online with colleagues is dedicated to having fun. Whether you have a regular quiz (and a rotating quizmaster), play online games like Drawasaurus or bingo, or other remote team building activities,, a little bit of fun can go a long way.
Other great ideas include starting a movie club or setting up a book club, which makes it nice and easy to get conversations started.
8. Offer plenty of opportunities to learn
Learning is a powerful tool and needs to be prioritised, even when employees are working remotely. Share any suitable workshops or opportunities widely and let employees know they can identify any online courses or training ideas they are interested in.
Opening up the potential for growth is a sure fire way to help people stay engaged and interested in their day-to-day routines.
9. Always make sure employees feel valued
It can be much easier for feelings of doubt or disconnection to grow when you are working remotely, so it’s even more important to find ways to show your team how valued they are. With Mo, ensuring that employees feel recognised and rewarded is easy.
Transform your culture with Mo
- Improve employee engagement scores
- Reduce employee churn
- Build a collaborative culture
Mo is a new kind of reward and recognition platform that makes it easy for busy managers to meaningfully recognise, engage and connect with their teams.
We equip managers with weekly suggestions to energise and connect with their people, help teams build habits of recognition into their day-to-day rhythms and go beyond simple rewards as a way to motivate staff.
Join companies like SHL, OVO Energy and William Hill in delivering meaningful improvement on engagement results with Mo. Book a free demo today!