Job flexibility has long been seen as the first step to engaging employees; 54% of office workers claimed they’d leave their current jobs for one that offered more flexible work options. According to the Gallup study, employee engagement increases when people are able to work on their own terms, but not on a full-time basis; additionally, top employee engagement rates are observed when 20 to 40% of work time is spent in the office with the rest of the team. Employee engagement reflects not only how employees perceive their employer but also how they interact with the rest of the team.
Now, the engagement challenges that remote work brings are entirely different from the ones you’d encounter in a typical office setting.
Don’t assume this is a recent issue that’s a result of everyone having to work from home even before the worldwide remote work experiment; two-thirds of remote employees were already disengaged. This number is not shocking once you consider all the issues of day-to-day remote collaboration you’ve got team members scattered throughout the world everyone’s experiencing their own separate problems with working from home and your usual communication is now constantly disturbed by external distractions and lacking internet connections.
The strategies you can use to increase employee engagement are in many ways similar, though.
They’re just placed in a different environment; let’s take a look at some ideas for engaging remote employees you can apply at any time.
Establish clear goals and prioritize tasks a chaotic workflow or worse no work methods in place will raise employees stress levels and then have them looking for the next work opportunity as soon as possible aim to offer a clear roadmap of what an employee needs to take care of within a given timeline and keep teams accountable for their work even with minimal supervision then you’ve got your larger goals these are steps that every person strives to achieve during their career wanting to advance professionally go into management or just grow their own personal brand or some of the key milestones anyone is looking to get from their future workplace if you can’t offer these opportunities your employees will be less motivated to put their best foot forward happy employees are the ones that can come up with the ingenious ideas and help your business in return all because you care about their goals and not just about your business objectives
Policies Make sure you’re guaranteeing that face-to-face interactions are a daily occurrence Yes, daily continuous communication keeps every single member of your team aware of what’s going on within the company. This helps them stay consciously connected with their colleagues 20% of people who are currently working remotely consider that difficulties with collaboration are their number one issue, but the reality is that these problems need to be solved by the employer. It’s the company’s responsibility to provide all the tools and policies needed for work within a distributed team to be no different than office work to prevent potentially unproductive situations like employees not bothering to check their messages as often as they should or people losing track of their tasks.
The next steps They put together a company-wide document to include actionable details that anyone can turn to when they can’t find a file, are feeling stuck in an activity, or just don’t know what they’re supposed to be working on. Establish clear patterns for meetings, Sprint reviews or any other type of regular event that requires more than two to three employees to participate. We’ll take every member through a rigorous onboarding process where they’ll get to know all of your policies Make sure everyone has complete access to your communication tools and file storage solutions prepare an action plan for tackling technical issues Use Crisp to handle background noises that interrupt meetings and recordings using Crisp. We provide the right resources to handle both real-time and asynchronous communication. Hold regular reviews that won’t add on more stress, like the dreaded performance reviews that are much too typical in the office. Encourage overcommunication to increase employee engagement. Nobody should be afraid to reach out to another colleague when they have a problem just because they don’t want to be a nuisance.
Personal one-on-one meetings ensure no one is feeling isolated or left out managers get just enough time to focus on what every single individual has to say a person-to-person interaction lets you engage with your employees and actively listen and solve every single struggle or wish they have this shows them that you care about them as people not just workers on one hand it’s the single most important thing you can do to show your employees that you’re willing to listen and help them achieve their goals their own feedback can later be used when hiring new people and crafting a better workplace culture and on the business side seeing what’s going well and where work processes are lacking helps you improve your workflows this also speeds up work while ensuring performance standards everyone wins number.
Propose virtual team building activities you can have via zoom you can grab lunch together or sip on a cup of coffee like you would in a break room or maybe a after work coffee hour while discussing all the crazy things that are happening in your lives no need for work issues to disturb these downtime meetings specifically think of ways to engage your employees and help them experience new activities they might only have access to once in a lifetime like remotely climbing Mount Everest or going on a safari together.
Dedicate a part of your company’s efforts to building a real remote culture for your workers, create a common purpose, and then lead by example everything should be done based on an overarching goal but to start working towards this goal it’s ultimately the manager’s role to guide people and pose as a role model, so you’ll always be the first one to take on new challenges and motivate those around you to pursue this common goal.
Employee recognition has been linked with engagement for decades now it’s human nature for anyone to expect at least a thank you hold special events like workcations and remember to celebrate every single birthday and milestone all of these add up and make your remote employees feel like they’re part of a real family instead of just another place where they get to interact with people.
Honestly speaking, no employee is ever going to be honest about their experience when you’re directly talking to them. Anonymous employee engagement surveys were created to solve this problem; they help you pose questions you wouldn’t be able to get a sincere answer to, like how would you like us to improve the company culture What’s the number one aspect you wish we would change about the company? What would determine your leaving the company The value of these engagement surveys lies in how effective they are at conveying a worker’s real feelings and struggles, regardless of whether they’re working from an office or remotely.
Studies have found that these reports can give you close insights into all the following aspects of your business work culture: leadership and employee-company trust; job expectations; professional development and counseling; employee motivation; work processes and tools; and general feelings towards recognition and rewards.
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