Remote working is not a flexible work option anymore. It has become the new normal.
The number one challenge companies face: How to improve employee engagement.
Read this article to get an answer to your question.
Here’s an overview of the topics we’re discussing in this article:
Remote Work Trends
We’ve seen a rapid and necessary shift toward remote work in the last few months. Organizations are changing the way they are communicating and working.
BIG companies like Twitter, Slack, Square, Shopify, Siemens, Fujitsu, and many more have moved remote completely.
Twitter’s HR-Head, Jennifer Christie, said in a meeting to employees:
“We understand this is an unprecedented step, but these are unprecedented times,”
This is the new era of work. Most of the companies have embraced remote work since the beginning of the pandemic.
Gartner survey reveals that 88% of companies have encouraged or required employees to work from home due to coronavirus.
Now, internal communication is more important than ever. Remote work has changed the way teams interact. The survey also found that 32% of organizations have introduced new tools for virtual meetings and communication.
Total video calls in MS Teams grew by over 1,000 percent.
Employers also see savings from allowing remote work – reportedly $11,000 cheaper, on average.
Chris Dyer, the author of The Power of Company Culture, shares his take around the subject:
“If your company has a great culture, it has a great culture. It doesn’t matter if you’re all in the same place or not. It’s easy for people to settle on ping-pong tables and beer on Friday as a way to foster culture and connectedness. You just have to do it in a different way when you’re remote.”
And work from home is here to stay. A new LinkedIn survey suggests more than three in five Australians believe working from home will become the norm, even after the coronavirus pandemic has passed.
90% of remote workers plan on working remotely for the rest of their careers.
What are the Challenges of Working Remotely?
Remote work has its benefits: no commute, low-stress level, setting your own working hours, spending more time with family, etc. But it also comes with challenges that concern distributed teams and managers.
Buffer’s State of Remote Work Report stated that remote workers struggle with unplugging from their work, loneliness, and communicating.
Read this complete guide to understand seven common challenges of working remotely and tips on how to overcome them.
How to Improve Employee Engagement (While Working Remotely)
Discover 15 amazing ways to improve employee engagement. All these tips are easy to implement.
1. Create a Remote Work Playbook or Policy
Creating a remote work policy can go a long way in building employee engagement. This helps you keep all your employees on the same page. Remember that your work policy doesn’t have to be boring, as it can also include your mandatory fun and idea meetings. A work policy also helps employees feel more connected to work and abide by the set of rules.
Moreover, a playbook at work also ensures that employees are motivated towards success. Highlight your expectations from every employee and establish a clear purpose to give your team a direction at work.
2. Regular Check-ins
Check-in with your employees regularly. Asking them the right questions can amplify their level of engagement.
You might ask them about any difficulties they face on the work front or anything they wish to accomplish in the coming week. Simply asking them about their day can have a significant impact on your employees and keep them engaged.
3. Virtual coffee breaks
While coffee breaks help refresh your mind and catch up for a quick conversation with your peers, they are impossible in the remote environment.
As Harvard Business School professor Tsedal Neeley explains:
“People lose unplanned watercooler or cappuccino conversations with colleagues in remote work. These are actually big and important parts of the workday that have a direct impact on performance.”
Virtual coffee breaks help you to maintain connections with colleagues, so try to do them regularly.
4. Fun Virtual Ice-breakers before the meeting
Do you want to keep your employees engaged and energetic during your meetings? You can try some quick virtual ice-breaker activities and games before starting the meeting. It can lighten your meetings. In this article, you’ll find some amazing virtual ice-breaker activities and questions.
5. Remote team building activities and games
There are many different virtual team building activities and games you can use to engage your remote teams to get to know each other and build stronger connections. Here are some creative ideas, like Trivia quizzes, movie night, storytelling, gaming sessions, etc.
If you’re looking for more ideas, check out these 27 amazing virtual team building activities!
6. Create an online employee recognition program
69% of employees say they’d work harder if they were appreciated. This is why you must create an online recognition system for your remote employees. EngageWith is an employee recognition and rewards platform that enriches your company culture. It virtually brings recognition and fun within your Slack and MS Teams workspace.
7. Take care of the mental wellness of remote employees
Remote working can be challenging for your teams’ mental health. It can affect the productivity and performance of your employees. Don’t wait for an employee to speak up, reach out to them, and ask if they’re facing any challenges. Start an employee wellness program in your organization.
In this article, you’ll find 13 amazing ways to support your remote workers’ mental health.
8. Conduct online knowledge sharing sessions
Learning something new is always exciting at work. However, reading books and taking online courses can be a little cumbersome amidst all the work. For this reason, you must conduct online knowledge sharing sessions with your employees. This will help them learn from each other.
Dedicate an hour of the week, where your team members can share their knowledge with other members of the team and talk about some topics that got them excited about work. Sharing sessions are a great engagement activity and keep employees motivated towards work.
9. Choose a specific communication tool
Technology and tools can help remote workers to overcome communication barriers. Choose a specific team communication tool such as Slack or MS Teams to simplify remote communication.
10. Watercooler chat
Employees miss those “watercooler chats” while working remotely. Taking a break from work to keep yourself hydrated had another advantage- watercooler chat with colleagues. This was when people could talk about almost anything and everything, regardless of whether it is related to work. While it might not directly relate to productivity, it does help keep employees engaged and effectively connect with their peers.
Give your employees such opportunities in a virtual environment through the means of various applications. This will help them break the ice and work more closely with each other, benefitting the overall work environment.
11. Conduct Online One-on-one Meetings
Online one-on-one meetings are critical when it comes to engaging remote employees. It’s a great way to give and receive constructive feedback. 55% of highly engaged companies stated that employees are expected to have one-on-ones monthly or quarterly.
Wondering what to discuss in these meetings?
We’ve written this guide with a bank of 150 one-on-one questions to keep one-on-one meetings productive and successful.
12. Remote Onboarding new employees
Companies are facing one common issue around the globe: How do you welcome, set up, and train new employees who you never actually see in person? A great onboarding process builds trust with new remote employees, and it makes a lasting impact on them.
This 10-step checklist will show you a few ideas to successfully onboard new remote employees.
13. Remote employees pulse surveys
Pulse surveys can help you in determining how engaged and motivated remote workers are. It will help you to make better decisions. Try to send these surveys at least once a month. The most important part of conducting employee employees’ pulse surveys is to act on them!
To help you get started, we created a Remote Employees Pulse Survey Guide!
14. Create a budget for setting up a home office
Assign a budget to each employee for setting up home office or workstation upgrades where they can create a little setup of their own. They can buy a standing desk, headphones, set up a sturdy internet connection, and get an ergonomic chair to keep that back straight.
This remote employee perk will improve their productivity, and it’s an essential upgrade to have for managing remote employee engagement.
15. Promote professional development
Invest in employees’ professional development by helping them with the necessary resources.
You could provide them with free access to their favorite tools or a professional course to help them do their job better. You can also organize workshops and seminars to help them stay aware of the industry’s latest technologies and trends.
The more employees develop and learn new skills, the better it is for your business.
How to Improve Employee Engagement With Trivia and EngageWith
Wondering how to improve employee engagement? Trivia and EngageWith are tools we built to help employers engage with their employees.
Companies across the world are using these tools to connect and engage with their remote teams during the Covid-19 pandemic. And here’s a little introduction:
Trivia is a quiz platform for remote teams. It virtually allows remote teams within a Slack or MS Teams’ workspace to play 1000s of quizzes, word puzzles, fun polls, etc.! With Trivia’s suite of quizzes and games, you can bring Social & Fun back to your workspace (right inside Slack and MS Teams) even while working remotely.
EngageWith is an employee recognition and rewards platform that enriches your company culture. Employees can recognize peers, juniors, or managers by giving them Kudos or Shoutouts for a job well done.
It can also be used to celebrate and reward/gift employees on their birthdays and milestones like work anniversaries.
Employee Engagement FAQs
In a physical office, employee engagement activities are easy. You can take a break to play a game. But for remote workers, it takes more creativity. Employee-centric companies regularly conduct engagement activities. Get inspiration from our 13 remote employee engagement ideas.
Managers need to understand how to lead a team virtually. Schedule frequent check-ins and video calls to connect personally and give them a voice in meetings. Regular check-ins ensure everyone is included and appreciated.
It’s not just a matter of providing remote employees with a new video communication app and tools. As a leader and manager, you need to be aware of how remote work may create feelings of isolation and anxiety among workers.
In this article, you’ll discover some proven ways to recognize and manage the high-stress environment that remote workers face.
Remote work tools can help you improve your work productivity, communicate with your remote teams, manage tasks and work, and video chat with team members.
Wondering what tools you should use? Here you’ll find 100 remote work tools.
What’s next? Download the eBook “25 Employee Engagement Ideas and Activities,” where we share tips & best practices for successfully communicating with your employees in today’s time.
Originally published Sep 14, 2020 11:21 AM, updated Feb 01 2021