Try These 5 Unique Ways to Keep Remote Employees Engaged
More companies than ever have teams working from home. In some cases, employees may have a difficult time connecting and engaging on the same levels they did in a traditional office setting. But this isn’t cause for alarm. Not only is this a normal reaction, it’s fixable. Consider the following five tips when working to keep remote employees engaged.
5 Tips to Keep Remote Employees Engaged
1| Mix Up Virtual Meetings
There are a variety of communication tools you can choose from when working from home. Between conference calls, instant messaging, email, and even social media platforms, there’s no reason to not be able to communicate with team members.
These are all great for quick memos and updates, but video conferencing is quickly replacing the office meeting. While video conference calls will help team members stay on top of developments and projects, they can be anxiety-inducing for some.
To make everyone more comfortable in the virtual meeting space, hold the occasional “catch-up” meeting where topics are timely and casual. In addition to getting comfortable with the concept, this is a great way for team members to stay connected. It’s important that your virtual meetings uphold the same standards as in-person meetings for optimal productivity. This includes setting agendas, ensuring everyone participates, appointing a note-taker, and so on.
2| Don’t Leave Anyone Behind
When you don’t physically see your team members five days a week, it takes more effort to let them know their work is important and appreciated. And who doesn’t want to feel appreciated?
Studies show that happy employees can raise sales by nearly 40 percent while boosting productivity by 31 percent.
To ensure your employees feel valued, heard, and appreciated, try the following.
- Is it someone’s birthday? Send a virtual card or a video message.
- Did a team member go above and beyond for a client? Publicly praise their efforts during your next virtual meeting.
- Have you been impressed with an employee’s willingness to adapt to certain changes while working from home? Send them lunch as a token of your appreciation.
Make sure employees also know they can come to you with issues or concerns that may come up when working from home. This isn’t the time to let a good employee slip away simply due to a lack of communication.
3| Offer to Help Struggling Employees
For some, working from home is a breeze. But for others, especially team members with small children, it’s easy to become distracted by the tower of dishes or their child’s e-learning conference call.
If you’re noticing an employee is struggling, be empathetic. Reach out to them and let them know you understand their unique situation and you’re always available to help. Provide them with time management tips and tools while also asking if there’s something work-related you can take off their plate for the time being.
A little bit of understanding can go a long way.
4| Make Their Health a Priority
Surprisingly, studies show that employees working from home are more productive, spending 58 additional annual hours on core work. While this is great for business productivity, it may not be great for your employees’ health.
Make sure your team knows you want them to make their health a priority. Encourage them to exercise, eat healthy, and place boundaries between working hours and personal time. Consider offering incentives for employees who commit to daily walks or a week of only home-cooked meals.
And if productivity is booming and you’re happy with where your team stands on a sunny Friday afternoon, consider encouraging them to take the afternoon off to go on a walk or do some healthy food prep.
5| Focus on What’s Important
Managing a remote team is much different than managing the same team in an office setting. Using the same management approach in both situations will certainly lead to disengagement.
Instead, ask each team member what type of schedule works best for them. If they are more productive during the evening hours, let them watch a recording of the morning meeting. If someone wants to start early, let them catch that worm.
You’ll likely find out that your team is more responsible than you think. When you give them a bit of freedom, listen to what they would prefer, and avoid bombarding them with constant communications, you’ll likely discover a new level of dream team status.
Managing Work from Home Engagement
At the end of the day, employee engagement is a shared responsibility. But as a leader, you may feel more of the weight falls on your shoulders.
When you have a team working remotely, make their happiness your top priority. You’ll find the rest, including engagement, tends to fall into place.
With a little creativity and plenty of devotion, you can keep remote employees engaged, whether their home office is needed for a week or becomes a permanent arrangement.
If you do not have an HR partner, Tandem HR is happy to help. Give us a call today at 630-928-0510.
Tandem HR is an IRS Certified Professional Employer Organization (CPEO) providing hundreds of businesses with high-touch and custom HR solutions. We also provide payroll, benefits, risk management, employee relations, and much more.