6 Bonafide Ways to Engage Remote Employees
In an increasingly competitive market, the business world needs to do everything to optimize company culture. The evidence is overwhelmingly happy employees work more effectively than unhappy employees.
Unfortunately, low worker morale is the norm, with a staggering 87% of employees feeling disengaged from their work environment. Dissatisfaction can impact everything from turnover rates to productivity to maintaining a competitive edge.
With more people shifting towards remote working, it's even more critical to establish a strong company culture and relationship-building. Read ahead for the top tips on how to engage remote employees and improve employee work to ensure business success.
How to Boost Remote Workforce Engagement
Companies with high employee engagement derive several advantages, including -
- Motivated and Productive Workforce- Engaged employees are 93% more motivated than those who don't.
- Optimized Healthcare Results- High-stress environments result in disengagement, along with greater healthcare costs.
- Better Leadership Strong- work-life cultures have effective managers that connect with their workers and motivate them to perform better.
- Decreased Attendance Problems- Companies with high employee engagement have fewer unplanned absences or illnesses. Workers who feel they have a healthy work-life balance are also less likely to call in sick.
- Decreased Turnover Rate- When workers feel satisfied with their jobs, they tend to stay employed for a greater length of time.
- Fewer Incidents of Theft- Happier employees don't steal or commit as many crimes as disgruntled ones.
- Better Customer Service- Satisfied employees treat customers better and respond to problems more effectively.
- Greater Productivity- Organizations with greater employee engagement have a more productive workforce with a higher quality of deliverables.
Because relationships are essential to an engaged workforce, businesses must enact policies that optimize connectivity and team-building among those who work remotely every day.
Here are the top best practices to improve engagement for those working remotely
1. Prioritize Wellness
Sick and stressed out employees tend to take unplanned days off and/or be less productive. Organizations should generate incentives to ensure remote teams are getting exercise, eating correctly, and relaxing when possible.
Many companies have enacted wellness initiatives for 30 days to encourage optimal health in the workplace. This helps team members build relationships and ensures they know the company cares about their wellbeing.
2. Host Virtual Hangouts
Maintaining regular communication can maximize and improve team building activities. Utilizing communication software such as instant messaging systems, video conferencing, or other networks can help team membersstay connected and feel included.
Virtual coffee dates, virtual water cooler hangouts, or happy hours to encourage small talk can also be effective ways to encourage relationships and improve the work culture. It's essential to maintain both work-related and non-work-related communication channels to ensure optimal employee engagement.
3. Listen to Feedback
A virtual team that feel appreciated and listened to are more likely to perform well and maintain employment at the company. Managers should schedule one-on-one meetings to see how workers are doing and determine whether they have any questions/concerns.
Group meetings are also a helpful way to pinpoint inefficiencies or bottlenecks that are leading to a decrease in productivity. Managing remote employees requires addressing the problems to ensure employees have the optimal work environment.
4. Encourage Relationship-Building
Though it's important to be professional with a remote workforce, managers should remember that they are still just people with needs, wants, and goals. Employers need to pinpoint team members' strengths and encourage everyone to achieve personal KPIs.
Managers should also ask how workers are doing and get to know their employees to make sure they know the company cares about them. Bonuses and other incentives can also help the workforce feel appreciated and motivated to perform better.
5. Improve Communication Channels
Establishing effective communication in the workplace is one of the most important ways to keep employees engaged. Managers should remember that employees may be in different time zones, have different availability, and use different collaboration tools.
Though the organization should establish a set of preferred communication practices to optimize productivity, it's beneficial to get feedback before enacting those policies. For example, if text messages are the preferred method to communicate, then it's not effective to force team members to communicate via Slack.
6. Consider Gamification
Many companies have incorporated game-playing features on work-related applications to maximize engagement and gain customer loyalty. Competitions and rewards help employees feel a part of a team environment and encourage collaboration.
Gamification can also be a great way to encourage employees working from home to meet their goals by competing with other teams. Because it's a group-based initiative, everyone is accountable to their team and more likely to be motivated. This can be an effective method to standardize metrics and encourage remote workers to optimize productivity.
In conclusion, here are the key takeaways to remember about engaging remote workers
- Prioritizing wellness initiatives can help to decrease remote worker absenteeism and improve employee engagement. Virtual hangouts are also an effective way to optimize remote employee engagement.
- Managers should make sure to listen to employee feedback and correct regular bottlenecks or inefficiencies. Building relationships by respecting everyone's needs, strengths, and weaknesses can also help to keep remote employees engaged. Employee recognition through bonuses or other incentives can also be great motivators.
- Because workers are off-site, it's essential to maximize the use of communication channels. Management should determine which channels are most effective and standardize best practices, while still being flexible to specific needs.
- Gamification is the best way to encourage worker productivity and connectivity so the business meets its goals.