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Guest article by Kelly Barcelos, Jobsoid
Remote working has become a trending term since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. So much so that currently, 4.7 million people in the US are working remotely. While offering their employees the flexibility to work remotely is the best step employers can take to protect them, it can certainly have a negative impact on employee engagement, the main reason being isolation. But how to motivate employees when you can’t see or meet them frequently? I have some tips that will help you engage remote employees. Read on.
Work on Your Company Culture
Remote working is not just a trend anymore; it has become a necessity. However, there are still many organizations that think people who’re working remotely aren’t really “working.” So, first of all, remote working should be embraced. Remote employees shouldn’t be made to feel that their contribution isn’t enough or that their quality of work isn’t appreciated. Instead, managers should involve them in weekly team meetings, take their inputs, conduct brainstorming sessions, etc. to treat them just like on-site members of the team.
Review Your Goals
For remote employees, productivity and success are usually measured by the number of hours recorded. It is a common trend in organizations allowing working remote work. However, to improve employee engagement and experience, managers should measure employee success by the results people achieve instead of the number of hours they stayed logged in. Set clear goals around what is expected in a week or a month. This will boost clarity and focus. And the best part? People get to create the schedule that they know will best contribute to their success.
Encourage Health and Wellness
Remote employees should get the same health benefits as the on-site employees in terms of health insurance, access to healthcare providers, annual check-ups, etc. Moreover, mental health shouldn’t be overlooked, especially because people working remotely may end up feeling disconnected and isolated.Feelings like these can seriously impact their mental health.
Here are a few things you can do to safeguard the mental health of your remote team members:
- Create group communication channels on WhatsApp, Slack, or other platforms, and help them stay connected to the rest of the team.
- Conduct regular 1-0n-1 Sync-Ups where you can talk about their goals, performance, challenges, etc. Use these conversations to acknowledge and appreciate them for their contribution.
- Reimburse them for any mental health services they seek.
- Reimburse them for gym memberships, yoga classes, dance classes, or any other physical activities that can boost their mental health.
Hold Virtual Hangouts
A big part of great work culture comes in people mingling, talking about their families, sharing interesting insights, and basically interacting with their team members for more than just work. Remote employees often do not get the chance to do all of this, which ushers in the feeling of boredom and disconnectedness. So, to ensure strong proper employee engagement even when half the team is working remotely, conduct weekly or monthly virtual hangouts where people can talk about things other than work and simply enjoy each other’s company. You can organize virtual potlucks, team games, movie nights, etc. which will help team members establish an emotional connection with the organization.
Often, managers avoid giving feedback to remote team members simply because they’re not used to giving feedback virtually. But honestly, it works! Even if the person is in a different time zone, you should conduct routine feedback meetings to help them improve. This will give them the assurance that the organization is dedicated to helping them grow, which is extremely critical for employee engagement.
Recognize Good Work
With the list of tasks they must complete every day, remote employees can fall into a monotonous cycle. But the problem starts when they are not motivated enough to do their best. To avoid this, make sure you recognize their efforts and praise them if they’ve made a valuable contribution. Knowing that their work is appreciated will encourage them to do even better and achieve new standards of excellence every day.
Take engaging your remote team members as another challenge and try to do everything you would do if they weren’t working remotely – but only virtually.
I hope you found these tips on how to engage remote employees helpful.
At WorkTango, we’re revolutionizing how the world’s most forward-thinking companies engage and inspire their people. We offer the only holistic Employee Experience Platform built for the modern workplace that enables meaningful recognition and rewards, offers actionable insights through employee surveys, and supports alignment through goal setting and feedback.
WorkTango is built for the workplace we all want to be a part of – where priorities become clear, achievements are celebrated, and employees have a voice. To learn more, check out our platform overview video, or schedule a demo.
Author Bio: Kelly Barcelos is a progressive digital marketing manager specializing in HR and is responsible for leading Jobsoid’s content and social media team. When Kelly is not building campaigns, she is busy creating content and preparing PR topics.