The current pandemic has made it abundantly clear to many companies that remote working might be the norm for quite some time to come. And this actually has many positive sides. Not only can employers end up saving on rent, but remote employees will also get a chance to balance their work and life more, avoid lengthy commutes, and spend more quality time with loved ones. However, engagement for remote employees can be a problem as they might tend to feel ignored or left out due to the physical distancing and lack of face-time. This can negatively impact their productivity and the connection they feel with their colleagues and the company.
1. Conduct video meetings every week – Skype, Zoom and Google Hangout are some of the great tools for holding video meetings and adding that face to face element to internal communications. Remote employees can feel included, involved and valued this way. It will also help employees to collaborate and solve problems together. But, make sure there is a fun element to the meeting too and don’t just discuss about work. Maybe, you can ask remote employees what they did on the weekend or what book did they read recently.
2. Use smart tools for easy chats and even project management – These days, employee engagement consultants recommend using tools like Slack, to make communicating fast and simple. No matter where an employee is located, he or she can drop an instant message on Slack and get a quick reply. Remote workers can also chat casually with each other through this tool and make up for those office cooler conversations. Tools like Basecamp and Trello are other good options as they allow you to manage projects efficiently too. For instance, you can create groups for different projects on these platforms, share and store important documents, and have one-on-one or group chats anytime.
3. Plan fun activities for remote employees – Make sure you remember the birthdays and anniversaries of every remote employee. Just like those who work in the office, they also expect you to value them beyond their work. So, while you can’t have a pizza or cake party in the office for them, you can try and get it delivered to their location. Or, everyone can post good wishes, memes and GIFs on Slack to surprise the birthday boy or girl. Once a month, you can also host an online game where everyone can participate and feel like a team.
4. Appreciate achievements – According to employee engagement consultants, remote employees often feel unappreciated even when they go an extra mile to achieve something important to the company goal. So, call them or arrange a video meeting to thank personally and also involve other team members so that they can recognize the achiever’s talent. You can also involve them in important virtual meetings, delegate tasks of high importance or ask for advice to show your appreciation.
5. Request weekly reports and send newsletters – A very smart way to engage remote employees is by asking them to send weekly reports that detail all the work they did and what they plan to accomplish next week. This will help you track everyone’s progress and productivity as well. Also, sending out weekly newsletters is a good idea. This way, remote employees will be aware of everything that is happening in the office and won’t miss out on exciting events. You can also include satisfaction surveys or polls in these newsletters to understand what your workforce needs. Make a wonderful statement by including the pictures of all employees too.
Also Read: Remote Team Training
All in all, by making remote employees feel included and appreciated, you can drive their productivity and reach your organizational goals more easily. Or, you can also hire an employee engagement consultant to guide you better in this regard.