Covid-19 has made the once sporadic concept of remote working a mainstream practice, and more and more organizations are adopting it amidst the pandemic.
While professionals worldwide are constantly working to discover and employ several work from home strategies to streamline their operations remotely, employee engagement ideas in a remote work setup still remain the most glaring concern for many.
If you're part of the same tribe, here are six proven employee engagement strategies -
1. Maintain Consistent Communication
To keep your employees organized and focused on what they need to do to make themselves and their teams successful, it is of paramount importance to set up a robust communication network. Establishing good communication is, in fact, central to the work from home scenario because of the following reasons –
- Consistent and good communication facilitates a clear and smooth flow of information between managers and employees
- It allows managers to convey a feeling of belongingness or imbue company ethics in their employees working remotely
- It allows employees to put across their queries, remarks, and feedback
- Constant communication helps the remote employee feel connected and participate in the social atmosphere of the office
You can do this by having a well-thought-out and structured agenda to conduct bi-weekly or weekly meetings to share, take feedback, and solve day to day issues. Encourage your employees to ask more questions in these forums and feel welcomed.
Setting up periodic virtual all-company meetings is another crucial strategy to help everyone stay on the same page and imbibe core company values. Also, break the barriers of email communication and find various alternatives for faster and informal ways to connect with your teams. Tools like Slack, Zoom, or Skype for Business allow employees to start communication threads, chat with each other, and enable a culture of responsiveness.
Related Read: 6 Best Remote Training Tools for Modern-Day Learners
2. Define Clear Goals for Remote Workers
Research suggests that as many as 39% of people working remotely complete their assigned tasks faster than those working in fixed workplaces. However, what is really important to set your remote workers for such kind of success is setting clear and measurable goals for them.
Set specific metrics and clear deliverables that will enable you to track outcomes and measure results effectively.
Communication can be really challenging for remote teams, and several things can get lost in translation. This makes it crucial to be very clear about goals and responsibilities along with the timeframes to accomplish them.
3. Feedback And Peer-to-Peer Support
Remote working can be both challenging and frustrating if employers don’t get space and time to share their trials and successes. To keep them feeling connected and engaged, it is important to set aside dedicated time to hear about their struggles, things that are going well, and how the overall transition is going.
Further, managers should let go of the temptation to micromanage and give their employees a sense of autonomy in their remote working schedules. Not only does this boost productivity, but it also can offer employees with a heightened sense of accountability in their work.
In addition to this, use multiple ways to boost the morale of your employees by connecting them with internal or external supportive networks where they get dedicated space for peer-to-peer support meetings to appreciate each other.
4. Be Clear About Expectations
The importance of crystal clear directions in a remote work set up is undeniable. Without clarity on what to do next or who employees can turn to in their hour of need, employees can soon be left feeling demotivated and disengaged.
Similar to onboarding, where you take a new employee through different processes and systems, make sure a remote employee knows all about the tools, tips, and processes that will help them succeed in the work they do. Among the important things that a remote workforce requires guidance on include –
- Emergencies – If they’re sick or need to miss work on a given day, who should they let know?
- For assistance – How can they get in touch with the manager as and when needed? Text, email, or any other tool?
- Working hours – What schedule do they need to follow? When should they be available to work, and how many hours per week/ day should they be available?
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5. Recognize, Appreciate and Reward
The essence of any healthy work environment is to celebrate the small and big successes and achievements of your workforce. When you acknowledge your remote employees for their outstanding work on time, they feel motivated and rejoiced by their contributions. It further fuels their zeal to work harder and earn more appreciation.
Several studies have also shown that workers feel less motivated by money and more by things such as acknowledgment of their ideas and suggestions, and having authority and growth potential. And to keep them feeling engaged and motivated, they should be given their due reward and attention.
The best way to do this is by recognizing the hard and stellar work done by remote employees, which otherwise would have gone unnoticed. This helps strengthen the feeling of trust and respect in remote employees and also serves as an example of good company ethics.
6. Encourage Learning
This is probably a great time for employees to upskill themselves and learn what they’ve always wanted to learn and a great time for managers to facilitate that.
More and more organizations are now investing in eLearning platforms to let their employees learn new skills with the extra time they get because of remote working.
When organizations promote learning among employees, it instinctively keeps them motivated and engaged. Further, you can also encourage your employees to take up other non-work-related courses such as creative arts, self-defense, instrument playing, etc. to cope with the current situation and relieve stress.
Remote working has brought significant changes in the corporate domains, but it is here to stay and will continue to become more pervasive in the future.
To be able to succeed and thrive in this new business environment, corporate leaders need to consistently work on devising new and innovative employee engagement strategies to improve workforce productivity.
Using the above tips, you can encourage your employees to remain fully engaged in a remote work setting and can help your organization develop a robust culture for its remote and ever-expanding teams.
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