How to Keep Remote Employees Engaged
You still see the glaring evidence of the pandemic when you look out over the office. The number of cubicles has significantly reduced, you still hold many virtual meetings, and your new hires ask about Flex Time and the opportunity to work remotely. You know that the office will never look the same. This change isn’t something to fear or be concerned about, however. The Harvard Business Review notes that 62% of employees believe working remotely positively impacts engagement. Employees appreciate the opportunity to work from home, have more control over their schedule, and find true work-life balance. Happier employees often lead to more productive employees, which is imperative for the growth of your business. The challenge you’ll face is retaining your remote workers and creating a sense of team loyalty even if they rarely step foot in the office.
Below are 10 ways you can keep your remote employees engaged and committed to your organization.
1. Stay Connected Through Technology
Be sure to use multiple channels of communication, using technology strategically. Streamline communication between project managers and team members to promote a clear vision and understanding of expectations. Face-to-face communication through video conferencing will help your remote workers feel like they are a part of the team and protect them from feelings of loneliness and isolation.
2. Foster Social Interaction
Establish team connections through social hours and virtual team-building activities. Assign a mentor to a new hire so your new employees have a coworker to rely on and turn to when they have questions. Plan company retreats and team outings for office workers and remote workers to have a chance to connect.
3. Show Employees You Care
You show your employees that you care about them when you give them flexibility in their schedules. Create regular check-ins where you discuss your remote employee’s family and personal needs, mental and emotional health, and workload. Let them know you want to help them avoid burnout and help them establish healthy boundaries.
4. Listen to Feedback
Connect with your employees by asking for feedback and taking action if possible. Explaining why you will—or won’t—take action shows them that you heard what they had to say and value their opinion. Establishing a culture of listening to feedback and giving growth opportunities are advantageous to both parties.
5. Recognize Employee Contributions
Sometimes, remote workers put in more hours than their in-office counterparts because their workday is not as clearly defined. Despite their work ethic, they often feel disconnected from the
team. One way to prevent frustration is to regularly and publicly recognize your employees. Utilize an online platform that allows team leads and colleagues to highlight an employee in real-time. Yes, a private email from management is encouraging to an employee, but when co-workers publicly recognize a job well-done, employee engagement skyrockets.
6. Keep Them in the Loop
Remember that remote workers will miss out on water cooler talks or quick chats from across the desk. Keep them in the loop by encouraging the use of message boards, tracking systems, one-on-one meetings, and virtual team meetings. Encourage everyone to update their progress and keep remote workers as a vital part of an ongoing dialogue. This will help remote workers feel empowered and motivated to stay engaged.
7. Have Effective Onboarding
Don’t forget the necessity of effective onboarding. Just as you would take an extended time to ensure new hires feel confident in the office, the same attention is needed for remote workers. Make sure new employees have access to all documents and the login credentials necessary to do their job. Give them clear training on processes and the technology your company uses. Ensure they have the tools, equipment, and resources required to be successful. New hires that work remotely often need extra support to feel confident as they begin their new job.
8. Provide the Necessary Tools
Of course, your new employees will need the correct hardware and equipment such as laptops, company cell phones, and project management platforms, but that’s not all. You will empower your employees when you ensure that they have a place to work effectively and access to development opportunities. Perhaps you need to offer a stipend for employees who do not have a home office or cover the costs to send remote employees to business conferences or professional development courses.
9. Be Flexible
Build trust with your remote workers by recognizing that they may work at different times than the in-office team and giving them the autonomy to set their own schedule. Trust that they will get the job done promptly. Feeling trusted by a superior and not being micromanaged increases employee satisfaction and job performance.
10. Give In-House Work Options
Consider offering a hybrid work environment. Studies have shown that organizations that allow employees to work from home 3-4 days a week are the most productive and engaged. The time spent in the office promoted collaboration and team bonding. But the opportunity to work remotely kept the employees less stressed, more motivated, and more effective.
Opportunities for working remotely may be the best way to keep your employees engaged in their job. Yet leaders play the biggest role in ensuring that remote workers stay committed to their job. Contact us today to learn about how Trinity Training & Development can impact your organization’s culture and environment. Our programs are designed to equip managers and
team leaders with the tools to strengthen their influence and success so your organization can thrive.