The COVID-19 coronavirus is quickly impacting every aspect of society. In a few days, it seems, remote work became the new norm. According to the Financial Times, these changes may have lasting effects on the ways companies operate. Considering all of this, employers have a unique situation on their hands.
This rise in remote work can present employers, especially ones used to more traditional workflows, with some new trials. For example, employers are struggling to understand how they can keep their remote employees engaged with their jobs, how to maintain company culture, and more. Not being able to see them face to face and interact in traditional ways makes it harder for employers to use many of the most effective methods for motivating disengaged employees. But that does not mean that all hope is lost. Here are some tactics that employers can use to help maximize remote employee engagement at their companies.
Make an Online Space for Non-Work Related Conversations
In order for most employees to feel truly engaged in their workplace, they need to form a personal bond with some of the people that they work with in addition to their standard professional bond. But, in order to accomplish this, it often requires personal interactions that are not work-related.
Unfortunately, this rarely happens when someone is not physically going into the workplace because any communication had with other employees is going to likely be of a professional nature. Therefore, employers need to introduce a way that remote employees can once again get to know their fellow employees on a more personal level.
A good way to do this is to create a group chat on either an employee app or another communication network where employees are specifically encouraged to share things that are not work-related. This will help create the social bond that helps keep employees engaged, whether they are working remotely or not.
Limit Distractions During Virtual Meetings
When a company has several remote employees, they will often conduct virtual meetings on a semi-regular basis. These meetings can be very useful for keeping employees engaged, but only if they are executed correctly.
Hosting meetings with virtual employees can be problematic if they are not being asked to actively contribute to the conversation. Doing this makes them much more prone to distractions and disengagement. That is why meeting leaders need to make sure that they are properly handling sidebar conversations and other forms of distraction during their virtual meetings. They should also be frequently addressing the remote employees directly to make sure that they are still fully engaged with the conversation. For this reason, employers may also want to hold video meetings, rather than regular calls.
Include Remote Employees During Celebrations
Giving praise and awards for impressive accomplishments is a great tool for maintaining employee motivation and engagement. However, when an employee lives in a different city, state, or country from the company HQ, it can be difficult to include them in celebrations. Sure, remote employees won’t be able to be there for free donut day when the company hits a new record in sales, but that does not mean that they should be ignored altogether.
Employers should think about how they can reach them directly with some sort of easily transferable reward like a gift card or performance bonus. This will help include them as part of the celebration, involve them in the culture, and keep them engaged.
By using these methods, employers should notice a significant increase in remote employee engagement. To learn other methods of keeping all kinds of employees actively engaged in the workplace, contact us today.