Let’s face it, not having employees in an office is not always easy. It can even be a bit like herding cats on certain days. And as some businesses pass the one year mark of having individuals work from home, there may be people falling through the cracks or going unnoticed. That is not good for a company or its goals. So, to get staff back on track, here are some easy ways to get remote employees re-engaged with business.
Why Does Employee Engagement Matter?
But before diving into how to improve employee engagement, here is the reason it matters to a business. Not having productive and committed individuals means that a company’s morale and more importantly profitability are in danger. Why? Because employees are the lifeblood of a business and without them it can place an organization in serious jeopardy.
It’s not always easy to spot un-engaged individuals. If a business is churning out results or hitting goals, leadership can be wooed into thinking all is well in the world. But when employee retention takes a dive or there’s a run of absenteeism, then that’s a red flag indicating a problem. These problems are even harder to manage when an individual is working from home and not meeting with supervisors face-to-face on a regular basis. It’s easy for them to pass on productivity if they can just shut off the computer and focus on their personal life.
Also, word can travel if a business is not doing its best for people. A company can get a reputation for not taking employee wellness and growth seriously which can hurt hiring prospects. Showing concern for individuals builds good relationships and in turn helps with engagement in the long run.
Now that the importance of employee engagement has been explained, let’s get into how to improve it. There are tools on hand to help companies grab their employees’ attention and improve their engagement, productivity and morale.
Easy Ways to Build Remote Employee Engagement
A business does not have to break the bank to grow engagement; there are numerous free or low-cost methods to execute for building rapport with remote individuals. Here are a few plans to try out.
Schedule Virtual Events
Yes, there are a lot of virtual meetings going on, but carving out half an hour every other week or once a month just for fun stuff is an easy way to encourage engagement. Common activities to do during this time are a happy hour, creating a fun competition, or hosting a coffee/lunch date. Remember, remote employees don’t have a physical water cooler to gather around, so this scheduled time is a great way to help host regular office activities remotely. Ask for volunteers or schedule plans for activities to do each session. Leadership will be surprised by what individuals can talk or teach each other about during this time. Plus, it’s good to kick back and talk about non-work interests once in a while.
Encourage Online Learning
There are tons of free learning courses available online for employees to grow in their current positions and careers. Now is the time to help them build up on their skills to improve not only themselves but the business as a whole. Leadership can also turn this learning into larger group discussions with individuals presenting/teaching about topics they enjoy or scheduling sessions for teams to discuss assigned coursework. Even creating a special communication channel for educational information is a great way to get employees talking and encouraging one another about skills they are improving or want to learn more about.
Build Clubs and Teams
Employees have interests outside of work, and encouraging them to share these passions can help with building team engagement. Whether it’s a virtual running club or a trivia team, inspire team members to get involved in things they enjoy. While some people like a book club, others might want to start a video gaming competition. And let them do it; it’s helping build comradery within the team. Some companies have started cooking clubs where employees can roll up their sleeves and get to work in the kitchen. If there is any concern around visiting a grocery delivery service and have the ingredients sent to their team member’s homes. It’s fun for individuals to talk about something other than work, and learn about each other’s interests.
Create a Place for Recognition
Recognition is one of the easiest ways to make an employee feel good about themselves. Utilizing internal communication centers is a great way to pull off this plan. Whether a business highlights their accomplishments in a weekly email blast or posts about an individual’s contribution to the team on their website, acknowledging team members goes a long way. And it’s not just leadership who should do the calling out. Individuals should be allowed the opportunity to shoutout their teammates, as well. Praise for a job well done builds up positive feelings and vibes and can push people to contribute more to their job.
Going the extra mile for remote individuals pays off big-time for companies. By executing any of the plans above, businesses can help re-engage remote staff and build up positive relationships. Remember, employees are the key to company success, and supporting them assists with hitting overall goals.