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5 Effective Strategies For Keeping Your Remote Employees Engaged

Over the years, remote work has been on the rise. It has become more common in 2020 and 2021, with prospects for continued growth as more and more companies understand the benefits of remote work.

Some of the benefits companies are experiencing with managing a remote workforce include improved productivity, a happier employee base, higher returns on investment, and better employee engagement.

According to a study by Global Workplace Analytics, a typical company can save at least $11,000 per employee from embracing remote work.

The State of the American Workplace report confirms that more than 40% of Americans are currently working from home, with more than 95% of them preferring to work from home. 83% of employees feel happier working from home.

For any company to enjoy the benefits of remote work, they need to master the art of keeping remote employees engaged.

As we are software developer recruiters with remote employees, the staff is not in one key location, which can be a challenge for communication, affecting employee engagement.

Defining employee engagement

Employee engagement can be defined as employees’ emotional and mental connections toward their work, fellow employees, and the company.

Generally, there are 4 different profiles that can be used to determine employee engagement. These include:

  • Highly engaged employees – these are employees holding favorable opinions of their workplace. They love their job and teams and work hard to see the company succeed.
  • Moderately engaged employees – these are employees who like their organization but see room for improvement. They are unlikely to take on more responsibility and may be underperforming.
  • Barely engaged employees -these are employees feeling indifferent about their job and company. They lack motivation and do the bare minimum to get by. They are likely to look for other opportunities, making them high turnover risks.
  • Disengaged employees – these are employees that hold a negative opinion about their job and company. They are not committed to their role and are disinterested in their responsibilities. Their negative perception can have a negative impact on the productivity of their employees around a disengaged employee.

Top methods of keeping remote employees engaged

Regardless whether you have shifted to the remote work recently, or it because of the online business model of your organization, like for ecommerce businesses, for online work to be successful, you need to have a highly engaged remote workforce.

Here are effective strategies you can use to foster better remote employee engagement in your company and business continuity.

Ensure effective internal communication

For there to be effective engagement between you and your remote employees, you need to improve your internal communication strategy. As an employer, you need to put effort into prioritizing employee engagement efforts.

Some of the communications strategies you can employ to reach your remote employees include:

  • Holding weekly must-attend formal check-ins.
  • Establishing performance goals for the weeks and months ahead
  • Setting clear expectations and tasks requirements.
  • Creating group communication channels for team meetings, one-to-one chat, open forums, and video calls to share feedback.
  • Encouraging two-way communication for projects collaborations, customer satisfaction planning, and marketing.

Making communication a two-way process is beneficial to the management and the employees. To foster employee engagement, it is important to ensure that managers are not the only ones communicating, as this renders engagement non-existent.

Provide employees with the tools they need

If you have not equipped your remote employees with the right work from home accessories or tools, you will have an issue enforcing collaborating and engagement.

Thanks to advancements in technology, the market is loaded with collaboration and communication tools to make remote work and communication more streamlined.

Tools such as Asana, Slack, ClickUp, and Monday.com are ideal for project management, while zoom or skype can be used for video correspondence. While all these are effective, it is important to also have an employee communication app.

The best communications app should be able to handle your employees, regardless of the number. It should offer an all-in-one service for chat, real-time updates, suggestion boxes, voice messaging, and video, files, and even pictures support.

With the right tool, you will be able to communicate with your remote employees, which will help to boost employee engagement and keep them motivated.

Be flexible

To empower your employees, you need to lean into the flexibility offered by remote work.

With a work from anywhere policy, different employees would prefer to work from different locations, ranging from coffee shops to remote locations around the world.

As a leader, you need to be flexible enough to allow your employees to choose their ideal work environment. This is one of the best ways to boost creativity and morale, which enhances engagement.

It is also ideal to consider allowing your employees to set their own hours, especially if their work does not involve a lot of collaboration.

This helps to alleviate stress and boost their efficiency. Meanwhile, it is also critical to ensure that everything is well organized and that employees are provided with the tools like online daily planners or project management software to organize their everyday tasks.

Allowing them to pick their working hours gives them room to accomplish things in their personal life. This motivation will reflect back in their work, which is good for the company.

Meanwhile, to keep everything organized, the organizations can provide with tools like online daily planners

To ensure efficient collaboration time, you can set aside certain times for project discussions and meetings, giving employees time to flex their work hours outside of these mandatory meeting times.  

Make sure your employees feel valued

Making your remote employees feel valued and appreciated is an important part of keeping them engaged. With remote working, you are not in the office with your employees where you can extend personal appreciation by taking the for lunch of celebrating their work anniversary.

For this reason, you need to find ways to appreciate them from a distance.

There are different ways you can show appreciation to your remote workforce. For instance, sending a virtual gift card on their birthday is an easy way of making them feel remembered and valued.

You can also schedule a team call to appreciate an employee who went above and beyond on a project where you recognize them for their effort.

Finding simple ways to appreciate your employees makes them feel seen and narrows the virtual gap, keeping them more engaged with their work and company.

Keeping the lines of communication open is also a way of making your employees feel valued. Miscommunication is common with remote work. Your employees should be able to come to you with their questions or concerns freely.

Ensure the employees know they can reach you for one-on-one meetings where they can talk to you about their concerns. Ensure you take appropriate action whenever an employee confides in you.

onboarding-employee illustration

Do virtual team building activities

While team-building exercises are associated with an office setup workforce, setting up virtual team building for remote employees is still possible. Remote team-building activities ensure that your employees get to bond and form a team, albeit virtually.

People are more likely to become better collaborators when they know who is listening.

Team building is important for a strong company culture that is necessary for improving communication.

Some ideal options for virtual team building activities include:

  • Creating a virtual room where employees can join in their breaks to catch up
  • Holding virtual company events with an agenda, speakers, and a Q&A session.
  • Setting friendly challenges for group goals where employees can compete.
  • Conducting training sessions through webinar platforms.
  • Connecting team members that don’t usually collaborate on projects through video.
  • Hosting remote classes and workshops that are fun and helpful to the workforce.
  • Hosting virtual work lunch or dinner sessions.

The bottom line

With the right employee engaging techniques, you can create a virtual work environment with motivated, creative, capable, and highly engaged remote employees who will take your company to new heights of success.

The strategies highlighted in this article can go a long way in turning your disengaged employees into highly engaged ones.

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