Struggle to Keep Employees Engaged Remotely
The pandemic has made many organizations change the way they work. I’ve written about Covid 19 and its impacts on the HR and Recruiting industries on several occasions.
To keep things going on, organizations had to shift their employees to work fully remote. Companies had to make quick adjustments when the pandemic hit. But no company could have predicted that many teams would be remote until mid-2021.
This has created many challenges for the companies and the employees who have never faced these types of obstacles. There are many challenges associated with the employees working at home. One of the biggest challenges of this scenario is keeping them engaged and connected long term.
When your employees are working at home and are physically distant, sometimes they lose the touch of being in the workplace the usual interactions and team bonding might not be there to encourage and motivate them long term. It’s easily for a single employee to work remotely from home but it’s hard to keep them engaged and focused within a team setting.
Here’s some ways to keep your Employees Engaged
If you are making them buy things that are required to do the work on their own, they might not feel motivated for their work. You must supply them with the basic office accessories that are required to do the work properly. It might include a laptop, keyboard, desk, white boards, etc. You can get them delivered to them or you can tell them to buy things from the office account. Either way, they will be enthusiastic and motivated to work with you after this gesture.
You need to be sure that the supervisors are online with the employees. They must inform employees about the goals, short-term and long-term tasks, and anything else that they should know is a part of a certain project. The managers should encourage them to speed up the tasks, communicate as much as they can, and get on board with the workplace environment. A weekly meeting would be a great idea to get everyone on the same page. I recommend having your team use the SMART Goals method when creating team or personal goals.
Having Open & Honest Dialogue
If you want them to feel engaged in the work environment, let them speak their minds. Along with them sharing the tasks, goals, and getting reports from them, it is essential to let them speak when they should and whenever they want to. If they open up about new ideas and ways, it is a way of analyzing their personality, knowing their skills, and thus making them motivated.
Sending Team Swag
If you are hiring new people, you can introduce welcome gifts to them such as a mug, pen, office shirt, notebook, or anything else. You can also organize a meeting to introduce the new hires, it acts as an ice-breaker. Also, for the current employees, you can do contests and competitions and give gifts to them as a source of motivation.
Introducing Communication Channels
Introduce them to the communication tools (like slack) that are used in the office and can be used to communicate with each other. Get them familiar with the office tools so that they can know that they can contact anyone easily. It could be video conferencing software, email, messaging tools, project management tools, and others. My teams uses Slack channels and Zoom team calls to stay engaged throughout the week.
For better engagement of employees, they must know that they matter. Group meetings and calls are good for the discussion of the task and goals overall, but when it comes to distributing the work and making them understand their specific roles, you can have in-person meetings with them. You can schedule a quarterly meeting with each of the employees to make them see that you know what is going on with your employees.
Managers need to be Proactive
As a manager or supervisor, you need to make yourself available. More than being available, you can be proactive and ask questions frequently to get them to share things they would rather not discuss easily. There are several things that employees want to talk about but they don’t because they couldn’t decide when and how to talk about it. You can ask them a few questions frequently like, ‘How can we make you more productive?’
Remote work shouldn’t mean that things won’t move forward like they had to. If you were about to announce a promotion, this shouldn’t stop you from doing that. Though it takes time to get back to your feet when you are hit by such a pandemic, once you get on track with the work, you must give career growth opportunities to the employees. They deserve to move forward as they are giving their best from home as well.
Giving Team Feedback
To keep them engaged, feedback is very important. Studies have proved that employees like to receive daily or weekly feedback to analyze where they stand and what improvements should be done in the performance. Also, it is a great way to encourage collaboration and communication among peers. You can also start a reward and recognition program to provide better feedback to the employees.
Train your Managers
For remote teams to be productive and engaged, the managers and supervisors need to understand their roles. Around 56% of the employees have stated that they wish their managers could be more adapted to the remote work environment. To avoid such disturbance, it is best to train your managers and supervisors according to the changing environment so that they can handle their teams in a better way.
Keeping employees engaged is the most important factor that matters to make your company progressive. With the pandemic going around and with the need for the remote workforce, it is required to adapt yourself to it. You must interact with your employees differently to make sure they are on the same board as you when it comes to being productive for the company.