Ever since the pandemic hit, modern enterprises have moved to remote operations. Considering the safety of the employees and prioritizing the employee well-being over everything else was indeed a tremendous and necessary move. The initial hesitation around remote working and employee productivity for the companies that did not have a ‘work from home’ as a regular policy has now subsided.
With several policy changes and a bunch of handy remote working tools that have been incremental in helping keep up with the workforce productivity as well as data security, timesheet calculation is one thing that still generates concerns from business leaders, as well as the people and culture managers in organizations, is how to engage remote employee?
Engaging remote employees is not straightforward, and while it may seem more employee-centric, engaging employees is imperative for employee productivity in the long run. Engaged employees perform better and stick with the organization longer. While remote working has nullified the possibility of team engagement activities- from team lunches to milestone celebrations to off-site training and all-hands meets, what does the future of employee engagement look like?
With the millennials expected to be a large part of the workforce, organizations are expected to overhaul their existing employee well-being programs, shed off the hierarchy, and opt for a more parallel and open employee culture. Moreover, the role and life of freelancers, contract employees, and permanent remote staff will be increasing in the coming times, which ushers in other challenges in maintaining employee engagement.
If maintaining employee engagement and collaboration in a remote working environment is challenging, we’ve put together a list of pointers that can help!
How to Engage Your Remote Employees With These 5 Tips
1. Centralizing Communication
This is by far the most essential way to engage employees virtually. Employees cannot walk up to someone’s desk to clarify a doubt or set up a meeting; checking other team members’ availability is easy. Accessing employees and other team members with remote work is slightly complicated; hence, having a centralized communication channel is necessary. For starters, you can use the SharePoint calendar to schedule meetings and events accurately.
This communication channel cannot be a latent email or a personal messaging tool and needs to be corporate-exclusive. Employees should be able to simply get in touch with their teammates over calls or messages. Regular 1:1 meeting check-ins should be scheduled between managers, direct reports, and team members and their colleagues.
Centralizing communication is also important for sending out company-wide announcements, notifications, and updates to keep employees in the loop.
2. Facilitating Collaboration
Access to the right documents and business resources is critical to employee productivity and engagement. These resources need to be available whenever employees need them. While they can be made available over a secure cloud, easy access to recently updated resources or work-in-progress documents is possible only over a secure messaging app that supports file transfer.
Maintaining the security of the documents exchanged over a communication tool is essential, so choosing a tool with encryption is the right way to keep your employees engaged and data secure.
3. Making Way for Innovation
Innovation doesn’t need to stop, be it remote working or not. With employees working remotely full-time and for an indefinite period, there needs to be a proper channel to bring together the innovators of your organization, plan brainstorming sessions and discuss new ideas over virtual whiteboards.
In fact, with employees being home and saving time on the commute, there can be more time set aside for exploring new ideas and projects.
4. Hosting Virtual Fun Activities
“All work and no play makes an employee lose productivity,” and so goes the new saying. To upkeep employee engagement, companies can host virtual events, competitions like talent hunts and quizzes, or a hackathon. This brings remote teams together and provides a good time off from mundane work and home-office activities.
A communication tool that paves the way for enterprise-wide communication via a group chat encompassing all the teams across diverse geographical locations can help bring remote employees together virtually.
Let’s face it, frustrated employees cannot be productive and after a while, they simply are not engaged enough to care about extending their efficient best. And nothing frustrates employees more than device hardware + software errors, especially when the technical/IT help is not around. To keep employees engaged and productive while remote working, extending remote support over the air to quickly troubleshoot devices hardware and software issues is imperative. Investing in a remote support solution is a stepping stone in streamlining troubleshooting for remote working employees.
Remote working is here to stay and while it changes the dynamics of how organizations operate in the future. Without a doubt, maintaining employee engagement will be crucial to not only keep them productive but also extend a positive brand image for the company.