With so many employees continuing to work from home, it is important to keep remote employees engaged and excited about their jobs. Here’s how.
COVID-19 achieved what years of campaigning could not: Making work-from-home the new normal. And now that employees have had a taste of the benefits of remote working (no commute! easy access to snacks! snuggle breaks with the dog!) only 9 percent of employees say they want to work in an office full-time.
There is, of course, one major challenge: Employers aren’t used to remote employees.
For a healthy culture, you need a sense of connection, no matter how far apart your desks are.
And, engaging remote employees is about more than just setting up a functional laptop and internet connection.
Here are three ways that employers can engage remote employees successfully.
Highlight Culture Daily
Office culture is the intangible but strongly felt office element that most remote employees miss. Basically, it’s the work environment you provide for your employees, both through rules and through reinforced behaviors. People learn it through interaction, which is why employees often lose touch with culture once they work from home.
So, if you want to increase engagement, reinforcing culture is the best place to start.
For example, culture can begin with branded swag to surround employees at home, but it’s also reinforced through communication.
Remember, culture is a social experience.
To that end, maintain a work communication channel (outside of email) for employees to connect. It can be anything from Facebook to Slack, just make sure that you watch the content to maintain the right culture, and pay careful attention when managing employees’ social media.
Offer Incentives for Employee Productivity
Organizations with greater employee engagement see a 22 percent increase in employee productivity.
Of course, for remote employees, productivity can be a lot harder; remote working removes certain variables to control productivity (like your supervisor) and adds certain variables to disrupt productivity (like your cat).
You can’t stand over your remote employees’ shoulders, but you can incentivize them to stay productive.
The easiest way to do this is to create a practical, achievable bonus system for remote employees. The keyword is achievable. If employees don’t stand a chance of getting the bonus without working 24/7/365, it’s not a morale boost.
However, it’s essential you go much deeper than just money. Give employees incentives to bolster each other, like a monthly nomination for favorite team members or taking five minutes to say what you appreciate about your team at the start of each meeting.
Foster Personal Connections Through Remote Working
Finally, in case you hadn’t caught on yet, the key to engaged remote work is a sense of connection, so take the time to foster those personal connections with your remote employees. Remember, your workers are human beings, not nameless mailing list recipients.
A practical approach to this is to do more than just check up with your remote employees. Take the time to have real conversations and chat about life, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Follow up on things they tell you. Give them opportunities to thrive while doing what they love.
Learn How to Manage Remote Employees
The key to managing remote employees is to think of them just like in-person employees, only further away.
And because you don’t see them over your morning coffee break, you have to put a bit more effort into maintaining social connections. But if you’re willing to put in the legwork to keep employees engaged, they will reward you tenfold.
Make sure to check out the blog for more great tips on how to manage your workplace successfully, like this post on how to manage conflict with grace and aplomb.
Amp Up the Productivity
Want to know exactly what you need to do to turn on the productivity, maintain the energy, and foster your firm’s culture and connection with remote workers? We have the programs for managers and remote works proven to make your CFO grin like a Cheshire cat.
Want to explore further? Questions? Get in touch and let’s set up a time to talk