3 Ways to Engage and Connect Remote Employees
By Clara Walsh.
Organizations have had to adjust to a new way of working in recent weeks. Those that can, have sent most if not all employees home to work remotely, and with the Covid-19 situation evolving every day, it’s unclear how long this situation will last.
The move to remote working will be a paradigm shift for those who have spent their working life in an office, with the accompanying routines, culture and shared spaces.
While some might enjoy the many positives (no commute, fewer distractions), others will have a harder time adjusting. Some employee’s might feel isolated from their coworkers, disconnected from goals or at sea with workloads and priorities.
A company laptop plus access to the cloud and office intranet won’t be enough when working from home. When it comes to successful remote working, the drivers are engaged communications and a socially connected workforce.
It’s up to managers and team leaders to create a connected, supportive remote work culture, so your team is equipped to carry out their tasks effectively and enthusiastically.
To keep your remote employees engaged and aligned, here are our top tips.
1. VISUALIZE YOUR GOALS
To give everyone a clear structure to their days, weeks and months, the entire team needs to understand both their individual and the organization’s objectives, and the key milestones needed to achieve them. These can micro or macro, business-critical or personal.
Visually representing these goals will help make these tangible to your team. There are a number of emerging technologies that progressive businesses are using effectively to support the collaboration, communication and engagement needed for sustained remote working.
Technologies like Workvivo allow you to bring your company goals and values alive, celebrate successes as a team, and encourage staff to give shout-outs to their peers.
2. RECOGNIZE THE SUCCESS OF REMOTE EMPLOYEES
Recognizing achievements – small or big – is a simple but vital tool for engaging your remote employees and reinforcing your core values. Build recognition into your daily workflow. Round off weekly team meetings by calling out successes or post them to your shared chats.
A better work-life balance plus a company culture that values staff are important drivers of employee satisfaction. Organisations that value their employees and offer flexible and remote working see higher rates of satisfaction.
Our Shout-out feature in the Workvivo platform is popular, as it lets you recognize your colleagues’ wins to help them feel valued and a core part of the company. While linking the Shout-out to a company Goal, showcasing the progress made.
3. CREATES SPACES THAT ALLOW REMOTE EMPLOYEES TO SOCIALISE OUTSIDE OF WORK
Social isolation and loneliness are significant issues for remote workers. Unlike office-based staff, they don’t have the opportunity for casual conversation at the coffee machine or around the water cooler.
From Monday chats about your weekend to going for a drink after work, socializing with colleagues is vital to creating a connected workforce, regardless of whether your employees are remote or in-house.
Give your team the time and space for informal conversations. Make the most of your video-conferencing software and set up virtual coffee breaks or an after-work hang-out on Friday evenings.
Get to know each other’s new spaces – intro pets and family members or give a home office tour. Increased personal connections build a strong shared culture.
Workvivo’s Spaces feature provides a perfect forum for non-work related conversations and activities. A really interesting example of an activity to bring people together is organised virtual escape rooms, requiring employees to work together to achieve a collective goal wherever they may be working from.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the unique situation we find ourselves in to keep things light.
What about a Pet Interruption of the Month for those pets who wandered into a video call? Or best GIF of the week shared into the group chat?
Giving your team space to chat and connect will ensure a more collaborative and engaged remote team. Along with providing a positive remote community for employees, you will also be actively supporting their health and wellbeing, adding to the overall employee satisfaction rates.