For these past years, work from home has been on the rise—and it only continues to grow. Many people are recognizing the benefits of virtual employment and employees adjust to the new normal. It's understandable.
Employees who work from home—most of them—are more productive, engaged, and joyful. Furthermore, businesses that provide flexible work alternatives are more appealing to top talent, assisting them in attracting and keeping a competitive workforce.
Managing a remote-work experience, on the other hand, isn't always simple. So, how to maintain employee engagement regardless of where they work?
Employee Engagement and Remote Work: What to Know
While remote-work has numerous advantages, it also comes with its own set of challenges. According to the Harvard Business Review, 62 percent of employees feel that working remotely improves engagement, yet just 5% are likely to stay at their company over the long term.
So, how does this affect your attempts to engage employees virtually?
Companies may take advantage of this gap by being proactive and increasing their engagement efforts. To keep your employees motivated, you'll need more than bonuses and happy hours. Engaging employees virtually needs a long-term strategy and commitment to your people.
When companies invest in the long-term success and engagement of their employees, they reap the benefits of happier, more productive employees who are committed to stay with the company.
Keep your people interested from the start with the following employee engagement activities.
8 Tips to Engage with Employees Virtually
1. Use technology, stay connected
Using excellent communication channels and technology strategically will help to keep your employees engaged.
For example, to keep everyone on the same page, utilize technologies like Zoom, Trello, and others, to ease communication and project management between team members. Encourage your team to use the cloud for file sharing and to enhance the amount of time they spend working together.
Don't forget to use video conferencing as well. While email and digital chats are excellent methods to communicate, face-to-face contact may make your employees feel more at ease in the workplace.
Regularly schedule staff meetings and integrate video conferences with screen sharing. This may make your employees feel like they're part of the team.
2. Boost social interaction
Despite the many advantages of working remotely, the most common complaint from employees was loneliness.
Fostering team relationships through social hours, video chats, and virtual team-building events will keep your employees motivated. Assign mentors to new recruits so that they have someone to turn to with inquiries and to help them get oriented during their first period.
3. Let your employees know that you care
Create genuine relationships with your employees and allow them to create a healthy work-life balance. Make time to talk to them on the following topics:
Their family and personal interests
Mental or emotional health and stress
Their workload in order to prevent burnout
Set appropriate limits around scheduling, responsibilities, and performance objectives to respect their time.
4. Seek and pay attention to feedback
When you take action (or don't take action) on employee input, let them know so they feel their voice has been heard and their opinion is appreciated. Employees are happier and more engaged at work when they feel valued.
Also, don't be afraid to provide constructive criticism. Assist staff in taking advantage of training and development opportunities.
5. Employee contributions should be recognized
Making employee appreciation a priority is one option. Use an online recognition tool to allow all employees to observe, comment on, and award appreciation in real time.
Employee appreciation is a top motivator of employee engagement, according to our study. They will feel more engaged, respected, and valued when they get regular acknowledgment from peers and superiors.
6. Keep them informed
It's important to keep your employees informed about projects, objectives, team progress, and business news. To provide everyone access to corporate objectives, progress reports, new initiatives, and more, you may use an employee-friendly goal setting and tracking system.
Check in with your employees on a regular basis for one-on-ones and team meetings so that everyone has an opportunity to touch base and have a pulse on the business. When employees are included in the conversation, they will feel more connected in their job.
7. Encourage your new hires
According to research from Quantum Workplace, 76 percent of new hires felt less prepared to execute their jobs than 85 percent of tenured employees. In other words, while working remotely, new hires require additional assistance.
HR should give extra training, communication, and resources to new employees throughout their onboarding process.
Make sure that new employees have access to the following resources:
Login credentials and organization information
Comprehensive process and technology training
Access to the tools, equipment, and resources they need to execute their work properly
8. Be flexible
The freedom that Work from Home provides employees is one of the finest things about it. While team meetings and collaborative sessions may require defined hours, allow your staff control over when and how they work the rest of the time.
You can rely on them to do the task. Employee engagement and satisfaction may depend on building trust between employees and management. Furthermore, flexibility allows employees to choose a work schedule that suits them best, resulting in a healthy work-life balance.
It's likely that work from home or remotely will expand in the future years, making it more important for HR to know how to manage and keep engaged with employees. Fortunately, HR gets to have these guidelines to reap the full benefits of a remote workforce and keep your team happy, healthy, and productive throughout the year.
HARPA streamlines HR processes from hire to retire. With employee self-service as one of its features, it establishes a work culture in which employees are actively engaged in managing HR activities.