When it comes to running a successful business, there is one element that needs to be understood among all others; knowing how to engage your employees.
It’s important to recognise why people do the work they do, and what drives them to do it. When managers understand the level of dedication their employees have for their roles and responsibilities, it gives them a competitive edge.
If your employees take pride in their job and the organisation they work for, they approach tasks with more purpose and genuinely want to deliver their best efforts; a practice that can only benefit any business mission.
Engagement is the key to a loyal and productive workforce, especially when 70% of an individual’s engagement is driven by their manager. Teams that are now forced into working from home could start to feel the effects of isolation or disconnect from their colleagues. Therefore, managers need to be on the pulse to ensure they respond to a new set of obstacles.
- How engaged are these people you no longer see in person?
- How can you ensure your employees are productive, happy and stress-free?
- How can you keep remote employees engaged, and how can you tell whether what you’re doing is working or not?
The list goes on…
Whatever challenge you’re facing, there are strategies for managing remote employee engagement. Typically, most concerns can be eased by implementing regular communication, group participation and appreciation.
Is essential for establishing and maintaining engagement with any employee and regular scheduled check-ins are a proven method for sustaining alignment. Online chat programs have typically been labelled as more of a hindrance/distraction – however, whilst most people are working from home, they become necessity. Free, fast and more informal than email, chat programs enable more frequent group discussions, making it easy to keep in touch with people, making distance a non-issue.
Ensuring your remote team have responsibilities does a number of beneficial things; it makes people feel valued, enhances their career experience, gives them purpose and more opportunities for participation outside of their main role. Facilitate social connections among your team, to increase engagement levels during the week – Check out our ‘Virtual Team Building Activities’ blog for some inspiration. People need the ability to share experiences and connect outside the nine-to-five.
Recognise and appreciate the work your remote employees do, it’s the sincerest way to show you care about them. Look at adapting traditional reward programs and be specific with praise and accomplishments. As you begin to make changes to the way you implement remote recognition, remember to stay consistent. Once you devise a rewards system that produces results, you can begin to incorporate it into your company’s culture.
All of the suggestions above are designed to strengthen the bond between employers and remote employees, if you can learn what needs and concerns remote employees have, you have a basic framework for addressing issues. Understanding how employees are feeling and how they will react to certain situations, enables organisations to track that sentiment against your efforts to see if what you’re doing is working.
Measuring the effectiveness of these changes can be a helpful commodity, one way to do this is through sending Pulse engagement surveys. Short multiple-choice or binary questionnaires that take a couple minutes to complete and can be dispensed quickly. The results evaluate employees reactions and help executive teams make the right call when a decision might impact the employee experience.
To conclude, working from home doesn’t have to be isolating, if your organisation and employees have the tools they need. However you choose to do it, communicate your ideas to your team, give them the opportunity to express their own suggestions and appreciate the group effort that contributes towards growing your remote company culture.
Please don’t fall into the “out of sight, out of mind” camp, people need to feel connected and pull together, now more than ever, to understand what’s required and administer relevant support where needed.