As a manager/supervisor you have long understood the importance of employee engagement to your company. You have been very diligent in implementing things at work designed to boost it. But now all of those employees are working remotely. So most of those great initiatives you put in place can no longer help.
The pandemic will end and those who are not satisfied with their jobs will begin to look elsewhere again. And as it's well known that an unengaged employee is rarely going to do their best work employee engagement for newly remote employees should still remain a top priority for managers. But how? Here are some suggestions.
Encourage Frequent Communication
When employees feel disconnected or out of the loop, they often lose motivation. Remote employees are often forgotten or left out of certain discussions, leading them to feel abandoned and unmotivated. So it’s extremely important, especially in times of crisis, to drive strong internal communication with your remote teammates.
Make it a priority to schedule weekly or even daily video-call meetings with your team members, invest in a strong communication platform, and establish an “open-door” policy with your employees. Thorough, frequent communication between offsite employees leads to higher productivity and employee engagement.
Establish Clear Goals and Expectations
Oftentimes, when remote employees are not producing enough high-quality work, this stems from a lack of clear goals and expectations. When managing remote teams, it’s easy to let expectations, guidelines, and goals slip through the cracks as it becomes more challenging to maintain constant communication with your employees.
When this happens, telecommuters are forced to guess what their manager needs from them, leading to incorrect or non-relevant work and, ultimately, disengaged employees. That means you must make it a priority to establish clear goals and expectations with all remote employees and communicate these guidelines clearly, both 'in person' via video call and in a written follow-up email.
Offer Your Employees Opportunities for Growth
Offering growth opportunities to your remote employees, even during times of crisis, will help drive employee motivation and job satisfaction.
These growth opportunities don’t necessarily have to be promotions, raises, or title changes. They can be something as simple as offering “lunch and learns”, encouraging and even rewarding participation in virtual conferences.
Offering these growth opportunities helps remote workers feel important, engaged, and generally happier. As a result, they are more likely to continue producing the high-quality work they did in the physical office environment.
Recognize Employees’ Efforts
Employees who feel underappreciated or undervalued are highly likely to disengage from their work, which often leads to bad work. Ensuring that your remote employees feel appreciated and publicly recognized for the effort they put in is crucial when it comes to employee engagement.
Something as simple as posting a “Thank You Note” or “Giving Kudos” to your employees on your social and collaborative intranet platform can go a long way. When employees receive recognition for their hard work, they are more likely to remain satisfied and engaged in their current role.
Reestablish and Emphasize Company Culture
When shifting to a remote workforce amid crisis, company culture tends to shift or, in some cases, disappear entirely. Maintaining strong company culture is vital if you want to keep remote teams engaged during tough times. Continue to build trust with your teammates by offering consistent, transparent communication.
It is also important to continue team-building activities like happy hours, team lunch, coffee breaks, and team games in order to cultivate culture. Doing this with remote employees calls for creativity and open-mindedness, but all of these get-togethers can be done via video call. This drives collaboration and enthusiasm across the company while we are all working remotely.