- 1 Why is employee engagement so important?
- 2 What are some of the challenges of managing remote teams?
- 3 Ways to keep remote employees engaged and motivated
- 4 Wrap up
Are you struggling to keep your remote teams engaged and motivated? With the rise of remote work, it can be challenging to keep your workers connected and motivated when they’re not in the same physical space. But worry not. We’ve got you covered. Keep reading to explore some creative and effective ways to maintain your remote team’s drive and involvement. Let’s dive in!
Why is employee engagement so important?
Before answering the question above, let’s first shine some light on what employee engagement really is. In simple terms, it refers to the level of commitment employees have towards their work, team, and organization. However, it goes way beyond just being satisfied with a job or a paycheck – it’s about feeling emotionally engaged and connected to the work and workplace.
Studies show that engaged teams have lower turnover rates, 21% higher profitability, and 17% better productivity. Engaged employees feel a sense of purpose, are more motivated to do their best work, and often go the extra mile to improve their performance and contribute to the success of the company. They tend to be more satisfied with their job and are 87% less likely to leave the company. To be fair, it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Clearly, this is something that can’t be ignored, can it?
Employee engagement is essential for each organization to thrive. It holds a business together, unlocking a team’s potential and allowing them to work cohesively towards a common goal. Without it, running a business can feel like trying to navigate a ship without a compass and realizing that failure is lurking around the corner. That’s an overwhelming and frustrating situation nobody wants to find themselves in.
That’s why keeping employees engaged and motivated is so crucial.
What are some of the challenges of managing remote teams?
At this point, someone might say: easier said than done. And actually, that’s true – building and sustaining engagement among employees is not easy. What’s more, it might be one of the biggest challenges leaders face, especially when it comes to teams working remotely.
Even though hybrid and remote work has become the new reality in these post-pandemic times, many companies still struggle to create an engaging virtual workplace culture for their remote teams. Here are some of the biggest challenges they encounter:
- The lack of face-to-face interaction: Working remotely doesn’t make it easier to build trust and stronger relationships between team members. So, it comes as no surprise that those working from home can often feel out of the loop.
- Poor human connection: Building strong human connections is an important part of creating a positive workplace culture. This can be difficult to achieve in a remote setting where workers are more prone to feeling of isolation and loneliness.
- Blurred boundaries between work and personal life: Work can bleed into personal life, exposing teams to burnout and reduced work-life balance.
- Technological barriers: Unreliable internet connections or software compatibility issues can disrupt productivity and communication.
- Limited opportunities for career growth: Those working remotely might be less exposed to new projects and other opportunities for growth than their colleagues in the office.
- Onboarding challenges: New remote employees may not have access to the same training and resources as in-person employees.
It can all seem familiar and terrifying at the same time. No worries, though; we are here to help and give you a few tips on how to overcome these obstacles and keep your remote teams engaged.
Ways to keep remote employees engaged and motivated
Since remote work is here to stay, at least in the upcoming future, there are a few simple yet effective management strategies that will help you build and maintain employee engagement and motivation in your organization. Have a look.
Human interaction and connection are crucial for thriving at work. All employees need a community they can feel welcome in and where they can share their personal experiences outside of work.
Employees working remotely, however, aren’t exposed to the same level of social interaction that typically comes with working in an office. As a result, as much as 67% say they feel disconnected from both their co-workers and the company they work for.
Simple things like chatting at the water cooler or grabbing coffee together are no longer there for those working from a remote setting. And it’s only when these interactions are gone that people begin to feel their absence and realize how important they really are.
Fortunately, all is not lost. While remote workers may not be able to participate in in-person interactions, virtual coffee breaks or team lunches via video call might do the trick. It’s a great way to bond and socialize with team members without the pressure of a formal meeting.
Encourage health and wellness
Making sure remote employees stay healthy and happy isn’t just a feel-good gesture – it should be your top priority. Why? The answer is quite simple: healthy workers take fewer days off and perform better.
While remote work brings a bunch of benefits, it might also come along with dozens of bad habits. Sitting in front of a computer all day without a proper posture, forgetting to take breaks, and not drinking enough water are just some of them.
Thus, what can you do to foster health and wellness among your remote teams?
- Offer wellness perks such as a gym membership stipend or a healthy meal delivery service and encourage breaks.
- Make sure your remote team members have access to resources that support their mental health.
- Provide ergonomic equipment such as an adjustable desk or an ergonomic chair.
- Host virtual wellness challenges like a water-drinking challenge or a meditation challenge. Setting goals and tracking progress together can be a great way to promote healthy habits and friendly competition.
Plus, when employees feel like their company cares about their well-being, they’re more likely to feel connected to their work and stay loyal to their employer.
Build a culture of recognition
Around 41% of workers don’t feel appreciated at work. So, making sure that your employees feel heard and valued, even from a distance, is important. Since you can’t take them out for lunch or give them a pat on the back, try to find other ways to celebrate their achievements.
- Send a virtual gift card on their birthday.
- Celebrate milestones: Recognize employees for their years of service or work anniversaries by sending them a personalized note or a small gift.
- Create a recognition program: Develop a program that rewards employees for exceptional work, for example, an “employee of the month” program.
Small acts of appreciation go a long way in showing your employees that you care about them.
Provide clear expectations
Setting clear expectations for remote employees in terms of goals, deadlines, and communication is yet another strategy worth keeping in mind. Teams need to know what is expected of them to feel more confident in their work. Otherwise, they’ll become stressed and anxious.
If you want to keep your employees motivated and engaged:
- Regularly communicate with them and remain open to their feedback and questions.
- Encourage open and honest communication.
- Use different types of communication channels to reach all your employees.
Create opportunities for professional development
Studies find that 74% of employees are likely to quit their work when faced with no or limited opportunities for skill development. And… that’s a lot.
Therefore, providing your employees with opportunities for professional development and training is so much needed. Firstly, it shows that the company values their growth and wants to invest in their future success. Secondly, it helps remote workers feel connected to the organization and provides them with a sense of purpose beyond their day-to-day tasks.
Where to start?
- Think about offering virtual training, workshops, and webinars.
- Provide access to online courses and tutorials.
- Create mentorship programs offering guidance, feedback, and support.
Give your employees autonomy
Letting go of the reins is a big part of managing remote teams. By giving your employees the freedom to work where they want, you show them that you trust them to be responsible and get the job done.
But remember, too much control can stifle their creativity and motivation. After all, you brought them onboard for a reason, right? So, take a step back and let them show you what they can do on their own terms.
Emphasize the company mission
Keeping remote teams motivated and engaged requires more than just providing them with the right tools and resources. It’s important to remind them of the bigger picture – the company’s mission and goals. Thanks to that, they can focus on what matters most and feel a sense of purpose and direction.
Without a strong sense of the company’s mission, remote workers may feel disconnected and unsure of their role in the organization. That’s why it’s important to regularly communicate the company’s vision and how each employee contributes to its success. Whether it’s through regular company-wide meetings, email updates, or social media posts, keeping the mission at the forefront of everyone’s mind can help to build a strong sense of community and purpose.
Given the circumstances we’ve been living in for a while now, you have little option but to accept the fact that you’ll have remote employees on board. Keeping them engaged and motivated can be a challenge, and that’s true. However, it’s essential for any organization to thrive. Luckily, with the tips given above, it will surely be much easier.
Would you like to learn more about an employee engagement strategy? Read our article on top employee engagement strategies that work in IT.
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