Keeping remote workers engaged has become a priority for many businesses. While some people can get back to traditional ways of working, many companies are allowing employees to continue working from home where possible. This remote setup requires a different kind of management and leadership and fostering engagement in these kinds of teams requires a different set of skills.
Remote work has become much more common practice, but remote teams still need managing and engaging with the work in hand and other team members. Here are some ways you can keep your remote teams engaged and motivated:
Encourage Employee Wellness
Your workers’ health must be a priority, and this is still the case when they’re working from home or a different location. Create incentives for your remote workers such as getting outside once every couple of hours, stand up and stretch or build another kind of collective healthy habit. This is a great way of building an engaged and valued workforce, with team members feeling like you value them as individuals.
Ensure your Employees feel Heard and Valued
Remote employees can find it harder to feel a part of the team and sometimes feel like they’re on the outside. Finding small ways to celebrate their successes is invaluable, as you can’t simply share thanks over the photocopier or offer a quick lunch together. Remember and celebrate occasions such as birthdays and work anniversaries with virtual gifts, cards, and parties. This is not a gimmick; it really will help your employees feel like valued members of the team.
An open door, even virtual, is essential for showing your remote team that you are there for them. Miscommunications between remote workers are a lot more commonplace so you need to make sure everyone feels able to turn to you should they have a concern or after a mistake.
Organise Virtual Meetings and Hangouts
Remote teams need regular catch ups and meetings to stay on top of their workload and understand their targets and deadlines. However, for an engaged and motivated workforce, you should also incorporate some less formal and enjoyable virtual events. Casual hangouts and online quizzes and parties can be a great way of getting to know your team and allowing them to enjoy some of the social side of the face-to-face workplace. It is important to make the distinction between formal work meetings and those designed for fun, but you can be sure your team will appreciate both.
Encourage Open Communication
In the regular office you can simply walk over to anyone you need to have a word with and quickly get your point across. This isn’t quite so straightforward in the virtual world. Remote employees may work different hours, be based in different time zones and so having open lines of digital communication is essential to help virtual workers to feel connected. Digital platforms and apps such as Slack and other messaging apps make it easy for employees to leave messages for each other and feel there is a virtual hub at the heart of the business.
Keeping your remote team engaged and on track takes a little time to get used to, but with focus and commitment, your team can feel connected and motivated.