I’m not sure anyone would have believed that the ‘temporary’ measures that were put in place at the beginning of the Pandemic would become the new reality of work. The pivot everyone made to remote work, it appears, is here to stay. And we’re still trying to address the challenge of engaging remote employees, tackling the employee engagement challenge.
Here are some tried and true strategies and some more creative solutions to encourage engagement in remote workers:
Create a sense of community: It’s important to foster a sense of community among remote workers, as this can help them feel connected to their colleagues and the organization. In the depths of the pandemic, many companies began to offer traditional team building activities like virtual escape rooms, trivia apps or games. While these are all still very relevant, consider a watch party for your favorite shows, have a virtual talent show, or book club. The possibilities are endless, and you don’t have to break the bank. Other community-building activities could include creating virtual clubs of like-minded people on your internal collaboration app – like photography, travel, art, pets etc. These help people make friends and connections beyond work.
Encourage regular communication: Routine check-ins are a great resource for open communication between managers and their team members. Consider using tools like video conferencing or group messaging to help keep team members connected. Check-in to offer support, ask what’s new or just to share something cool you learned recently. Building comradery fosters trust and helps team members feel like they are working for the collective good.
Provide the necessary tools and resources: Make sure remote workers have the necessary tools and resources to be effective in their roles. Touch base during onboarding and share tips that aren’t necessarily written anywhere but are part of the team culture. Also, make sure they are in a conducive environment. This could include things like ensuring they have a reliable internet connection, a quiet workspace, and the right technology. Remote work can be isolating so bridge the gap as much as possible.
Offer opportunities for growth and development: Providing remote workers with opportunities to learn and grow in their roles can help keep them engaged and motivated. This could include things like training programs or professional development workshops. Just because someone isn’t in the office doesn’t mean they aren’t invested, remind them that there is an opportunity for growth in their career path.
Make it FUN: Getting everyone together can be time-consuming and at times expensive, but when possible, bring the team together, whether in person or virtually. Have bonding time where people can just chat and get to know each other. Try a round of virtual speed dating or have each department plan a virtual fun hour. These interactions go a long way toward facilitating healthy company culture.