How To Engage Remote Employees In 5 Simple Steps

Tips to make sure your remote employees are satisfied and that their performance remains at a high level.

Employee engagement isn’t simple. It’s harder to attain when you face similar challenges in a remote setting. As the co-founder of a platform for employee engagement, I was privy to the moment the entire world entered a lockdown and engagement levels dropped. Businesses had to devise solutions to connect their new remote workforce.

Many believe that the days of remote work are a thing of the past. However, I don’t see it this way. Although it’s tempting that the current trend will last only until the world continues to recover from the Covid-19 virus, a McKinsey study suggests that over half of employees would prefer to work at house for at least three days per week following the outbreak. More than 33% think they’d like to work from home full-time. With the widespread gratitude for the Great Resignation of employers, it’s clear that remote work in some form of teleworking will become an inevitable aspect of the future.

Meanwhile, the world slowly gets back to normal and more employees (and businesses) choose to work from home for more extended periods. It’s become an essential requirement for modern HR managers to master ways to improve the employee experience via remote. These are highly efficient yet easy ways to ensure that you have remote staff content and performing well.

five ways that you could motivate remotely employed employees

Employees’ engagement is usually described as a feeling of loyalty, commitment, and a strong emotional connection to the work environment. The more involved a person is more likely they will demonstrate greater efficiency, better job satisfaction, and do more than their work.

But since most companies are moving to remote locations, HR leaders are challenged to come up with new and more practical methods to ensure their employees are happy and engaged without having face-to-face interactions.

1. Get rid of micromanagement

Remote work can be an uneasy area for managers. On the one hand, they do not have face-to-face interactions with remote employees while ensuring that productivity levels remain constant.

I’ve observed that distant managers find it challenging to manage this job change, making them more likely to cause their employees to feel uncomfortable. Research has shown that managers who don’t “see” their employees directly are more likely to doubt working.

There is a prevalent but incorrect belief that remote employees are lazy and susceptible to slip up. To counter this, many businesses opt for a solution that is one of the most significant productive (and morale) causes of loss micromanagement.

While it is tempting to control your employees to ensure they’re doing their best, this can lead to adverse long-term effects on the level of engagement of your employees. Instead, you should seek out the most effective ways to manage remote employees like:

  • Change the way you evaluate the performance of your employees. Instead of badgering remote workers to finish the task, create a system that holds everyone accountable for their performance. The most effective way to manage remote autonomous workers is an established structure for goal-setting. My personal experience suggests that the use of SMART goal-setting, in conjunction with OKRs and scrums, KPIs, and the planning of sprints, is essential to provide the freedom of remote workers. For my company, it’s helped us create remote work where we don’t need to be concerned with everything the employees are doing.
  • Set the expectations. It is preferable to meet with this person sooner rather than later as it will help you set boundaries with your remote employees. Discuss breaks, working hours, timings, objectives (both you and them), and other matters.
  • Make a system that no structure existed before. To compensate for the absence of a physically present presence, you’ll have to implement very specific SOPs regularly scheduled meetings, check-ins, or simply goal-setting. A reduction in hierarchy levels could be beneficial, but otherwise, your remote workers will spend most of their time waiting for approvals. This might seem to be much more effort than actually having an office. However, it’s easy to manage when the structure is established.

2. Display transparency (and show vulnerability)

Transparency does not only apply to processes. It’s a practice that top-performing executives strive to embed into their routines every day and typically begins with communicating with their staff. This is particularly important when facing a situation since individuals are more susceptible to panic, hysteria, and anxiety.

As new challenges arise due to the threatening pandemic, every business is doubtful. As a result, it’s been a significant reason for employees being too stressed or overwhelmed to perform at their best, which leads to many feeling burnt out. To ease any unresolved tensions, leaders must clearly explain where the company is going, and the impact employees could face from those situations.

Being a compassionate manager is an underrated management skill that must be developed. It is essential to create transparent and non-judgmental communication channels so that it is easy to recognize and comprehend the specific challenges remote employees face.

Leaders of today must acknowledge their weaknesses. Employees prefer to hear damaging information directly from you rather than from a third party. This builds trust and loyalty. Additionally, they are more likely to feel an identity within the organization.

3. Make your rewards and rewards digitally accessible to your program

It is understandable that acknowledging the achievements of remote workers has been put on the back burner when companies face the difficulties of a hybrid or virtual workforce. This could prove to be the most significant error you make.

According to a reputable expert, the desire of employees to be appreciated is up by 30 percent during difficult periods. Positive forms of communication are essential, particularly when employees face the aftermath of a crisis or change their work arrangement.

Most virtual rewards and recognition programs suffer from an issue because they’re generally in-house and don’t adhere to a specific structure, plan, or implementation strategy. In the end, the entire process of rewarding remote employees is a mess. The employees aren’t sure when they are recognized, what behavior will be recognized, and who will be honored for exceptional performances.

Involving remote employees may seem to be a problematic cost, costly, and time-consuming procedure; however, it doesn’t need to be. That’s why it’s essential to establish guidelines for reward and acknowledgment via remote. Here’s how to make recognition via remotes functional:

  • It is now public. Recognition must be made in the public domain, even if it’s online. This will accomplish two goals. In the first place, it guarantees that credit isn’t just limited to a single employee or manager and ensures that everyone in the offsite team is connected. Additionally, it reminds everyone involved that their work is being acknowledged and appreciated despite working from home.
  • Make sure you are punctual and regular. They were getting recognized for the work you’ve done for years after the event is not as effective as being admitted immediately. Remote leaders should ensure that their remote workers are recognized instantly for their contribution to the business.

4. It is essential to prioritize wellness (primarily mental)

It’s well-known that those who are healthy are more content and productive. As per the Gallup research, engagement and wellbeing have a mutual influencers, i.e., each influences the state and wellbeing of another.

Since the year 2000, companies have begun to focus on the overall wellbeing of their employees, and with good reason. Based on Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends Report, most businesses said that employee well-being will be very or important crucial to their success in the coming 12-18 months. Only 12% stated they were prepared to address the problem.

But, it’s essential to keep in mind that it’s not just a lack of physical health that could affect employees’ work environment. Health issues related to mental health can cause a loss of productivity, performance, and ultimately loss of motivation.

However, most workplace budgets for employee wellbeing focus on providing only essential elements such as health insurance. To create an environment that empowers office staff to live lives that is healthy and well-being, Leaders should concentrate on specific workplace factors, including:

  • Making consciousness breaks an absolute priority. It not only provides employees with time off from their lengthy hours at work but can also help them bond.
  • Offer assistance with the office setup. Remote work can be very strenuous on the body. Assure the employees you employ have access to top-quality furniture and chairs with sturdy support. If not, make arrangements for a WFH setup delivered to their home.
  • Provide health-related rewards. Remote work can increase the physical health issues caused by sedentary work. A practical method to motivate employees to move is to implement health challenges based on incentives.
  • Start conversations on the mental state. It can be as easy as holding workshops on emotional well-being or offering counselors to talk to.
  • Set clear boundaries on the availability of your employees. Think about advising your employees not to respond to business emails during weekends or let them rest for a day to unwind and recharge.

5. More information (but to make it important)

It’s been stated communications are “the lifeblood for a distributed organization,” and I couldn’t be more in agreement with that. If you’ve never previously worked remotely, it’s easy for people to ignore the significance of communication for the team’s overall efficiency. The functioning of a team relies on simple things like visiting one another’s cubicles to discuss an urgent issue. The absence of these capabilities in a remote team could result in negative business results.

A well-planned strategy for communication can be a valuable tool in making workflows as seamless and as seamless as is possible. It helps to increase transparency, which helps eliminate obstacles and distractions that could hinder an employee’s path to performing their work to the highest standard.

The ability to communicate effectively could be an essential way to increase remote teams’ efficiency. You’re making a big error if you only use email. You’ll require a mixture of tools that can be used by groups and teams, one-on-1 collaboration, as well as company-wide collaboration. You must also ensure that these tools enhance the efficiency of remote work and aren’t too difficult to implement.

Remote check-ins are typically 1:1 meetings with the manager, meaning that other team members might be unaware of what their colleagues have been working on. My company’s team meets in the morning for a scrum where everyone answers the following questions, which will ensure that everyone is up to level. What did you accomplish in the previous day? What’s your plan for today? What’s preventing you from doing your best?

Another option is to establish a “shared virtual area” in which participants can gather to unwind and relax. It could be an online water cooler since, believe it or not, those conversations can do more to improve team morale than any other team-building activity.

When the time spent on remote work gets longer, it’s not uncommon for team members to be disengaged from each other. To attract remote workers, it is essential to design team rituals specifically for the distributed team. These routines could start with an obligatory Zoom Icebreaker before every meeting or as complex as arranging weekly virtual Scavenger Hunts.

Remote work will be in the making and will remain

Whether you want to, whether you like it or not, the move to remote working is inevitable. It’s not a matter of “if” but the question is “when.”

Nowadays, employees are enthralled for remote work. According to Prudential’s Pulse of the American Worker Survey, 42% believe that if their current job doesn’t offer remote work opportunities for the long-term, they’ll switch to a company that offers. This is why leaders must be aware of and be prepared for the changing workforce, who see remote work as a top benefits.

When remote work is an option, employers must take into account the implications on employee involvement. The employees are likely to succeed in a virtual workplace that acknowledges and recognizes their daily contributions to the business.

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Samatha Vale
Samatha a senior writer for HC's entertainment team. She is an entreprenuer, mother and an excellent writer. She's also an avid reader, music enthusiast and all around inquisitive person - which is just a nice way of saying she's nosy.

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