Struggling to engage employees when you are mostly remote? Here is a guide on how to engage employees, along with the best practices. Read on!
How to engage employees?
Businesses around the world know their staff is a vital asset for their organizations. Employee engagement is not easy, and there is no universal solution. Before we begin, let us understand what does employee engagement means?
Employee engagement is a workplace approach that helps the employee understand their role in the organization and how they fit in with the company goals. Employee engagement has emerged as one of the main aspects of a successful organization.
Employee engagement helps employees feel pride in their work and the company. In this blog, we will be let you know how to engage employees? We elaborate on different ways to engage employees.
Also Read: Employee Relations | A comprehensive guide
What is remote employee engagement?
The remote employee is someone who a company employees but does not work in a traditional office setting. They could be working from the local shared workspace, home, a coffee shop, or anywhere from the world.
Remote working has become mainstream and comes with several advantages and the question on how to engage employees has become all the more significant. Organizations have found several challenges in managing remote teams, like the potential of the feeling of isolation. It can impact productivity and employee retention. Your company needs a remote employee engagement strategy.
Remote employee engagement is an emotional commitment your staff has to your organization and its goals. This means they care about their work and company. One of the benefits of virtual employee engagement is higher productivity, and quality, leading to greater customer satisfaction, increased sales, and higher profits.
Benefits of formally engaging employees
A conscious questioning of how to engage employees leads to the obvious benefits of team bonding, belongingness, and increased productivity. However, some of the broader benefits of formally engaging employees are,
- Higher employee satisfaction – Employee satisfaction is paramount. Dissatisfied employees are not enthusiastic about their work and the growth of the company. Keeping employees engaged helps them feel satisfied and feel invested in their company growth.
- Higher retention and lower turnover – Hiring a new employee is an expensive and time-consuming process. Engaging employees helps to retain top employees and decrease turnover rates
- Higher productivity – Engage your employees to encourage them to work faster and more efficiently. As per a report published by Gallup, engaged employees are 17% more productive.
- Increased profitability – Engaged employees work hard and produce quality work. This professional attitude improves customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers are more likely to give referrals.
- Less absenteeism – Engaged employees are more likely to get the work done. Organizations with higher engagement have a 41% reduction in absenteeism.
- Increased employee loyalty – Ensuring employees are staying engaged at work will result in greater loyalty towards your business. Employees are brand ambassadors of the company.
Also Read: Voice echoing | A complete guide
Why invest in remote employee engagement activities?
The two components to engaging remote employees,
- Organizational factors
- Managerial factors
But how to keep employees engaged while working from home. There are three themes to engaging employees in the workplace leading to effectively answering the question of how to engage employees,
- Personal impact – Engaging remote employees is related to impact to acknowledging a job well done and understanding how they fit in the organizational plans. When employees feel engaged, they can shine in their roles. When employees receive positive feedback, they internalize the message and perform better.
- Trust in leadership – When you engage employees, they trust their organization’s leadership. They believe in the successful future of the company. Employees should have a decent idea about the roadmap of the company.
- Interpersonal relationship – Staff who have good interpersonal relationships with their supervisors are more likely to have a high engagement level. Engagement activities help colleagues to connect and give a chance to connect. It will help translate to stronger work relationships.
Psychology of keeping employees engaged
Employee engagement has evolved from management jargon to something critical to HRM. Companies understand that motivating individuals to stay engaged helps them work harder and produce better results.
Companies spend $18 billion on tools to improve employee engagement in the process of answering the critical question of how to engage employees. Years of research on positive psychology have backed up studies that a happier state is required for success.
Many organizations use engagement initiatives like compensation packages, benefits, and perks. These are functional benefits and account for 50% of why an employee stays. The finding by market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) shows that five elements drive employee engagement,
- Functional benefits
- Emotional benefits
- Cultural identity benefits
- Personal identity benefits
- Social identity benefits
We can link the last three identity benefits to your staff’s sense of pride, self-esteem, and belonging are more impactful. They helped create a positive feeling and have a more long-lasting effect.
They are more motivated to become advocates and brand ambassadors for your company. It is important to take periodic feedback from your employees to tailor the engagement programs more effectively.
Challenges in engaging remote employees
By the very nature of their work, the remote workforce feels removed from the central hub of activity. People miss out on lunches, team events, watercooler conversations, and informal interactions with colleagues.
A recent study found 85% of staff wanted a closer interaction with their remote colleagues. Other than detachment, another concern how to keep employees engaged while working from home. Many businesses are not working enough towards employee engagement.
55% of business leaders feel they are transparent. Unfortunately, only 18% of employees agree with their management. When employees feel out of the loop, they are more likely to become disenchanted.
84% of remote employees feel hesitant about voicing their workplace concerns to higher-ups. These communication problems can impact productivity and self-esteem, while also reemphasizing the aspect of this one factor in bolstering the premises of how to engage employees.
Without a mechanism keeping employees engaged while working from home, higher employee turnover is more likely. Failure to engage with the remote team can affect the bottom line. Statistics show disengaged workers cost the US economy a $605 billion loss in productivity.
Target audience of virtual employee engagement ideas
Virtual employment increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. HR executives had to think of ways to adapt many elements of in-person culture into a virtual experience to find ways on how to engage employees.
Many organizations feel remote employees will be permanent. The management, HR, managers, and remote employees have had to adapt. One of the ways how to engage remote employees,
- Updating communication strategy – remote employee engagement needs to rethink internal communication methods. You need to evaluate if the present communication methods are adequate.
- Develop an employee experience task force – Managers need to work on deliberately working on remote employee experience. You need to constantly try engaging staff. Some organizations are having a task force to work around internal communication, people organization, care leadership, etc for all location-specific managers. During teams brainstorm held once a week can help to find the best way to engage employees.
- Use employee resource group (ERG) – Employee resource group can help build connections and provide resources for different activities. ERG can help organize employee experience initiatives. The ERG can take the lead in keeping employees engaged while working from home that also helps to answer the question of how to engage employees.
Top 10 ways on how to engage employees
Engaging with employees can be challenging. During the pandemic, 88% of companies around the US encouraged or required their employees to work from home. Remote work has changed the way people interact with each other, leading to newer challenges on how to engage employees.
Different engagement activities help give employees a sense of belonging. Employees need to feel a sense of belonging to become innovative. If you want how to improve employee engagement ideas, here are our top ten engagement ideas for remote workers,
1. Virtual hackathons on how to get employees to work
Hackathons are common in the tech industry. Each team in the organization attempt to build a solution for a common theme. Some companies organize an internal hackathon to solve internal problems the team is trying to solve that also helps to answer the question of how to engage employees.
The concept of a hackathon can be modified for non-technical employees where teams compete to solve business problems together that also helps to answer the question of how to engage employees.
2. How to keep employees engaged using constant communication
Communicating clearly with the team is an important part of a manager’s job description that helps to answer the question of how to engage employees. There are several techniques a manager can use besides face-to-face communication. They can send emails, memos, newsletters, and make presentations.
Managers often communicate via training sessions. Managers need to ask questions to ensure their points have been understood. Teams need to know where they fit in in the organization’s overall strategy. Organizations need to encourage open communications, leading to a solution for how to engage employees.
Also Read: Remote work habits | A comprehensive guide
3. ‘You are awesome’ as a channel for virtual employee engagement
You are awesome channel has proved to be some of the most popular virtual employee engagement ideas answering the question of how to engage employees. You can create #you-are-awesome on your communication channel on email or other communication platforms. Team members can use this platform to give a shout-out to their team members.
The shout-outs are flexible can be given between peers, managers, subordinates, and other teams. The concept of #you-are-awesome is pretty simple. Anyone can give a short and clear shout-out by tagging someone. Other people on the channel respond to the praise by using different emojis.
4. Spreadsheet Pixel art creative ways to engage employees
When we think of spreadsheets we think about calculations, databases, and charts. Ideas to engage employees is using spreadsheets can be used to create art and this helps in solving the question of how to engage employees.
The spreadsheet art template is one of the fun engagement activities for remote employees. The game can be collaborative or a competition. This creative way to get engaged is fun “together-time” for you and your team that also helps to answer the question of how to engage employees.
5. Training sessions are good engagement activities for remote employees
Remote jobs can be isolating and take a toll on people. Having an online training system and uploading different training modules is a great way to motivate and engage your employees. It is a productive way to remain occupied and increase the knowledge base while also answering the critical question of how to engage employees.
6. Spruce up work from home engagement ideas
You have a considerable saving on providing workstations for your remote employees. Supporting them financially and morally in setting up work from home infrastructure is a great way to answer the question of how to engage employees. You can help pay for their office at home. Your employees will love this work from home engagement idea especially if you provide some equipment.
Also Read: Office management | A complete guide
7. Use multiple-player games for how to bring a team together
Employee engagement ideas don’t have to be limited to work. Multi-player games allow the team to relax and unwind. Multi-layer mobile games are one of the solutions on how to bring a team together. There are several mobile multiple game options like Call of duty: Mobile, Words with friends, and Minecraft. Ask your teammates to suggest their games.
8. Quick casual calls on your staff on how to engage employees
A quick call to your staff to ask how they are doing? What excites them about work? How you can help them in their work? Throw in some casual questions asking about their favorite show on Netflix. Calls from bosses or managers can be nerve-wracking. Occasional casual conservation with your staff can be a positive interaction and also solving the puzzle of how to engage employees.
9. Ted-style talks for how to get employees to work
Ted Talks have become immensely popular. The talks cover a range of topics from leadership, body language, experiences, etc. You can arrange your version of ted talks and ask your team-mates to give their speech.
The ted-style talks can be organized during virtual happy hour is an excellent way for the team to learn more about one another. Some tips to organize your ted talks are,
- Have each team member showcase a talent baking cookies or a weird experience.
- Support them in preparing a small slide show. The duration of the talks can be short 10 minutes.
- Have a short Question and Answer session.
10. Work from home engagement ideas
When you work in physical office teams often celebrate birthdays with cupcakes. In a virtual office, you can use the same concept,
- You can organize a virtual birthday party by inviting the birthday person to join a video call a few minutes after their teammates have joined the call.
- Create a “Happy Birthday Tom” message on Canva share the image on the internal communication channel. Other team members can include a fun memory of Tom. This is can make everyone feel included.
Recent global trends in how to engage people
The recent trends around the world on how to engage employees are,
- People first culture – At the start of the new decade, companies are looking at a culture-first approach. Organizations have realized the importance of keeping employees engaged. In the people-first approach, companies are looking to emphasize the importance of making each individual in the hierarchy feel respected and cared for.
- Greater emphasis on work-life balance – There will be a greater emphasis on flexibility. Many jobs today do not require employees to be physically present. This has given options like work-from-home, Flexi office timings, virtual offices, etc. This has proved to be an excellent way to engage employees and has proved to be cost-friendly.
- Use of AI and ML – Technology has changed dramatically in the last few years. It has seen efficient HR tools being developed. Many organizations are using artificial intelligence and machine learning tools in many work functions including HR. AI tools are helping in stronger communications and personalized actions. These systems are helping managers understand the drivers in productivity.
How to get employees engaged using Unremot watercooler software?
unremot virtual watercooler software is similar to a physical watercooler where employees can reconnect with their colleagues. Our virtual watercooler software is a dedicated virtual room allowing workers to interact with one another and this has proven to be one of the effective ways to answer how to engage employees.
They can send instant messages and emails. One of the ways to ways to engage employees when they work remotely is using a virtual watercooler. Some of the many benefits of our virtual cooler are,
- Team bonding – Remote employees usually work independently. This can increase the feeling of isolation. The virtual cooler makes it easier for colleagues to bond and work with one another.
- Ability to spark new ideas – Virtual watercoolers are an excellent forum for unofficial brainstorming sessions.
- Sense of belonging in employees – Our watercooler provides the opportunity to feel more connected to one another.
- Recognizing of accomplishments – Virtual watercoolers can be a forum to recognize the achievement of top performers.