Employee Engagement: How to Get Remote Workers to Care as Much as You Do About Your Business
Employee engagement is one of the most crucial factors in business success, and it’s more vital than ever for remote teams.
According to a recent Gallup study, 54% of employees are disengaged at work, with another 14% actively disengaged.
These figures add up to 68 percent of employees who aren’t fully committed to their jobs. For companies, this might suggest that more than half of their staff are performing below par.
This is because one of the most critical variables impacting workplace productivity and retention is employee engagement. Building employee engagement among on-site employees is difficult enough, but cultivating it among remote employees may be much more difficult.
It is, nevertheless, doable with the correct attitude and resources.
What is the definition of employee engagement?
Understanding what employee engagement is and isn’t necessitates a knowledge of what it isn’t. Employee engagement is not the same as employee pleasure or satisfaction.
Employee engagement refers to a worker’s dedication to his or her employer. Employees that are engaged work for the firm and the company’s goals, not only for themselves and the rewards they might get.
Employees who are engaged take ownership of these objectives. Furthermore, they go above and above to attain their goals. In other words, they make a greater contribution in almost every part of their work.
Employees that are more engaged contribute more to a company’s bottom line. According to Towers Perrin study, organisations with engaged employees had a 6% rise in profit margins.
What variables influence employee satisfaction?
When employees feel like they belong, they are more inclined to be engaged. Belonging is a fundamental human need. Everyone wishes to be a part of something larger than themselves. We want to believe that we are important and that our efforts are worthwhile. We want to know that we are being heard. We also want to feel like we’re part of a group that encourages us to be our best selves.
Employee engagement is generally linked to the following elements, in addition to a sense of belonging:
- Participation of employees
- A pleasant and robust business culture
- Communication channels that are open
- Feedback on a regular basis
- Clearly stated objectives
- Employee autonomy is important.
- Possibilities for growth and learning
- Recognition on a regular basis
- Concern for the health and well-being of staff
Each of these elements must be considered when attempting to increase employee engagement.
Encouraging remote employees to be more engaged
It might be difficult to increase remote employee engagement, yet it is critical in today’s market. Remote work was on the increase even before the coronavirus outbreak. In fact, between 2005 and 2017, the number of remote employees climbed by 159 percent.
In 2017, 3.4 percent of people worked from home. With the pandemic’s shutdowns and social isolation in 2020, that percentage skyrocketed. By the end of 2020, 42% of employees would be working from home.
Some of those people returned or will return to work when nations reopened and restrictions were relaxed. Nonetheless, analysts believe that remote work will continue to grow in popularity. According to recent statistics, 40% of businesses anticipate their staff working remotely in the future.
This means that firms must foster a sense of belonging among employees both on the job and at home.
Tips for boosting employee engagement among remote workers
You may take meaningful actions to foster a feeling of community among your employees even if you operate in a virtual environment.
1. Host virtual business meetings
Meetings with your team are necessary for conveying and refining your objectives. The advent of remote work does not rule out the continuation of these gatherings.
Schedule frequent corporate meetings using Google Meet, Zoom, or another technology to increase participation.
The structure of these meetings may differ depending on the size of your firm. Smaller businesses may meet with all of their staff on a monthly or even weekly basis.
However, if your firm is enormous, you might only host a company-wide meeting once or twice a year. You’ll make sure that departments and employee teams meet on a regular basis in between those huge events.
2. Give your remote workers a voice.
Employee voice is another element to consider in larger meetings, especially larger remote meetings. It’s easy for employees at huge corporations to become lost in a multitude of coworkers. Even in huge in-person meetings, this is true. It’s much more difficult to guarantee that employees feel heard when the “crowd” of colleagues is made up of squares on a Zoom screen.
Organise smaller breakout sessions to encourage all staff to attend business meetings. This is an option that most video conferencing platforms provide.
Brainstorming, goal-setting, and progress assessments could be the focus of breakout sessions. These seminars can boost employee involvement by bringing smaller groups together and encouraging discourse. Employee belonging and engagement rise as a result of participation.
3. Organise virtual office hours.
Employees’ voices can be heard in another way through virtual office hours. On-site employees may have the ability to check in on colleagues and even management if questions arise, depending on your company’s culture. Remote employees will be deprived of these chances unless your organisation makes measures to supply them.
If a remote employee has a query, they have two options: call or email. Each of these takes more time and is less intimate than working together on-site.
Hosting virtual office hours can help distant employees and their managers collaborate inside. Set up a half-hour time once or twice a week to be available through video conference as a manager. Make these sessions known and invite remote staff to attend with questions.
4. Make the most of the community
Making virtual office hours available shows your distant staff that your “door” is always open. However, there are instances when problems and issues emerge that cannot wait until your office hours. And there are moments when you are simply unavailable.
Slack, for example, provides a real-time venue for employees and management to communicate. Slack lets you create message boards, also known as channels, that are grouped by topics or teams. When workers have questions and you are unavailable to address them, they can post them for colleagues and other managers to respond.
Communication tools like Slack, in addition to message boards, provide direct messaging as well as audio and video chatting. You may also provide real-time updates and announcements to your team as a manager.
5. Host informal virtual get-togethers or hangouts
When employees contact with their supervisors and coworkers on a daily basis, they establish a greater connection and devotion to their workplace. These contacts, on the other hand, do not have to be all business.
Consider employing video conferencing software for more casual hangouts in addition to more serious business meetings.
Consider introducing more personal and informal channels to Slack if you use it. A “random” or “watercooler” channel, for example, may be used to foster suitable office joking. Employee-interest channels, such as sports and food, can also help to foster dialogue.
6. Check in on a regular basis
Employees should be scheduled for periodic evaluations or encouraged to do so. These one-on-one sessions enable you to acknowledge an employee’s accomplishments while also highlighting areas for development. They also provide a private and personal place for your workers to ask inquiries and express concerns.
7. Recognise Success in the Public Eye
You may show your thanks for an employee’s efforts in one-on-one reviews. Public adoration, on the other hand, can be much more effective.
Consider sponsoring a week’s worth of employee of the week. Define the recognition criteria in detail. Provide a minor reward to staff that are chosen. Consider include them in a weekly email as well.
When you recognise outstanding workers, you’re exploiting their accomplishments to inspire others. You’re also assisting your staff in getting to know one another and allowing them to share their knowledge.
8. Enhance general well-being
Feeling important, not just as employees, but as individuals, is a significant element of feeling like we belong. Encourage your staff to take care of themselves to show that you care about them as individuals. Make self-care a priority and a discussion starter.
Consider creating a self-care channel if you utilise Slack for internal communication. Sponsoring wellness challenges and incentives is also a good idea.
9. Welcome new staff
You’ve made initiatives to increase employee engagement within your current workforce. But what happens when you bring on fresh employees? What is the best way to expose them to the corporate culture? What are your plans for integrating them into the company’s culture?
For newly recruited remote employees, the onboarding process is even more critical. Finding the greatest personnel and making your organisation accessible to them is the first step.
Companies that allow for remote interviewing and hiring can actually attract a wider range of candidates. When my firm, Bubblegum Casting, decided to provide remote work options for many of our available positions, we saw these advantages firsthand.
Our choice to interview candidates remotely proved to be a sensible one, as we received a flood of applications from highly brilliant individuals. We even expanded the notion to our clients, who now audition talent remotely, because it was such a success.
When your organisation caters to remote workers, your pool of potential employees is virtually limitless due to geographical constraints.
If you’re hiring and want to tap into this pool of talent, be sure to emphasise in your job descriptions the efforts you’ve made to help remote employees feel at ease. (Hint: If you’ve already executed the procedures above with your current employees, be sure to include them in your job postings!)
Ensure that new workers who will be working remotely receive an orientation that introduces them to the available resources once they are hired. If your new staff aren’t aware of apps like Slack and informal Google Hangouts, they’ll do nothing to foster community.
That’s everything there is to it. You may even discover that your remote workers become some of your most valuable assets if you remain on top of things and continue to communicate with them on a personal level.