Remote working is no longer an unusual trend in businesses but has become a natural feature. For the host of merits that remote working offers to employers and workers, it is gaining prominence. But having all remote workers on the same page and encouraging high engagement in them can be challenging. The most significant hurdle in creating engagement within a remote team is that it requires peer-to-peer effort.
So, to get the best out of your remote employees, you should have a clear plan in place. Further, you should look at employee engagement as an essential business strategy than an obligation. Both employees and the organisation can benefit from high indulgence and a culture of high productivity. But how can you encourage your remote employees to give their best to the organisation? What are the strategies you should adopt to attain an incredible degree of engagement in workers? Before we discuss that, we should shed some light on what employee engagement means.
What is employee engagement?
In any given organisation, employee engagement is defined as the extent to which employees dedicate themselves. It takes into account the passion, interest, motivation, and happiness of employees. Further, it also includes the level of commitment and emotional attachment that workers have for their organisation. As per Forbes, employees who are engaged actively remain more committed to their employers. On the other hand, disengaged employees are likely to quit their organisations.
Thus, it should be an imperative business tactic for business owners and HR professionals to aim for high employee engagement. An organisation with an engaged workforce has better prospects of success and growth than others. Also, while dealing with remote workers, there should be a more considerable emphasis on engagement. So, as an employer, you should prioritise on the following strategies to boost employee engagement in remote employees.
Seven best strategies for high engagement in remote employees
1. Workout a deliberate work from home policy
Nowadays, small as well as mega business organisations, are bringing the culture of remote working. Facebook has allowed its workers to work from home till July 2021. Now, to have high employee engagement in your remote teams, you need an actual work from home policy. You want the highest form of professionalism from your workers even if they are working from home. So, to ascertain the highest productivity among employees working remotely, you should have a clear plan. The work-from-home policy should lay down specific rules for your remote workers in a way that does not hamper their efficiency. Thus, when you are trying to maintain a flexible remote working culture, a firm policy can safeguard employee engagement.
2. Encourage a sense of belonging
Remote employees do not expect organisations to look at them as their most valuable assets and give them a sense of belonging. But if you can encourage the same in them, they can cultivate better relationships with you. By adding a personal touch while working with remote workers, you can boost their diligence. For instance, you can make a welcome call to a new remote employee than just sending a welcome email. You can also invite him/her to visit the office and introduce them to their managers. In case your remote employee stays too far, you can give them a virtual tour of the office.
Moreover, you can make your remote employees a vital part of the company’s decision-making process. You should also enquire about their mental health and well being. In this way, by making them feel valued and accepted, you can inspire in them the best possible employee engagement. When you create a happy working culture and focus on good relationships with your employees, they confide in you. Thus, it is vital that for high employee engagement, you win the trust and loyalty of your team.
3. Keep communication simple
Your remote employees may not be engaged to their best if there is a communication gap. Thus, it is crucial that for your remote employees, communicating with you is a simple process. When you are working with a remote team, the constant flow of information is significant. So, the modes of communication should not be too complicated, and you should be available for contact. By creating effective communication between remote teams, you can promote high levels of involvement. Also, you should make sure to regularly communicate with your remote team. When you do so, you can convey the core values and working principles of the organisation.
Miscommunication can lead to stress and declining efficiency within the workforce. So, all organisations should give importance to effective communication to upkeep employee engagement. Simply put, use a simple communication tool for communicating with your remote teams.
4. Give them growth opportunities.
Every employee has career goals and wants to grow in his/her field to achieve the same. Furthermore, money is not the only driving factor that pushes employees to give their best. Employees also look for motivation in the growth opportunities within an organisation. Besides, even the remote workers have ambitions of growth and higher success. To make them engage with their best potential and diligence, you should make room for growth opportunities. Even prospects of small growth within the company can motivate your workers to offer their highest productivity.
If you can offer a sense of belonging and growth opportunities to your remote workforce, you can create a culture of high productivity. In this way, you are going to have employees who are even willing to work beyond their job roles for your business. According to a study conducted by the Quantum Workplace, growth opportunities are imperative. They are among the top factors that lead to healthy employee engagement.
5. Offer personal feedback
Feedback is vital for the improvement of employees’ performance as well as the functioning of an organisation. Constant and regular input from the employer is crucial for engaging a remote team. This also turns out to be an excellent way to encourage better collaboration and communication among team members. The importance of a feedback culture in the workplace is immense and is beneficial for everyone.
When you give regular feedback to your remote workers, they can learn about the areas where they need to improve. When your team is receptive to feedback and acts upon it, it helps create a workforce with high efficiency. Thus, you should have a feedback policy that caters to peer-to-peer feedback within a remote team. It should also be a vital strategy for training remote employees.
6. Define measurable goals
A study from Cardiff University reveals that remote workers can be more productive. Around 39% of employees working from home finish their work much faster than those who go to the office daily. Also, remote employees are willing to work for extended hours to accomplish their tasks. By setting measurable goals for them, you can inspire the highest engagement in them. Further, you must share their duties and responsibilities with them clearly and concisely.
You should set realistic goals for your remote workers that inspire them. This can also encourage them to work in a streamlined direction and put in extra effort to achieve tasks. Moreover, when they deliver on their goals, there should not be any lack of recognition from your side. Even when workers are working from home, they look up to you for appreciation when they perform well. Both gratitude and praise are major driving factors for high employee engagement.
7. Promote knowledge sharing
The sharing of knowledge proves to be beneficial for everyone working in an organisation. As an employer, you should look to create a conducive culture of knowledge sharing. Also, in the case of remote employees, the opportunities for social learning may be less. Hence, when you promote a culture of knowledge sharing, it helps your remote employees learn better. This learning can add to their engagement within the organisation.
When there is a sharing of knowledge, team members can build better relationships among themselves. Besides, technology has made it easy for employers to share knowledge with their remote employees in any part of the world. With experience comes better learning and with learning comes better dedication. So, it is evident that workers who know can give more to the organisation than others.
To encapsulate, maintaining high employee engagement within a remote team can be complicated. The significant factors for increased productivity among employees include collaboration and communication. Effective sharing of information between remote team members is vital for individual efficiency. You should ensure that your remote workers receive constant feedback and support.
In the present scenario, organisations are also giving importance to the well-being and mental health of their workers. You can build more cordial relationships with workers by offering empathy and enquiring about their well-being. These friendly relationships can attract the highest loyalty and can bring out the best degree of employee engagement in them. As an employer, you should look to evolve consistently to find more practical ways of bringing out the best in your workforce.