Engaging Remote Workers: Best Strategies to Follow

Employee engagement is critical to high business performance and consistent business growth. There is a direct connection between employee buy-in, team productivity, and goal achievement. Hence, worker engagement is one of the leadership focal points and major priorities of modern organizations, no matter the industry and type of activity.

Yet, attaining a high level of employee involvement in work is quite a challenge, especially when it comes to remote teams. Working from home is a common practice today. The trend has been brought to a new level during the pandemic lockdown and kept gaining pace since then.

While the virtual team approach is certainly here to stay, organizations struggle with low out-of-the-office workers’ engagement. How to maintain high remote specialist productivity and keep them on track? Let’s find out.

What Is Remote Employee Engagement?

In general, employee engagement is a person’s commitment to the job and to achieving the company’s goals. For those who work from home, it’s also about establishing and maintaining strong ties with their employer, team members, and internal organizational culture.

Organizations implement various methods, tools, and strategies to keep home-working staff members connected to the team, well-organized, motivated, and willing to work. This way, businesses strive to reap such engagement benefits as:

  • Smooth and hassle-free new worker onboarding;
  • A more satisfied and productive workforce;
  • Better chances to quickly hit the objectives;
  • Reliable employer brand attracting valuable specialists.

How to Gauge Remote Worker Engagement?

The easiest and quickest method to measure employee engagement is to simply ask your personnel how they feel about their work and if they are satisfied with the process. In addition, you can monitor personnel progress and assess each worker’s results against the team’s performance.

The most common problems you’ll encounter with a disengaged distant team include:

  • A feeling of isolation among team members;
  • Reluctance to share ideas and interact;
  • Missed deadlines and intermediate due dates;
  • Failures in matching the goals;
  • Recurring mistakes and errors;
  • Lack of trust between peers and poor relations with a leader;
  • The weak collaborative culture inside the team;
  • Resistance to changes;
  • Falling out of work standards.

How to Keep Remote Employees Engaged?

Building an engaged employee team is a challenging task since people working from home and scattered in different locations have a lot more distraction factors than those bound to the office and, hence, are more difficult to synchronize.

Below, you’ll find a few helpful and efficient tips for boosting mobile worker engagement and keeping them involved on a long-haul basis.

1. Stay in Touch

Many people working out of the office feel detached from their teams. Hence, it’s vital to maintain consistent communications and organize your remote team’s work in a way that members have an opportunity to interact regularly.

Encourage team connections not only for work but also beyond project tasks. Use social hours, video chats, and other team-building tools that will enable people to feel connected and necessary. Be open and accessible for your workers to answer their questions or simply to chat.

Isolation and the feeling of loneliness are by far the biggest problem of newcomers. So, new workers should have a mentor who will help them adapt and become a part of the team.

2. Use Proper Communication Tools

Luckily, advanced technology allows people to easily communicate, wherever they are. To make work-related communications of virtual groups constructive and efficient, use specialized platforms and tools.

Cloud services will let your team share files and materials to keep all members on the same page. Meanwhile, Zoom, Asana, Slack, and other tools will contribute to streamlined video connections. Make video conferences a solid part of daily interactions for your team. Face-to-face communications are highly important to make home workers feel connected and more in the office.

Scheduled personnel meetings and video calls are crucial for hybrid teams so that in-house employees have an opportunity to build smooth and responsive relationships with remote members.

3. Organize the Process

Effective communication is the key to high engagement for both in-house and remote workers. The latter, though, might be less connected to the process without your having a clear communication strategy in place. Hence, do your best to

  • Set monthly, quarterly, and annual goals in a comprehensible manner;
  • Outline your expectations for the outcomes and results;
  • Ensure weekly check-ins to make sure the team moves in the right direction;
  • Hold regular collaborative meetings for the team members to ask questions, share their ideas, or articulate their concerns.

Most people need to stick to certain routines to improve their self-organization and stay on top of their tasks. This is why a properly arranged and scheduled working process is an efficient management tool for out-of-the-house teams.

4. Let Them Know Your Care

Just like ongoing communications are essential for the working process, your personal interest is crucial for establishing trust-based employee-manager relations. Along with professional strengths and weaknesses, all staff members have individual lives, families, hobbies, and special dates. As a leader, you should appreciate that part of their personalities too.

So, find the time for one-to-one meetings to chit-chat about your worker experiences and the struggles or concerns they have, or simply ask about their passions and what makes them happy and confident.

Knowing that you care for them not only as workers but also as persons, remote specialists will naturally show more commitment and dedication to their roles in the projects.

Admittedly, to gain a strong level of trust from remote workers, you should invest your effort and energy. Yet, those investments will surely pay off with consistent employee engagement, fine-tuned teamwork, and increased productivity on the project.

5. Welcome Feedback

Feedback is a keystone of trustworthy and productive leader-to-employe relations. Note, though, that it should work both ways. Feel free to speak out your opinion and give constructive recommendations to

  • Tackle any issues on the way;
  • Motivate your workers;
  • Help them realize their potential to the full by successfully combating any difficulties;
  • Improve their productivity.

Likewise, listen to your employees. Encourage their feedback both on the project and on your leadership. This way, you will easier detect the weak points and areas that call for improvement while making your workers feel valued, appreciated, and involved in all stages and levels of complex processes.

At the same time, make sure you take action on employee feedback to demonstrate that they were heard and you take their thoughts, opinions, and suggestions seriously.

6. Show Your Recognition

Off-the-office employees usually work as hard as their in-house teammates. Sometimes, they even contribute more time and effort to the project while not feeling an integral part of the team. To raise their confidence and engagement, recognize their contributions and effort.

Don’t wait for annual assessment performance, hold regular appraisal meetings to check intermediate results, appreciate employee gains and wins, and praise their achievements and learnings.

Nurture the culture of recognition in your remote or hybrid team to let your staff members feel comfy and satisfied and make the whole team thrive and propel them to success.

7. Promote Your Employee Wellness

People can only perform to their best when they are at their best feeling comfortable, healthy, and satisfied. And the home workers’ health should be an employer’s priority too. Promote your employees’ wellness by doing the following:

  • Ensuring attainable goals;
  • Welcoming flexible schedules;
  • Prioritizing regular short breaks;
  • Encouraging your staff members to maintain a healthy work-life balance;
  • Providing though-out health benefits including training programs, therapies, yoga classes, massage sessions, SPA procedures, etc.

8. Let Your Employees Grow

Remote work should not restrain or somehow limit career opportunities and professional growth. You should encourage the learning endeavors of your home-working personnel to the same extent you encourage and support your in-house personnel.

Employees striving to learn and develop are the biggest company assets and business growth drivers. And you should do your best to make them stay in your organization for longer by ensuring decent learning and growing opportunities. Notably, many workers consider the ability to upscale their professionalism and get on in the company the best incentive.

In Conclusion

To get the most out of the virtual team and hybrid team working models, leaders should focus on improving home employee engagement and keeping remote workers engaged. The main thing to remember here is that engagement is not something you can do in a set-and-forget manner. It’s a task you should work on consistently to set up a solid culture of engagement inside your organization.