For remote teams, having engaged employees is not only crucial but it’s a whole different challenge than for an in-person workplace. Whether you are in human resources, management, or simply want your team’s engagement to be improved, keep on reading for some tips.
What is employee engagement and why is it important?
Employee engagement is the level of enthusiasm and dedication a worker feels toward their job. Employee engagement is has everything to do with job satisfaction and employee’s well-being. Engaged employees are more likely to be productive and higher performing which leads to better business outcomes.
Disengaged employees can be looking for another job, will display more absenteeism, and might not put out their best work and initiatives. You want team members who are engaged, not only for their own well-being, but also because an engaged workforce has a better profitability, and creates a better work environment.
“The percentage of actively disengaged employees is up slightly in the U.S., from 14% in 2020 to 15% through June 2021. Actively disengaged employees report miserable work experiences and are generally poorly managed.” - Gallup
Now more than ever, with the surge of remote work in particular, employee retention and employee satisfaction should be top of mind. But how to improve it? Here are some tips.
How to improve employee engagement
There are multiple ways to improve employee engagement. Here are a few to keep in mind.
1. Create an engaging onboarding process
An effective employee engagement strategy starts with your new hires. What does your virtual onboarding process look like right now? A few zoom calls? Tasks? You need to think about way to engage your employees and start creating that emotional connection with the business right away. Here are some ways to do so:
- Encourage networking between new hires and current employees with virtual onboarding events or virtual happy hours.
- Talk about your company culture, make sure your new employees know what your values are from the get-go.
- Make sure new hires have access to HR professionals or an internal contact who can help them navigate their new job and to whom they can ask any questions.
2. Have employee recognition events
Your employees are working hard, and a big part of your job satisfaction is to be recognized for your hard work. A simple pat on the back during an employee performance review once a year is not enough for most people, so make sure to go the extra mile and have regular events to showcase your team efforts, call out people’s good deeds and kudos publicly. You can also encourage the drivers of employee engagement. Here are some examples of employee recognition events you could do:
- Virtual award ceremony.
- Paid lunches or snack boxes sent to everyone.
- End of project virtual party.
- Virtual retreat.
- Mentioning employee recognition weekly during pulse meetings, town hall meetings, basecamp meetings.
3. Invest in work-life balance perks
Work-life balance is usually a little bit better already by working remotely, however there are always betterments you can put in place that may help employees feel better and have a better mental and physical health, which plays a big role in levels of employee engagements. Here are a few ideas:
- Give more personal time off (PTO) for responding to pulse surveys or contributing to organizational success in some way.
- Provide a flexible workplace with flexible working hours, and no excessive scrutiny.
- Encourage personal and professional development with regular virtual training sessions.
4. Improve company culture with regular games and non-work meetings
The employee experience is crucial for the bottom line of your business, much like customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction is at the heart of it all. It might seem trivial or counter-intuitive to invest in games, happy hours and other activities just to “have fun” however it can have a tremendous positive impact on your employee’s performance, motivation at work, and turnover. Here are a few activities that are easy to implement for a remote team:
- Virtual happy hours.
- Trivia night.
- Lunch and games.
- Coffee and chatting breaks.
- Team building activities.
5. Get employee feedback
It’s one of the most important tip out here, your employees know their level of satisfaction, you don’t.
You need to be aware of what’s working, what needs to be changed, what motivated troops, and the best way to do so is ask your employees. This way you’ll be able to implement action plans that are catered to their needs. You can measure different metrics such as their intent to stay, work involvement, discretionary effort, pride in the company, and willingness to recommend the business. Here are a few examples of how you can gather employee feedback.
- Send a quarterly employee engagement survey
- Ask regularly for employee engagement ideas (games, or activities they would like implemented)
- HR leaders can send an employee survey to employees who are leaving for a better understanding of your employee turnover
- You can share survey results for transparency and to garner more ideas and employee engagement initiatives
Time to get started
Are you ready to work on these engagement efforts and have your employee engagement go through the roof? The first thing to do is get the pulse of what’s going on in your organization, then implement a few initiatives and see how it goes.
Your remote team can discuss in smaller group to get to know each other better, use whiteboards to collaborate during meetings, play games, and have all sorts of team building activities, all in the same tool.
We hope this helps you have engaged, happy and passionate employees in the future.