Before March 2020, the concept of remote employee engagement was the exception to the rule. Most employers primarily sought ways to enhance employee engagement in the office while incorporating the far fewer telecommuters and traveling staff members as outliers. However, when the pandemic became a stark part of our collective reality, the rules of business, employment, management and engagement changed for nearly everyone.
Has your organization sent team members home to work for nearly two years? Do you feel as though employee engagement for remote employees is significantly more challenging?
If you are struggling to keep your staff energized and invested, you’re not alone. Let’s learn more about engagement and how you can develop your optimal employee engagement remote workforce.
What Is Employee Engagement?
Originally a human resources (HR) concept, employee engagement has taken on greater value in the modern workplace, serving as a measure of employees’ dedication and enthusiasm for their job, managers, co-workers and the organization.
Here are several ways to measure engagement that you might recognize or find helpful for your business.
1. Distribute Employee Surveys
Use surveys to learn about your employees’ feelings on engagement. Let’s take a brief look at a couple of survey options:
- Pulse Survey Feedback: Organizations can frequently perform pulse surveys, which consist of 10-15 questions on a specific topic. These quick surveys don’t take much of your employees’ productivity time, but they give you a real-time reading of the mood throughout your organization.
- Career and Development Feedback: These types of surveys are typically peer-to-peer and subordinate-to-employee. They can help make the annual review process easier and more streamlined.
2. Measure Employee Satisfaction at the Customer Level
Some businesses rely on the Net Promoter Score, which serves as a measure of customer satisfaction. However, you could use it to measure employee satisfaction, asking employees how likely — on a scale from 1-10 — they would be to recommend your organization as a place to work. The results are often broken down into three types: promoters, passives and detractors.
3. Large-Scale Employee Surveys
These holistic surveys consist of large-scale questionnaires that focus on various drivers of engagement, including company culture, openness, well-being and communication. Businesses might consider conducting these surveys once or twice per year.
4. Conduct One-to-One Employee Interviews
Employee engagement interviews can be informal exchanges among managers or HR leaders and remote employees through phone calls or Zoom sessions. These might be helpful to conduct each month or quarter.
5. Real-Time Engagement Plugins for an Engagement Suite
When working with employee engagement suites such as Humantelligence, you can gain access to engagement plugins compatible with your organization’s systems. With these plugins, you would gain access to:
- Tips to improve communication and collaboration among and for your remote employees
- Ideas for creating equitable and engaging experiences for your valuable remote workers
- Emotional intelligence data via Gmail, Google Calendar, Outlook, Teams and Slack that helps team members work better with one another
Why Are Employee Engagement Ideas for Remote Workers Important?
Whether working in the office or remotely, employees who are engaged and connected with their organization tend to feel that their position and efforts in the company make a difference. This feeling can inspire them to stay with the organization longer and with greater satisfaction.
Every successful business wants greater productivity, profitability and retention rates. With strong employee engagement, you can also:
- Lower rates of absenteeism
- Improve employee retention for the short-term and long-term
- Boost morale for employees, managers, HR, executives and customers
- Net consistently higher customer satisfaction rankings
- Gain respect in your local community and industry as a leader in employee engagement
- Increase your overall sales and business success
8 Remote Employee Engagement Ideas for Your Business
Like many employers, you probably want to enhance employee engagement during the pandemic. Here are eight ideas you might use to promote peak employee engagement among in-house and remote staff, management, HR and the executive team.
1. Encourage Virtual Breaks
You’ve seen the “break” phenomenon take shape for on-site workers for years or decades. Your workers naturally form relationships while at the coffee station or taking a 15-minute walk. Encourage your employees to take these sessions to the virtual realm. Recommend setting up a Zoom coffee break or a Zoom walk via social media posts. Thanks to smartphones, people can enjoy break time with co-workers in the remote structure just as easily and regularly as ever.
2. Introduce New Remote Employees to Your In-House Employees
You’ve probably hired several new remote employees recently, and it’s possible they haven’t visited the office or met the team since the beginning of the pandemic. While in-house and new employees might exchange some emails and phone calls, be sure to make a formal introduction to create a sense of camaraderie and cohesion.
3. Run Fun Mood Checks
Ask someone to send out a mass email, text or productivity app message to see how everyone is doing. Before the beginning of a meeting, ask everyone to respond with a quick phrase, single term, emoji, gif or meme to reflect a combination of their mood and personality.
These fun and lighthearted mood checks are low-key surveys without the intention of gathering feedback. Instead, these mood checks can be used to make sure everyone is having a good day, whether working remotely or in the office.
4. Gather for Lunch Preparation and Dining
Like in-office break rituals, lunch is another important custom among co-workers that they might miss when working remotely. Encourage your team to “meet” for lunch occasionally. Thanks to video apps, everyone can head to the kitchen to prepare a salad or heat up a frozen meal, or they can meet a delivery driver at the front door before sitting down together for a virtual lunch.
5. Request a Home Tour
At the end of each meeting, ask one employee to volunteer to provide a home, home office or backyard tour. This can give co-workers some insights into their fellow remote employees’ home lives. Of course, let employees know they aren’t obligated to do so, but you would love a tour if they’re comfortable with the idea.
6. Offer Online Training
One way to ensure that remote employees don’t feel left out or left behind is to offer training and advancement opportunities. Any training sessions you might have held in the office could be adapted to virtual presentations, allowing the team to feel challenged and stimulated.
7. Mix It Up With Fun and Games
Thanks to today’s amazing technological tools such as Zoom, you can create a seamless work environment for everyone, no matter where they are. Suggest that employees participate in fun activities such as:
- Open mic sessions for singers, poets and comedians
- Scavenger hunts
- Gardening chats and seed-starting tutorials
- Interactive video ames
8. Invest In Employee Engagement Software and a Performance Management System
In addition to all the fun, down-to-earth and lighthearted strategies that encourage remote worker satisfaction, you could also benefit from a software platform and an objective performance management system. Consider the Humantelligence Employee Engagement Software and Performance Management System.
With this type of program, you can help remote employees focus on specific strategic goals and actions, delivering fast, measurable business results. You would have access to various surveys and other metrics to make sure everyone is on track for success.
For more information about Humantelligence services and our data-informed approach to engaging employees remotely and in-house, contact us today.