10 Ways to Keep Remote Teams Engaged
Keeping your remote team engaged can be a daunting task. You can't just rely on occasional check-ins over communication channels or video chats to keep them on their toes. So here are some ideas to help you keep your telecommuters engaged with virtual employee activities.
1. Encourage employees to be healthy and active.
Company culture is essential, and you should be investing in your employees to make sure they stay healthy. If people cannot work at their highest level because of illness or injury, how effective can we be? There is evidence that healthy and active employees is a good investment for all companies.
Perhaps it's time for a wellness program that incentives team members with discounts on food items they purchase from the company grocery list each month if specific goals are met – like eating more fruits & vegetables! Also, encourage walking on the campus during breaks or have a Lunch and Learn virtual meeting to learn how to cook a new healthy meal together.
Providing your employees with a healthy work environment will help their general wellness and show that you care about how they're doing. Look into making healthier habits easier by allowing longer midday breaks for workouts or letting them off early on lovely days to spend time outside in the sun!
2. Host virtual meetings and casual hangouts.
When the whole team is working, video calls can go a long way to encourage group collaboration. You could also use communication channels like Google Hangouts for instant messaging, Slack which provides real-time updates across different channels (such as email), or Trello. You won't forget any critical tasks that need attention while collaborating in meetings.
It can be challenging to feel like you're a part of the team when you can't just pop down the hall for a chat, but using these tools and hosting regular video meetings can help close that gap. And don't forget to have some fun too! Schedule a bi-weekly or monthly "virtual happy hour" for employees to catch up outside of work. Remote team engagement in the more casual hangout type of video conferencing can help employees feel more like part of a team instead of focusing only on their own experience.
3. Gamify your team.
Yes, you read that right – gamification can be a great way to keep remote employees engaged, whether they're in the office or out of it. For example, you can create leaderboards for different tasks or objectives and regularly award prizes to top performers. Leaderboards help people stay motivated and give them a sense of competition and camaraderie.
You can also use games to introduce new employees to the company culture and values. For example, if you're trying to promote more collaboration, you could create a game that requires people to work together to win. In-game collaboration is a great way to get people thinking about how they can work better as a team and start building those critical relationships.
During the rise of the remote workforce during 2020 because of the Covid pandemic, remote team engagement became a need that employers had to determine how to meet very quickly. Introducing gamification has shown itself to be one of the most popular employee engagement ideas, and it has worked well to keep remote employees engaged. Finding the right virtual employee activities can help your remote team come together and appreciate their company culture, even when they don’t see each other face-to-face.
4. Give them some freedom.
People work best when they have a sense of control over their lives and work. Therefore, allowing employees to work from home, or even another remote location occasionally, can help them feel more empowered. This way, they can better balance their work and personal life, crucial for overall happiness and productivity. When employees feel like you trust them with their own success, whether working from home or in the office, it can have positive impacts on company culture.
It's important to note that too much freedom can also be a bad thing, so make sure you still have some expectations for virtual employee activities, remote team engagement, and regularly check that they're meeting deadlines. But by giving them a little flexibility, you'll encourage them to stay productive during their work hours.
5. Celebrate their accomplishments.
Remote workers are just as important as any other employee when it comes to the success of your business. When someone does something great, make sure to celebrate it with the rest of the remote team. Send out a quick email congratulating team members, or write a social media post praising their accomplishment. Don’t forget to celebrate their work anniversary. Hitting new landmarks of service can make employees feel a sense of accomplishment, and it’s encouraging to know that their employer appreciates them.
Recognizing accomplishments will help remote employees feel like they're genuinely a part of the team and that their work is appreciated. It can be tough to feel like you're doing a good job when no one is physically around to see it, so working from home can sometimes make it feel like your hard work goes unnoticed. So make sure you take the time to celebrate their accomplishments and find ways for offering employee recognition.
6. Offer training and development opportunities.
No one wants to feel stagnant in their job, especially if they're working from home. Offering training and development opportunities can keep remote employees engaged by helping them feel a sense of direction. In addition, by giving your employees the chance to learn new skills or update their knowledge on current trends, you're helping them stay competitive and engaged in their work.
It's also a great way to show that you're invested in their career growth. Remote employees can sometimes feel left out when it comes to learning and development, so make sure you take the time to offer them these opportunities.
7. Let them work from wherever they want.
One of the best things about remote work is that employees can often work from wherever they want. For example, a workspace could be their home, a co-working space, or even a coffee shop. This flexibility allows employees to choose the best environment, leading to higher productivity and creativity.
It's important to note that there should be some ground rules for working from wherever you want. For example, employees should still meet deadlines and stay in touch with the team. But by giving them some freedom to choose their work environment, you'll help them feel more in control of their work life.
8. Encourage them to take breaks.
Working from home can be intense for some employees, especially if they feel like they have to be in front of their computer constantly to show productivity. There is a known correlation between providing breaks and increasing employee engagement. Encouraging your staff to occasionally step away from their computer will help them stay fresh and focused on their work.
There are a few ways you can encourage your employees to take breaks. First, you could set up a break schedule and ensure everyone follows it. You could also create a list of fun activities that employees can do during their breaks, like taking a walk, reading a book, or cooking lunch.
9. Give them a sense of purpose.
When working from home, it’s difficult to have a sense of how you fit into the company culture. It can be tough to feel like they're part of a remote team rather than just another cog in the wheel. One way to combat this is to give your employees a sense of purpose. This could be something as simple as having them work on a project that's important to the company, or you could let them implement some of their own employee engagement ideas for their remote team.
By giving your employees a sense of purpose, you're helping them feel more engaged in their work. And when employees feel involved, they're more likely to be productive and happy with their job.
10. Let them know they're essential to the company.
Finally, one of the most important things you can do for your remote employees is let them know how important they are to the company. You can use emails, social media posts, video calls, or even face-to-face meetings.
By showing your employees that they're a valued part of the team, you're helping them feel more connected to the company culture. And when employees feel connected to the company, they're more likely to be productive and happy with their job.