10 Proven ways to keep your remote employees engaged

Remote work is not a privilege anymore. It has become the norm in most organizations globally. The pandemic has revolutionized the workplace. Teams have completely changed the way they communicate and work.To help employees maintain their productivity levels and not feel disconnected, companies must consider new managerial strategies.

To help you communicate and engage with your remote employees during the pandemic, Smart Working have gathered 10 best practices for engaging and managing remote employees.

1. Define goals for remote employees – According to the research, 39% of people working from home complete their tasks faster than those in offices. To set them up for success, employers have to set clear and measurable goals for their employees. With remote employees, it’s important to be crystal clear about their duties and responsibilities.

2. Communicate regularly – Setting up regular meetings is crucial to help everyone stay on the same page and be aligned with the goals and actions. This is especially true for remote employees who do not get the opportunity to communicate with their colleagues daily.

3. Check in frequently and be proactive – There may be instances where remote employees may feel disconnected, it is important for managers who lead remote teams to make themselves available. Frequent check-ins with remote workers are a great way to help overcome challenges. Managers should frequently ask one simple question such as “How can I help you to be more productive and feel more connected?”

4. Give employees a sense of belongings – A study by The Wall Street Journal suggests that one of the crucial factors that separates successful companies from others is those that give employees a sense of belonging. The author, Sue Shellenbarger, states:
“Amid growing divisiveness and stridency in public life, a sense of belonging at the office will be increasingly prized by employees, and a crucial condition for fostering innovation.”

5. Empower your remote employees – Any employee (remote or onsite) wants to be a part of the decision-making in the companies they work for. They want to have the word and be heard. That is why employers must empower remote employees to make their own decisions, communicate and implement new ideas.

So why should you care about employee empowerment?

According to research on employee empowerment, employees who felt a low level of empowerment were rated with engagement at the 24th percentile. On the other side, those with a high level of empowerment were at the 79th percentile.

6. Enable and encourage knowledge sharing – Knowledge sharing among employees is beneficial for both a company’s success and an employee’s development. For remote employees, fostering a culture of knowledge sharing is critical as they may have less opportunity for in-person knowledge sharing or social learning. Fortunately, modern technology solutions make knowledge sharing much easier, even when employees are located on the other side of the world.

7. Offer career growth opportunities – Career growth opportunities are one of the most important factors that attract and keep talent within companies. Remote workers can get neglected here. To keep them happy, some career advancement opportunities should be available.

8. Encourage peer-to-peer feedback – Consistent peer-to-peer feedback is a great way to connect remote employees. This is just another way to encourage their collaboration and communication and to learn from each other. In fact, according to PwC, nearly 60% of survey respondents reported that they would like feedback on a daily or weekly basis—a number that increased to 72% for employees under age 30. For peer-to-peer feedback to be more successful and motivational, you may think of implementing a rewards and recognition program.

9. Forget about email conversations – How many times have you written an email and felt concerned about how it would land and if someone will read it or not? Emails should just not be the primary way of internal communications as there are now tools that offer instant communication where information does not get buried.

10. Make remote employees your advocates – Make your remote employees your brand ambassadors! This is a great way to show appreciation, help them build their personal brand, and help them develop a sense of belonging. In addition to this, enhancing employee advocacy has numerous benefits for companies as they can drive sales, build brand awareness and help in employer branding and talent acquisition efforts.