The Novel Coronavirus pandemic has hit us so hard that the entire world has got into a standstill. Reeling from the outbreak and its havoc, working professionals are facing anxiety stemming from the isolation. At this juncture, you must find new ways to keep your remote team engaged and alleviate their stress.
In the wake of CoVid-19, more and more companies are shifting their workforce and operations virtually, thus inducing a massive paradigm shift in the global work culture. Enterprises across the globe have taken up an emergency work-from-home policy to protect their employees. Hundreds and thousands of employees, who were accustomed to the traditional work culture, are finding this transition quite difficult to cope with. Although we now have various video conferencing tools, chat tools to communicate, there’s always a downside to working remotely.
And that is, employees feeling weary and disengaged, detached emotionally! The onus is on the employers now to get the spirit of their employees boosted and keep them engaged for better productivity.
Motivation and Engagement – The Secret keys to Employee Satisfaction
These are two of the remote employee engagement secrets of keeping your team, remote or no remote, engaged and productive. And keeping them motivated doesn’t have to be complicated at all. There are simple ways you can follow to keep their morale uplifted; and what more is interesting, the methods you implement for your in-house employees, are the same for the remote team. There’s nothing to be done going the extra mile. It’s just that, all HR professionals and managers must consider at present, when thousands of employees are compelled to work from home, it is incredibly crucial to keep them engaged. Else, there will be a sheer loss of productivity and eventually, the company’s operations will falter.
That being the reason, organizations across the globe, are taking their own measures to boost remote employee satisfaction and engagement by conducting workshops, corporate training, organizing motivational speech, offering flexibility and lenience on remote work options and so on. However since now, majorly we are all working via mere virtual tools, communication can be confusing sometimes. This can lead to trust issues, dampened team spirit and a sense of isolation. However, employers must be mindful of these issues and ensure team members feel valued and connected.
Why is Employee Satisfaction so Significant?
A business is underpinned by its employees to a great extent. Hence each and every employee is valuable to the company for its smooth running. Keeping remote employees happy means lower absenteeism and higher productivity in the WFH model. This also means an emotional commitment between the organization and the workers. When there’s zero emotional connection or commitment, it becomes immensely challenging to retain them.
And this is how, companies lose great talents. Satisfied employees love their company, push their boundaries and work hard; they don’t even mind doing extra hours and stay longer with the company. Given all these factors, every organization must have employee engagement as their primary agenda.
When you are running an organization or even just managing a team, a valuable and engaged group of employees is the critical factor in reaching success. However, it’s quite challenging to develop employee improvement and keep up their performance. We have compiled a few best practices to keep your remote team engaged and productive in the current tumultuous situation.
1) An Informal & Friendly Environment
Friendly manners can take you a long way. Especially when it matters to dealing with your own team, say to your employee please, thank you, good morning. Even a simple ‘Hello’ to every employee of your team will make sure that they feel a friendly atmosphere in the workplace. If you say please, thank you and simple hellos to every member of the team, that will make sure that they feel appreciated, valued and honored.
Encourage virtual potluck and coffee dates with your employee on weekends to make them feel relaxed. You may try creating a virtual book lovers community or Harry Potters Fan club, where all of you can discuss and interact. Coming up with such quirky ways to engage and connect with your remote employees will keep them wanting to deliver their best for you, and for the company.
2) Clarify Individual Job Roles and Goals
Remote workers, just like in-house workers, need proper goals and milestones as to what is expected of them. As the current scenario is new and employees are trying their best to acclimatize with the sudden remote work culture, they need proper direction. Defined goals and appropriate direction bring the total remote working arrangement into an organized process. Thereby your HR managers need not think about the timely delivery and smooth running of the operations. Setting clear expectations that are mutually agreed-upon, work as a motivator for the employees, as well as keep them engaged throughout.
3) Empowering Individuals
Target setting is personal to us all and is something that will encourage us all to reach a goal. For a business, you can empower your employee to set their own targets and manage them to push the team as a whole towards a shared goal. Make sure that you provide your employee the supports that they need to be able to reach these targets and all engaged and empowered individuals working together creates a positive work environment.
4) Focus more on Video Conferencing
This is one of the smart ways to keep your remote team engaged in 2020. Video conferencing not just helps you to check on your employees how they are doing. In a video conference, employees can view their colleagues, which is a great thing. By seeing their colleagues, they feel good, refreshed. And now that we have various video call apps like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and so on, it’s no big deal to arrange video conferences once or twice a day.
To keep them engaged, encourage turning on their cameras, so the much-needed social interaction happens. Do not worry about the background noise; the kid yelling behind one of your employees is a fond way to get emotionally closer.
5) Keep them Engaged with Proper Recognition
Lack of recognition is one of the biggest reasons why people consider leaving their jobs. More than 82% of employees crave some recognition for their work. When your employees work hard and achieve something, being an employer, you must give them some kind of recognition. No excuse can be given to not recognizing a commendable work of your remote employee. And now that they are working from their home, your employees wish more recognition of their work.
Recognizing them for their efforts also creates a culture of appreciation. Just a simple “Well done”, “great work, keep it up” – are enough at these dire times when depression is common amongst workers. When they feel their employers are taking time to appreciate their effort and work, it positively impacts your company’s bottom line. As employee recognition helps a company improve its stock prices, NPS scores and individual performances. Keep your remote team engaged by calling out big wins and encouraging the rest of your employees to do the same.
6) Keeping Your Team Motivated
People are much more likely to be devoted into doing something if they know that they are responsible for that particular job. Do not let the team know what their goal is, instead of that ask them to plan out their own objectives. If they set their own goal, then mentally they are bound to achieve that. This may look like a very simple thing to do, but it is an outstanding way to keep your staff involved.
7) Invest in Virtual Webinars, Training Sessions & Workshops
The more your employers are knowledgeable, the more they can produce. Their increased production capacity will also escalate their engagement quotient, thus keeping your entire team contented. Our working process may have gone virtual, but that shouldn’t stop employers from conducting virtual training sessions and workshops for the greater good of their employees.
Of course, in a remote team, you may not be able to welcome your team in the conference room, but don’t let that limitation hinder you from arranging a webinar for your employees. Let them engage with these kinds of virtual interactions so that they feel rejuvenated, as well grasp some good insight. Training programs are a great employee engagement tool as they function as team-building opportunities and impart vital career skills.
If you are short on budget, host a live webinar on Zoom or GMeet. Invite your employers to join, prepare yourself for a particular topic and encourage the participants to ask you questions. These are virtual interactions and activities to engage remote employees that are duly needed at times like this and make a significant difference in employee engagement.
8) Keeping Up Communication Skill
There is no question that remote working provides more flexibility than working in a particular workplace. So, communication is a huge buzz word in remote working. Communication is most vital for remotely working employees to know their day to day activity. Daily communication keeps your team in the loop and helps them feel more involved with your organization.
Encourage two-way communication with your employee, not only what you expect from your remote team, but what they expect from you. That way, you can work together to achieve goals and reach the vision of your organization. And not just this, empower your team with Agile methodology that is centered around frequent communication, empowerment and involvement of all the team members and continuous improvement.
Simply put, the Agile approach has all the key employee engagement aspects fused into one. Let your team members discuss the roadblocks frequently, as this is more than ever needed in a remote team where isolation is inevitable. Mutual accountability drives away the drama of blame-game and creates efficient coordination. The agile approach is the best way you can keep your remote team engaged and feel valued.
9) Offering Great Benefits
Benefits are a key factor in reducing customer retention. If your team members get more growth on their performance basis, then your remote team also involved and shared the feedback for the growth of the company. Because your remote team is not sharing the same workplace with you, so sometimes they become worried that there is not a clear path to be promoted and take more responsibility. So if you assure them by providing benefits on their performance and encourage them to deliver more, then your remote team will be beneficial for the organization.
10) Ask for Employee Feedback
Emotions are running top-turvy right now, owing to the unforeseen circumstances, and it’s common to lose patience. This unique situation is giving rise to distraction and other complexities that need some proactive approach from the employers. HR managers and team leaders must focus on getting feedback from the employees as to how are they feeling and holding up in the present situation. Show your humane side and empathize with your employers, that is one of the best employee engagement activities that need to be done right now.
Set up some kind of a survey to gauge the general mood of your employees. Analyzing the survey report, an employer can address each of the issues and act accordingly. These small gestures go a long way in keeping your team engaged, productive and happy.
During a pandemic or an emergency situation such as this, your employees need your support and trust to stay active and productive, even working from their home. The right approach and best practices can develop a team that is stronger than before. To navigate the new normal and keep your business running smoothly, appropriate communication and connection need to be facilitated.
These are some of the strategies that you can make sure that your employees come to work with a mind set up to achieve the goal. Whether you work in a workplace altogether, or you have a remote employee. Motivation and involvement is a great way to drive your company towards success.
Try implementing these right from this month itself to keep your remote team engaged and feel the difference yourself. And if you need any help in assessing new candidates remotely or conducting a survey for your remote employees, Testofy can be the solution you are looking for!