No one expected this to be the “New Normal”, yet here we are.
Most likely, a good amount of your team still works at home and will continue to do so long after COVID is a thing of the past. Do you struggle to get the same employee engagement remotely as you did back in the office? Engaging remote workers is a tough process. However, putting the focus on engagement and digital team building is sure to bring several positive benefits to your organization.
There are many ways to engage remote workers, however, finding out what works the best for your company is key to promoting high employee engagement and creativity. Studies show that engaged remote workers are more productive than in-office workers, as long as they have the right support from their company. Here are some of the best ways to build engagement with your virtual workers!
Engaging Remote Workers #1 – Hosting Virtual Events
Lockdowns and COVID have made company events a thing of the past. Because of that, it’s become difficult for companies to encourage digital team building outside of work hours. Many studies have indicated that team connectedness and collaboration have dropped dramatically since the shift to remote work. Engaging remote workers needs to be approached differently. However, while that may be difficult, it’s far from impossible. Below are some examples of virtual events that many organizations have successfully run.
➜ Netflix Watch Party
One idea for digital team building virtual events can be a Netflix watch party for a new movie or documentary that your team can bond over. Teleparty is software that allows you and your team to join a virtual TV watch party. This, combined with the ability to chat to one another through the platform, lets you interact closely with your team and build experiences with one another in a non-work environment!
P.S. Speaking of Netflix… Here at AirMason we recently made them an excellent work culture guide! Your employee handbooks don’t need to be boring – they can be creative and raise employee engagement faster than you think! Check it out here!
➜ Board Game Night
Employees who game together – stick together. Jokes aside, there are several online board games available for teams to play with one another! This Reddit thread provides insight into many different platforms that will let you engage your team remotely in fun and different ways.
➜ Home Happy Hour
The number one thing that teams miss is the ability to go out with coworkers after a long day of work and start team-building without even realizing it! While the feeling of going out together might be irreplaceable, what can be replicated is the camaraderie of spending time together without work talk. Setting up an hour every Friday for employees to be able to spend time together over a call while sharing stories and news is a fantastic way to engage remote workers.
Engaging remote workers #2 – Company Care Packages
Ever think about sending your employees a small care package to let them know you’re thinking about them? It’s an engaging and creative way to reach out to your employees and provide them with an added touch of care. This is a fantastic tool to engage new hires immediately, or to let existing coworkers know that they’re a valued member of your company!
Over at Snacknation – they’ve put together a list of 35 different work from home care packages available to engage remote workers. With prices ranging from $15-$100, it’s easy to send your employees a special gift to help team building and boost employee engagement and positivity.
Employees thrive when they see that their company thinks of them as more than just a filled seat. The difference that small gifts such as this make to a company are astronomic!
Engaging remote workers #3 – Virtual Coffee Chats
Another downside of working at home is the inability to grab a quick coffee and chat with any of your coworkers in person. These quick chats were very useful when working in person, as they allowed team members to check in with one another consistently. This doesn’t translate as well over remote work…
What does translate however is being able to use a tool like Donut – a tool that helps companies engage employees with randomized coffee chat pairings. Using a tool like this allows for natural connections to form at your company, so your remote workers are engaged and think of their workplace as more than just a 9-5 job.
Engaging remote workers #4 – Weekly Company Updates
Companies change and grow in an instant. It’s crucial for your employees to know all of the recent developments in your company and the many changes that these developments bring. By creating a weekly company update call, you’re allowing your employees to feel more engaged and involved in the company’s growth and development.
Allowing remote workers the opportunity to engage themselves and follow multiple aspects of the company is a fantastic way to help integrate themselves with more than just their tasks. After all, everyone wants to feel like they’re a part of something bigger.
By providing employees with these updates and letting them know about developments in the company, engagement grows as the team recognizes itself as more than just cogs in a machine. Providing the opportunity for these workers to provide personal updates on their individual tasks is also a fantastic way to engage remote employees. Helping connect the dots between team members helps workers find their place in the company and feel valued.
Engaging remote workers #5 – Weekly Congratulations Newsletter
While keeping your remote workers engaged and involved in the company, spending the time to send them positive words and reinstate exactly what they mean to the company is a fantastic tool to build engagement and mental well-being. Reinforcing a positive work atmosphere benefits not only employees but the company as a whole. After all – happy worker, happy boss.
Dr. Jooa Julia Lee, one of the co-authors of the Harvard study, conducted a study in trying to discover the effect on employees of being told that they have done something wonderful. Half of the participants (which included a field experiment in a global consulting firm) were told to ask friends and family to send them an email just before their participation that described a time when they were at their best.
For example, participants had three minutes to complete a task. Fifty-one percent who had read emails before the task were able to successfully complete it; only 19% of those who did not receive “best-self activation” emails were able to solve it.
If you have an employee that you know has recently delivered a large-scale task, this would be a fantastic opportunity to highlight this employee and the work that they have done! For remote workers, oftentimes it is difficult for their tasks and work to be noticed on a day-to-day function. However, by spending the time to coordinate this and acknowledge these workers, their engagement and team building will grow instantly!
Understanding how to Engage Remote Workers
With all of the following examples listed, it’s clear to see that there are many unique and interesting ways to be able to engage remote workers. However, one of the main ideas to keep in mind is that every worker is different and requires different levels of engagement to perform at their highest level.
With AirMason, you’ll be able to create effective and high-quality policies to include in your employee handbook immediately! Engaging remote workers is an essential tool for all companies to keep in mind to boost productivity and a positive work environment.