Maricopa Community Colleges Blog

10 Ways to Keep Employees Engaged While Working Remotely

Virtual meeting

What is one way your organization keeps employees engaged while working remotely?

To help you keep your remote employees engaged, we asked CEOs and HR managers this question for their best strategies. From creating feedback loops to maintaining flexibility, there are several ways your organization can keep employees engaged while working remotely.

10 ways to keep remote employees engaged:

  • Create a Feedback Loop
  • Steer Clear of Micromanaging Tasks
  • Encourage Authentic Employee Recognition
  • Use Slack To Keep Employees Connected
  • Engage Through Virtual Activities
  • Implement Variety of Financial Incentives
  • Ensure Comfortable Home Office for Each Employee
  • Make Employees Feel Heard and Valued
  • Set Expectations from the Onset
  • Maintain Flexibility

Create a Feedback Loop

Transparency, timeframes, and trust are the essential building blocks of an effective remote working model. You need a model that not only functions effectively but also encourages collaboration and camaraderie in every interaction.

We organize check-ins (no more than 15 minutes), weekly sprints (no more than half an hour) and monthly “town-hall meetings”. For these longer meetings, make sure you draft an agenda beforehand and share it with everyone who will attend. Ensure everyone has a chance to speak and above all, always request feedback on meetings. You won’t build a perfect remote work culture overnight - it takes continual refinement.

- Benjamin Graham, AnswerConnect

Steer Clear of Micromanaging Tasks

To keep remote workers engaged, one of the best things to keep in mind is to steer clear of micromanaging. Micromanaging can wreak havoc on employee engagement and overall happiness. It can also keep leaders from realizing their full potential as well. Rather than micro-managing individual tasks, I have found that it works much better to give remote workers measurable responsibilities and allow them to accomplish those tasks in a timely manner. Remote workers tend to be more efficient when they can work in the manner that best suits their particular skills. Plus, they don't feel the pressure that micromanaging can cause. It is important to give remote employees the resources they need to successfully carry out their work.

Alex Shute, FaithGiant

Encourage Authentic Employee Recognition

Our purpose is to help people build stronger relationships at work. There is the perception that employee engagement can not be achieved remotely, but that's not at all true. The biggest thing we do is ensure that employees are recognized by all for their contributions. We encourage our people to engage in consistent, authentic recognition of their colleagues' accomplishments, which keeps them happy whether they're remote or at the office.

Ed Stevens, Preciate

Use Slack To Keep Employees Connected

Utilizing a platform such as Slack is the most effective way to keep remote employees engaged. The easy-to-use interface allows employees to chat with every member of an organization, from the CEO to the newest employee. Notifications let you know if someone is trying to get in touch with you, and you can respond much quicker than you would via email. Using Slack is the next best thing to working in the office, and is a wise investment for companies of any size.

Jorge Vivar, Mode

Engage Through Virtual Activities

There are many ways to keep employees engaged while working remotely, but one key way is to ensure that they feel like they are part of a team. This can be done by creating opportunities for social interaction among employees, such as holding virtual happy hours or organizing remote workgroups. Online team-building activities such as these can help to improve communication among employees.

When team members are able to interact on a regular basis, they are more likely to build strong relationships and trust one another. This can lead to better collaboration and problem-solving when working on projects together, helping to prevent misunderstandings and conflict among team members. Frequent remote interaction also provides your business with great opportunities to share regular updates on company news, project developments, and the onboarding of new hires. By taking this step, employers can help their remote employees feel engaged and connected to the company.

Teresha Aird,

Implement Variety of Financial Incentives

As a team leader at a digital media company in which our team members are all remote and are mainly contract workers, we've found that rewarding a high quality as well as a high quantity of work helps keep our employees engaged. We have a tiered pay scale for our freelance writers, in which the higher the quality of work, the higher the rate of pay. We also have several bonuses in place in which not only writers receive a monetary bonus for every x-amount of guest posts they have published, but also our admins are rewarded for finding x-amount of our links in various types of content. We have raised the rates of pay and bonuses several times to remain competitive. 
We have also created special situational or seasonal bonus opportunities, such as for writers who complete x articles over the holidays, or for writers who complete articles with the least amount of editing needed over a certain period of time.

Karen Condor,

Ensure Comfortable Home Office for Each Employee

We have an HR rep, our designated, "Remote Set-Up Expert" working with all our employees to assess their remote office. Based on the assessment, we have a budget to help the employees create a professional working environment. It might be as inexpensive as a ring light for zoom calls, to a standing desk. Investing in our employees' home offices has three benefits. It demonstrates our commitment to our employees’ success. It feels like a gift to our new hires and it’s a reminder across the company, we’re not pocketing the perceived money saved with a remote workforce.

Nirav Sheth, Anatta Design

Make Employees Feel Heard and Valued

Your employees, in my opinion, need to be thanked - even if it is from afar. Because you aren't at the office with them every day to say thank you or take them out to lunch on their work anniversary, you should find simple methods to celebrate your employees as frequently as feasible. Is someone's birthday approaching? Send a virtual gift card to them. Did a coworker go above and above on a project? Plan a team call to thank them for their efforts. Look for simple ways to show your employees that you care about them. Additionally, keep your (virtual) door open at all times.

Miscommunications are widespread among remote workers, and you don't want your employees to feel like they can't communicate to you, ask questions, or express concerns. Make it apparent that you are accessible for one-on-one meetings, and that you will truly listen and respond when an employee confides in you.

Dr. Frederik Lipfert,

Set Expectations from The Onset

There's a stark difference between simply training your employees and training them well. If you focus on the latter, you'll rarely have to intervene, micromanage or monitor their every step. Instead, you'll have enough faith to know they're well-equipped to carry out their responsibilities without your constant supervision. This inevitably frees up a lot of your time for more important tasks. At the same time, this shouldn't mean that you leave your employees entirely up to their devices. Make sure that you track their progress and offer valuable feedback which can benefit both them, and the organization as a whole.

Brian Casel, ZipMessage

Maintain Flexibility

In my opinion, one of the most appealing aspects of remote work is the flexibility it provides employees. While team meetings and collaborative sessions may require set times, give your employees autonomy over when and how they work the rest of the time. You can rely on them to complete the task. Employee engagement and satisfaction require the development of trust between employees and managers. Furthermore, flexibility allows employees to develop a work cycle that works best for them, resulting in a healthier work-life balance.

Max Whiteside, Breaking Muscle

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