There’s no denying it, remote work is here to stay.

This is good news! Remote work arrangements provide employees with better work/life balance and cause them less stress, while helping boost profits for their organizations.

But if remote work is to remain effective, companies need to learn how to implement employee engagement strategies for their remote teams.

In this article, we’ll explain what employee engagement is, why it’s important, and five ideas you can use to better engage your distributed team in 2022.

What is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is the process of improving company culture so that team members feel connected to their organization’s values and overarching mission.

Put another way, employee engagement is the act of getting one’s staff to care. Do your employees feel motivated when they get to work each day? Are they committed to their roles? Do they understand and feel aligned with your company’s goals?

If your answer to any of these questions is “no,” you probably need to spend more time engaging your employees. Don’t worry we’ll show you how! But first…

Why is Employee Engagement Important?

If employee engagement was easy, every company would do it, and every employee would be fully engaged at all times. That’s obviously not the case. The truth is, it takes hard work to engage employees. It’s worth it, though. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Greater Productivity: Engaged employees tend to understand their jobs and enjoy them more than non-engaged ones. As a result, they often work harder and get more done, leading to a 17% increase in productivity. 

  • Less Staff Turnover: Engaged employees stick around a lot longer than their peers, which helps companies save money. It will cost you 33% of the departing team member’s salary to replace them. To put this into perspective, you’ll pay an average of $20k to replace an employee making $60k a year.

  • Higher Company Profits: When your team works hard and sticks around, company profits will increase by a significant amount. How much? Studies show that highly engaged organizations are 21% more profitable than their non-engaged counterparts.

Employee engagement can also lead to greater employee happiness, better customer service, higher adoption of company values, and more. In other words, employee engagement is SUPER important. So, let’s talk about how to boost it for your company…

5 Remote Employee Engagement Ideas to Try

Now that we’ve given you an employee engagement definition and explained why it’s so important, it’s time to get practical. These five ideas will help you engage your remote team:

1. Get to Know Your Remote Employees

First things first, get to know the people who work for you.

This is easy to do when you share an office space. It’s more difficult when you manage a remote team and each member lives in a different time zone. But it’s not impossible! You just have to get creative and find ways to connect with your distributed workforce.

Here’s what we recommend:

  • Schedule Time to Shoot the Breeze: Do you have a virtual meeting planned for 2:30 on Wednesday? Ask everyone to login 15 minutes early for a bit of socializing. Then use that time to connect with remote employees you don’t know very well. Ask them about their lives, their interests, and other things that aren’t work-related.

  • Send an Employee Engagement Survey: Are your employees engaged in their work? One of the best ways to learn the answer to this question is to send an employee engagement survey. The answers you receive will tell you a lot about what motivates your team and how you can better engage them on a daily basis.

  • Always Prioritize Internal Communication: Finally, make sure your team feels comfortable talking to you about work-related issues. When they do, they’ll open up to you more, giving you the opportunity to learn about their unique personalities.

It will be hard to engage your employees if you don’t know anything about them. So become friendly with your team before you implement any other employee engagement strategies.

2. Invest in the Right Technology Solutions

You MUST invest in technology to effectively manage and engage a remote team. The trick is choosing the right apps for your needs. Popular options include:

Slack

When it comes to text-based communication, Slack is hard to beat.

This popular tool will allow you and your remote employees to quickly contact each other, share ideas, and make decisions. It will also help you easily recall the important information you discussed in the past with its built-in search functionality.

Because Slack is text-based, it allows distributed teams to stay in contact throughout the day, which makes it easier to keep remote employees engaged.

Trello

Trello is a simple project management software that’s used by Google, Costco, and many other well-known organizations. Why? Because it’s simple and powerful.

With Trello, you’ll be able to see your work in a visual format, assign tasks to each remote employee on your team, clarify due dates, and text-chat with employees about the progress they’ve made—all without ever leaving the app.

It’s easier for employees to engage when they know what’s expected of them. Trello makes it simple to keep staff updated on their workloads at all times.

ClickMeeting

ClickMeeting is a top-rated video conferencing platform that’s used by thousands of professionals in 125+ countries around the world. With it, you can:

  • Connect With Remote Employees: It’s hard to connect with other human beings when you can’t see them. ClickMeeting’s video conferencing technology allows for face-to-face conversations, even when participants are thousands of miles apart.

  • Host Engaging Virtual Meetings: With ClickMeeting, you can truly engage your remote employees via screen sharing, private chat, and polls and surveys tools. These features make online meet-ups much more interesting and effective.

  • Retain Every Bit of Important Information: One of the best things about ClickMeeting is that it will allow you to record your remote conversations. That way you can refer back to them at a later date to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

Interested in using ClickMeeting to engage your remote team? Get started today for free! Sign up for your no-cost 30-day trial to experience the power of ClickMeeting for yourself.

3. Solicit Feedback, Then Act on It

When’s the last time you asked your remote employees for their opinions? We understand if it’s been a while. It can be difficult to ask for feedback. But it’s almost always beneficial.

Your employees are in the trenches every day. As such, they might notice things about your company’s processes, products, customers, etc. that you don’t. Once you have the information they do, you’ll be able to plan and strategize more effectively.

Your employees are also the only ones that can tell you if/when they feel disengaged from their work. By soliciting their feedback, you’ll learn how to build a more engaging culture.

But here’s the thing: only ask for feedback if you intend to act on it.

You’ll do more harm than good by asking for an employee’s opinion, then completely disregarding it. Nobody wants to feel like their suggestions aren’t valued.

That doesn’t mean you have to implement every idea your remote team has. Just explain yourself when you decide to go a different route. This will help you earn their respect.

4. Recognize Your Remote Employees

Your employees want more than a paycheck. They want to feel valued for the contributions they make to your company, which is why it’s important to recognize your staff for their efforts.

Like most things, recognizing remote team members will look different than recognizing in-office ones. After all, you can’t give a remote employee a high-five or take them out to lunch after they nail a big presentation. Don’t worry, we have a few other ideas for you:

  • Send Gifts: We bet your remote employees would love to receive a digital gift from time to time. Send them little goodies like this to show you care.

  • Host a Meeting: Plan a virtual meeting after a big project to say “Good Job!” Then recognize each individual team member for their valuable contributions.

  • Shoot a Quick Email: Recognition doesn’t need to be grandiose. A simple email, detailing your appreciation for a specific remote employee, will go a long way.

  • Invest in a Recognition App: You could go all the way and purchase a recognition app to make sure your remote workers feel the love. There are plenty out there and each makes recognizing employees fun for all involved.

It will only take you a few minutes to recognize your remote employees. But the benefits of doing so will last much longer. According to a recent study, 58% of people say that receiving recognition would help them become more engaged in their work.

5. Meet In-Person From Time to Time

Just because you manage a remote team doesn’t mean you can’t ever meet with them in person. Schedule a face-to-face get-togethers on an annual basis!

These kinds of gatherings are super fun and will allow you to try a few employee engagement activities and games. Here’s a list of popular options. But, of course, you can always just spend your time hanging out and relaxing if you prefer.

Now, we know what you’re thinking: aren’t in-person get-togethers expensive? It depends on your team and the kind of get-together you have planned.

If you have employees on multiple continents, yes, bringing everyone together will cost you a pretty penny. But if your team is more centrally located and they don’t require five-star accommodations, you can probably get by without breaking the bank.

Note: Check local and travel regulations. It may be difficult to plan an in-person gathering for your remote team while COVID fears persist. 

Prioritize Remote Employee Engagement

If you want to build a successful remote team, you have to learn how to engage your distributed workforce. Don’t worry, it’s really not that difficult.

By getting to know your employees, investing in the right technology solutions, soliciting feedback, recognizing your staff, and planning an occasional in-person get-together, you’ll be able to keep your remote workers happy, motivated, and productive.

Speaking of technology, have you tried ClickMeeting yet? Sign up for your free 30-day trial today and gain access to all of our platform’s engagement-boosting features.

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Posted by Jacob Thomas

Content writer @ ClickMeeting

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