There are a lot of perks to working remotely. Remote employees get to set their own schedule, can work in the comfort of home and of course, they don’t have to deal with the hassle of a daily commute.
On the flip side, remote workers are not only responsible for their own work and time but are also responsible for their own engagement and motivation, functions that are usually fulfilled by the manager or HR manager. As expected, this might become difficult for them over a period of time.
But here’s how managers can contribute to making remote employees feel like a part of the organization and nip any disengagement in the bud.
Communication is an important aspect of employee engagement. Whether they are office-bound employees or remote employees, communication is vital. Set up times where you can check in with the employee, be it about work, or even just a casual chat. There are many chat applications that allow you to maintain contact with employees. There’s Slack, Skype, GTalk etc.
Schedule Face-to-Face Often
Though working from home and interacting virtually has its own benefits, it is a known fact that there is no substitute for personally meeting someone. Make your virtual employees feel more connected by scheduling face-to-face meets as often as the employee can make it. Bring all your remote employees together at least once a month and encourage team bonding. This way, not only does their existence feel validated but your other employees to know of their existence.
Also read: 5 Employee Engagement Activities On A Budget
Ensure Both Sides Provide Post Meeting Recaps
After you interact with your virtual employee, make sure that the important aspects of the meeting are summarized into a document and shared with the employee. Also, have them send you a short recap of the meeting as well. The reason behind these recaps is simple. Having virtual employees means that if you want to clarify something or they want to clarify something, it is not as if you can walk up to their cubicle or they can walk into your room. These recaps will help clear any doubts or questions either of you might have. This also keeps the lines of communication open.
Encourage your virtual employees to build relationships with their team members through online collaboration. You also need to encourage your office-bound employees to do the same. Collaboration is a two-way process. You can use a social platform to encourage team collaboration, especially among remote workers. Social platforms allow employees to store work, document conversations and even share documents!
Send Physical Reminders
All employees need to feel valued. If they do not feel valued, then they are going to do their best. This goes for virtual employees too. One way to value your employees and their contributions is to send them physical reminders such as cards, gift coupons etc. Gestures such as these are tangible and will make your employees feel like they are a valued part of the organization, no matter how remote they are.
As remote employees become a bigger part of the workforce, it is important for organizations to consider them as well. If you have any tips on engaging remote employees, share them with us in the comments section!
How can Engagedly help with engaging employees, especially remote employees? Talk to our experts and schedule a live demo!