With the world of traditional, 9-to-5 work slipping away and working from home becoming the norm, the importance of remote employee engagement is growing.
When in the office, it was an easy task to pop your head over to the next cabin and go, “Hey, great job on that report!” or casually start a conversation with a colleague over coffee to discuss an idea or project. However, 2020 caused a massive shift in the way companies operate.
Small businesses and established companies are pushing to create a virtual workplace culture for their remote teams that can mirror these interactions, to varying degrees of success.
Besides dealing with operational issues, managers and team leads are in dire need of developing creative employee engagement ideas for remote workers to keep them engaged and motivated.
The Power of Remote employee engagement
When employees care about their jobs—when they are engaged—they work harder and are more likely to view business goals as a shared objective.
Moreover, this emotional bond means engaged employees don’t operate just for a paycheck or just for the next raise but work on behalf of their company’s goals.
Did you know?
According to the Hubspot study done in 2021 on remote employee engagement activities, about 69% of employees say they’d work harder if they were given the due appreciation.
If you are looking for some remote employee engagement activities, you’ve come to the right place! Here are some engaging ways to help your remote support agents have a smooth transition and motivation.
Employee Engagement Ideas for Remote Workers
If you aspire to stay on top of your game and conquer the “war for talent” amidst the pandemic, in other words, you’ll need to develop a robust employee engagement strategy.
1. Define goals for remote workers
Working from home means that there is a chance for remote agents to feel they lack the visibility and goals they had when working in person. However, transparent communication, setting clear remote work expectations, and holding teams accountable by measuring those expectations against KPIs – like After Call Work (ACW) and Average Handle Time (AHT) – is key to maintaining agent productivity.
2. Improve internal communications and collaboration strategy
Employees should have the right platforms or technology to enable seamless interactions within their own team, across other teams in the company and clients as well. Incorporating the collaboration tools that fit with your employees’ lifestyles can make connecting drastically easier and ensure that no one faces the challenge of working from home alone.
Enable seamless collaboration by scheduling time for daily virtual catchups and remove distance as a barrier between team members. Also, by using effective project management software, they will have the power to plan visually, control, and schedule their projects.
3. Entertain virtual coffee breaks
While it’s essential to be professional with your team, keep in mind that your employees are still human. Every team benefits from non-work-related interactions – they help establish relationships, build trust, and promote personal well-being.
Spark an off-topic conversation or two during team meetings. If it’s your regular team meeting, ask your team about their weekend and show interest in their personal wins. As a team lead or manager, you need to understand their strengths, flaws, and concerns to better connect with them.
4. Promote Online Knowledge sharing
Boost the confidence and morale of your remote agents by hosting regular training sessions. Ensure you invest in the most effective e-Learning Management software. Setting up a centralized repository can eliminate the distance and time barriers and help employees learn at their own pace.
Allow offline access to the training materials so that if an employee cannot attend the live session, they can quickly check out the content and use it later.
Upskill remote agents by tracking their activities and providing feedback or help. You can use screen recording tools to observe how agents interact with different applications and reports to identify issues and evaluate performance.
5. Provide engagement surveys
Getting feedback is a way to gauge satisfaction and improve repetitive processes. To grow as a company, agent feedback must be as important as your customer’s feedback.
Always encourage feedback on their everyday challenges, pitfalls of their nature of work, the scope for growth, and so on. Everything your employees report will lead to an active response – mainly if the feedback reflects existing issues. Therefore, taking action to correct a problematic situation becomes a win-win.
6. Initiate rewards and recognition programs
Cicero Group’s research has proved that 50% of employees believe being thanked by managers improved their relationship and built trust.
Find new ways to encourage individual and team wins, like quick video recordings or social media posts from the leadership team. It would help if you also promoted monetary or tangible awards like paid career development and training opportunities, free meals, gift cards, and work travels.
With the distributed workforce being the norm, celebrating progress and achievements fall by the wayside. Doing it virtually is more challenging, but identifying accomplishments is key to sustaining morale.
7. Set up a work-from-home policy
Giving employees a choice to work from home is a growing trend. The key is to develop a ‘Work From Home Policy’ that sets the right expectations and alleviates the many pitfalls that might spring up when you take employees out of the office.
As a result, your team can be just as comfortable, connected, and productive at home as they are in the office.
8. Establish WFH perks
Offering fringe benefits has been a very efficient way that companies have executed for a long time to keep their employees satisfied. It has the potential to optimize productivity and enhance remote work culture.
From choosing subsidized insurance plans for your employees to shipping care packages or providing them access to solid workstation support, pick a great touchpoint that lets your employees know you genuinely care about them.
A pandemic has hit the entire world, and adopting a work-from-home practice is the most viable and responsible way to deal with this situation. However, utilizing some remote employee engagement activities to keep your team motivated can go a long way for a ‘productive’ and comfortable remote working space.
Illustrations by Mahalakshmi Anantharaman
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