November 21, 2020

5 Top Tips to Sustain Employee Engagement Remotely

From achieving work/life balance to promoting a sense of autonomy, the ability to work remotely is perceived as the Holy Grail.

Yet at times, the lack of face-to-face contact can fuel feelings of loneliness and disconnection from colleagues.

The result? Growing disengagement with work and reduced morale all-round.

The struggle is real, and with positivity in short supply, it’s time to get down to business to reverse this troubling trend.

So without further ado, here are six top tips to sustain engagement, strengthen your culture and (hopefully!) give stress the cold shoulder.

Top Tip No.1: Create a Virtual Water Cooler Where Individuals Can Vent and Offload

Conversations besides the water cooler are a cherished office tradition, with spontaneous chats and stories offering moments of light relief. This casual workplace banter creates a sense of camaraderie among workers, helping them vent and offload with others. However, as we shift to virtual working, recreating this pastime online requires a little more ingenuity and forethought. Thankfully, there are several apps on hand to help you simulate this setup. If you are already using Slack for chat, you can create a dedicated channel specifically designed for this purpose, encouraging random news and updates (as well as an obligatory pet pic or two!)

Top Tip No.2: Invest in Health and Wellness Initiatives that Boost Collective Morale

Throughout the pandemic, physical and mental health has taken a nosedive. Lack of social contact makes it easy to obsess over problems or feel detached from colleagues during periods of self-isolation. Additionally, the disruptions to daily routines can leave team members feeling rudderless and lacking a sense of purpose. To combat this challenge, you can design strategic initiatives that support employee wellbeing. Alongside virtual exercise and mindfulness classes, you could compile a “wellness resource kit” that workers can quickly refer to when needed. From inspiring lists of podcasts to proven workout playlists, investing time in this area demonstrates your commitment to hires (whilst boosting collective morale.)

Top Tip No.3: Leverage Gamification to Make Training More Compelling

When it comes to workplace training, an initial sense of momentum can quickly give way to inertia. Daily demands on our time can leave us relegating training to the sidelines or cramming material between tasks. Unsurprisingly, this haphazard approach to training is often less than effective, leaving us feeling suitably demoralised at our distinct lack of progress. But what if there was a proven fix to make training feel more compelling? Referred to as gamification, this motivational hack plays on our instinctive need to compete and receive rewards for our efforts. By leveraging these principles in practice and embedding them in training programs, you can incentivise less motivated hires to re-engage with their learning.

Top Tips No.4: Devise Unique Ideas That Consolidate Company Culture

From building a strong reputation to conserving human capital, a close-knit company culture is a source of competitive advantage. Yet as we transition to working from home, this shared sense of camaraderie with others can easily get lost in the process. As with most things in life, communication is key so invest time and resources in scheduling regular check-ins. To prevent “Zoom fatigue” it is crucial to ensure these sessions are as relaxed and informal as possible.  Activities, such as Virtual Happy Hours, offer a memorable end to the week, with quizzes and video charades inspiring shared solidarity. Whatever you decide to do, your chosen ideas and activities should reflect your company culture and the shared values and attributes that make it truly unique.

Top Tip No.5: Evaluate Engagement Levels with Surveys and Feedback Forums

Whether you’re seeking to support new hires or improve rates of retention, surveys and feedback forums help you measure employee engagement. For simplicity’s sake, consider using pulse surveys. These frequent, focused surveys enable you to regularly monitor engagement and action this critical feedback to improve the employee experience. Taking less than five minutes to complete, pulse surveys offer opportunities for hires to openly voice their concerns, whilst providing frank and honest feedback about overall job satisfaction. Issuing these surveys at regular intervals helps you take the temperature of your team and pinpoint particular pain points that require further attention.