10 Practical Tips for Engaging Remote Employees

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Introduction

Hiring remotely worldwide is a convenient way for companies to find the best talent in the world. Companies can employ remote workers either by setting up a local entity in the employee’s home country or by using a global HR company such as Skuad. The employees stay in their home countries, which could be thousands of miles away from company headquarters. Because of the chasm of physical space between employee and employer, it is all the more important to keep remote employees engaged for productivity, efficiency, and good morale.

Concerned? Your company can use the following tips from Skuad to keep your remote employees actively and productively engaged. Skuad, a global human resources and payroll platform, can help your company hire remote employees without a local entity in over 160 countries and pay them in over a hundred currencies. For more information and to see a demonstrative of how your company can hire, onboard, and pay remote employees, contact Skuad today for a demo.

The Importance of Employee Engagement

Remote work is here to stay, with more companies choosing to find top talent from all over the world, and more and more people choosing the work-from-home digital nomad life. With this type of employment, it’s more important than ever for employers to stay connected with their employees. Despite the potential for a large geographic gap between the company and the workers, management needs to connect to their workforce and let the employees know their supervisors are just a message or video call away.

Even though the distance between your company headquarters and your remote employees may be large, you still need to engage with them as if they were at the office, in your company’s own workspace. Your company will create a much more productive and happier work environment when you use these 10 tips for engaging remote employees.

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10 Tips for Engaging With Remote Employees

Tip # 1: Keep open communication.

The number one tip on this list is to have good communication. Remote workers don’t have the benefit of being able to talk to their coworkers or supervisors in person, since they can be working anywhere, including by themselves. Video conferencing has been helpful for companies as they can have face-to-face meetings with employees either one-on-one or in groups. With apps like Zoom, people can speak to each other, rather than simply emailing, which can be cold and detached. Virtual meetings and hangouts can keep remote employees connected.

Tip # 2: Make teamwork a priority.

Without the benefit of being in close proximity with coworkers, remote team members could feel less like a team. But remote employees still need to work with each other and under the supervision of supervisors, despite being physically separated from the company. The encouragement of teamwork could help employees to work together. Encourage feedback, rewards, competitions, and collaboration to help make employees feel like a cohesive team.

Tip # 3: Encourage good health.

An unhealthy workforce is an unproductive workforce. Poor mental health can lead to disengagement and poor performance. An employer encouraging good health, including offering allowances for gym memberships and even healthy food, can go a long way in keeping their staff happy and healthy. Other options could be creating wellness programs and offering longer breaks for mental health and keeping burnout at bay. Mentoring, networking, and keeping a good work/life balance can increase employee mental health as well.

Tip # 4: Reward great work.

Similar to using rewards as an incentive for teamwork in tip #2, rewards and positive feedback given to employees from supervisors can help make them realize they are valued members of a team. Recognition can not only reinforce good behavior and good work, but it can also be a powerful indicator for the employee to feel as though the company engages with them. Employers can make rewards and recognition public. For example, naming someone an employee of the month makes them feel publicly recognized for their hard work and encourages other employees to strive for this kind of recognition.

Tip # 5: Give new remote workers time to adjust.

When employees work from home, on the beach, or anywhere else, they can easily get into an individually fixed and unproductive mindset, which is not conducive to a happy and properly functioning team. Let your staff know that remote work can mean something different to each worker and can take time for some people to adjust. Let them know that they’re all a part of the same team and encourage employees to communicate with management and coworkers to keep engaged with the team.

Tip # 6:  Schedule regular virtual meetings.

Similar to encouraging good communication, having scheduled virtual meetings can help keep remote workers engaged by letting them see their coworkers and management face to face at a certain time and day each week. This can be a time to share ideas and feedback and make sure everyone is on the same page with respect to projects, tasks, and company goals. Management that doesn’t reach out regularly to their employees can have their workforce feeling disengaged.

Tip # 7: Demonstrate a culture of good work/life balance.

Letting employees know that there is a time for work and a time for rest can help ensure good mental health and productivity. If they don’t take time for their families and themselves, employees can get burned out, resulting in lower productivity at work. When people work at home, it can be difficult to keep a good work/life balance. Encourage employees to set and keep a strict schedule for their work. Discourage employees from working nights and weekends and make sure employees are taking plenty of paid personal time off to reduce stress and get plenty of rest.

Tip # 8: Foster a collaborative work environment.

When employees collaborate and share their work with coworkers, it can help them engage with their team as well as the company as a whole. Working from home can have employees feel like they are alone but management can help remind them that they are still part of a larger team. Collaborating with coworkers can keep remote employees engaged with each other.

Tip # 9: Conduct remote employee surveys.

Keeping open communication is the number one tip for engaging with employees, but this tip is more about actively seeking ideas and feedback from your employees. Conduct surveys to find out what your employees are thinking. Ask your workers for ideas on how to make the team more productive and happy and how to improve their work-from-home experience. Respond to the surveys to let them know management cares.

Tip # 10: Include employees in the engagement conversation.

Similar to tip #9 which is about conducting surveys, this tip is about including employees in the actual planning of employee engagement at the management level. By including employees in the planning of the engagement projects, management can find out first-hand how employees are feeling engaged.

According to a Gallup poll, employees are happiest and most productive when both their well-being and their engagement with management is high. This proves the importance of both wellness programs as well as engagement programs. Letting employees in on the brainstorming for ways in which the company will keep employees engaged both allows those employees to feel part of the conversation, and expands management’s ability to gather ideas on how best to keep their employees engaged.

Tools for Employee Engagement

Many people who started working from home during the pandemic have stated they believe remote work will continue, and they are likely to want to continue working from home. This means companies will need to keep their remote employees engaged with the company.

These are just a few tools employers can use to keep their employees engaged:

  • Video conferencing apps such as Zoom can be helpful to keep face-to-face communication going.
  • Employers should also keep email channels open and encourage written communication between team members.
  • Public recognition can make employees feel like valued members of a team.
  • Surveys are a great way for management to improve productivity and workplace morale.

Conclusion

Engaging remote employees is essential for employers to keep a happy and productive workforce. By following the aforementioned tips, employers of remote employees can engage with these workers and underscore the fact that they are a part of a team despite the physical space between them. Properly engaged employees are more productive, can receive feedback on their work and improve themselves, and are more likely to have a better work-from-home experience. By staying engaged with their staff, management can get a better handle on how best to improve the productivity and morale of the company and also on how to do the engaging for optimal connections between staff and management.

In addition to keeping their remote employees engaged, employers must keep their operations running smoothly with accurate and timely payroll, compensate their employees well and offer them statutory benefits and perks, and keep compliant with all local labor laws. Skuad can offer your company solutions for all of these issues and more. If your company is hiring teams all over the world, get in touch with Skuad for a demonstration of how we can help your company hire and pay remote employees globally, with same-day onboarding, and 24/7 support.

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