Top 5 Tips for Building Employee Engagement with Remote Workers
Working remotely is new for a lot of companies and some companies that did really well at building employee engagement in person are finding it difficult to translate that to the virtual office. Top Floor has had a hybrid of remote workers and in-person workers well before the pandemic so we’ve had a little more time to hone our approach to engaging these employees. Here are five things we’re doing to build employee engagement remotely.
1. All work and no play… Organize fun meetings and virtual events
Don’t forget to incorporate a little fun into your schedules. Organize special events or weekly meet-up times for socializing. Leave it up to the employee to join if they want to and try to schedule the events during work hours (at the end of the day if possible) so employees don’t need to give up their free time to participate. At Top Floor, we have a weekly beer club where we get together virtually and socialize. Drinks are optional and we plan activities such as “show-and-tell” or “useless talents”. We also plan events around holidays such as Halloween or National Hot Dog day. Don’t feel like management needs to do all the planning- at Top Floor, we have an employee-run committee that organizes and promotes these types of fun activities. You can learn more about the Top B.L.U.E. committee here.
2. Let them know you appreciate them
Employee recognition can go a long way in boosting morale. Also, it lets them know you notice their efforts. This is important for remote employees because they can often feel that they are not as “visible” as their in-person counterparts. At Top Floor, we have a Slack channel specifically for shoutouts where we post any and everything we want to celebrate each other for: a successful client meeting, team members stepping up to help each other, or project completion. Our management team also makes mention of anyone that stood out in our weekly standup meetings. Employees have another opportunity to recognize their peers with our High Five award which gets awarded in our Monday morning standup meeting. These are all good public ways to appreciate employees but don’t forget that some employees would much prefer a more personal nod. This is why one on one meetings are important and make for a perfect opportunity to call out specific situations and enforce resourcefulness.
3. Put them in the driver’s seat
Variety of work can rejuvenate an employee. Identify projects that your employees can help with and ask for volunteers. Ask your employees what they want to work on and keep them in mind for that type of task when it arises. We have many different tasks and types of clients to work on so there’s no shortage of variety available. We work with our teams to identify where they might need help and ask other employees to get involved if they’re interested.
It’s important to keep communication open and give remote employees plenty of ways to reach out to each other. We have multiple tools we use to communicate as a company including Slack, Email, and virtual meeting platforms. It’s also important to encourage open communication between management and team. Not only should opinions and concerns be heard, but addressed. At Top Floor, we pride ourselves on having a very approachable management team and make sure we meet with our individual team members regularly to give them the opportunity to voice feedback. Another thing you can do to engage your team is simply asking for feedback or input on policies, procedures, and processes you’re creating. If there’s a team member more intimately familiar with a process you’re documenting, ask them to review your write-up to see if you missed anything.
5. Be flexible when you can
Flexibility with work hours is hard for a lot of companies and sometimes for good reason- customers or clients expect responsiveness during normal business hours. At Top Floor, we’re generally available for each other and our clients Monday through Friday. However, on the occasion that someone needs to be out for an appointment or an event, we’re typically able to accommodate that because we communicate and come up with a plan that works for everyone. We have found that this goes a long way in building trust and accountability within the team as well as helping people with work-life balance.
There is plenty more that we are doing to build engagement while working remotely but these are the things we see the most impact from. If your company is looking to build engagement with remote employees, start here or incorporate just one of these tips to test. Take a chance and think outside the cubicle. You may be surprised at what it pays back. To learn more about our work culture at Top Floor, as well as remote job opportunities, click here.
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