While the prevalence of remote working for employees has increased in recent years, an entirely remote workforce is a new concept for most companies and one in which they have had a crash course since the advent of the “COVID-19” pandemic.
Whether employees are new to the world of remote work or experience in it, they often start to lose interest in their colleagues and their company when they spend most of their working hours at home, as well as due to feeling the stress and uncertainty of the global pandemic; But there is a solution to that; Even in the best of times, only 19% of employees consider themselves engaged; So the question then becomes: How can companies today ensure their remote employees feel satisfied and productive?
While the “COVID-19” pandemic is the reason why most work is remote today, the principles of ensuring participation remain the same as in the pre-pandemic world.
In this article, we offer some tips to prevent remote employees from losing interest:
1. Stay Connected with Employees by Maintaining a Consistent Organizational Culture:
Maintaining a consistent organizational culture for office and remote employees plays an important role in facilitating their engagement.
This is not the time to lose sight, and companies should take advantage of this opportunity to enhance organizational culture; Through in-office exercises such as yoga, mindfulness meditation, and company-wide meetings within its new virtual workspaces for its employees through the use of video conferencing; These shared experiences help colleagues feel more connected even though they work remotely.
Employees who are negatively affected by working remotely full-time may exhibit the following behaviors:
- production decline.
- Send curt or blunt emails.
- Refrain from making phone calls or video conference calls.
- Lack of new ideas.
These behaviors can indicate a morale issue that requires the leader’s attention, and changes in behavior will require the attention of the company itself to ensure that employees feel supported and inspired to perform their job duties.
2. Take advantage of a culture of appreciation:
To reduce feelings of isolation and encourage engagement, companies should strive to maintain a culture of appreciation, which is the primary focus of participation in a Harvard Business Review survey that examined the impact of employee engagement on performance.
72% of people surveyed agreed that recognition given to high performers had a significant impact on employee engagement. In addition, the survey showed that 82% of employees would like to receive more recognition at work.
In the month after the pandemic hit, Achievers was pleased to see a 14% increase in employee recognition. This shows that many companies are doing right during times of pandemic; This is done by increasing appreciation among employees and leaders.
Fostering a culture of appreciation requires active leadership involvement, and good communication—recognition and other forms of rewarding social interaction—occurs among employees when they feel part of the company’s culture.
Leaders must lead by example, and value employees; This is because they believe in the company’s values, support their team members, achieve set goals, etc., and continue these acts of appreciation in all departments of the company at all levels, spreading and reinforcing a culture of appreciation.
This pattern is vital to employee engagement. It turns out that good relationships between employees can help reduce burnout risks and increase motivation at work.
3. Boost Engagement Through Technology:
Technology plays an important role in the company bringing together local and worldwide employees; This is to ensure that business objectives are met; Today, it also plays a pivotal role in keeping the workforce connected while adjusting to remote working.
Best practices for supporting employee engagement through technology include:
- Encourage the use of messaging systems that only allow employees to share information and documents for work purposes, and also facilitate informal conversations and communication on a personal level with their colleagues.
- Leverage communication channels to share important communications across the company. In doing so, make sure your message is clear and aligned with the company’s values, authenticity in difficult times, and employee appreciation, even when the messages contain bad news.
4. Be sure to measure employee activity:
For your company not to experience another crisis that requires all employees to work remotely at any later time, it is important to learn from the pandemic experience today and use the insights gained to learn future employee engagement strategies.
Be sure to measure employee activity during the pandemic to determine how your workforce is responding to remote work, as you may discover increased productivity within some departments and challenges within others.
Monitor attendance at company-led virtual meetings and examine their impact on overall engagement Gather as much data as possible to understand what the ideal case for employee engagement looks like in your company Whether it’s in the office or remotely, this data is invaluable in helping you understand how to support your employees and your company in times of change or uncertainty.
To avoid feeling a loss of interest among employees, you must be proactive and responsive to their evolving needs during work hours. With the potential for a remote workforce to continue working remotely for some time to come, companies can leverage the experience of today’s remote workforce to assess how much their culture is connected to being in the office and to understand how best to maintain continuity during organizational change.