How To Engage Remote Employees | 4 mins read

Best Practices for Engaging Remote Employees

best practices for engaging remote employees
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By Mary Kate Morrow

Employers should understand how to engage remote employees in order to increase business profitability and productivity.

Introduction

Case studies show that only 13% of employees report they are engaged at work. Understanding how to engage remote employees can decrease lost productivity costs estimated at $483 to $605 billion per year on the United States economy.

The Benefits of an Engaged Workforce

Employers must keep remote employees engaged just as they would any other office employee if not more so. Case studies have shown that employee engagement levels directly correlate with a business's bottom line profitability and productivity.

Employee engagement helps build trust in the work environment and improves company culture overall. Additional benefits for employers who keep employees engaged include-

1. Higher employee motivation levels- When employees feel valued by their employer they are significantly more motivated. There is a 60% increase in employees reporting that they are motivated to perform their best work when they feel valued by their employer.

Highly engaged employees are more likely to stay at a company long term which can increase your top talent pool. In fact, highly engaged businesses report a 24% lower employee turnover rate.

2. Better leadership- There are huge benefits for employers who keep employees engaged. A great way to increase engagement, satisfaction, and morale is to work together with your employees to make sure they have the every day tools necessary to not only perform but also exceed in their role.

When employees feel they have great leaders who focus on their strengths, active disengagement is severely decreased and worker engagement is estimated to double. Employee recognition including consistent check ins and video conferencing meetings are the best way to keep employees engaged in the workforce.

If your leaders are struggling to find opportunities for employee recognition it is important that your human resources department works with leadership to develop employee recognition programs.

3. Work life balance improvements- Properly engaged employees have a better overall work life balance than disengaged employees. Many employers wrongly assume that stress and pressure are the best way to engage employees. However, employees react much better to positive feedback and thrive in a company culture that is supportive.

The health of your employees should always be your top priority. Providing a great work life balance will decrease the pressure and stress your employees feel at work. Health care costs are almost 50% higher at high pressure companies.

There are other hidden healthcare costs that employee engagement levels affect. Many employees miss work due to stress levels or personal issues. Increasing employee engagement decreases employee absenteeism by 41% and decreases employee safety incidents by 70%.

How to Increase Engagement with Your Remote Workforce

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Remote workers report higher levels of employee engagement than their office working counterparts. Even so, managers should constantly look for opportunities to keep remote employees engaged and increase engagement levels whenever possible.

It is important that remote employees feel included in their business's company culture and feel connected to their team members regardless of their locations. Tips to keep remote employees engaged include-

1. Hosting virtual team building activities and meetings-
Remote employees are not in the office for water cooler moments or in person team building activities with their team members so employers must be creative. Human resource departments can help managers to increase employee engagement by providing proper remote team collaboration tools and support remote employee development.

Much of communication is dependent on body language so use video conferencing whenever possible. Try collaboration tools like Google hangouts or various other virtual meeting platforms. Non work related hangouts are a great way for remote teams to build trust and get to know each other in a more meaningful way.

2. Encourage work life balance improvements- Many companies use wellness programs and incentives to keep remote workers engaged and healthy. Your human resource department can help you develop a long term wellness program that focuses on team building activities such as team yoga or every day virtual walks.

3. Keep great communication- Proper communication is essential to keep employees engaged and help remote employees feel connected regardless of what time zone they are in. Regular check ins with every team member and a formal performance review every year will help keep remote workers accountable and engaged.

Conclusion

  • Lost productivity is estimated to cost $483 to $605 billion per year for the United States economy.
  • Managing remote employees requires developing virtual team building activities and employee engagement ideas that do not require face to face contact.
  • Stay connected with your employees working remotely by providing consistent check ins and video conferencing opportunities.
  • Collaboration tools are incredibly effective at keeping remote employees connected, ranging from Google hangouts to virtual meeting platforms.
  • Remote team members can develop high employee engagement levels with the proper human resource and employer developed programs.