Keeping employees engaged can help keep them satisfied and make them less likely to leave your organization. But although this is true for all employees, it might require different tactics for remote workers. Let’s look at some ways to keep remote employees engaged.
- Have regular check-ins with remote employees. Whether these occur via a video call, a phone call, or even e-mail, the key is for managers to stay involved with what remote employees are doing. (And for HR managers, ensuring that other managers have the tools and training to do this will go a long way.)
- Consider having remote employees attend big, in-house meetings on a semiregular basis (and paying for them to do so). This doesn’t need to happen too frequently—it shouldn’t feel like a burden—but it should happen often enough so these employees can get in-person time with colleagues and managers, which can help foster a better working connection, as people tend to work well with those they feel they know. Occasionally meeting in person can facilitate this.
- Ensure all employees have access to employee development resources. For remote employees, this might mean offering ways to join training sessions online or via a webinar, for example. It could also involve sponsoring the employees to attend separate training sessions from those offered to employees who are centrally located.
- Ensure remote employees’ managers are given the training and tools they need to engage remote staff. This might involve sensitivity training or encouraging them to watch for signs of burnout that may be less easy to spot given they don’t see these employees in person.
- Ensure the organization has implemented the right types of communication tools (and has completed the necessary training for employees to use them well). This may include HR staff working with other departments to get the software or other tools implemented. Having the right tools can make a huge difference in productivity and remote employees’ feelings of inclusion. Such tools could include video conferencing software, project management software, chat software, etc.
- Ensure managers are trained on keeping remote employees included.
- Give remote employees consistent, frequent communication—from both HR and team members, especially management.
- Ensure remote employees have ample opportunities to connect with other coworkers, such as through retreats or the in-person days/meetings described above. These opportunities could involve getting to know one another informally as one would through small talk around the office or other central workspace.
- Be sure remote employees are not overlooked for promotions and other forms of recognition.
- Give feedback on work performance, maybe more for remote employees than those in-house, as they have fewer interactions.
- Be sure goals are clearly communicated. Being away from the team can make remote employees unsure of whether their contributions are impacting the team or project. Clearly communicating goals and giving these employees frequent feedback can provide assurance that their role is valued.
More employees are expecting to have some form of workplace flexibility. Therefore, it’s imperative for employers to find ways to allow that flexibility without sacrificing productivity, engagement, or turnover.