Employee engagement is one of the most important yet undervalued measures of business success. According to Gallup, highly engaged businesses have 59% less turnover and are also 21% more profitable. Engaged employees work more efficiently, stay longer with the company, and are more motivated to bring their best ideas to work.
But with many teams working in distributed offices, remotely or in a hybrid environment, maintaining engagement is tougher than ever before. Many of the in-person interactions that would happen naturally in an office setting are absent from a work-from-anywhere environment. As a result, many workers feel disconnected from their colleagues and company, miss out on important information, and find it challenging to synchronize their efforts with the rest of the team.
Maintaining employee engagement with a distributed workforce requires extra muscle, but it is not impossible to achieve. Technology can be your best tool for keeping your whole team connected. Learn how a few small changes in how your team interacts on a daily basis can significantly boost employee satisfaction, regardless of where your staff is working from.
Strong communication is one of the main pillars of employee engagement. When your staff occupies the same office space, staying in the loop is not particularly challenging. They learn new information from meetings, informal interactions with colleagues, a company bulletin board, or even from involuntarily overhearing some of their team’s conversations. When they have questions, they can also easily “pop in” to someone’s office for a quick conversation.
But when some of your team works remotely with many of their usual communication channels unavailable, they can easily start to feel disconnected. Provide your staff with opportunities to connect with their colleagues and company digitally to ensure that their level of engagement doesn’t suffer.
According to Gallup, highly engaged organizations share a common vision, treating employees as stakeholders of the company’s future. A clarity of business objectives and values helps teams understand what they are working toward and why they are doing the work in the first place – both incredibly important for employee engagement and morale.
But in a distributed work environment, delivering these messages to employees may be more challenging. Rethink how you are communicating your goals and values to your team and use the technology at your disposal to help spread the message to remote employees.
For most employees, positive interpersonal relationships are an important measure of job satisfaction and affect their level or engagement. Employees who feel connected to their peers, respected and emotionally secure are more likely to bring forward innovative ideas, and are also more comfortable raising alarms when needed.
But when you have a distributed workforce, interactions that foster these personal connections are among the first to go. Without the physical proximity provided by an office space or the opportunity for a spontaneous chat by the coffee machine, your staff may find it challenging or awkward to call their colleagues just to check in. Providing your team with opportunities to make up for these lost interactions digitally can go a long way in fostering the sense of camaraderie.
Few things boost your employees’ morale like seeing their coworkers succeed. But while offices offer plenty of opportunities to share good news with the rest of the team, doing so in a distributed work environment is much more challenging. When good news doesn’t seem to directly impact anyone’s work, your staff may not prioritize sharing it, or they may be reluctant to discuss it out of fear that it could be perceived as bragging.
Create a culture in which successes are shared and celebrated. Ensure that these messages are available and visible to your whole team, regardless of where they are located.
Leading organizations know that when it comes to building a winning team, hiring good talent is only half the battle. Providing employees with the training and professional opportunities they need to thrive in their workplace is equally important. Employees who feel challenged and have opportunities to grow are more fulfilled in their positions and, hence, more engaged.
While training remote staff is never easy, the same technology that your team uses to communicate and collaborate can go a long way in supporting your professional development initiatives as well.
When your staff works out of distributed offices, remotely or in a hybrid environment, maintaining a high level of employee engagement is challenging to say the least. Many of the interactions that occur naturally in an office-setting are unavailable in a work-from-anywhere environment, forcing employers to get creative with their strategies.
Luckily, all the latest advances in technology that enable your staff to stay connected and productive from anywhere are also incredibly helpful in supporting your employee engagement strategies. Putting a little extra effort in utilizing these technologies when part of your staff is remote can go a long way in ensuring that your entire team is informed, engaged and motivated to do their best work.