Gone are the "watercooler" days of stopping at a coworker’s cubical to check-in on a project. Talking to someone on your team now means slacking a quick note or scheduling a zoom call.
Studies show that employees across the world prefer to work from home if given the chance. In fact, in a study conducted by Slack, 72% of workers surveyed across six countries said they preferred a hybrid remote-office model.
Getting hybrid right is hard and employers are facing serious challenges - from supporting remote work burnout to effectively communicating with teams, leaders everywhere are looking for ways to support and engage remote employees.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to engage and motivate your remote team, we’ve put together a list of ways you can start:
1. Keep Them Connected
Upwork estimates that by 2025, 36.2 million Americans will work remotely, an increase of 16.8 million people from pre-pandemic rates. Because employees are working alone more often, they’re craving connection more than ever. Recent studies show that having a connected culture results in significant increase in an employees’ overall productivity and well-being.
Transparency and frequent communication will be key. Let them hear from leadership, keep them updated on company issues, and gather regular feedback through check-ins and surveys. By gathering feedback at 1:1's and All-hands meetings, managers can fuel positive change and make sure everyone feels heard.
2. Focus On Their Well-Being
Chances are you know what is most important for your employees right now—and well-being is at the top. Mentally, physically, and emotionally-balanced employees lead to happier employees. Finding ways to improve the lives of those who work for you, along with your own well-being will be beneficial for everyone.
As companies seek to compete during the Great Reshuffle, they’re going beyond ordinary benefits packages. More flexibility, mandated paid time-off, and family leave are helping companies not just attract good talent, but keep them too. Look into what programs you can offer your people. The more you give them a chance to improve their physical, emotional, and financial well-being, the happier and more productive they’ll be.
3. Rely On Digital Tools
Remote and hybrid working models are complex and require intention, planning and getting the right tools to set your employees up for success. Technology enables synchronous and asynchronous communication, collaboration, and authentic connections to be made.
There are many tools to support remote teams but they can feel frankensteined when it comes to how you gather and engage your team members. Slack is for asynchronous communication, Zoom works for check-ins and conference room meetings, but when gathering your team together, Welcome is your virtual auditorium. Welcome powers the key events across the employee lifecycle, such as employee onboardings, team-building activities, hackathons, team awards, and more.
4. Give Them Freedom
Do you know what employees want most? According to FutureForum, 95% are looking for schedule flexibility. To meet the demands of workers and attract top talent, some companies are even adding unique benefits that give employees back more time outside of work. By moving to four-day work weeks, offering unlimited PTO, and loosening strict ties to a 9-to-5 schedule, managers are offering freedom and flexibility that makes employees more productive during the work day.
5. Showcase Their Successes
It’s simple really: everyone loves to be recognized. When you give your employees the spotlight for their achievements, they feel accomplished and motivated to work on the next thing they can master.
Giving your team goals with clear expectations to work towards, while celebrating their accomplishments along the way helps them to keep going. If you don’t have one already, create a recognition program. We're currently using Bonusly, to asynchronously recognize, reward, and empower everyone to recognize one another throughout the week. Remember, showering your team with praise is totally free—but it’ll cost if it's not done regularly.
6. Help Them Grow
Get to know where your employees see themselves going in their careers—and help them get there. In one study, 92% of respondents said access to professional development at work is so important that they list it second to compensation.
Give your employees the chance to go further in their careers through professional development opportunities and tools like educational webinars, training programs, or mentorship opportunities. And remember, the only way you can help them achieve their goals is by knowing what their goals are. Ask questions about their growth and build relationships with your people!
7. Bring the Fun
While remote work has its perks, it can also get mundane and lead to fatigue. This is why identifying fun, creative ways to gather your team virtually is important.
Schedule time to get your team interacting with one another, whether it’s remote-only, hybrid or in-person. Organize team building activities, a virtual safari, a meditation session or an acoustic session with great musicians.
8. Practice What You Preach
Enduring cultures start from the leaders who set the tone and the pace. Encouraging your remote teams to interact and participate, means everyone from team leaders to the C-Suite need to model engagement with employees themselves.
Employees are more motivated when they see the people they report to modeling positive engagement. This looks like attending social hangouts, recognizing good work when you see it, and making an effort to add personal touches to your communication. Make sure you’re walking the talk—not just talking the talk.
9. Give Them the Chance to Give Back
Some of the best companies are giving their employees a chance to give back to a cause and make a difference. In a recent study by Fidelity, when asked what was the most important workplace benefit, 75% of employees said giving back to their communities.
How are your employees giving back socially or to their community? Goodera, helps companies participate in meaningful virtual and hybrid volunteering experiences. Gather volunteering ideas, take a poll to see what your people are passionate about, and put a plan in place to enable your employees to serve.
10. Get To Know Them Personally
Since we don’t have the luxury of running into our co-workers in the kitchen or grabbing a coffee together, how are you getting to know your remote team members? There’s a big difference between saying you care and showing that you do.
Check in 1:1 regularly with each team member. Ask them what they need, how they’re family is doing, or when the last time was that they took a vacation. Offer suggestions, advice, or just be a listening ear. Just by doing these things, you will make your employees feel seen, heard, and cared for.
You are the thread that keeps your remote team members connected and supported. Listen, empathize and act accordingly to support your team. The next time your gather your team for an all-hands, kick-off, hackathon or even a virtual retreat, Welcome will drastically elevate the experience and help you build a memorable experience with your people. See for yourself. 😉