As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies across all industries are being forced to make the switch to remote-work scenarios.
In some cases, these changes have happened overnight, with teams and departments thrown into chaos, unused to working in this new and unfamiliar way.
While this team arrangement , it does present unique challenges in terms of employee engagement. Keeping a large team, spread across multiple geographic locations, engaged with their work can be similar to hearding kittens.
But we're here to help with 5 manager-approved strategies to help you stay ahead of the curve:
One of the most straightforward ways to avoid alienating your team members is to clearly outline expectations from the start. For example:
It sounds simple, but managers often forget that greater distance means a greater risk of expectations getting lost in translation. Combat this with extra communication and transparency.
|2||Prioritize that inbox|
One Canadian study found that employees spend an average of 17 hours per week at work and home. A full 30% of that time involves emails that aren’t important or urgent.
Enable your remote team members to focus on working rather than reaching inbox zero—implement a “necessary emails only” policy, allow team members to only check and respond to email at designated times of the day, and/or encourage other communication such as phone calls instead.
When each employee is doing his or her own thing remotely, a cohesive group identity rarely happens organically.
Carve out some time each week to devote to fun such as coworker recognitions or group video games (workplace appropriate ones, of course).
|4||Build a digital water cooler|
Can’t congregate at a physical water cooler? That doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the interpersonal experience! Create a virtual water cooler by hosting quick team pow-wows every morning or once a week, where everyone shares something about their lives—what television show they can’t get enough of or their latest foodie discovery, for instance.
|5||Recognize and reward|
One of the best things that you can do to engage team members - whether they are remote or work right down the hall - is to appreciate their contributions and wins.
and common sense both demonstrate that when employees feel valued, they are more engaged.