For employees, March of 2020’s sudden remote transition meant navigating the waters of turning their homes into their offices, learning what Zoom fatigue really means, and what to do when their child (furry or non) "interrupts" their meeting for the third time.
According to a recent Gallup poll, nearly two-thirds of U.S. workers who have been working remotely during the pandemic would like to continue to.
You may be asking yourself, can my employees get as much done while working from their kitchen table? And the answer is yes, but their productivity levels could be even higher than pre-pandemic levels if they are engaged.
How to Engage Remote Employees or Contract Workers
Employee engagement is just as critical, if not more so, for your remote staff or contract workers.
There is no substitute for day-to-day interaction, and without solid steps in place to re-affirm employee engagement, the risks of disengagement, unproductive work habits and underwhelming quality of work are very real scenarios.
But don’t worry! There are several proven ways your organization can fill in the gaps to create seamless employee engagement solutions.
1. Expand and Break Open the Lines of Communication
Communication and transparency have always been key. Frequent communication is even more important for your remote staff. If your employees feel out of the loop, they’re more likely to disengage.
Make it a point to touch base with your employees each day.
Remote Workforce Communication Strategies
- Use instant messaging applications like Slack, Google Hangouts, or Microsoft Teams.
- Schedule check-ins to remain connected and aligned with your employees.
- Support virtual face-to-face connections with technology.
2. Add a Personal Touch
In an office setting, it's much easier to engage in personal conversations with your employees as well as more opportunity for your employees to share exciting news about their personal lives.
Take the time to engage in small talk with your remote employees. If you know that your employee is planning a wedding, ask how the preparation is going. If you saw on social media, an employee just adopted a new puppy, ask them how training is going, or invite the puppy to your next check-in. It may seem insignificant, but to your remote or contact employee, it shows that you care about them and their lives outside of work.
3. Create an Employee Recognition Plan
Peer-to-Peer Recognition is a vital component in creating a culture of communication and encouraging a collaborative team atmosphere. Our People Are Everything Employee Engagement Platform is a perfect example of how you can recognize your employees, while blasting open the lines of communication within your team.
By using People Are Everything, you can award your employees with points for a job well done, holiday giving, or for any other means that you wish to honor and recognize your workforce.
More, the People Are Everything Employee Engagement Platform allows your employees to post in The Rec Room, which allows team members to congratulate and recognize the efforts of their peers.
4. Plan a Meet-Up
No matter how well you engage your remote or contract workforce, nothing beats face time. At least annually, if not quarterly, ask that your entire organization comes together for team-building and collaborative work time. This also affords you the opportunity to host your annual Service & Performance Awards Program, too.
Engaging your contract and remote workforce is a very attainable task to accomplish. Your organization has to be mindful of the imperative need to communicate with your workforce, keeping in mind that being away from the office and away from current Employee Engagement strategies can fall short for your contract and remote workforce.
About C.A. Short Company
C.A. Short Company partners with companies to manage, drive and facilitate increased employee engagement to increase financial performance, productivity, quality, and core performance outcomes. Our process and research-based platform enables executives and managers to engage their teams to increase the bottom line, motivate staff, and incentivize positive behavior.
Editor's Note: The blog was originally published in 2015, and has recently been updated.