Ten Easy Ways To Keep Remote Workers Happy And Engaged
Over the last two years, several employees have shifted from the conventional work module to working remotely. The pandemic crisis forced professionals to stay home and businesses to function virtually. Now that the crisis has subsided, several professionals across all major industries are willing to continue working remotely. This has given birth to a new and more flexible mode of working.
While working remotely allows professionals to work from the comfort of their homes, it often makes it challenging for organizations to manage their activities. As more and more employees prefer working remotely, it adds to the challenges HR professionals face to cater to their individual needs and ensure their well-being as they work remotely.
In 2021, the inherent needs of employees have evolved, and they seek personalized support from the organizations they work in. This makes it important for HR managers to ensure high engagement of employees for the organization to function smoothly.
Before getting to the different ways in which you can keep your remote employees happy and engaged, let us understand the major remote working challenges faced by HR professionals.
- Difficulty In Onboarding Employees
One of the biggest challenges HR managers face while dealing with remote employees is onboarding them. As the new employees do not physically interact with the HR professionals, it becomes challenging to provide them with all the required resources and keep track of their work on-premise. Also, when employees are working remotely, HR managers often face difficulties making sure that they are comfortable with the new work environment.
- Providing Personalized HR Support
Another common issue HR professionals face while catering to remote employees is providing personalized HR assistance to them. Working on-premise allows employees to approach their managers (and vice versa) for getting specific issues resolved. HR professionals and support agents often find it challenging to understand the context of the issues faced by remote employees and provide them with personalized solutions.
- Recruiting New Employees
When all major HR processes are carried out remotely, recruitment of new employees becomes difficult. From receiving applications to shortlisting resumes and scheduling interviews, recruitment managers often struggle to keep the hiring processes organized.
- Understanding The Pulse Of The Employees
When the HR professionals cannot witness the employees work on-premise and interact with them personally, it becomes difficult to understand the pulse of the employees. Having an idea about the pulse of the employees allows the management to make crucial decisions regarding the support provided to the employees.
Despite all the challenges discussed above, an organization must keep its remote employees happy and engaged. Engaged employees are genuinely driven towards working for their organization and are willing to give their best. When the overall engagement within your organization is high, the productivity of your employees is likely to increase over time.
Here are some easy ways of keeping your remote employees happy and engaged:
- Implement A Suitable Collaborative Platform
Online collaborative platforms have emerged as saviours for businesses functioning remotely over the last two years. Platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack, and many more have helped employees communicate and collaborate with their peers in the best way possible.
It is always advisable to implement a suitable collaborative platform within your organization to keep your employees engaged. This helps you provide your employees with a centralized platform for effective communication, allowing them to share essential files and documents with their peers/managers in real-time. Collaborative platforms also help the managers and team leaders reach out to the employees using a single unified platform, keeping track of their tasks daily.
- Engage In Two-Way Communication
It is always advisable to engage in two-way communication with your employees. If you cannot physically interact with your employees regularly, keeping them on the receiving end of a conversation is never a good idea. Make sure that you approach your employees regularly and talk to them about their experience of working in the company, the issues they are facing, and their opinions on important decisions made by the management.
Also, always have productive discussions with your employees about new ideas to implement and processes to undertake. This makes provides them with a feeling of inclusiveness, leading to increased engagement.
- Acknowledge Their Efforts
No employees like their efforts getting ignored by their managers and team leaders. As remote employees do not interact with the management in person, it becomes even more critical to acknowledge their efforts. It is always advisable to recognize the efforts put in by your employees and appreciate the same regularly.
When you acknowledge your employees' contribution, it boosts their morale and motivates them to give their best in whatever they do. A simple high-five or a "well done" has the power to leverage employee engagement within your organization.
- Be Clear In Defining The Objectives
Despite using collaborative platforms for communication, there are always chances of miscommunication when dealing with remote employees. It is, therefore, advisable to be clear and transparent in defining the objectives to be achieved by your employees over a specific period.
If remote employees are clueless about their roles and objectives, they are likely to lose a sense of direction, leading to their engagement and productivity taking a hit. Make sure you communicate the targets to be achieved to your remote employees as clearly as possible.
- Have A Flexible Schedule
Employees in 2021 are no longer willing to work fixed hours every day performing the tasks assigned to them. They thrive when they are provided with flexible work hours and greater freedom while working remotely. As long as their work is not affected, it is always advisable to have a flexible schedule for remote employees, allowing them to work at their convenience. However, managers and team leaders need to keep track of the tasks performed by the employees to ensure that all business processes are on track.
- Keep The Employees Updated
Especially in the case of a hybrid workplace, it is often difficult for remote employees to stay up to date with the goings-on of the organization. This makes it essential for managers and team leaders to keep these employees updated about the organization's status and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Always make sure that none of your employees is left behind and feels the need to catch up with their team members. Optimize the collaborative platforms implemented within your organization to ensure organized and holistic dissemination of information.
- Meet Your Employees Beyond Work Hours
Having remote employees never means that you cannot meet them in person beyond work hours! If the employees live in the same city, it is always advisable for managers and team leaders to organize meetups with all the employees (on-premise and remote) as an effective team-building exercise.
This would make your remote employees feel special and help them get comfortable with their peers. Moreover, this would help you build trust with your employees, ultimately increasing their engagement and productivity.
- Help Them Manage Their Time
Along with providing remote employees with a flexible schedule, an organization should help them manage their time effectively. Remote employees often face difficulties in managing their time while working from their homes. Many employees tend to juggle household chores with their work, a habit that can turn out to be exhausting.
Provide remote employees with tools, training, and tips that help them manage their time to have an ideal work-life balance. Once the employees can keep their personal and professional lives on track, they can work with increased dedication.
- Focus On Their Mental Health
Working remotely for an extended period is likely to take a toll on the mental health of your employees. Employees often exhaust themselves by stretching their work hours as there are no clear boundaries between "work" and "home".
It is, therefore, important for HR managers to focus on the mental health of remote employees to keep them happy and engaged. Encourage them to stop working beyond the dedicated work hours and share their feelings without any hesitation.
Relevant Article: What are the advantages of focusing on employee mental health?
- Avoid Excessive Virtual Meetings
While staying in touch with your remote employees is important, it is never advisable to arrange excessive virtual meetings with them. Managers often tend to conduct meetings to compensate for the lack of the employees' physical presence. This is likely to distract them from their work and hamper their routine. Make sure that you arrange video calls and meetings only when it is necessary.
The Final Word
These were some of the easiest yet most important ways of keeping your remote workforce happy and engaged. The trend of remote working is gaining more popularity over time and is here to stay. Irrespective of your industry, always make sure that you keep your remote employees engaged in streamlining your business processes.