Seven Creative Ways to Keep a Remote Workforce Engaged

Working from home used to be a privilege. However, as more and more companies continue the transition into hybrid, or even fully remote work models, employees are growing tired of working from home. According to a 2021 survey by ADP Canada and Angus Reid, 46% of remote workers show signs of burnout while working from home. As a result, companies are reinventing their engagement strategies to keep employees connected while working virtually. This article explores creative approaches organizations can take to help foster a more engaged remote workforce.

1. Connect to Purpose

One of the keys to cultivating a culture of engagement and accountability, even in a remote work environment, is purpose. When team members understand their role within the organization, and how their contributions support the company’s mission and purpose, they can perform their tasks more efficiently. And if they can see and feel a connection between the company’s purpose and their own individual values and purpose, even better.

Easy ways that leaders can help connect to purpose include asking themselves and their teams questions like: What do I love? What am I passionate about? What makes me lose track of time? How would I fill my time if I didn’t need a job? Understanding what they and their team members value allows leaders to help connect the dots between individual purpose and organizational purpose.

2. Develop a Knowledge Management System

A knowledge management system, whether organization or department-wide, helps eliminate organizational silos, optimizes knowledge sharing efforts, and improves team collaboration. Having such a system in place empowers employees to share and exchange knowledge easily and effectively. They are motivated to perform better as they see the value that they’re adding to the organization. New cloud-enabled technologies make information sharing a breeze, and employees can easily organize, edit, and share information from wherever they choose to work.

3. Use Communication Channels Wisely

Communication is important for keeping a disengaged workforce more connected. That said, avoid bombarding employees with emails, texts, tickets, chats, etc. as these can make employees feel overwhelmed and, over time, cause them to disengage. Simplify communication by selecting a few programs that add value to your processes and consider clearly defining how the programs you choose should be used. For example, you may choose to use Microsoft Teams for internal communications but Zoom for external meetings, or you might have a no work texts after 6 p.m. policy in place.

4. Prioritize Wellbeing

Fostering a healthy work environment is one way to let employees know that you care. Many organizations have built or expanded their employee health and wellness programs to support their team members’ mental and physical health.Leaders can also take the time to check in with their team members and chat with them about:

●  Potential stressors at work and home

●  Their workload and how they prevent burnout

●  Mental or emotional health

●  What they enjoy doing outside of work

Even three years into this new world of work, it’s important to remember that everyone is dealing with a lot of change and uncertainty. Showing you care about your team goes a long way toward making them feel valued and toward building a psychologically safe workplace.

5. Give Employees Credit Where It’s Due

Employee recognition is a top driver of engagement in the workplace. A simple thank-you message or shout-out goes a long way, but you can take it to the next level with organization-wide recognition programs. For instance, you can create a Slack group dedicated to giving shout-outs to high-performing employees. This way, peers can comment and express their appreciation. It can also serve as a source of inspiration to other team members.

Offering incentives for a job well done can also drive engagement. Establish metrics, so employees know how to participate in recognition programs and what to expect from the program. It’s also best to tailor the incentives based on your employee’s needs. 

6. Leverage Employee Feedback

All the suggestions above are geared toward creating an engaged workforce. However, without a tool to measure effectiveness, it can be challenging to determine how successful your efforts have been, or monitor shifts in engagement.. This is where employee feedback comes into play.

Annual and pulse surveys continue to be key measurement tools for organizations looking to keep an eye on corporate culture and employee engagement. Use the data gathered to gauge whether your efforts are working and worth the resources you’ve spent or if they require fine-tuning. There are various platforms for getting feedback, but NPS and pulse surveys (for example, after corporate or team activities, or at regular intervals during the year) are at the top of the list. Both work well for measuring employee satisfaction and engagement with company culture, and for gathering feedback.

7. Cultivate a Positive Company Culture

Fostering a positive organizational culture is key to maintaining a happy and engaged remote workforce. Waterstone Human Capital, Canada’s leading culture transformation firm, helps organizations build high-performance cultures. From leadership training to transformational recruiting, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to succeed. Get the support you need to build high-performing teams. Contact the Waterstone team today to learn more about our services.