Working remotely comes with a unique set of challenges. An Internet connection can become unreliable and employees with children can find it hard to concentrate in peace. It can be easy for employees to feel like they’re not getting the full work experience.
So, how can HR help keep teams engaged to improve employees’ experience while working remotely?
Nine professionals have shared their tips for maintaining an engaging work environment during remote work
Embrace Digital Games
Create a fun digital game to go around your office. One example could be a quiz based on how well everyone knows each other. It’s much like an office party but from the comfort of everyone’s computers and their own pace in which to participate. Remote work may not be for everyone, but making sure that employees still have a resemblance to workplace experience is significant in maintaining satisfaction.
Ryan Nouis, TruPath
Working remotely can be incredibly lonely and isolating for employees who thrive off office energy. Human Resource leaders can keep these employees engaged by meeting one-on-one to discuss challenges, successes and goals. By listening to the shortcomings employees are experiencing, HR leaders can pinpoint the commonalities in the company. Then, after figuring out what to address (ie – “team fun”), HR can help implement solutions that elevate the entire employee experience.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Keep Things Personal
I believe the key is in making sure the human experience isn’t lost behind all the technology. Video and web are great tools but they have limitations in this regard, especially as the size of a call increases. Keep things personal and inclusive as much as possible, and look for new technology platforms that help teams get to know one another better on that level instead of business only.
Matt Wilson, Landmark Wealth Advisors
Recognize the Changing Landscape of Work
HR can be the guiding light for leaders to create an engaged remote workforce. Keep leaders informed about the benefits and the drawbacks of having remote teams. Push leaders to think about what skills they will need to lead remote teams. Also, HR cannot be afraid to tell managers that the standard culture of work is changing significantly and fast. For example, HR will have to begin to debunk the idea that face time is important to get promoted. As we embark on this new world of work, it is time for HR professionals to be bold and lead the businesses they support in the future.
Shannon Taylor, Republic Services
Keep Everyone in the Loop
It is important that we keep communication flowing! It’s vital! My Senior HR manager has been doing “COVID-COMM’s.” She emails out a video of her discussing new information and gives us all any new updates, birthdays of the month, anniversaries, etc. Imagine a video newsletter! We’ve had great feedback on this.
Judith Monarez, Tetakawi
A sense of community is important for engagement. When people feel connected to others and the company, they buy in more to goals and deliverables. Swag boxes are a good way to connect remote workers to the brand. Intentional socializing with the team will support team spirit, relationship-building and fun.
Melissa Lamson, Lamson Consulting
Get “Together” For Out-of-Office Fun
HR can help keep remote team members engaged and satisfied by building in opportunities for meaningful interaction. We can all get comfortable with chats, emails and “Slacking” a quick message; that is how we get the work done! Keeping remote teams engaged is more than keeping up with messages. To be successful, HR must help leaders build in time for virtual one-on-ones to discuss goals and growth, host engaging virtual workshops just for your remote team and find opportunities for team members to share a fun experience (like hosting a book club, or attending an online conference or expo together) that you can talk about later.
Niki Ramirez, HR Answers
Keep Spirits High
Energy is a major factor in engagement. A good thing for HR folks to remember (and embrace) is that energy is contagious. Keeping spirits up and having a positive and uplifting attitude is tough during such challenging times. But in an influential role such as HR, it helps to remember how your energy and enthusiasm set the tone for everyone else around you.
Cecilia Gorman, Manager Training Expert
Provide All Necessary Tools and Resources
The proper technology is essential for keeping remote teams engaged. The organization must make sure the systems are working without issue and make it available to all. It is important to provide resources to employees to have a good remote setup as well as having trust in the team to manage their time and workload.
Michele Humanick, Stitch Fix