Driving a Culture of Engagement with Remote Employees

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Smartphones, cloud computing, and readily available internet access allow most work to be done from virtually anywhere. For professionals, the freedom derived from remote work is a strong engagement driver.  It’s no surprise then, that at least 3.7 million Americans consider themselves to be remote employees at least half the time.

Connecting with employees when they work remotely is significantly more difficult. They’re not around to experience your day-to-day culture, see posted announcements, or engage in informal conversation.  So, engagement efforts must take your remote employees into consideration.  Keeping them top of mind in your efforts helps them – and you – establish deeper connections.  And deeper connections lead to higher productivity.

Here are some practices you’ll want to implement to drive a culture of engagement with your remote workforce:

Communicate.

We can’t say it enough.  Communication is key – especially with remote employees.  It’s easy to forget your remote employees weren’t in the office to hear things in the hallway or join the spontaneous brainstorming session.

This is why it’s important you make a conscious effort to keep remote team members in the loop – even on things that seem insignificant.

We all get busy.  It’s easy to go days, and even weeks, without touching base with your remote employees. While you may not mean it, chances are they feel ignored or forgotten about. Therefore, regular check-ins are a must.

Digitize.

Company culture is generally fostered through in-person interactions, so it easily falls to the wayside with remote employees.  Luckily, it’s not hard to make your culture digital these days.

Use technology to connect your in-office team members with your remote ones on a more personal level.  Encourage employees to share a video of the week or a photo of their “desk” at the coffee shop.  Don’t forget about sharing personal milestones either.  Birthdays, new babies, and engagements are just as important!

Technology apps are great for this – they digitize employee communication without taking up valuable inbox space.

Gamify.

Gamification has become popular across industries as a fun way to encourage engagement.  It works because people are achievement-driven.  Let’s consider simple human psychology: we like to compete with ourselves, and we love to compete with others.  Employees probably won’t realize it, but you’re also creating a community with your team.  When they’re part of a community, remote employees will feel like they truly belong.

Don’t over think how you gamify.  A simple sales leaderboard or badge system for training modules completed will do the trick.

Recognize.

Finally, make sure you’re recognizing your remote employees as often as you’re recognizing your in-office employees.  Once again, it’s easy for remote employees to feel left out or forgotten about.  Implement a program that emphasizes peer-to-peer recognition.

When the focus is peer-to-peer, the system itself becomes democratic.  Recognition automatically feels more genuine and less like a performance review.  It also allows accomplishments to be broadcast in more real-time and takes the pressure off of you!

Taking Engagement to the Next Level with Ohana.

We created a digital approach to internal communication with remote and dispersed teams in mind.  Designed around a central newsfeed, Ohana is the perfect place for your employees to engage with one another no matter their location.  Check out our solution today.