7 Practical Strategies to Improve Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is more than just a buzzword. It is a crucial factor that influences the performance, retention, and well-being of your workforce. Engaged employees are those who are motivated and passionate about their work, who identify with and commit to the organization’s goals and values, and who feel energized and satisfied with their job.
Employee engagement is not the same as employee satisfaction, which is more about how happy employees are with their pay, benefits, perks, and working conditions. While these factors are important, they do not necessarily create a strong emotional bond between employees and the organization. Employee engagement goes beyond satisfaction and requires a deeper level of involvement and connection.
Why does employee engagement matter? According to Gallup, organizations with high levels of employee engagement are 21% more profitable, 17% more productive, and 10% more customer-focused than those with low levels of engagement. Engaged employees also experience less burnout, absenteeism, turnover, and stress.
However, achieving high levels of employee engagement is not easy, especially in the post-pandemic era where remote work, hybrid models, and uncertainty have become the new normal. Many employees may feel disconnected, isolated, or overwhelmed by the changes and challenges they face. These can negatively affect their morale, motivation, and sense of belonging. Managers need to take proactive steps to increase employee engagement, or risk losing their talent and competitive edge.
Employee engagement is a key factor that influences the productivity, performance, and retention of your workforce. Engaged employees are more motivated, committed, and satisfied with their work and their employer. They are also more likely to contribute to the company’s goals, values, and vision.
So how can you improve employee engagement for your remote workers? Here are five practical strategies that you can implement right away.
1. Clearly define values and goals
One of the key drivers of employee engagement is having a clear sense of purpose and direction. Employees need to know what the organization stands for, what it aims to achieve, and how their work contributes to the bigger picture. Managers should communicate the organization’s vision, mission, values, and goals regularly and consistently, and align them with the team’s and individual’s objectives and expectations. Managers should also help employees understand how their work impacts the customers, stakeholders, and society at large.
2. Communicate clearly and often
Another essential factor for employee engagement is communication. Employees need to receive timely, relevant, and accurate information from their managers and leaders about the organization’s performance, strategy, changes, challenges, and opportunities. Communication should be transparent, honest, and respectful, and encourage feedback and dialogue. Managers should use various channels and methods to communicate with their employees, such as emails, newsletters, meetings, webinars, surveys, polls, etc. Managers should also check in regularly with their employees to provide support, guidance, recognition, and coaching.
Communication is essential for building trust, collaboration, and alignment among your remote employees. You should communicate frequently and effectively with your remote workers, using various channels and formats. For example, you can use video calls, instant messaging, email, phone calls, and online platforms to communicate with your remote team.
You should also communicate clearly and consistently about the company’s vision, mission, values, and goals. This will help your remote workers understand how their work contributes to the bigger picture and how they fit into the company culture. You should also communicate your expectations, feedback, and recognition to your remote workers regularly. This will help them know what they are doing well, what they need to improve on, and how they are valued by the company.
3. Improve employee well-being
Employee well-being is closely linked to employee engagement. Employees who are healthy, happy, and balanced are more likely to be engaged in their work than those who are stressed, burned out, or exhausted. Managers should promote a culture of well-being in their teams by providing resources, tools, and policies that support employees’ physical, mental, emotional, and social health. For example, managers can offer flexible work arrangements, wellness programs, health benefits, counseling services, social events, etc. Managers should also model healthy behaviors themselves and encourage employees to take breaks,
rest breaks and time to recharge.
4. Provide flexible and supportive work arrangements
Flexibility and support are crucial for remote workers who have to balance their work and personal lives in different environments. You should provide flexible and supportive work arrangements for your remote workers that suit their needs and preferences. For example, you can allow them to choose their own work hours, work location, and work style. You can also provide them with the necessary tools, equipment, and resources to do their work effectively and efficiently.
You should also support your remote workers by providing them with opportunities for learning and development. You can offer them online courses, webinars, coaching sessions, mentoring programs, and other resources that can help them enhance their skills and knowledge. You should also encourage them to pursue their personal and professional goals and interests.
5. Foster a sense of community and belonging
Community and belonging are important for remote workers who may feel isolated or disconnected from their colleagues and managers. You should foster a sense of community and belonging among your remote workers by creating opportunities for social interaction and collaboration. For example, you can organize virtual team-building activities, online games, happy hours, coffee chats, and other events that can help your remote workers bond with each other and have fun. You can also create online groups or forums where your remote workers can share their ideas, opinions, experiences, challenges, and successes.
You should also foster a sense of belonging among your remote workers by involving them in the decision-making process and soliciting their feedback. You can ask them for their input on various issues or projects that affect them or the company. You can also conduct surveys or polls to gauge their satisfaction, engagement, and needs. You should also acknowledge and appreciate their contributions and achievements publicly and privately.
6. Recognize and reward your remote workers
Recognition and reward are powerful motivators for remote workers who may feel underappreciated or overlooked by their managers or peers. You should recognize and reward your remote workers for their efforts, results, and behaviors that align with the company’s values and goals. You can use various methods of recognition and reward such as verbal praise, written feedback, certificates, badges, bonuses, gifts cards, or other incentives.
You should also customize your recognition and reward system according to your remote workers’ preferences and personalities. Some remote workers may prefer public recognition while others may prefer private recognition. Some remote workers may value monetary rewards while others may value non-monetary rewards such as time off or career advancement opportunities.
7. Measure and improve your employee engagement
Finally, you should measure and improve your employee engagement by using various tools and metrics that can help you assess the level of engagement among your remote workers. For example, you can use employee engagement surveys or questionnaires that can help you measure various aspects of engagement such as satisfaction, commitment, loyalty, motivation, and performance. You can also use data analytics or dashboards that can help you track various indicators of engagement such as productivity, quality, turnover, absenteeism, and retention.
You should also use the results of your measurement tools to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your employee engagement strategy and make necessary adjustments or improvements. You should also share the results with your remote workers and involve them in the improvement process. This will help you create a culture of continuous learning and improvement and increase the trust and transparency between you and your remote workers.