According to a recent study, remote employees are projected to represent around 31% of the global workforce in 2022. In the U.S., around 45% of full-time employees worked partly or fully remotely in September 2022 alone.
About half of the respondents of a Gallup survey stated they preferred to continue working from home, while 45% would like a hybrid setup. Workers’ preference for working remotely has a massive impact on employee retention: companies that permit remote working setups have a 25% lower turnover rate than those that do not.
Fortuna Business Management Consultants has often worked with clients who have a partial remote working setup for their employees. One of the challenges of having remote teams is keeping employees engaged in the company culture and ensuring they still feel that the company cares for them and their needs.
Companies Caring for Remote Employees
At Fortuna BMC, we believe that when companies take care of employees, they will perform better, be more productive, and be more capable of innovation. Employees are empowered to provide quality work if they feel valued and seen by the organization they work for.
However, when employees are not together in an office setting, it becomes more challenging to keep them engaged. There is no face-to-face contact or interactions, and company culture cannot spread as quickly or effectively.
Companies with remote setups need to adapt and evolve their engagement practices to consider the diverse needs of remote workers. Here are some of the best ways to do so.
Performing monthly audits is a way of maintaining the company’s performance standards per employee. It measures their output and the quality of the work each employee does. But they do not only reveal areas where the employee can improve. They also provide an opportunity to spotlight employee achievements and excellence.
Engage employees by highlighting particularly excellent performance during the month. By highlighting achievements and giving praise to work that exceeds expectations, the employees can feel that the company can see their good work and get rewarded for it.
Employee Excellence Spotlights
Another way to provide positive feedback is to create a Microsoft Teams praise channel. Employees from any level of the organization can be given praise when they do a good job, and they can receive positive feedback from anyone: not just their immediate superiors.
Customer commendations or complimentary reviews can also go into this channel, so employees can feel recognized and rewarded for their efforts no matter what day it is, even if it is not time for the monthly audit yet.
Wellness Programs, With Incentives
Better work-life balance is the primary reason many employees prefer to work remotely. Companies can build upon this by creating and promoting in-house wellness programs. Some examples are weekly workout stream sessions and mindfulness classes.
By promoting wellness and providing incentives like delivery coupons or extra team funds, the employees can feel that they are looking out for their health. They also feel that the company is encouraging them to have a better work-life balance.
Cameras On During Meetings
It is challenging to feel genuinely engaged without the physical presence of teammates, so as much as possible, encourage employees to switch their cameras on during virtual team meetings. This way, employees can see their colleagues. It encourages a better, friendlier relationship among team members. They can see who they are speaking to and know that the other person is paying attention to them.
Communicate via Multiple Channels
Encourage the use of multiple means of communication. For example, the company may use Slack or Teams for regular updates and connect virtually with employees through meetings via Zoom or Google Meet. Give them opportunities to communicate through email, social media pages, or messaging apps.
With so many avenues to reach one another, leaders and teams can clarify when they speak to one another internally. It makes everyone in the organization accessible. However, make sure to limit work-related communication to during work hours, to preserve a healthy work-life balance.
Manage People, Not Employees
One of the most crucial aspects of creating company culture is to build engagement among employees, remembering that they are not just workers—they are people. Recognize that they need communication, care, and recognition. By focusing on your employees as people with personal needs beyond performance metrics, your company can engage with them better, even if they are working remotely.
Fortuna BMC specializes in helping businesses find great ways to manage employees regardless of the workplace setup. We can help you create great teams that work together in person or remotely, capable of addressing your businesses and customers’ needs. Consult with us today, and let us help you build an effective, engaged team. You may also read us case studies and see what we have done for other clients.