With more employees working remotely than ever before due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employee engagement is taking center stage. Keeping employees engaged while they work from different locations away from one another is a challenge most businesses had not incurred before the national quarantine. However, employee engagement has always been essential to an organization's success. It is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization.
What makes employee engagement so critical? Studies show that engaged employees boost productivity and reduce turnover. Nothing is more important than retaining your best people, and employees who are passionate about their work and feel valued are less likely to leave their jobs. Every CEO knows that your employees are the critical drivers of your company's success.
At IQTalent Partners, we have managed remote employees for over a decade. These are our top 10 list employee engagement strategies to try at your remote office.Empowered employees will stay the course and be loyal to your company. These are @IQTalent’s top 10 ways to boost #employeeengagement:Click to Tweet
1. Effective Communication
- Be sure you have the right tools in place, from video conferencing to group collaboration. It’s important to choose the right communication technology for your team.
- Provide a platform for communication, conduct frequent check-ins, and encourage continuous feedback.
- Be an engaged listener. Communication is about understanding your team’s emotions and intentions.
2. Inspire and empower employees
- Encourage creativity, create engaging activities, embrace change, and support collaboration.
- Allow your employees to start their own initiatives and create ways of improving engagement through camaraderie with colleagues. We’ve created grassroots social committees and community service groups who meet regularly and are led from within with support from leadership without executive direction. These are genuinely employee empowered groups.
3. Recognize Performance
- Celebrate big and small victories by recognizing your employees.
- At IQTP, we have an employee-driven recognition program. The employees vote on their individual nominee and team of the month and recognize them at the All Hands meeting with accolades and small gifts. We also celebrate work anniversaries and encourage participation in sharing career success via a channel on our Microsoft Teams account.
4. Be Flexible
- Life happens, and in this new normal, many people are wearing multiple hats.
- Allow employees to make work arrangements around everyday life to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
5. Clearly Define Goals
- Employee accountability comes from expectations.
- Set short and long term goals. Make the goals job-specific and ensure that they align with the company’s objectives. Setting goals will keep employees engaged and focused on the future.
- Encourage team driven goals where everyone has a role and feels vital to the team.
6. Emphasize Culture
- Culture shapes attitudes and behaviors and sets the tone for executing the company’s mission.
- Focus on core values
- Lead by example. Encourage your team to take the opportunity to learn from mistakes and failures while you show your infallibility as a leader.
7. Create an Open Door Policy
- Honesty and transparency are key to successful employee engagement.
- Your employees must believe they are heard and that they have the opportunity to voice their ideas and opinions.
8. Incentive Programs
- Incentive programs can motivate employees by giving them a goal and a timeline.
- Invest in creative ways to reward team members who achieve their goals: lunches, bonuses, extra vacation days, half-day Fridays, and even just public praise. All will create engaged employees who know their hard work is rewarded.
9. Focus on Development
- All employees want to advance in their careers. Create ways to enrich your staff’s jobs, and provide opportunities for employees to work with cross-functional departments.
- Offer career development workshops and lunch and learns. Encourage employees to participate in trainings that will boost their skillset.
10, Promote Diversity and Inclusion
- Employees must feel that they belong in order to be engaged. Inclusion is ongoing and requires investment from all employees.
- Employees thrive in a culture where they are free to express their ideas. Diversity of thought must be encouraged as much as race and gender diversity.
Empowered employees will stay the course and be loyal to your company. They will take ownership in the company’s success and failures, and their career will be more than just a paycheck. Especially now, with employees physically separated from one another, employers must emphasize employee engagement strategies by investing time and budget in finding new and creative ways to encourage and motivate their teams in their home offices. The investment will result in important returns with less turnover, more efficiency, and ultimately more significant corporate growth.
For insight on how your organization can thrive during this tumultuous time, download our COVID-19 Resource Bundle, including a sample work from home schedule, office cleaning tips, and dozens of free educational resources!