Many businesses have transitioned to temporary remote work as a result of the pandemic and this has presented a challenge of keeping workers engaged and excited in a virtual workplace. The loss of face-to-face interaction has thrown employees into a new world of isolation and loneliness and they can only handle as many zoom trivia nights before they start losing passion and begin to feel unhappy and underappreciated.
To prevent this from happening, here are some creative ways to encourage worker engagement and keep them happy.
1. Make Company Culture Staff Driven
Together with your staff, co-create the new virtual culture. Give them control of creating the kind of employee engagement and experience they would like. This gives them the freedom to open up about what they want and need.
Many business leaders make the mistake of trying to copy other companies and expect that this culture would work in their organisation the same way. By letting your staff drive the new online culture, you will be able to build an organisation they are excited about and committed to.
You only need to guide them and help refine whatever they come up with.
2. Encourage Employee To Engage in Side Projects
You can create a culture of innovation and creativity by giving employees the autonomy to work on personal projects that align with your business goals.
Yes, this may seem counterproductive, but it works. Gmail is an example of a program that was produced from Google’s side project. Now employees at Google spend 20% of their time creating new products.
There will likely be times when work may be slower and a spark of innovation and creativity is required, giving your employees the freedom to create new products and services can be just what is needed to get out of the rut.
3. Create a Community Culture
As social creatures, humans are always looking for connection and a community that makes them feel included. To replace the local cafe or break room, create virtual spaces where employees don’t have to be so uptight but feel free to be themselves.
Managers should spend some time before meetings begin to interact with staff and ask about personal matters like their family and how they spent their weekend, etc.
Another way to do this virtually is by creating a networking system where employees can talk to one another or engage in group discussions with colleagues without the presence of the manager. This fosters greater connectivity as employees are supporting each other.
4. Appreciate Employees
It is important to recognise and appreciate the effort employees put into work. They have been forced to adopt a method of working that they have not signed up and they find it just as challenging as you are.
You would make employees feel appreciated by thanking them for the work they are doing. Even acknowledging how challenging remote work may be for them and how well they are adapting to the sudden changes goes a long way in showing you care and endears them to the company.
Even the simplest of gestures can greatly impact employee engagement. Employees that feel they are appreciated and cared about will go any length to make the business successful.
Related article: 6 Ways to Show Your Co-workers You Care
5. Send Care Packages
By sending your employees’ care packages, you show them that you have them in mind and are thinking about their well-being. You could send them coffee and tea to boost morale and make the remote workplace more enjoyable.
It can be incredibly powerful to be creative with care packages. Things like sending puzzle or a DIY kit provides a fun activity that they can all take part in even though they cannot be together physically.
By creating this shared experience, everyone can get a sense of togetherness and bond as a team.
Transitioning from a physical workplace to remote work has created several challenges for many organisations especially with regards to employee engagement. Many employees are losing a sense of purpose and interest in their work which contributes to burnout. By following these five tips, employers can facilitate a better remote workplace that employees are happy to be a part of.