Employee engagement is the feeling of emotional attachment that employees have with their company, their level of personal involvement in the company’s success or the degree of enthusiasm they have while performing tasks. But how can this engagement be maintained in a remote work model? Here are three of the best practices that companies can implement to achieve this goal:
- Structure work. There is nothing worse than ambiguity. So, it’s crucial to define the rhythm of work, to make meaningful task assignments of the work to be done, or to further specify each person’s role if it is a team project.
- Set targets. Adjust deadlines, a must-have factor, according to the progress made in the assigned tasks. If task deliveries are organized on a weekly basis, you can avoid confusion, work that is drawn out, delays in project deadlines, and more.
- Define an adapted and realistic calendar. Maintain a balance; the employee must not be overloaded with work nor have an empty agenda of tasks.
This way instructions become clear, calendars shared, and collaborative work software used. Choose the right tools!
What attitude to adopt with employees?
Above all, it’s indispensable to build trust and engagement with employees. Provide your employees with interesting projects and tasks that bring them added value, offer them development opportunities, be readily available to answer any of their questions, and don’t hold back from delegating tasks. These are some of the options available to you.
Recognition and empathy are also crucial. For example, to thank congratulate or encourage employees. Managers must find the right words to show their interest and concern for employees and to avoid the risk of dehumanization potentially inherent due to the geographical distance that is characteristic of teleworking.
Lastly, the company must promote transparency with its employees, constantly keeping them informed of what is happening within the company, especially if they are teleworking.
How to follow progress in the employees’ work?
To find a balance between autonomy and monitoring their employees’ work, managers must be available at hand. What’s the key? Communication!
- Do employees understand what and how tasks are to be done?
- Will the expected work be delivered on time?
- Does the employee find it difficult to do the work, or on the contrary does he or she need less time than expected?
For such instances, technology is also a key enabler. To answer these questions, it is necessary to receive regular feedback (formal or informal) that may come through various means of communication:
- Email: to send short instructions, quick answers to simple questions validations, reminders, minutes of meetings, availability requests, and more.
- Telephone call: for a quick request for information or to briefly explain a specific task
- Videoconference: to explain a project or a file, to discuss a topic, to present a software.
- Company’s chat: to get an immediate response (if the employee is online) or to be able to have a conversation.
However, bear in mind that “micro-management”, as in excessive control of employees’ actions, must be avoided; in contrast flexibility and adaptability are fundamental.
Maintain a sense of belonging and social proximity
The term, teleworking, necessarily implies maintaining the connection between employees and this is possible through establishing a conducive social environment. Think about the possibility of suggesting one- or two-hour videoconference meetings (weekly, monthly, …) for:
- All employees of the company
- Partners of a service (finance, HR, communication, …)
- A work team
- A manager and his team
- And more.
Of course, it all depends on the company’s size and the number of employees. What are the goals? Strengthen ties, avoid isolation, promote collaborative work, encourage teamwork, among others.
Last of all, it’s important to keep on involving employees in the development of the company, even remotely, for which there are various solutions:
- Enable employees to engage in discussions on the company’s social networks, for example, through detailed introductions.
- Put forward some of the employees to become ambassadors (“employee advocacy” program) of the company on social networks, for example, for spreading the company’s content and sporadically talking about specific topics.
- Create a company-wide social network so that every employee can express themselves and keep informed of upcoming projects.