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HR: Are You Losing Touch with Your Remote Workers?

Five ways to keep off-site employees motivated and engaged

By wmadministrator

The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly pushed the concept of working remotely to the forefront for businesses across the world and it’s probably safe to say that the pandemic has forever changed how people work.

According to a Stanford University study, as of January 2023, 13% of full-time employees were fully remote, with another 28% being in a hybrid arrangement.

Despite concerns that employees may be less productive while working outside the office, the Stanford study found that remote working actually increased productivity by 13%.

Still, it may be a challenge for employers to keep remote workers motivated. Here, employee engagement experts from Weekly10 offer five ways employees can keep their remote workforce engaged:

Think ahead with realistic goals  
Employee engagement can be encouraged by setting professional goals. By setting clear guidelines that coincide with personal development plans, managers and team leaders can help workers achieve their goals. That being said, these goals should always be realistic. If workers do not have enough resources to meet their targets, this can have the opposite effect and discourage hard work. They may also feel the need to work overtime, which can quickly lead to employee burn out.

Create incentive programs 
It can be stressful to meet deadlines and targets, but financial and social rewards are sure to motivate remote employees. Incentive programs can include anything that aligns the company and its values, such as commission, wage increases, profit sharing and bonus payments.

Remember to recognize and celebrate success  
A little recognition can go a long way, so remember to celebrate employee success. From passing probation to reaching monthly targets, there are lots of things to highlight in the workplace. Employers can praise employees on video calls, in monthly catchups or during team meetings. By creating incentive programs and remembering to celebrate success, employers are supporting intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors. This is motivation that either comes from within an employee, such as happiness and fulfilment in their role, or beyond, including incentives and rewards. These keep the team driving forward while catering to every employee’s needs.

Practice and encourage transparent feedback 
It’s important to remember that communication is a two-way street. Employees should feel comfortable voicing any praise or concerns of their own. By conducting frequent one-to-one meetings, team members are more likely to feel comfortable sharing their feelings and understand the option is there for them to do so. With this clear line of communication, employers are better able to spot issues and find solutions.

Prioritize health and well-being  
The health and well-being of employees is paramount. If they are suffering from a physical or mental ailment, it will inevitably affect their performance at work. They should feel comfortable confiding in managers and taking sick leave. To promote health and wellbeing in the workplace, employers can organize things like online mental health catchups and virtual guided meditation classes.

Why time-tracking software isn’t the answer 
Companies are made up of people from all walks of life with different personalities. This means that one method of encouraging engagement, such as time-tracking software, does not always work.

Time-tracking software is a commonly used tool. It allows managers to oversee the daily activities of remote workers, including the level of work being completed.

Despite the visibility it gives employers, time-tracking software is actually harmful to the productivity of remote workers and can foster an environment of mistrust that ultimately demotivates workers.

It’s also unrealistic to expect employees to stay at their desks all day. Employees cannot work at full speed all day, every day without experiencing burn out. Plus, regular computer breaks can prevent eyestrain, musculoskeletal disorders and circulation problems.

Instead of using time-tracking software, employers can gain more by helping employees measure outputs and impacts with regular meetings and by using goal setting to establish clear expectations and build a culture based on trust.