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Employee engagement refers to the level of emotional commitment and involvement an employee has toward their work, organization, and goals. It is crucial for maintaining productivity and performance. Without meaningfully engaged employees, companies experience increased turnover rates and incur higher recruitment costs. Disengaged employees also offer fewer innovative ideas, impacting morale and teamwork, and hampering the company's adaptability and growth.

Research confirms that engaged employees consistently outperform their peers, regardless of location or economic conditions. However, Gallup's study highlights that only 23% of workers worldwide are actively engaged—underlining a key area of improvement for employers worldwide.

We’ll explore effective strategies for fostering engagement within your workforce, including remote and hybrid settings. Cultivate a sense of connection among your team, ensuring sustained productivity and job satisfaction even with geographical distances.

Strategies to Boost Remote Employee Engagement and Productivity

Businesses that boast highly engaged teams experience up to 18% increase in profitability. Such employees cultivate a positive work environment by effectively collaborating and supporting one another. Furthermore, they experience less stress and burnout, leading to increased happiness and better health outcomes. Studies show that people who are highly engaged but have low well-being are 61% more likely to experience burnout regularly.

Here are some things you can add to your business strategy to improve employee performance and engagement.

1. Regular Check-ins

Remote employees face unique challenges and may feel disconnected from the team due to geographical limitations. Employers can establish a culture of regular check-ins to foster open communication and offer required support. By scheduling frequent one-on-one meetings, managers can create a dedicated space to connect with their remote and hybrid team members on a personal level. During the check-in process, you can:

  • Prepare an agenda by outlining topics for discussion beforehand to maintain focus and productivity.

  • Create a supportive environment by actively listening to feedback and concerns with empathy and understanding.

  • Provide constructive feedback by offering valuable insights for employees to understand their performance and identify areas for improvement.

  • Collaboratively set goals and action plans to keep employees motivated and focused on achieving objectives.

  • Be flexible and open to adjusting the frequency and format of check-ins based on the needs and preferences of individual employees.

This kind of personalized attention demonstrates that you value each employee's contributions and well-being. By providing a platform for honest dialogue, regular check-ins allow you to align employees' goals with the broader organizational objectives. It cultivates a sense of purpose and direction, empowering your employees to contribute meaningfully to the organization's mission.

Virtual Events for Team Building

2. Virtual Team-Building Activities

Fostering camaraderie and collaboration among team members maintains a sense of connection and unity. Virtual team-building activities are an effective way to offer opportunities for remote employees to come together, bond, and build relationships despite physical distances.

You can classify these activities based on whether they can be done in real-time or asynchronously, as well as their level of fun and practicality. They can range from lighthearted online games to structured team challenges that are tailored to remote settings. With virtual coffee breaks or casual meetups, you create informal spaces where remote employees can unwind, chat, and share personal anecdotes. These moments of social interaction humanize the digital workspace, allowing team members to get to know each other beyond work-related tasks and deadlines.

Virtual team-building activities provide an opportunity for remote employees to showcase their creativity and personality. By participating in group activities, your team can express themselves, share their interests, and contribute to the collective success of the organization. This sense of involvement and belonging enhances morale and motivation among remote employees.

3. Open Lines of Communication

Establish and maintain clear communication channels that enable remote employees to easily connect with their colleagues and managers. Implement a variety of tools and platforms, such as instant messaging platforms, video conferencing software, and project management tools to facilitate seamless communication.

Instant messaging platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams allow remote employees to engage in real-time conversations, ask questions, and collaborate on projects effortlessly. These tools create a sense of immediacy and accessibility, enabling remote team members to stay connected and informed throughout the workday.

Similarly, video conferencing software such as Zoom or Google Meet facilitates face-to-face communication, which is a more personal and interactive experience for remote employees. Through video calls, team members can effectively participate in virtual meetings, brainstorming sessions, and team-building activities, strengthening bonds and enhancing collaboration.

Project management tools like Asana or Trello provide a centralized platform for remote employees to track tasks, share updates, and collaborate on projects. These tools streamline workflow processes and ensure transparency and accountability across remote teams.

4. Flexible Work Hours

Encourage remote employees to manage their work hours in a way that suits their schedules and accommodates different time zones. Empower remote employees to set their schedules, and allow them to start and end work at times that align with their peak productivity and personal commitments.

There is a range of tools and technologies tailored for asynchronous work that are ideal for enhancing productivity and minimizing miscommunication in remote-first teams. From project management platforms like Basecamp and Trello to platforms such as MyZenTeam for data management, these solutions facilitate seamless workflows and engagement among distributed teams.

Flexible work hours not only promote work-life balance but also provide a sense of autonomy and trust among remote employees. You demonstrate confidence in their ability to deliver results while respecting their autonomy and personal lives.

Moreover, offering flexibility in work hours humanizes the remote work experience by acknowledging that employees have diverse personal obligations and preferences outside of work. This enables remote employees to attend to personal matters, such as childcare or doctor appointments, without compromising their work responsibilities.

5. Recognition Programs and Rewards

Implement virtual recognition programs and shout-outs in team meetings to ensure remote employees feel seen and valued for their efforts. Highlight individual accomplishments and milestones during team meetings.

  • Verbal praise boosts morale with simple but effective verbal appreciation.

  • Highlight accomplishments in team meetings, emails, newsletters, or company-wide announcements for public acknowledgment.

  • Recognize outstanding performance with formal awards for Employee of the Month/Year.

  • Provide bonuses, raises, or profit-sharing incentives for exceptional work as monetary rewards.

  • Reward hard work with additional vacation days or flexible hours for extra time off.

  • Invest in employees' growth with training, courses, or conferences for professional development opportunities.

  • Offer items like gift cards or company-branded merchandise for achievements as tangible gifts or prizes.

  • Celebrate successes collectively with team outings, lunches, or parties for team celebrations.

  • Tailor recognition to individual preferences, such as hobby-related gifts, for customized rewards.

A system of recognition and rewards provides a sense of belonging and motivation among remote employees. By actively incentivizing their efforts, you encourage a culture of appreciation and help improve employee engagement.

6. Professional Development Opportunities

Encourage remote employees to participate in relevant professional development opportunities. Emphasize the benefits of acquiring new skills and knowledge to enhance job performance as well as career progression.

Offer access to online courses, webinars, or workshops tailored to remote employees' roles and interests to bridge gaps in the digital workspace. It demonstrates that you value the continuous growth and development of your remote team members and are committed to investing in their professional advancement.

Moreover, providing remote employees with access to a diverse range of learning resources and opportunities not only enhances their skills and expertise but also boosts their confidence and motivation. Remote employees feel empowered to take ownership of their professional development journey, leading to increased job satisfaction and engagement.

7. Remote Wellness Programs

Having a comprehensive benefits package with various perks such as virtual fitness classes, mindfulness sessions, or mental health resources addresses the unique challenges and stressors remote employees may face. These programs demonstrate that you prioritize the physical and mental health of your remote team members.

Encourage remote employees to participate in wellness programs, emphasizing the importance of self-care and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. By promoting wellness initiatives, you empower remote employees to prioritize their health and well-being, leading to increased engagement and productivity.

A prime example is Google's wellness program, which offers employees access to healthcare services like physician consultations, chiropractic care, and massage therapy on campus. Healthy eating is encouraged in cafés and micro kitchens. Fitness is prioritized with access to fitness centers and community bikes. Employees can also participate in various classes to develop new skills and hobbies, such as cooking and coding. With financial wellness resources, flexible work hours, vacation time, and volunteer opportunities, Google ensures employee support to maintain their work-life balance and well-being.

8. Transparent Goal Setting

Communicate the company's vision and objectives clearly and regularly to remote employees. This ensures alignment between individual goals and organizational priorities. Involve remote employees in the goal-setting process to demonstrate trust and confidence, which helps foster a sense of ownership and accountability.

Transparent goal setting enables employees to understand how their contributions impact organizational success. Setting clear and achievable goals promotes a culture of transparency and open communication when managing remote teams. Furthermore, transparent goal setting facilitates ongoing feedback and performance evaluation, strengthening the employer-employee relationship and promoting continuous growth within remote teams.

9. Build an ERG Program

An Employee Resource Group (ERG) program is a structured initiative within an organization that brings together employees with shared characteristics or interests. ERGs serve as communities where employees can connect, support one another, and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the workplace. These groups are typically voluntary and focus on various cultural aspects such as gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabilities, veterans, or interests like wellness or sustainability. ERGs often organize events, networking opportunities, and educational activities to promote understanding, collaboration, and belonging among employees.

ERGs contribute significantly to increased employee engagement by providing a sense of community and support. Additionally, ERGs offer a platform for employees to voice their perspectives and advocate for diversity and inclusion with other like-minded individuals.

10. Streamline your Processes

Outsourcing non-core tasks can significantly boost employee engagement by freeing up time and resources for important projects while providing access to specialized expertise. For example, delegating administrative duties such as payroll and compliance allows HR teams to focus on their core duties. 

An Employer of Record (EOR) platform significantly enhances employee engagement by simplifying administrative tasks, offering self-service options, and facilitating transparent communication. By streamlining processes, providing easy access to information, and demonstrating commitment to employee welfare through additional benefits, the platform fosters a positive work environment that is conducive to higher levels of engagement, satisfaction, and retention.

Improve Employee Engagement with Borderless AI

Unlock the potential of your teams with Borderless AI, an industry leader in global HR. Borderless AI acts as the legal employer of your global team, taking care of administrative tasks such as payroll and taxes without the need for entity establishment - all while you retain day-to-day supervisory control. This enables growing businesses to compliantly navigate international expansions and a global workforce while freeing up valuable resources. We take care of administrative and HR responsibilities, like creating employment contracts per local labor laws, administering payroll, taxes, benefits, and more.

A standout feature of Borderless AI's EOR services is Alberni, the world's first AI agent for global HR. Alberni can swiftly address queries about labor laws, generate compliant employment contracts, and analyze existing agreements. With Alberni's assistance, you can mitigate the legal risks related to building a remote workforce and dedicate the time needed to ensure that these employees feel aligned with the company’s objectives.

Connect with Borderless AI today and propel your global remote teams towards success. With our innovative solutions, you can streamline HR processes, enhance compliance, and improve engagement among your remote employees and growth in a remote-first employment landscape.

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