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How to Engage Remote Workers, And Make Them Feel Valued

During the 2020-2021 lockdowns, remote working became “the new normal”. Now, 44% of UK employees work remotely either full-time or on a hybrid basis.

Though the number of people who work exclusively from home appears to be dropping, it’s likely that the majority of UK businesses have at least some employees who work from home at least some of the time.

Some employees thrive on the independence and flexibility that remote work can bring. But others may struggle to feel like they’re part of the team when they’re not working in the same space as their colleagues. So in this post we’ll discuss some strategies that will help you keep your remote workers engaged.

Make Your Remote Workers Feel Valued

When checking in with your remote workers, ask them about their lives, their hobbies, their interests, their plans. Think of it as the sort of watercooler chat that many employees miss when they’re working from home.

Also be sure to recognise achievements whenever they happen. Again, an email isn’t enough. Use employee recognition software to allow the entire team to see how their individual efforts are contributing to the organisation’s goals.

It’s here where the right employee benefits can make a huge difference to employee engagement. Business health insurance remains one of the best employee benefits in terms of both its popularity and its potential impact in helping employees feel valued and engaged. Particularly when the healthcare cover includes support for mental health, something that has become increasingly important over recent years.

Be sure to read our guide to how businesses of all sizes can afford to implement business health insurance plans.

The Benefits of Employee Engagement

Engaged employees are more likely to focus on their work, and to take pride in their job, than unengaged employees. Studies show that there are links between employee engagement and employee performance. Research has also found that focusing on employee engagement can improve customer satisfaction, staff retention, efficiency, and even health and safety performance.

What Does an Engaged Employee Look Like?

The CIPD says that “employee engagement” is a state of mind. An engaged employee does not feel tired, demotivated, or burnt out. Instead, they feel:

  • Resilient
  • Energetic
  • Dedicated
  • Enthusiastic
  • Inspired

How To Keep Your Remote Workforce Engaged

Use Tech to Check-in and Stay Connected

Remote work can be lonely. Unless you make efforts to connect with your remote workers, and to ensure they connect with the rest of their team, they may go entire days without saying a word to anyone.

Emails aren’t enough. Use tools like Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet for virtual face-to-face meetings.

Kick every day off with a check-in meeting. It doesn’t have to be long – just a brief chat in which people can share what they’re working on and ask for help if they need it. You could also arrange for longer meetings on a weekly basis – either whole-team catch-ups, or more informal virtual “coffee mornings”.

Also use tools like Slack to allow people to communicate with each other in real-time. It can feel more immediate and engaging than constantly having to rely on back-and-forth email messages.

Bring The Team Together When You Can

Some remote employees are hybrid workers. They might work some days from home, and some days onsite, in the workplace. But other remote employees might work from home on a full-time basis, seldom or never meeting their colleagues in person.

In any case, you can foster connections among your team through bringing them all together as often as you can. You could have whole-team meetings once a quarter – or even once a month – encouraging all employees to attend in person. Pay for travel and accommodation for your remote workers if necessary and provide a catered lunch to make the day feel more like an event and less like a formality.

You could also arrange for team away days, team meals, team nights out, and occasional virtual team-building activities. We mentioned informal virtual “coffee mornings” above. But you could also organise quizzes, show and tell sessions, and more.

Keep Employees Updated

Some of your remote workers may feel like they’re out of the loop. While they’re working from home, all the major business decisions are being made without them. They may hear of a development third hand and think: “Why am I only just learning about this?”

So keep your remote workers in the know. Give them daily or weekly updates on everything that’s happening, and everything that’s going to happen in the near future. Also encourage your remote workers to do the same.

You can set goals on individual, team, and organisational levels. Use tools such as Trello to allow employees and managers alike to provide progress updates on any projects they’re involved in.

Get Help Designing Your Benefits Package

Whether you’re looking to invest in your first business health insurance plan, or you want to change or add to your current package, we can help you provide your entire workforce with flexible and comprehensive health insurance.

Get in touch to find out more and see how we can help you.

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