If you operate with a remote team, you may have found it difficult to get everyone on the same page (and keep them there). No matter how great your employees are, a number of challenges may threaten to limit engagement.
Knowing how to address these will put you in a stronger position of control.
The Challenge of Remote Engagement
Employee engagement is a hot topic for all firms and teams these days, especially in the era of covid. It’s hard enough in a physical workplace where employees are working side by side, but some companies have found it considerably more challenging in a remote setting in which team members are mostly isolated, and spread across different locations.
There are a number of reasons for this, such as:
- New distractions. When people work from home, they’re often surrounded by a variety of distractions that are not typical of a traditional workplace. These may include children or roommates, household chores, lack of access to normal work resources, and so on.
- Communication problems. Even with the vast selection of modes of digital communication available to us nowadays, nothing is as effective as a face-to-face chat with a colleague. Thus, it’s not uncommon for remote teams to develop some degree of friction on this front, particularly in their early days.
- Lack of unity. It’s difficult for the members of a team to feel they’re on the same page when people are spread out in multiple locations. One individual might thrive in remote conditions, while others might find it highly distracting, inefficient, and hard to stay motivated. In an unstable or uncontrolled work environment, it’s not hard for a remote team to suffer from a lack of unity.
Three Simple Tips for Better Engagement
Now that we’ve discussed the challenges that may inhibit employee engagement in a remote environment, try to devise a game plan that empowers your team and puts everyone on the same page. Here are three simple tips that may enable you to get the most out of this setup.
1. Develop a Remote Work Playbook
Clear expectations can go a long way toward inspiring your team to get on the same page. One of the easiest ways to set clear expectations is to design a policy for remote work, or a playbook in which everything may be specifically documented.
Your remote work playbook can be as simple or as detailed as you would like. (Most people find that greater detail is better.) It should touch on such facets as working hours and scheduling, rules for online meetings, preferred communication channels, troubleshooting, productivity tips, and that sort of thing.
2. Use an Intranet CMS
Fragmentation is one of the biggest problems for remote teams. From people to files, everything starts out disconnected and disorganized. You need the right solutions to connect and centralize your processes so that everyone is working together.
One approach is to use an intranet CMS, which is a web-based content management system for organizing all digital content and assets into a single platform to which every team member has direct access.
“An intranet CMS can help to increase employee engagement by promoting two-way communication, sharing knowledge and information, and making them easily accessible,” as Happeo explains.
If you find the right intranet CMS for your operation, you should discover that it’s capable of replacing many of the tools and software you’re currently using. This reduces the number of distractions in your business and streamlines your output.
3. Leverage Zoom
Though Zoom fatigue undeniably affects many businesses and teams, there’s something to be said for occasional video meetings. This provides an opportunity to meet “face-to-face,” regardless of where the members of your team are physically situated.
For the best results, consider scheduling a regular 30-minute Zoom call during which your team has a chance to catch up and get to know one another. Don’t obsess about discussing only business tasks or projects during this time.
Instead, keep the agenda light so colleagues may share personal advances, make small talk, and/or play virtual team bonding games. (You might even want to make this a Friday afternoon tradition in your company!)
Putting it All Together
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to employee engagement. However, if you implement the tips discussed in this article, you’ll find it’s possible to bring your team together and pursue solid goals in spite of less-than-ideal circumstances.
Are you willing to adapt your approach to fit the times?