Working virtually can be a challenge. This is especially true if your team works across the country or the globe. But that doesn’t mean your employees have to miss out on feeling engaged and excited at work!
There are many ways to keep employees engaged in their jobs, even when they are not physically in the office. Check out our ten ideas for ways to encourage and engage with your employees, no matter where they are in the world!
1. Organize Regular Team Video Meetings
Keeping in touch with your team is essential when working remotely, and video meetings can help keep everyone seeing both figuratively and literally. Working as a group is just a click of the mouse away!
2. Encourage Virtual Events for Regular Socializing Between Team Members
Not only is social interaction meaningful in any business setting, but it’s also particularly critical when employees work virtually and don’t have the opportunity to interact face-to-face.
Encourage employees to schedule social events after work. Here are a couple of ideas to help increase social engagement:
- Virtual happy hour
- Afternoon coffee break
- Spirit Days- not just for school-aged children! Virtual employees often enjoy the opportunity to show off some team spirit.
- Virtual Halloween Costume Contest- This is a great way to get your team to have a little fun during the spooky holiday
- Bring your Pet to Work Day – Let’s see all the furry coworkers with whom your virtual employees share their day.
- Desk Decorating Contests with Prizes – Let your team vote on their favorites.
- Ugly Sweater Contest at Work – We all have one hiding in our closets.
- Virtual Holiday Parties – These are great opportunities to connect all your employees, no matter where they are.
- Virtual Karaoke or Dance Party – We want to see who can sing or macarena the best.
- Game Nights
When looking for creative ways to engage your virtual team and create a culture, the sky’s the limit.
3. Regularly Provide Feedback on your Team’s Performance
When working in a physical office, checking in with colleagues and giving them feedback on their work or sharing your perspectives on ideas is easy. Without these face-to-face interactions, virtual teams can be more challenging to get timely feedback and support from their managers. Ensure you’re providing feedback regularly and making yourself available to answer questions and give advice when needed.
4. Create Social Spaces to Encourage Collaboration and Conversation
Whether it’s a space on your intranet where team members can share ideas or an online forum specifically for virtual workers, creating a social space will encourage employees to interact regularly, which is essential in keeping engagement levels high in a virtual setting.
Creating social spaces also provides an excellent opportunity for diversity and inclusion. Give your employees a chance to support causes they believe in and build a variety culture for your business.
5. Set Clear Responsibilities and Career Advancement Opportunities
Knowing what everyone else is doing at any given time can be challenging when working virtually. Managers and team members must communicate and have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what tasks. It is essential to make sure individuals don’t feel overworked or overlooked.
Also, offering evident career growth and pathing for employees keeps them engaged. Employees want to be able to see their future and grow with your company.
6. Offer Plenty of Flexibility with Schedules
Some people work best in the early morning, while others are most productive at night or on weekends. Depending on your employees’ preferred working times, offering a range of schedule options can help keep them engaged and motivated to come to work every day.
Work-life balance comes in here as well. Have you thought of a Paid Time Off program, or what about schedule shifts and trades for individuals in the same area of business? Being able to work together and still balance the many variations in life shows your employees you care while also getting the work done.
7. Schedule Regular Team-Building Activities
Team building is essential for a physical office setting. Still, it’s even more critical in a virtual environment where your team might not have the opportunity to interact daily.
Encourage team members to strike up virtual conversations and make an effort to develop relationships with one another, which can help keep engagement levels high even when employees are working virtually.
8. Establish Check-Ins with Virtual Workers
Checking in with employees is crucial even if your company doesn’t have a dedicated office space. You can check in by simply emailing at the end of every day. Messaging platforms are also great for this kind of communication and create the feeling of being in the office for the virtual team.
Managers and virtual workers must communicate frequently. This open communication policy can help keep everybody on the same page and engaged in their work throughout the day.
9. Encourage Peer-to-Peer Feedback and Recognition
While it’s essential to provide feedback and support throughout the day, managers can also put in place peer-to-peer feedback. Offering employees the opportunity to comment and assist their coworkers builds a sense of community for your business.
Giving positive comments and recognition for work well done or even being able to submit for some incentive or reward encourages a team dynamic when the team is virtual.
10. Create Recognition and Rewards for Virtual Workers
Employee recognition programs are valuable for helping employees feel engaged at work. Consider implementing an incentive program for your team members if they have outstanding performance. You could also consider sending them a gift card or more personalized gifts for various achievements.
Other great options are personalized company swag, holiday-specific presents, and cards. Making this kind of recognition and engagement easy is very important. If you are looking for a site to help with this, Giftadmin has a great selection and variety of offerings to help show your team you care.
You can increase employee engagement with your virtual teams in many ways. Finding the one that works best for your company is vital to motivating and engaging your team. Don’t be afraid to try out a few other ideas to see what works best and help you create your desired employee culture.