Keeping Remote Teams Engaged – A Guide on Remote Collaboration

Employees are working remotely more than ever. A study by FlexJobs shows that the number of remote teams has increased by 159 percent over the last 12 years.

Meanwhile, a report from Upwork projects that nearly three-quarters of teams will include remote employees by 2028.

Another major factor driving remote work is the growing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Due to the pandemic, authorities worldwide are actively practicing social distancing and working from home to limit the spread of germs and stay healthy and safe.

As a result of this shift, many business leaders are adapting to handling employees virtually and finding several ways to keep them engaged and informed.

Are you a manager? Do you want to inspire your remote team? Here are tips to help you foster engagement when your employees work in different locations.

How To Engage Remote Teams

1. Hold Regular Check-In Meetings

Check-ins are essential to engage with members of staff.

A survey by Globoforce and the Society for Human Resource Management and recently found that 89 per cent of HR professionals believe ongoing feedback from peers and meetings positively impacts their organizations.

The lack of interpersonal contact with a remote work environment can make it challenging to maintain employee engagement.

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Have regular, recurring meetings with your team.

Video conferencing software is a great tool to share information and delegate tasks and responsibilities to employees. In doing so, you can ensure that employees are more connected and aligned on goals.

2. Recognize Employee Contributions

Recognizing your team’s work is not only a great way to boost their engagement, but it also has many other benefits. These include greater productivity, stronger company loyalty and higher retention rates.

A little acknowledgement can go a long way. A recent study suggests that 70% of employees believe that “thank you” s from management would increase their motivation and morale.

Pay attention to your team members!

Try to say thank you with e-mails, instant messaging, and video chats. Additionally, make time to provide more detailed, nuanced feedback.

Always use specific, clear, and timely feedback when giving employees feedback.

Make sure that you highlight the positive behaviours demonstrated by the employee and, at the same time, provide feedback on how they can continue to learn and develop.

3. Set Goals Collaboratively

Set specific, attainable goals for your team to achieve in the next quarter.

Research shows that if employees set clear, specific goals, they are adequately engaged. Being more involved helps employees work together more optimistically to achieve their goals.

A clearly defined objective is a good start. However, to accomplish larger goals, they must be broken down into actionable steps.

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One way to empower your team, and give them a sense of ownership, is by giving them the responsibility to lead important team meetings or take online courses to enhance their skills.

You might encourage one of your staff members to lead a forum, or you might suggest they take an online course to master business analytics.

When you talk with your remote employees about their goals, explain how their work fits into the company’s larger vision and its mission.

By emphasizing how their jobs contribute to others’ success, you can increase their performance by up to 10 percent.

4. Collect Input From Your Remote Employees

To produce your best work, get your team members involved.

Data from IBM shows that 83 percent of employees have a more positive work experience when they feel their ideas and suggestions matter.

If you run virtual meetings, you should strive to create a psychologically safe environment in which team members feel comfortable speaking out and sharing their opinions.

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It is imperative when leading organizational processes, like team decision-making.

You allow for more innovative problem-solving when you surface and debate diverse perspectives.

Every team deserves a voice. When you encourage your employees to speak up and share their ideas, you foster an environment where everyone is valued and feels engaged.

5. Encourage Socialization

With the right tools, employees can socialize and build personal connections virtually. These interactions will increase your team’s productivity and engagement.

According to Gallup, personnel with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged than their colleagues.

They are also more effective at engaging customers, produce better work and have higher well-being.

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Some ways to keep your remote team happy are to host virtual happy hours or organize online book clubs.

These activities can help employees bond over shared interests and forge relationships with each other. By enabling this kind of fun, you will help your remote team build stronger connections.

Engaging Remote Employees

Engaging remote employees conveys a unique set of challenges.

Working with digital tools, connecting constantly, showing gratitude, and finding ways to cooperate and bond, you can successfully manage your remote team and overcome the obstacles imposed by physical distance.

About the Author

Eugen Spivak is a multi-award-winning author, business strategist, and a business coach. Eugen is the founder of the Canadian Institute of International Business, an organization focused on a better way to learn business!

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