7 Reasons Why Managers Fail to Engage Remote Employees 

Managers or HR personnel are the first lines of contact with the employees in every organization. They are not only entrusted to get the maximum output from the employees but also keep them engaged and motivated at the same time.

However, since most of the employees are working remotely from their home ensuring the same level of motivation has become quite difficult compared to when they are at the workplace. Further, it is definitely going to be a first-time experience for most managers who haven’t tried their hands on a remote workforce. And as such, they’ll surely be making certain mistakes that could set back their efforts for an engaged and healthy workforce.

Here are 7  reasons why managers might fail to engage their remote workforce:

1. Failing To Recognise Efforts

The first and foremost reason behind a disengaged workforce is always a lack of appreciation.

Employees like it when their efforts are taken into consideration and praised. It gives them a sense of gratification that is unmatched by anything else. And the task of recognising their efforts and rewarding them accordingly depends mainly on the managers.

However, amidst this crisis where everyone is physically disconnected from one another, managers might often forget to keep track of an employees’ work. And as such an employees’ best efforts could go unnoticed which is indeed a big dissatisfaction. 

Hence, the lack of appreciation is a major issue that contributes to employee demotivation and needs to be acted upon for ensuring an engaged workforce.

A simple tip here for all the employers would be to use cloud-based employee rewards and recognition platform where managers can acknowledge the employees instantly and bestow meaningful rewards for boosting their morale.

2. Not Putting The Employees First

Employees are the backbone of every organization and they should be allowed to keep their words.

Their ideas matter alot as it is they who execute the final work and hearing them out is very important. However, under the shadow of complex corporate bureaucracy, and all sorts of depressing news making the rounds the thoughts of employees could go overlooked.

Such acts negatively impact the professional relationship that a manager shares with his/her workforce especially in times like this. The employees end up losing faith in their management which could gradually bring down the spirit of the entire organization. As such, it is always advisable for managers to make it a point to hear out and properly analyze what their employees say.

For this, the managers need to make sure that they hold meetings with their employees from time to time over voice or video conference calls. This would also bolster your employee satisfaction levels when they are given the utmost importance.

3. Practicing Favouritism

One of the biggest setbacks to employee engagement is “FAVOURITISM”

Favoritism occurs when managers prioritize only one or a handful of individuals over the rest of the workforce. It is malpractice as it directly implies inequality amongst the workforce which is really not desired for a healthy organization. It degrades the company culture, at the same time it also tarnishes the brand value of the organization.

Therefore, managers must make it a point to treat everyone equally even while being away from each other, as now we must all stay united for overcoming the ill-effects of the situation.

4. Adopting One Size Fits All Policy

Decision-makers often make the mistake of imitating measures adopted by others in order to boost their own employee engagement levels. However, in most cases doing this either fails or leads to inefficiency causing loss of revenue.

Employee engagement is not something that has a uniform base for every organization. The measures that are taken to instill proper workplace engagement depends on various factors. Some of these factors include the size of the workforce, their aspirations, the work culture and more.

Therefore, whatever measures you take as a manager to improve engagement, would work the best only when it is curated based on the requirements of your own workforce. 

A great way to do this is by conducting online employee surveys on a regular basis to know which way your engagement efforts are heading and what more you can do to make it better.

5. Lack of Interaction

Most often managers or supervisors refrain from interacting with their employees. This may be because of the lack of confidence or their indecisiveness about what to ask or say. 

However, frequently interacting with your workers is one of the core fundamentals of employee engagement practices. It is when you know your employees closely you are able to curate a much better roadmap for your employee engagement efforts. Also, one must make it a point to never cut a session with the employees short because of other involvements. Keeping up constant communication with your remote employees also reduces the feeling of working in isolation which is indeed bad for their mental health in the long run.

Furthermore, based on your comfort you can either hold one on one meetings or virtual group interaction sessions with your employees using various online communication tools on a regular basis.

6. Suffering From Decision Fatigue

Decision fatigue is a very serious issue that is often overlooked by many. It refers to the inability of the individual to make good decisions after being relentlessly engaging themselves in various other tasks.

It is a very common issue that managers have to face as they need to constantly decide on what is right and what not that too after properly analyzing the matter. And doing this over and over again may drive them into taking certain decisions that might not be feasible for an engaged remote workforce.  

However, managers can help themselves out here by taking proper stress-relieving measures. This would ensure that they remain mentally active and are able to make the best decisions for the betterment of the workforce. 

A note for managers to cope with this situation would be to take short breaks away from their work desk at home or get involved in an informal chat with the employees to learn how everyone is doing. This is also going to be a perfect moment to strengthen the bond with your employees working remotely.

7. Missing Out on Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is one of the topmost qualities that every manager must possess.

It is the ability to hold and control not only one’s own emotions but also handle and channel others’ emotions properly. This quality of a manager is really necessary for handling the present situation where everyone is now worried including your employees as well.

When managers are able to relate themselves to the concerns of the employees they tend to handle it in a much better way. However, though most of the time, due to lack of interest or an impatient behavior, managers overlook their employees’ concerns and let them go with the flow. This is a very serious issue as it instils a negative image on an employees’ mind regarding their manager and it needs to be avoided at all costs to ensure that the employees feel confident and trust their manager to show them the right path whenever required.


We all know how difficult it has become for everyone to keep up a good mood in these times of despair. The same also goes for your employees and they need someone to lead them amidst the bad situation. As a manager, it is your responsibility to take care of your employees and make sure that they’re doing great for keeping up the productivity and the work culture. Also, at the same time, you must rise above as a manager and act more like a friend to all your employees for setting them in the right direction.

Author Bio: Angshuman Dev Talukdar is an HR enthusiast currently working as a content writer at Vantage Circle – A Cloud Based Employee Benefits and Engagement Platform.

Photo Credit: OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

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