“Engaged employees are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to work and their workplace.”
Well, that’s not us, but what a report by Gallup states. Employee engagement goes beyond the year-end annual meetings, promptly responded-to emails, and quarterly reviews. It’s a two-way commitment between the employee and the organisation, which in turn can result in increased levels of morale, efficiency, and productivity.
However, maintaining a high engagement level turns out to be more gruelling in the growing remote-work culture. This year of absolute uncertainties has made it quite certain to organisations that the increasingly dropping engagement levels will adversely impact employees’ work productivity and mental wellbeing and hurt the employer brand they have been building for years.
That said, it’s inevitable for organisations to prioritise employee engagement by putting in place effective remote team-building exercises and improving cross-departmental communications. To provide a guide on how to do that, we are sharing 5 ideas that will certainly help boost employee engagement.
Implement Remote Team-Building Activities
While on-site team building always works wonders for strengthening employee engagement and productivity, one should never underestimate the power of remote team-building activities. According to a recent statistic, worldwide, 2500% more organisations are investing in virtual team building in response to COVID-19.
That clearly shows how conscious organisations are of the dropping level of engagement among employees scattered globally due to the ongoing pandemic and the kind of impact team-building exercises can have on supporting these employees. Depending on the company’s culture and values, various team building activities can be organised, allowing the remote employees to get to know each other and the organisation better and build deeper connections. Some examples include virtual escape rooms, online pub quizzes, virtual scavenger hunts and more.
Encourage Online-Learning And Open-Discussions
According to scientific research, online-learning and knowledge sharing have a great positive effect on employee engagement. Inviting subject experts to conduct online classes, encourages employees to take eLearning courses and benefits the organisation by contributing to their knowledge base, killing two birds with one stone. Moreover, recordings can be saved on the company’s server to conduct a post-session open discussion, allowing employees to exchange their thoughts. Plus, it can also be a form of remote team-building!
This also means you are not limiting your employer brand promotions through handbooks and superficial welcome videos. Instead, you are building a warm and engaging work environment through digital learning initiatives that excite employees to partner with your organisation for years to come and be your organisation’s best brand advocate.
Host After-Work Fun Activities
As a part of corporate culture, employees generally hang out post-work hours; organise in-house parties or even go on weekend trips. What happens with after-work fun activities in this remote work culture? This might be even more important during the upcoming holiday season that will be like no other before, with many people staying at home, not visiting their families or attending end-of-the-year parties. This could influence mental health overall, not just work performance.
Don’t let the unending uncertainties make your employees long for the office fun they used to have pre-COVID and eventually make their 8 hours monotonous. Remember, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! To pep up your employees after spending hours on computer screens scratching their head to code complex programs and designing lengthy brand collaterals, organisations can host virtual happy hours, game nights, online cooking competition, and other group fun activities through group video calls.
Streamline Cross-Department Communications
Communication is the key to maintaining a robust relationship between various teams and departments. Unlike normal corporate life, organisations presently do not get the opportunity to connect with employees through face-to-face meetings, lunch breaks, and evening coffee chats.
Hence, to ensure not to lose out on the robust bond you have built with existing employees and the bond you expect to create with new joiners, it is smart for businesses to use a powerful workforce management app and establish the right communication channels to ensure seamless communication between each of them, irrespective of their presence in the world.
Organise Virtual Team Lunches and Coffee Dates
According to SHRM’s Mind Share Partner’s Mental Health at Work report, 61% of workers said their productivity was affected by their mental health.
To keep the flow of conversation and knowledge sharing going, it’s beneficial for organisations to proactively schedule virtual lunch dates or coffee dates and encourage employees to share their thoughts, creating a more personal connection freely. A Christmas virtual lunch date or a new year coffee date between teams from different departments or two individuals from the same team can create common ground for employees to connect and promote mental wellbeing.
For robust employee engagement, it is a good idea to proactively conduct remote team-building activities and encourage employees to actively participate in the online-learning sessions to exchange their thought process and brainstorm innovative ideas. Seamless communication is essential to maintaining the upward graph of engagement levels. To ensure that, facilitate connection and communication among employees through post-work activities and strengthen cross-department relations with the right plan of action.
They say potlucks and coffee dates are never out-dated – whether on-site or virtual! So, let some food and caffeine bring your scattered-globally employees closer than ever.
Author: Rob Press is a content marketing manager at Deputy, a robust scheduling software that can be used to manage your workforce in a wide variety of different industries. Aside from helping businesses reach operational efficiency, he keeps up to date with the latest trends in SaaS, B2B, and technology in general.
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