The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many organizations to adopt remote and hybrid work as the mode of work. As any HR professional will vouch for, engaging employees is difficult. Try doing this in a remote setting and the job becomes doubly difficult. However, the lack of socialization has severe implications for the virtual workforce. Creating employee engagement activities that make them happy, satisfied, and loyal towards their place of work creates magic even in a remote setting.
Employee engagement activities are complex, as it is, but engaging a remote workforce virtually is one tough job. Today’s workers expect more than just their salary. Engaging them in their job produces fruitful results for the organization.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is the conscious effort taken by organizations to make employees feel happy, satisfied, and loyal to the workplace. Employee engagement has a direct effect on employee productivity, turnover rate, and company profits. Workers today need to feel appreciated with the thought that their contributions are valued at work.
While for employees working from their physical locations, interactions come easily, it becomes difficult for remote workers to integrate into the company culture. As workers continue to work independently, the need for employee engagement activities increases exponentially.
Importance of virtual employee engagement
In the pre-pandemic era, most organizations worked from their physical locations making it easier for the HR staff to plan and execute various employee engagement activities. The sudden shift to remote work has made workers distant, aloof, and difficult to bond and create connections. With a large number of people working remotely, employees are feeling disconnected from their peers, are concerned about layoffs, lonely and constantly anxious.
The limitation of face-to-face interaction has secluded employees from the workplace. As such, the importance of virtual employee engagement has increased manifold. These activities bring people closer to an informal environment and foster deeper relationships.
What are the main benefits of employee engagement for organizations?
- Employees are healthier
- Turnover rates are drastically low
- Absenteeism rates are lower
- Engaged employees are more likely to be productive and innovative
- Improved work efficiency
Let’s look at a few virtual employee engagement activities that can be executed easily by employers:
- Employee recognition points
Every employee wants their efforts to be recognized at the workplace. Public acknowledgement of efforts from the organization is an instant morale booster for employees. Organizations must carry out quarterly evaluations to recognize employee contributions. Give out recognition points that can be redeemed in restaurants, online portals, e-commerce stores, etc.
- Virtual office parties
While remote employees enjoy a lot of perks, the lack of social interaction is something that bothers them. Virtual office parties offer an interesting platform for employees to bond and interact with each other even in a remote setting. Pick a theme for a remote office party and engage employees successfully. Making them interact in a fun non-work atmosphere through a trivia night, or dress-up party enhances the engagement of remote employees.
- Celebrate employee milestones
Acknowledging employee milestones like new hiring, work anniversaries, birthdays, and completing complex projects successfully encourages employees and engages them. Celebrating these special occasions makes employees feel you remember them and recognize their personal and professional achievements.
- Ted-style talks
Ted talks have enamoured people globally. It motivates them and shows a realistic approach to dealing with complex problems. People identify with certain topics and follow their favourite speakers to draw inspiration and motivation in life. Organizing such Ted-style talks in the office can engage employees in the workplace and motivate them to improve their life.
- Give time off
Paid Time Off (PTO) is a very lucrative prospect for employees. It allows them to rejuvenate and join back with a fresh perspective. Along with acknowledging their milestones and special days, give them time to celebrate these important moments with their loved ones. Remote employees too need the opportunity to unwind, catch up on sleep, watch their favourite movies, or enjoy time without worrying about work all day.
- Eliminate unnecessary meetings
The number of meetings has increased drastically in a remote setup. As a result, employees are required to put in extra hours at work, resulting in disengagement, poor employee morale, and a dip in productivity and retention levels. The organization should take steps to eliminate unnecessary meetings and set protocols to avoid meetings that are either too long or hamper the work-life balance of employees.
- Send care packages
Care packages are a nice gesture that you can send to your remote employees to send them something they like. Curate a package that is fun and useful to the employees while showcasing your brand value. You can select a variety of themes to choose from like gifting for festivals, to mark their special occasions, etc. Care packages are a thoughtful gesture for remote employees to feel motivated and valued at the workplace.
- Avoid micromanagement
Micromanagement comes easy in a remote setup. ‘Proximity bias’ is a common thing that virtual employees complain of during remote work. Like regular workers, remote workers should also be given the autonomy to work freely and be trusted with their tasks. Frequent micromanagement leads to disengaged employees who then feel alienated and lack the morale to work.
- Take mental health initiatives
Working in isolation can have a tremendous impact on one’s mental health. Organizations must take caution to address issues like anxiety and depression at work. Ensuring your workers are in a healthy frame of mind is critical for optimum efficiency. To promote mental health, organize seminars and involve employees in these sessions. Provide contact of psychiatrists, and health care workers that employees can contact in case of emergencies. Allow mental day offs and hire an office counsellor, if necessary.
Conducting an employee engagement survey to understand the pulse of your organization is a must before you begin your employee engagement journey. Begin by adopting the right technology to equip your workers with all the necessary tools to work effectively. Virtual employee engagement activities should be designed to improve the satisfaction levels of employees and keep them aligned with organizational goals.
Paylite® Human Resource Management Software is an end-to-end HRMS system that meets the ever-growing needs of modern-day workplaces. It makes your HR process streamlined, smart, and swift, replacing the age-old legacy systems with system-driven workflows.
Request a free demo with our Consultants today: https://www.paylitehr.com/request-demo.html