How to Optimize Hybrid and Remote Employees’ Engagement?


The current COVID-19 crisis has led to profound organizational changes. Coupled with the digital transition and the overall evolution of the world of work, it is very likely that you now have to manage employees working remotely on a daily or occasional basis. The growth of remote and hybrid work models won’t be ending anytime soon. Despite their many advantages, these work models present significant managerial challenges. 

One of these strategic challenges is keeping employees engaged when they're out of the office. How do you measure remote workers' level of motivation, and more importantly, how do you ensure that employee engagement does not suffer from distance?


1. Best practices for keeping hybrid and remote workers engaged

Think about equipment and comfort

To get off on the right foot by setting up efficient remote work environments for your teams, it is essential to think about your employees’ daily comfort. Do they have the same equipment as in the office?

One of the benefits of remote work should be home comfort, but not all employees have a dedicated workroom or even adequate setups (desk, computer equipment...). Work equipment should be provided as part of the onboarding process for your remote employees to get your collaboration off to a good start. If your employees have recently adopted hybrid or remote work models, make sure they have all the necessary tools in hand.

To go further, you can also provide them with a desk converter, which makes it easy to switch from sitting to standing: working from home encourages motionlessness and poor posture. The resulting loss of energy can impact remote workers’ efficiency and motivation. By providing your remote teams with productivity-enhancing equipment, you will also increase their engagement levels!

  Dematerialize your processes

 Now that your hybrid and remote employees are comfortable, it's time to address their daily access to must-have software and communication tools. The paper format is obviously not optimized for these work models. When it comes to time management, employee profiles, and absence requests, HRIS (Human Resources Information Systems) remain your most reliable allies. These HR management software solutions will save you precious time on administrative tasks while ensuring fast and secure remote employee access to their HR platform. 

It is essential to take the time to train hybrid and remote employees on the software they will need to use in their daily tasks, as thoroughly as if they were in the office. Distance shouldn't be a barrier to efficiency: by dematerializing your processes, you will adapt to the reality of remote employees while avoiding many tricky and time-consuming situations!

Communicate effectively

Telecommuting comes with its own set of challenges, and lack of communication is often one of the complaints raised by remote employees. Failure to communicate efficiently can jeopardize the entire team cohesion and lead the employee to feel lost in the tasks and objectives at hand. Eventually, the remote employee will feel isolated and left out, resulting in lower individual productivity and disengagement.

By effectively implementing communication tools in your company and by ensuring that they are embraced and understood by all, you will avoid these recurring problems in telecommuting contexts.

Communicating effectively on a daily basis remains the key to a positive work dynamic. Furthermore, if your employees feel they can easily contact you if they are struggling – as they would at the office – their engagement levels will skyrocket, and so will their productivity!


Organize team activities

In addition to establishing effective day-to-day communication, it's important to think about team building and social connection. Remote team building activities are always appreciated: a happy hour to end the week on a high note, virtual board games, weekly meetings between coworkers outside the work environment... Be imaginative and listen to your employees' expectations. They often have good ideas to organize activities that everyone will enjoy!

The most important thing is maintaining the team spirit that can develop in the office, even in a remote context. Today, all the tools are available for good communication and virtual events, so you have to use them to avoid feelings of isolation and boost employee morale!


Highlight your corporate culture

Why should company culture and employer brand disappear with distance? Hybrid teams and remote workers are an integral part of your organization. It is important to share the company's values with them from the moment they are hired to ensure their successful integration and create a sense of belonging from the get-go.

To enhance your employer brand, you can send goodies with your company logo to your remote workers. They will appreciate receiving useful items (pens, stationery and calendars…) as well as accessories or gadgets that will definitely make them smile!

Think about their career development

Many remote workers are concerned about their lack of career progression. They feel that their professional development has been put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, and distance is a significant factor in this feeling of stagnation.

It is important to set clear professional goals for remote employees and care about their individual development. Performance evaluation interviews remain the most reliable method of setting employee-specific goals and discussing their performance and progress on a regular basis. In addition, these frequent meetings will allow you to ask questions about their level of motivation and take the first step towards measuring the engagement levels of your remote employees!

2. How to effectively measure engagement from a distance?

If you have done everything possible to ensure the comfort, good communication, integration and follow-up of your remote employees, it is now time to clearly determine if their engagement levels are high and stable.

The best way to do so is to ask them directly. Dialogue is essential, but surveys are the most reliable way to get clear answers from your remote workforce and obtain valuable statistics to improve your management practices.

Pulse  Surveys

These engagement surveys are short and frequently sent to employees to get their opinion over the course of the year and determine if your teams are motivated daily. It's the perfect way to get a sense of your employees' feelings 'in real-time', with a quarterly, monthly or even weekly frequency.

These surveys call for clear answers that will be helpful for your analysis. Still, they also encourage the surveyed employee to develop arguments on what they would like to see improved in their everyday professional life.


Annual Engagement Surveys

Annual engagement surveys are valuable tools for measuring employee motivation and making decisions to optimize it. These surveys are appreciated by all employees, whether they are working remotely or in the office, as a means to improve management practices. They allow us to look back on the whole year and determine, thanks to the answers given by the employees, the engagement strategies that we should implement in the company. 

Cross-referencing the information obtained from the annual engagement surveys with the data from the frequent surveys makes it possible to determine if the previous engagement strategies have been effective. Surveys are therefore valuable tools for optimizing engagement strategies and human resources management!

Folks offers comprehensive engagement surveys that fit your reality. Their solution allows you to choose the frequency that suits you best and ensures data confidentiality throughout the whole process! 

Hybrid and remote employees need to benefit from the same advantages and comforts as office workers. Communication is key to ensure that no one is overlooked and that engagement levels are maintained, as is the dematerialization of your processes and the implementation of frequent surveys and appropriate software. By staying in touch with your employees' daily lives and adapting your management methods to their realities, you will ensure that you maintain high levels of engagement and a strong corporate culture throughout your organization.

What are your engagement strategies to keep your remote teams engaged and productive?

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