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6 Employee Engagement Strategies for Remote Teams

July 14, 2021
5 Min Read
Photo by
Csilla Gyarfas

Table of Contents:

P.S. To get inspired, check out our complete employee engagement guide to get the rundown of things: employee engagement surveys, ideas, software, and more!

What are employee engagement strategies?

While there are various definitions of employee engagement, our definition is simple: the level of commitment team members have to their organization and how satisfied they are in their role. The most important factor in employee engagement is how teams and employees feel valued and invested in their company’s success, mission, and culture.

In terms of employee engagement strategies, effective tactics include assessing existing processes, finding gaps, collaborating with teams on creative solutions, and then implementing changes to help foster employee satisfaction.

Employee engagement strategies examples

Here are a few high-level examples of areas in the workplace that can boost employee engagement:

Professional & personal growth

  • Establish an internal job board and support promotion from within the company.
  • Create monthly one-on-one meetings between teams and leaders to professional and personal development goals.
  • Adhere to SMART goals and track progress.

Celebration & purpose

  • Publicly recognize team members for the big and small wins every week 
  • Remind teams about the organization’s mission and purpose through new hire on-boardings or company gatherings.
  • Encourage peer-to-peer feedback, #FeedbackFriday, or 360-degree feedback internally

Diversity & belonging

  • Schedule frequent diversity and inclusion trainings for everyone in the organization.
  • Encourage teams to pinpoint instances where D&I efforts are not met in a safe space.
  • Create inclusive policies that honor various religious or cultural practices or holidays.
  • Incorporate mental health days and flexible work-from-home policies.

Strategies to boost employee engagement

If you want morale, productivity, and culture to skyrocket, implement these employee engagement strategies for an overall culture that aligns with everyone’s values.

Strategy 1. Conduct an employee engagement survey 

Before you hit the ground running with employee engagement strategies, you need to get a pulse check on people in the organization   that’s where employee engagement surveys come in. However, according to a Leadership IQ experiment, only 22% of companies were receiving “good results” from their employee engagement surveys. Let’s face it, that’s low.

In order to get those fruitful results from your surveys be sure to ask questions that address workplace issues and create a format the easy to follow. Try including: 

  • Rating statements on a scale. For example, on a scale of 1 to 5, how do you feel about the work environment?
  • Multiple-choice questions to make it easier to recollect options.
  • Open-ended questions that allow folks to add details or share their stories.

Once you’ve compiled and analyzed the results of your employee engagement survey, you’ll be able to identify the areas where you need the most work. 

Strategy 2. Keep remote teams engaged with collaborative tools

In 2019, Dynamic Signal conducted a study and found that 63% of professionals wanted to quit because of how ineffective communication interfered with their ability to do their job. Now picture how frustrated they were during the pandemic. Many professionals now work from all ends of the world leaving a huge impact on employee engagement. It seems as though distributed teams have to work harder to make people feel like they’re part of the work culture and maintain synchronous and asynchronous communication.

Thankfully, we have the technology to fix that problem! Work from home collaborative tools like Google Hangouts, Zoom, and FaceTime have now made it easier for us to stay connected even when we’re miles apart. It’s important to incorporate technology that creates a working community online and keeps the communication flowing. Along with these apps, teams can still be engaged with Slack, Teams, and email to reach major goals and deliverables. 

Strategy 3. Plan fun employee engagement activities

Giving your team members a chance to ditch their desks and forge a sense of community with their peers will keep them engaged and invested in the organization. Here are a few employee engagement ideas when planning fun events:

  • Happy Hours: Host a weekly end-of-the-week happy hour with your team. This is an opportunity to interact and bond in a way that isn't always possible during office hours. 
  • Spirit Week: Dedicate a week to where team members can dress up, bring in food for a potluck, or participate in, themed activities.
  • Celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries: Let people know that you care about them beyond their role by recognizing special events like birthdays and work anniversaries.

Strategy 4. Focus on diversity and inclusion for better engagement

Chances are you have people on your team that come from various backgrounds, ages, genders, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, and more. According to the 2020 Gartner Research survey, there was about a 12% boost in performance among diverse teams due to employee engagement.

It’s not enough just to have diversity in hiring, but it also nurturing those existing relationships in the workplace by...

  • Prioritizing equitable compensation
  • Being transparent about major and minor company decisions 
  • Ensuring that all feedback is evaluated equally
  • Welcoming and encouraging ideas from everyone in the room
  • Celebrating and recognizing various cultural holidays 

Strategy 5. Boost engagement with better work-life balance

It’s important to note that people are not machines. In fact, a 2015 Harvard Business Review study found that working long hours actually backfired when it came to company success. That’s why maintaining and encouraging a work-life balance helps team members reduce stress and prevent burnout — two major factors that lead to disengaged teams. The best way to help folks maintain a balance between their personal and professional life and keep culture alive is to…

  • Promote flexibility at work (PTO, parental leave, etc.)
  • Take mental health days
  • Encourage time off
  • Eliminate roadblocks and challenges
  • Creating realistic deliverables
  • Scheduling weekly check-ins 

Strategy 6. Recognizing and celebrating teams on their hard work

The worst thing an organization can do is neglect their team for all their work. With that being said, using a yearly review shouldn’t be the only time team members receive praise for their positive contributions to the company. To feel as though the work they do every day matters, team members need to be recognized their efforts in real-time.

When communicating positive feedback to your team members, try:

  • Setting weekly feedback sessions to recognize your team
  • Sending fun and delightful Slack messages to your peers
  • Providing small gift cards to reward those for their hard work 
  • Highlighting someone’s success in a company newsletter or team email, you can do this easily by using email software
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