Distance engagement: 11 steps to achieve it

Our world is rapidly moving from physical spaces to online spaces. Things will not be the same as before and companies are looking to adapt to the reality that remote work has become.

Although working from a distance can dramatically improve the productivity of a business, doing so comes with many challenges. Effective communication, management recognition, and professional development of workers can go unnoticed if the company does not apply adequate strategies to the virtual.

Fortunately, there are proven ways to do this. Here are 11 steps to take to keep your team engaged from afar:

  • 1.- Give your team members a voice

Employees want to be heard no matter where they are. When workers are allowed to express their feelings and see the changes they bring about, they motivate them to keep contributing constantly. Research has shown that when an employee is listened to, they are 5 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their activities better.

A good way to allow your employees to express themselves is through surveys, for example, pulse surveys measure the reception of particular topics over time. The Human Resources department is critical in helping managers act on feedback from their employees.

HR can teach managers to develop action plans in collaboration with their workers. Whenever managers receive information, they can organize listening sessions in which employees share data on how they would respond to a problem. This practice creates a joint connection between the boss and his team.

At Smart Recycling, everyone’s voices are important. How can we change the world if we don’t start by changing our company? The interaction between the CEO and the rest of the workers is essential for the advancement of the company.

An example of this is from the social media department when weekly content to be published is discussed jointly between the president, content creators, and graphic designers. This action makes each of us involved grow by feeding ourselves with the other’s point of view and making, as a team, the best decisions for eSmart Recycling.

  • 2.- Show your employees that you appreciate them

Thanking workers for their work is essential, both morally and financially. Social recognition is very useful to combat insecurities that can be experienced as individuals and increase the commitment that one has towards the company by 50%. Being recognized for their merits, what employee would want to leave a company that appreciates them?

In terms of monetary recognition, point-based reward systems motivate staff to develop optimally. The better they work, the better the prizes they get.

To enable these practices, the employer must acquire a remote recognition platform for employees. They require an intuitive user interface, a new device design philosophy, and point-based reward support.

Communication tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams should also be part of this process.

Our company recognizes the value of each of our workers, not only through stable salaries and benefits but also through monthly activities where the eSmart Recycling employee who has optimized their management at the end of each month is rewarded especially.

  • 3.- Keep your employees connected with collaboration tools

Working remotely can make an employee feel lonely. To avoid this, the boss can establish structured and frequent communication between managers and subordinates. This promotes social interaction and team alignment, without overusing micromanagement.

Platforms such as Google Meet and Zoom allow good remote communication, in which workers can participate in company decisions, thus strengthening teamwork. In the same way, management software can be a good investment to facilitate the work together.

ESmart Recycling remote work meetings begin on Mondays when the work plan for the week is discussed. The Zoom application design means that 4 people can be connected at the same time and develop ideas. For communications with fewer participants, we apply Facetime or WhatsApp Video Call

  • 4.- Don’t let professional improvement take a backseat

Supporting the learning and intellectual development of workers is something that benefits everyone. Employees must acquire invaluable skills so that owners can retain better talent.

Investing in a learning management system (LMS) that is accessible from anywhere is a great start. An LMS software enables HR teams to upload training courses, ranging from improving Office skills to learning effective leadership practices.

As a company that highly empathizes with education, at eSmart Recycling training our staff is a priority. Our workers have the power to tell us what they want to learn, when, and with whom. These requests are received by our Administrative Department who then discusses them with the General Management for final approval.

  • 5.- Formalize distance work policies

The freedom to work anywhere can be a bit overwhelming. To keep your employees on the same page, establish remote work policies that provide structures on a day-to-day basis. This will allow them to have a tangible connection to your organization and show them that they have privileges and responsibilities.

These structured policies must address issues such as hours, profitability, and confidentiality and from the beginning, the boss must establish the communication standards that must be followed in this type of virtual meeting.

Each of our work meetings is characterized by having a specific structure: number of points to be discussed, workers and participating bosses, and duration. Having a work scheme that allows participation without compromising production has become an important achievement for eSmart Recycling.

  • 6.- Create remote leaders

It is difficult for managers to constantly supervise their employees remotely and even more so to lead them. A Harvard Business Review survey found that 40% of supervisors do not feel confident to manage remotely, making their team feel insecure.

Human Resources has a duty to train its managers to handle virtual work and engage their environment. It is not only the moral support that matters but that the workers have the appropriate resources to execute it.

Online meetings are not only to check job progress but can also be spaces to discuss the benefits of remote work.

A good leader gets his message across from any platform. At eSmart Recycling, we have taken this “distant” reality as a challenge so that our message, which is the recycling and reuse of electronic devices, gets closer to people’s hearts.

  • 7.- Involve employees with fun activities

Spontaneous interactions are very easy when the same physical space is shared, but can this be brought virtual? Yes, of course. As the boss, you can organize a weekly video call where your team brews cups of coffee and informally talks about their day. This can be a fresh break from the fast pace of work.

You can also create a happy hour at the end of the day or play games online. Bringing employees together in a fun way further strengthens the sense of community from a distance.

Keeping a sense of humor or sharing hobbies are some of the ways we at Smart Recycling can connect as a group outside of work. We know that doing something we like releases dopamine, the hormone of creativity, making us better workers.

  • 8.- Support mental health

Working from home can affect the emotional stability of workers. The micromanagement of bosses and the little autonomy that this generates can trigger diseases such as depression, bipolarity, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Suffering stress from work is so damaging that it costs American employers a quarter of a million dollars a year.

Ensuring and promoting the mental health of employees combats burnout and keeps them happy. It’s important to make sure your workers have time off and attend therapy if needed.

Human Resources are vital in this process. Through various programs, they can promote healthy habits among the team such as getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating nutritious food.

Self-awareness also helps employees engage with their feelings and act more calmly in difficult situations. By practicing these habits frequently they will become great mechanisms for strengthening concentration. As a manager, you can contact a mindfulness expert to organize a workshop on how to do it or give your team a free subscription to a meditation app.

They could also start a “healthy habits challenge” to motivate workers to take care of themselves. This can be done with recognition software integrated with a wellness platform in which employees receive reward points when they meditate, exercise, or spend time with their family.

Mental health is essential for the operation of our company. At eSmart Recycling we prioritize the well-being of our workers, making sure that they work hours that do not trigger burnout and that they can be constantly checked by a specialist in psychology.

  • 9.- Celebrate achievements virtually

Working online does not negate the need to honor team achievements. Acknowledging employee success raises morale and metaphorically prevents disconnection. Workers’ birthdays and work anniversaries can be celebrated through the intranet; This would allow other colleagues to also join in the congratulations with public comments.

Managers can participate in these recognitions by celebrating those workers who complete professional training, make a good sale or execute an important project. It is important that these celebrations are personalized so that the honoree feels special.

Praising our workers for the wonderful work they do is a command at eSmart Recycling. Celebrating birthdays, parenthoods, or graduations for this team makes us more than a company, it makes us family.

  • 10.- Flexibility for time and place of work

Leaning on the innate flexibility of telecommuting can empower your team. Some people work very well from home, while others prefer to work in coffee shops or libraries.

Giving employees the ability not only to choose their hours but where they want to work can increase their creativity. It even influences the economy, as remote work allows people to choose to work in a city where the cost of living is lower and thus better support their families.

A work-from-anywhere policy means that employees can move to areas with a lower cost of living or somewhere closer to their family. Giving your employees the freedom to choose where to work can boost morale and creativity.

Times have changed and priorities have changed. Leading a life in which flexibility has no place is no longer possible. At eSmart Recycling we are workers, but we are also parents, spouses, children, and neighbors. With schedules agreed between the CEO and the team, we are making God’s timing perfect.

  • 11.- Remote incorporation must be unforgettable

Companies put a lot of effort into making the entry of a new worker something memorable. Incorporating it from a distance shouldn’t change that. Making new hires feel at home, even in a virtual environment, is a must to keep them on the team.

In a face-to-face context, an individual spends his first days getting to know his colleagues at the office. From a virtual mode, Human Resources can make video calls so that the new member can meet their peers and their bosses formally. Dynamics like “questions and answers” are perfect for breaking the ice.

You have to take the time so that workers know their responsibilities well, but also know what the benefits of belonging to your company are. Interactive incorporation to continue participating in future company events. it will thrill your potential linchpin.

At eSmart Recycling, we know how exciting it is to start a job. An email from our CEO begins a tour in which they are officially welcomed and told about the history of our company. Then through our Drive, we began to communicate and exchange ideas about what we will do that week in each of the departments.

The most recent members of our team have had an unprecedented virtual welcome, which has not stopped being warm for the cold times we are living in.

Source: https://www.business2community.com/human-resources/11-tips-for-remote-employee-engagement-0240390

Carmen María Cermeño
Carmen María Cermeño

Journalist/ Digital Curator

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