With the current pandemic, most employers deal with a remote it team. With almost the whole workforce working remotely, it becomes extremely important to keep them engaged and motivated.
Engaged employees do not work just to collect their pay cheques at the end of the month. Instead, they get to work excited and are ready to go the extra mile.
Did you know?
- Only 15% of employees are engaged in the workplace, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace research
- Disengaged employees are 12 times more likely to leave their jobs over a one-year period than highly engaged employees, as found by Glint’s study
- Engaged employees are 21% more productive, according to Gallup research
How to Motivate and Engage Your Remote IT Team?
Remote work playbook
Setting clear expectations is the first thing you need to do if you want to ensure high engagement among your employees who are working from home. Do your employees know exactly what is expected of them while they work from home?
To make that clear for all your employees, you should institute a remote work policy or so-called “remote work playbook”. This is a document that explains how your company implements remote work.
Remote work playbook should provide clear guidelines for:
Are there strict working hours or you allow your employees to work whenever they want? At what time of the day should your employees be available online and through which channels?
Regular (online) meetings
Do you have some regular daily, weekly, or monthly meetings your employees should attend?
What communication channels and tools do you use? Are you using different communication channels and tools for different purposes?
Who can your employees turn to for help if they have any difficulties and challenges related to remote work?
Regular check-ins with your employees are a must when you are working remotely. These regular check-ins will ensure that your remote teams are on the same page regarding their work duties. However, these meetings will also create a sense of togetherness.
The best practice is to have a daily team or department check-ins, weekly coordination meetings, and monthly all-hands meetings. Make sure your team leaders also keep their regular one-on-one meetings as well.
Fun video meetings
Chances are your employees will have to attend a lot of video calls and meetings while working remotely. That’s understandable because face-to-face communication is the fastest and easiest way to get all your remote team members on the same page.
However, if you want to keep your employees engaged during your video meetings, make sure not to schedule them too often. Video meetings should be reserved for discussion and urgent issues and they should only involve people who have something to contribute to them.
Each of your video meetings needs to have a clear purpose and well-defined agenda that is shared in advance before the meeting starts, so everyone can come prepared. It is also a good idea to have a dedicated timekeeper and facilitator. Make sure you rotate these roles and give each of your team members a chance to run a meeting!
Online team buildings
While you should always consider organizing onsite team buildings if possible, don’t underestimate the power of online team buildings. Online versions of team buildings can be just as effective! Some people even prefer them because they are more convenient and provide the same sense of togetherness, fun and enjoyment.
There are many different online activities and games you can use to help your remote employees get to know one another and build stronger connections. What type of team building you should organize should be directed by your company culture and your employees’ wishes. Considering suggesting a few options and asking your remote it team to choose the one they prefer.
Here are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Company culture workshop
- Online board games
- Gaming session
- Karaoke or movie night
Online knowledge sharing sessions
According to scientific research, knowledge sharing significantly and positively affects employee engagement. Knowledge sharing among employees enables them to grow at both person and group level, thus driving productivity and innovation.
Sharing knowledge in the workplace is the process of sharing expertise, information and skills among employees in a company. This process will happen relatively spontaneously when employees are working side by side, but when employees are working remotely, you need to put in some effort to structure it.
Here are a few good practices that will help you start online knowledge sharing sessions:
- Mentoring program
- Webinar watching
- Book club
- Problem-solving workshops
- Discussion group
- Monthly presentation or a talk
Online recognition ritual
Recognition not only boosts individual employee engagement, but it also has been found to increase productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention. The most effective recognition is honest, authentic, and individualized to each employee.
Therefore, it is essential that you institute an online recognition system for your remote employees. There are many ways to do it, but you could start with something very simple and free.
Create a kudos channel on the Teams or any other messaging chat you use. Lead by example and start using it to celebrate wins and recognize good work. This online recognition ritual is well accepted by introverts as well, according to Red Shift’s experience.
Friday close-off meetings
When we work on-site, leaving the office symbolizes the end of the workday and workweek. However, when you are working and chilling at the same place, it isn’t so easy to maintain boundaries between working and resting.
Thus, it comes as no surprise that a comprehensive State of Remote Work 2020 research conducted by Buffer has found that the third biggest challenge of remote employees is unplugging from work. This is a very serious problem because staying plugged in means your employees aren’t able to rest, which will eventually lead to burnout. To prevent it, you could start company-wide so-called Friday close off meetings.
At the end of the workday on each Friday, gather your team for a short, half an hour video meeting. Use it to acknowledge the work you have done during the week, celebrate your wins and share plans for the weekend.
As an experienced and trusted outstaffing partner, we are used working with kind of circumstances. We can tell you everything you need to know how to work with a remite it team to help you boost your online business. Call us at +31 853 012 993, or click here to visit our website. We are looking forward at the opportunity to create just the perfect situation for you. Together we can make your (online) business a success!