Ideas on Keeping Remote Employees Engaged
Managing a remote team comes with unique challenges, especially when it comes to keeping employees engaged and motivated. As a small team manager, it's essential to make sure your employees feel connected to their colleagues and invested in their work. Here are some ideas to keep your remote team engaged:
Hold virtual team-building activities using video conferencing platforms like Zoom. This will help foster a sense of community among your employees. Find plugins for your video platform that allows for games or other activities.
Encourage open communication and ensure employees have the necessary tools and resources. Be proactive in this -- many will not ask for more resources or training as they might think it's not a possibility.
Create a virtual water cooler area where employees can chat and share information about their personal interests outside work. Use whatever tool you currently use to create a persistent "meeting" where people can jump in/out of the room, like a virtual coffee shop. Development teams usually have systems in place to manage assigned technical work, e.g. JIRA, Github. However, also encourage people to leverage personal knowledge management and collaboration tools like Notion or Obsidian to help individuals and teams stay on top of current trends, their professional learning, and team info sharing.
Schedule regular one-on-one meetings with each employee to provide feedback and discuss their professional development. While many will not bring topics to the meeting, encourage this. Have regular discussions about team dynamics, working norms, and team bottlenecks. The biggest takeaway for a manager is follow-up action on anything discussed that needs attention. If action is not taken in a timely manner, employees will start to feel their needs are going unheard.
Encourage your team to take breaks and to practice self-care. Remote work can cause burnout, so it's essential to foster healthy habits. Add a check in about this to regular 1:1 meetings to catch early warning signs.
By implementing these strategies, you can ensure your remote team stays engaged, productive, and happy. What strategies has your small team used to keep remote employees engaged? Share them in the comments below!
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