As companies shift from physical to remote working, it is more important now than ever to keep our teams engaged. Follow these expert tips to encourage teamwork, professional development, and healthy habits to promote a positive team culture
1 Why is engagement challenging?
Engaging remote teams requires a different set of knowledge and skills, and an approach that most team leaders are not accustomed to having never been faced with a situation like this before. The first step is to lead by example and demonstrate key principles of connectivity, organisation, solidarity, and work-life balance for the team to follow. Learn how top executives are rethinking engagement management during this period.
2 Engagement in virtual meetings
Keeping everyone’s attention alert is challenging in any meeting, but virtual platforms make the task even harder. Deloitte offers a series of best practices to keep people engaged online. First, choose the right format and technology to reach objectives. For example, consider MURAL or Retrium for brainstorming sessions and Conceptboard or Workplace for presentations. Second, allow plenty of openness for teams to collaborate and experiment. Third, keep meetings short and efficient, and remember to end them with a summary, actionable objectives, and allocate responsibilities.
3 Engagement in team building
In remote teams, thoughtful communication helps facilitate trust – an essential component in promoting virtual engagement. Encourage team members to get to know one another through coffee or lunch dates using conferencing tools like Google Hangouts or Discord. Support fun information exchanges, where each team member shares their best productivity hacks, time management tools, or best work-from-home playlist to cultivate a community spirit and maintain some form of unity that is taken away when we are not all in the office together. Here is a compilation of the top team building activities categorised by fun, impact, and effort required.
4 Engagement in long-term goals
Remote work presents fewer organic opportunities to discuss career growth within the company. Leaders should be aware of these limitations and be sure to schedule personal check-ins to answer questions, offer guidance, or listen to concerns. Even if a promotion is not possible, try to provide resources and constructive feedback to recognise employees’ desire to grow. Harvard Business Review offers a fantastic article on how to conduct performance reviews remotely.
5 Measuring engagement strategies
When using engagement practices, it is important to know if the processes are working. Begin by defining what engagement means to you using metrics such as recognition in the workplace, relationship with leadership, team alignment, and work-life balance. Once defined, test the waters with pulse surveys, one-on-one meetings, anonymous feedback, and Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) metrics. Show your team that you take their feedback seriously and use it to improve engagement strategies.