Remote work has a long list of benefits: no commute, greater flexibility, work-life balance, and complete location independence. The biggest drawback? The option to go out for lunch together or chat about your weekend isn’t as available or appealing. Employees are often spread throughout the country or world, and small talk on a Zoom call just isn’t the same.
As an employer, it’s up to you to utilize employee engagement activities that keep people connected and in the loop. This allows you to create a positive company culture and focus on the overall well-being of your employees, not just their work productivity. We’ve compiled a list of activities you can try within your company!
Our top recommended employee engagement activities:
Surveys that lead to action
Feedback is key to getting the pulse on how employees are actually feeling. Consider sending surveys twice a year to hear what’s working and what’s not working for those in your company. Here’s a great list of possible questions that focus on employee engagement. We recommend including a line for employees to offer suggestions if they feel inclined.
But don’t stop there. Be sure to watch for patterns, especially in what’s not working, and consider the recommendations that employees make. Use this data to make policy and process changes. Your employees are going to share some insightful ideas, and turning their suggestions into action proves you value what they have to say.
Also, make sure surveys are anonymous so employees know they can be completely transparent without fear of backlash.
Quite possibly four of the scariest words in the English language are “We need to talk.” When you’re not in constant communication with your employees, a scheduled one-on-one can be terrifying. Providing regular feedback to those on your team provides a sense of security and ensures everyone is on the same page.
In fact, research shows, employees are 2.7 times more likely to be highly engaged when they believe they’ll be recognized for their work. Employee engagement, productivity, and customer service are about 14% higher where recognition occurs compared to where it doesn’t. And 82% of people are happier when they’re recognized at work.
But be intentional about offering up praise and recognition. General "thank you's", although well intended, rarely leave a lasting impact.
For bonus points: Create the opportunity for employees to ‘shout-out’ each others’ accomplishments for even more positive feedback.
Fireside chats or newsletters
Keep employees up to date on company happenings with weekly meetings or newsletters. Use either method as a way to highlight professional and personal happenings. Discuss new clients and marketing strategies, but also announce birthdays and personal accomplishments. Be sure to keep meetings brief and to the point.
For bonus points: Create a stream in your digital communication tool for employees to share big (and small) events in their lives.
For bonus bonus points: If you choose to use weekly meetings, establish them as ‘walking meetings’ and encourage employees to take walks (even if it’s just laps around their home) for some movement during their work day.
Without the right precautions, remote work can become extremely isolating extremely quickly. In the office, employees have a chance to form personal relationships, but this can be challenging in a remote setting. Host virtual events where any talk of work is strictly banned. Prepare two off-the-wall questions for everyone to answer. Be sure to share them ahead of time so individuals can think about their answer. Plan a virtual game as well, whether it’s an themed scavenger hunt or a Pictionary competition for teams.
For bonus points: Plan the event during working hours so employees aren’t giving up personal time and evenings with their families.
Once a month, use lunchtime for an industry-focused conversation. Invite a business expert to come and speak, watch and discuss a relevant TED talk, or host a book club. You can also use this time for cross-training, giving employees the chance to share exactly what their job entails (hello, excellent team-building!).
For bonus points: If you really want to go all out, consider how you can treat your remote employees to a meal for your learning lunches, such as offering a DoorDash or UberEats gift card.
A wellness challenge is an incredible tool for supporting the physical, mental, and social health of your employees. Ongoing challenges build comradery and increase employee retention. Encourage wellness activities that promote overall health, such as movement-based challenges, rather than any sort of weight-related challenges.
For bonus points: Use Terryberry's wellness program for an activity challenge that everyone enjoys and check out these tips for boosting engagement in your wellness program.
If you'd like help getting started, contact us today. Weather you're interested in implementing an employee recognition program, wellness program, or both, Terryberry can help! Schedule a demo with our team to see how Terryberry can transform your organization's recognition and employee incentive programs.