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Simple strategies to keep employees engaged while remote working

With remote working now the new norm, businesses are focusing on how to keep employees engaged and feeling connected with less and less physical facetime.

We all hope to enjoy our work, to be happy at work, and maybe we are. But that doesn't mean we're engaged at work. Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee feels for an organisation and its goals.

To be genuinely engaged brings about that little extra something known as discretionary effort - we go just that little bit further, try that little bit harder - because we feel a connection with our company and are invested in delivering great outcomes.

And that extra effort in time, enthusiasm and initiative contribute to companies performing 4x times stronger in overall profits than those that don’t invest in their employees' engagement (Gallup).

Yet Gallup claims that 'engaged employees are rare' - that only 34% of US workers feel engaged at work and a disturbingly low 13% of employees worldwide.

But it's more than that.

Converting disengaged employees to become engaged can be the catalyst for significant change and growth for an organisation and for employees as individuals.

It can improve profitability and even workplace safety. And of course, it improves the experience of your customers, so it seems obvious that building a workforce of engaged employees should be a key goal of every organisation.

Here are some of the steps you can consider to increase employee engagement:

  1. Show appreciation and recognition
    • Provide individual attention with regular 1:1 catch-ups.
    • Enable more online communication and feedback channels to promote team and individual wins, milestones and words of encouragement.
  2. Enable career progression
    • Invest in people with training and development opportunities that can be completed both physically and virtually.
    • Develop flexible work practices that can support working parents and diverse levels of mental and physical abilities. This can include work-from-home (WFH) policies, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), and gender-neutral parental leave policies.
    • Provide a clear organisational chart and make the time to discuss potential pathways.
  3. Foster a culture of community
    • Empower employees with easy access to the organisation’s vision and information.
    • Encourage employees to virtually share stories, photos and videos.
    • Enable collaboration by providing a digital platform for your employees to build working communities centred on best practice or personal interest.

These are all things that can help create engaged employees and encourage them to feel that what they do is important and of value.

Many of these initiatives can be implemented through an effective modern intranet and digital workplace with a key focus on the employee experience. If done well, a modern intranet can play a central role in fostering a company culture of open communication, knowledge sharing and collaboration.

It can open new two-way channels of communication that connect employees and empower them through access to updated information and resources across the organisation. It should also enable you to cut through the noise with personalised and relevant communication. This keeps employees engaged and aligning their individual goals with the organisation's top-level objectives.

We believe every employee deserves a great experience at work - that exists within the physical and digital workplace - no matter where they are, or where they fit in the organisational chart. And those employees are the ones who will give you that little extra something - the commitment, enthusiasm and discretionary effort that you need to help your organisation thrive.

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