Remote work has been on the rise in recent years and the trend is only expected to continue. While there are many advantages to working remotely such as flexibility, the ability to work from anywhere, and improved work-life balance, there are also some challenges, particularly when it comes to employee engagement. With remote employees scattered across different locations, it can be difficult for them to feel connected, engaged and valued.
As a manager, it is important to find ways to keep employees engaged and motivated, help them feel part of the team, and create a sense of community. This article will explore 10 unique engagement ideas that managers can implement to make sure their remote employees feel valued and part of the team, and ultimately, increase their productivity.
Virtual Guessing Games
Virtual guessing games are a fun and effective way to engage remote employees. They can be organized around a theme such as “Guess the Baby Picture” or “Guess the Employee’s Pet”. Employees can submit their pictures in advance and during the game session, other employees will guess which employee each picture belongs to. The employee with the most correct answers wins the game.
This game is an opportunity for employees to get to know each other beyond their job functions and opens up opportunities to chat with each other afterwards. It is an easy and accessible way for them to have a good laugh and bond with their colleagues.
Virtual Happy Hours
One of the best ways to connect with colleagues in an office environment is over a drink after work. However, remote work presents a challenge when it comes to socializing. Virtual happy hours eliminate this challenge by creating an environment where remote employees can share stories and ideas over a drink or two. Managers can organize virtual happy hours on a regular basis, or they can be spontaneous events.
Virtual happy hours are a great way to destress and unwind from a busy workday, and provide an opportunity for employees to get to know their colleagues outside of regular work-related conversations. It is also an opportunity for managers to show their employees appreciation and boost morale.
Virtual Guest Speakers
Inviting a guest speaker to address remote employees on topics related to their industry is another engaging idea. This can be done through a virtual platform where the guest can share their experiences, offer advice, and answer questions from employees. The speakers can come from different industries and can offer different perspectives.
This activity gives remote employees the chance to learn and connect with people from related fields, which can broaden their knowledge and understanding of their industry. It also provides them with the opportunity to ask questions and get feedback directly from an expert in the field.
Virtual Book Clubs
A virtual book club can be set up to encourage remote employees to read and discuss books that are relevant to their industry or that they find interesting. This can take place once a month and employees can participate through a virtual meeting platform. Employees can share their thoughts and ideas about the book in a virtual meeting once a month.
This activity can create a learning-oriented culture where employees can engage with each other intellectually and learn new things. It provides an environment for employees to discuss new ideas and share their thoughts and reflections about their work.
Pairing remote workers with mentors can be a great way to improve engagement, build bonds between colleagues, and help employees feel a sense of connection with their co-workers. Virtual mentoring can be arranged in either an informal or formal structure, where employees can offer structured, one-on-one coaching or participate in virtual group mentoring sessions with employees from different levels and departments.
Virtual mentoring provides a platform for mentees to learn from experienced mentors, and for mentors to provide guidance, advice and support. It strengthens the bonds between employees and encourages a culture of professional development.
Virtual Volunteer Events
Virtual volunteering events are a great way for remote employees to engage in their communities and contribute to society. Companies can collaborate with non-profit organizations to create volunteering opportunities where employees can use their skills to volunteer for a day and contribute to a worthy cause.
This activity provides employees with an opportunity to do something positive for their community and can create a sense of pride and accomplishment. It is an excellent way to show employees they work for a company with values, and to highlight the importance of giving back to society.
Virtual Game Tournaments
Virtual game tournaments provide a fun and engaging environment where remote employees can connect and bond with each other. These tournaments can range from video games to board games, and employees can form teams with one another to compete against each other in a fun and engaging environment.
Virtual game tournaments encourage healthy competition among employees and build camaraderie among team members. It provides employees with a chance to destress and get their competitive juices flowing.
Virtual Team Building Activities
Virtual team building activities are an important part of keeping remote employees connected and engaged. These activities should be designed to encourage teamwork, improve communication, and build trust among team members. Managers can use icebreakers, trivia games, brainstorming sessions, and other activities to help employees connect.
Virtual team building activities encourage employees to interact with each other in a fun and relaxed way. It facilitates relationship building and helps to create a sense of community within the organization.
Virtual Fitness Classes
It is essential for remote employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance, and fitness plays an important role in maintaining good health. Virtual fitness classes can be organized through a subscription model and can include activities such as yoga, Pilates, or meditation.
Virtual fitness classes provide employees with an opportunity to stay fit and healthy, and to interact with colleagues who share similar interests. It encourages healthy behaviors, which can translate into better work performance and productivity.
Virtual Awards and Recognition
Recognizing and appreciating the hard work of remote employees is essential. Virtual award ceremonies can be organized to recognize exceptional work, which can promote healthy team dynamics and create a feeling of appreciation for remote workers. It incentivizes employees to continue working hard and motivates them to do better.
Virtual award ceremonies serve to recognize the hard work and dedication of remote employees, and provide a platform for sharing successes and accomplishments. It also provides an opportunity for managers to recognize remote employees who may otherwise be overlooked.
In conclusion, remote work has become an increasingly popular work model, and managers need to develop strategies to engage their remote employees. These ideas offer a starting point for managers to engage their teams, in ways that are both fun and productive. Ultimately, investing in employee engagement can lead to more productive and happier workers, which benefits both the employees and the organization as a whole.