With remote work here to stay, business leaders and managers will have to navigate an entirely new landscape of motivating their employees. Employee engagement and motivation not only affect recruitment, turnover, and employee satisfaction numbers - it is good for business.
According to a study by Gallup, highly engaged teams often show a 21% higher return in profitability. Companies that prioritize employee engagement and motivation saw a 41% reduction in absenteeism and an overwhelming 59% drop in employee turnover.
However, it is also well documented that lower employee motivation and engagement levels are a commonly cited challenge facing remote workers today. Creating a team that works together and trusts each other is equally important as having the right remote working tools in place - if not more so.
To get employees talking and interacting with their colleagues beyond the scope of their jobs, introduce conversation catalysts like a common team hobby or team game. Virtual games like a quiz night or virtual board games are easily done on a video call. As a bonus, video conferencing activities can encourage teambuilding through face-to-face interaction. According to a Remote. co study, 87% of employees feel more connected with the use of video conferencing.
Alternatively, you can introduce a training course for learning a new skill. If you have employees interested in instrumental music like the piano or experience writing music, signing them up for a music masterclass - a type of course taught by significant artists - can be a great idea. Along with encouraging teambuilding with the help of an instrumental music video workshop, employees can learn how to connect their part [or role in a remote or hybrid team] in a musical activity to the overall musical collaboration. Finally, a recent publication from Personnel Today claims that employees with musical skills tend to be better at critical listening, improving their concentration, and job performance.
Employee isolation and loneliness are often a concern for remote working teams. Some employees may struggle to maintain the perfect work/life balance, while others may miss the dynamics of working in-office. This, in turn, can negatively impact employee motivation levels and their connection to colleagues.
If you have team members who prefer a group environment, managers can schedule weekly co-working sessions with the help of video conferencing software like Zoom, Skype, or Slack. Also, consider introducing a hybrid model in which team members can work remotely some days and come into the office others. Creating one or both of these models means employees can still work but also feel like they have their colleagues around.
The end of the workweek is always welcomed by employees - both in the office and remotely. It is a chance for them to log off, enjoy time off, and refresh before beginning again. Most offices encourage employee motivation initiatives on Fridays, such as casual Fridays, employee lunches, or weekly karaoke nights. While these are not possible for remote teams, managers can still introduce a virtual alternative, such as a Post-A-Meme challenge, joke or riddle competition, or topic of the week discussion. To do this, create a dedicated social channel on your remote working software like Slack or Microsoft Teams.
Acting as a virtual break room, this channel can encourage team members to bond over positive news outside of work and share aspects of their personalities. It is also an opportunity to set friendly team challenges, like a steps challenge or fantasy football league. This allows your team a chance to bond over a common goal while getting to know each other.
Keeping your remote and hybrid teams engaged and connected is vital to the success of your company. Simple, tailored teambuilding activities like these can go a long way in helping managers create a cohesive and collaborative team.