This at home new work style has made work relationships increasingly harder to maintain. For those of us that are completely remote, it's become a lonely work environment.
No more chit chat on your coffee break.
No more saying hi to your coworker you've become friends with to ask how their kids are doing.
No more team work meetings that make you leave feeling upbeat.
Social interaction for many can be a critical part of feeling included and wanting to work. When we feel like we belong, we are more confident and perform better. So how can you make your employees feel like they belong? Increase employee engagement.
Here are a few ways to increase employee engagement:
Recognition allows you to provide a personal, meaningful touchpoint, so that an individual can see what their unique contribution has to the business.
Kylie Terrell, author of an article about employee recognition wrote about this simple experience in which they were recognized in a small way for their efforts. "One of the most memorable moments of recognition I’ve received came from our former VP of Sales, who at the time was based all the way over in Boston. She sent a postcard to my home address, thanking me for my efforts over the quarter and more importantly my contribution to the team. I’ve never forgotten this simple but thoughtful gesture, and it made me feel like my work was truly valued."
Monetary rewards also have a place when someone has done over and above their normal tasks and a special thank you is in place.
Adapt and modify traditions.
Did you have monthly contests before? Keep them. Did you have a catered lunch for big presentations? Come up with an acceptable replacement.
Don't get rid of it, modify and roll with what you have.
Here's an idea for you, send your employees a coffee kit to let them have a coffee break on you.
Make check-ins personal.
Without seeing each other at the office, you're not given cues to pick up on how someone is doing unless you ask.
Have your managers set up 10 minute zoom calls with those downline. Encourage them to have personal contact with those they are over. You need to know how to best support your employees, and you do that by engaging with them.
When someone feels they belong, they participate. With rekindled connections, you'll see employees engage and be more present.