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3 Effective Changes Small Businesses Can Make to Increase Remote Employee Engagement

As the Covid-19 pandemic left businesses with little choice other than to accelerate their digital transformation efforts at a rapid rate, traditional office-based roles changed in structure dramatically overnight. Today, as more decision-makers come to terms with remote work, ensuring employee motivation and engagement is a key priority. 

The rapid shift from office to work-from-home (WFH) environments came with widespread concerns for employers. Remote work had largely been untested by many of the companies that quickly became reliant on WFH employees, and many businesses feared that drops in productivity would follow such a significant organizational change. 

Despite concerns surrounding productivity, we can see that a recent Microsoft survey of 9,000 managers found that the majority of respondents believed that their employees were either equally as productive or more productive in comparison to their in-house work rates. 

There may be many reasons for this, but the lack of a commute and the comfort of working at home may have a positive impact on avoiding burnout whilst encouraging individuals to work to their deadlines – rather than leaving the office at the end of the day to complete their tasks later on.

Despite evidence of increased productivity, we can see that matters of engagement and work ethic rank high among managers of remote teams. Whilst we have reason to believe that WFH employees work more, it’s harder to gauge their motivation and engagement in their workflows. 

According to a Microsoft survey of 30,000 employees, as many as 41% of respondents claimed that they were considering quitting their job or changing professions – whilst 38% stated that they intended to quit within the coming six months. 

Such figures suggest that employers may be right to fear a lack of employee focus when on the job. But how can businesses keep their staff engaged when they’re working from home? Fortunately, there are a number of actionable quick fixes that can be explored. Let’s take a look at three easy-to-implement options below: 

1. Introduce Gamification to Workflows

One of the most effective ways of ensuring that employees feel part of their company, even whilst working entirely remotely, is through implementing gamification strategies into their everyday roles. 

Gamification involves applying game-playing elements to nongame environments, and it’s already become a popular method for companies looking to encourage new customer loyalty and engagement through an enjoyable experience. Now, businesses are increasingly looking to add competitions and awards for activities as a means of building employee engagement. 

Tony Ventrice, senior product manager at Whil, recently claimed in Business News Daily that “employees need to feel included as if they are part of a team.” 

“Team-based goals and competitions help build a sense of collaboration and cooperation. Teams can be based on function or location, with the key goal being inclusion in striving towards a common objective,” Ventrice added.

Another benefit of this approach is that game-based performance management systems can help to better monitor and standardize performance metrics and evaluation criteria. Fundamentally, the approach can be a way of helping remote employees to feel better aligned with company culture, and to immerse themselves directly in the businesses’ operations whilst potentially working in teams.

2. Empower your Presentations

Another challenge for employers is to convey important information in a way that resonates with employees. Transitioning from in-house presentations to remote screen sharing slides can be difficult, and video conferencing platforms can be an extremely difficult place for employers to measure engagement effectively. 

However, there are many options for businesses that are looking to make their presentations more engaging with better content without wasting more time in developing high-quality slides and infographics. 

Platforms like Powered Template acts as a resource for businesses and individuals alike, and with a collection of over 25,000 pre-designed and 100% editable templates to download, it’s possible for companies to offer far greater levels of audience engagement without having to commit hours of time to develop winning designs. 

Furthermore, Powered Template has both a free and premium subscription service with plenty of options. This provides the flexibility that large and small endeavors may need to find the right designs without breaking the bank in the process. 

The platform also features infographic and data visualization templates, which can help businesses to share complex swathes of information in an easy-to-follow format in order to retain employee attention and understanding. 

3. Go Interactive

Finally, an essential way of ensuring that employees remain engaged in their company is by ensuring that their opinions, ideas, thoughts, and input is recorded. 

Whilst most communication avenues throughout business structures are static, meaning that many employees simply read, listen, or watch information in order to comprehend their duties, there’s nothing to stop employers from utilizing interactive content to encourage far greater levels of participation

By simply creating a quick poll, short employee survey, social media posts asking for engagement, and other requests for responses, it’s possible to keep employees actively communicating with their teams, managers, and the wider company. It can also help to drastically reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness whilst ensuring that staff feels as though they have an active input in the business. 

Although digital transformation has caught many businesses off-guard, it’s clear that there are a growing number of solutions that are encouraging employees to feel more involved and engaged in their working life. Through measured engagement efforts, it’s possible for businesses to meet their staff halfway and create a vibrant working culture that keeps all parties happy. 

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