COVID-19: Tips for Tracking Remote Work Employee Engagement
For employers, the coronavirus pandemic presents a number of challenges large and small—including remote work implementation. In fact, it’s safe to say that the largest work-from-home trial in American history took place during almost all of 2020 and the first part of 2021. This change in operations comes with its own set of tests, but with a few tips and tricks, you can keep employees engaged with the team and their tasks, even from the comfort of their own homes.
Refresher: What is Employee Engagement, and Why is it Important?
Employee engagement is driven by company culture and involves the state of a worker’s opinion of their employer, as well as towards their role, position within the organization, colleagues, and more.
It's important to gauge and monitor employee engagement because teammates who are motivated are generally more productive in their jobs. A person’s passion for the company, their role within that company, and their coworkers are vital markers of strong employee engagement.
What is Tracking Employee Remote Work Engagement Difficult for Employers?
While convenient for many—especially during a global pandemic—remote work can be challenging for both employers and employees.
Employees may struggle with any of the following issues:
- Unreliable internet connections
- Cramped or distracting environments
- Roommate and family stressors
- Lack of instruction or direction
- Diminished motivation
On the other hand, employers and managers may struggle with any of the following issues:
- Keeping track of employee productivity
- Fewer in-person touch points between managers and direct reports
- Little to no real-time coaching opportunities
- Diminished team cohesion
- Project coordination hiccups
- Compliance errors
Employers should also note that monitoring staff requires more than simply implementing a system and leaving it alone. There are positives, negatives, legal considerations, and more that organizations need to keep in mind as they search for the appropriate employee monitoring solution for their team.
How Can Employers Track Employee Engagement Remotely?
Every office is different, and every employee is different. Some techniques, tips, and tactics may work for some and not for others. If you'd like to learn more about how to solve these issues and communicate updates to your team, review the following HR Party of One video:
With this in mind, a few key solutions can help any employer get started with remote work engagement for the short- and long-term. These include:
- Consider a Productivity Monitoring Tool: Whether tracking time or employee productivity, a monitoring tool like Hubstaff, RoboHead, or Time Doctor can provide managers with coaching opportunities throughout the day—much like in an in-person office environment.
- Invest in an HRIS: Streamline all of your administrative needs with an all-in-one human resources information system (HRIS) platform. This will help you easily maintain and administer benefits, PTO, new hire applicant tracking, and other operations that keep the organization running.
- Evaluate Other Technology Solutions: Select a long-term video conferencing platform (like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams), additional security measures (like VPN and multi-factor authentication), and easily transportable laptops. Remote work becomes much more challenging without these simple setups.
- Implement Routine Video Calls: Less about keeping people honest and more about face-to-face human interaction, routine video calls keep your team engaged and communicating outside of email.
- Implement Routine All-Team Calls: Keep your employees informed and in touch with all of your organization’s latest need-to-know info. These regular calls also provide structure and normalcy for your team.
- Invest in Your Culture: Remote happy hours, lunch hours, shelter-in-place buddies, and more can help keep your employees involved in the team’s culture so that when everyone does return to the office, you haven’t missed a beat.
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