To limit the spread of COVID-19, many companies have transitioned to remote work setups for the time being. Thus, employees who have become accustomed to conducting face-to-face meetings in the office now find themselves in a plethora of chatrooms and virtual meetings with their superiors and teammates. If you are a team leader or manager, you’ve likely noticed that work-from-home arrangements have one large drawback: a decline in employee engagement.

Indeed, remote work setups can make it more difficult for employees to feel connected to their colleagues. That said, you may be wondering how to keep your team members engaged and enthusiastic even when you’re not physically in the same room as them. Fortunately, with a little adjustment and a lot of communication, you can increase team engagement even in a virtual setting. Here’s how:

Sign Your Team Members Up for Online Training

Just because in-person training sessions aren’t currently feasible doesn’t mean that your staff has to stop learning. Getting further education and developing one’s professional skills are some of the best ways to make employees feel like they belong in the company. Letting them take different online classes (such as time management courses) not only helps them grow but also improves their job performance. Investing in their training also shows them that they are important assets to the company, which can encourage them to always give their best efforts every day.

Encourage Employees to Turn Their Video Cameras on During Meetings

Now more than ever, you should make sure to maintain regular meetings with your team, as they give your employees some much-needed social interaction. If you can, ask everyone to turn their video cameras on during said meetings. Not only can this motivate people to look decent and be present, but it can also make them feel more connected with each other. You’ll also discourage them from attending meetings from their beds or bathrooms.

Have Casual Meetings Every So Often

Though it’s important to maintain professionalism with colleagues, try to keep things casual and lighthearted every once in a while. Otherwise, employees may tune out if everything seems to revolve around nothing but work. Additionally, adjusting to a work-from-home setup is not always easy, especially when you have team members who simply work better in an office setting.

Hence, make it a point to check in regularly with your employees, especially during break times. For instance, you may want to invite them for a short call over coffee. Simple activities like these can help them feel like they belong to the team and the company. Truly, actions like these remind employees that there are people in the company who do care about them, which may mean more to them than you might think.

Have Your Team Members Work Together

Letting your employees collaborate on different tasks allows them to bond and develop their skills. If you have team members who have leadership roles, encourage them to work more closely with their colleagues on different projects. Doing so can lighten your own workload, as you’ll get fewer enquiries sent your way if your other team members are more than capable of answering them on your behalf.

That said, the managers in your team should be knowledgeable about leading a remote team, even if they only handle their respective departments. Should you feel that they’re lacking certain skills for the job, hire an executive coach to train them.

Offer Opportunities and Incentives for Growth

Many remote employees feel disconnected from their work because they believe that they’re stuck. Others may be worried that they’ll never get a chance to climb up the corporate ladder. If your company is different, prove that to them by offering them the right support to encourage their professional growth.

Hence, take the time to recognise your team’s efforts and advocate for their needs whenever possible. If a new position opens up in your company, encourage eligible team members to apply for it. You can even send your superiors a recommendation to back them up.

Organise Real-life Meetings

Nothing beats connecting with someone in real life. Given this, it’s extremely beneficial to encourage face-to-face interactions with your team every once in a while. For example, you can try renting a hotel for a short retreat for some much-needed relaxation and fun for the team and setting aside time for a get-together. These activities are great for team building and highly effective at helping everyone in the team grow closer to each other.

Though working from home has become the new normal, it’s still more than possible to boost employee engagement if you know what you’re doing. With the right technology and constant communication, you can help your team members feel valued and appreciated even if you aren’t in the same room as them.

Are you looking to improve your team’s engagement while working from home? Then check out our work from home courses in this link.