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Why remote employees need extra attention to stay engaged

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If you’re not keeping remote employees engaged, you’re doing yourself a disservice, because disengaged employees cost organizations yearly $550 billion in productivity losses. Worse, workers that are psychologically unattached and who put time, not passion into their work, make 2.5 less revenue.

Keeping remote staff satisfied is not something that comes naturally to most businesses. In fact, Gallup found that in 2019, the percentage of engaged workers in the U.S is around 35%. But there are ways to keep your remote workers highly involved and committed to their work.

Help remote employees feel connected. When you enter the digital nomad lifestyle, you get to enjoy quite a few perks. Your schedule can be flexible and you can get rid of the pesky commute.

At the same time, working remotely comes with struggles, especially when it comes to connecting with peers and the organization as a whole. Based on a Harvard Business Review study, remote employees are more likely to feel shunned and left out compared to regular staff.

It’s a good idea to use robust project management tech to ensure everyone on the team is working toward the same goals and is aligned on day-to-day tasks. For complex projects, you can use Asana or Jira, and if you need something for less heavy-duty action, you can utilize Trello.

Additionally, make a point to run regular one-on-ones with remote employees to keep them in the loop and gauge how they are doing within their roles. A recurring 30-min weekly meeting with each remote team member will do the trick.

Give meaningful recognition. You need to give meaningful recognition to your remote staff. If they don't get positive feedback for their significant contributions, they are likely to lose steam and start to feel like their work is being taken for granted.

But sometimes, things can fall through the cracks. Based on Gallup’s findings, only a third of employees had received praise in the past week. Worse, most employees feel their direct managers routinely ignore their best efforts.

Set up a #kudos channel in Slack to call out remote employees’ contributions on a team-wide scale. Another option is to leverage Bonusly, which is a powerful recognition tool that lets highlight remote staffers' wins and encourage frequent and timely recognition.

Finally, one of the most powerful ways to show appreciation and give visibility to remote employees' contributions is via a shoutout on LinkedIn, Twitter, or even Facebook.

Pave the way for growth. Based on the LinkedIn 2018 Workplace Learning Report, an eye-popping 94% of employees say they would stay with their employer longer if they invested in their career development. But more than a third of employees don't believe that their organization helps them advance their careers effectively. If your remote employees feel they've hit a plateau, they're likely to grow disengaged and become more receptive to alternative employment opportunities.

It's in your best interest to provide remote staff with robust opportunities for professional growth and development:

  • Provide online courses. Online learning platforms like Coursera or Futurelearn will let them soak up the knowledge from the comfort of their home.
  • Provide mentorship opportunities. If some of your remote workers struggle to keep up with their day-to-day work, hiring a mentor will help them get up to speed.
  • Send them to a conference or a meetup. Such events typically offer opportunities to learn new and useful skills.
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