With remote employees up to two times less engaged than their traditional counterparts, ensuring your remote team members feel included is crucial to your workplace culture. Here, we cover the top five ways to make remote employees feel included. These strategies and an overall positive workplace environment can increase your employees’ engagement and drive up productivity. Without further ado, let’s look at the five best ways to make remote employees feel included.
1. Keep the Conversation Moving
With much remote communication happening on email or Slack, keeping remote employees engaged is imperative. That way, you avoid dead Slack channels and keep your team members connected to one another virtually.
In a physical workplace, employees would talk to one another during their breaks, when talking about tasks, or during lunch breaks. However, with the rise of virtual workspaces, employees have less time and opportunity to converse with one another casually. That means it's much harder for team members to connect, leading to less engaged team members and less cooperation overall.
One way to keep the conversation moving is using a social prompt generator like CultureBot’s virtual watercooler. This program automatically generates prompts to improve employee engagement and help connect team members. If you’re sick of trying to prompt conversation only to be met with a silent Slack channel, this add-on can help.
By encouraging team members to talk to one another in specific Slack channels, you drive engagement and create opportunities for better teamwork and more cohesive workplace connections. This, in turn, connects remote employees with their jobs, leading to a positive workplace environment and overall productivity.
2. Acknowledge Accomplishments
Acknowledging employee accomplishments can go a long way toward engagement and making your team members feel included. From a job well done to going above and beyond for the office, team members who get acknowledgment for their work feel more engaged and included in the daily office happenings.
One way to port employee shoutouts to the remote workplace is through Slack shoutouts. You can shout out employees who went above and beyond, and by allowing team members to craft shoutouts, you build teamwork and connections between employees. This enables team members to call out members who helped them or went the extra mile, creating a positive workplace environment for the whole team.
You can also include employee rewards in these shoutouts by offering a gift card for the employee with the most shoutouts at the end of the month or offering extra break time or a lunch voucher to the team member who went above and beyond during a certain quarter. This incentivizes teamwork and helps remote employees feel included in the workplace, as their work is just as notable as those in the physical office.
3. Celebrate Anniversaries and Birthdays
The larger your team, the harder it is to keep track of birthdays and workplace anniversaries. Instead of cutting out these crucial events altogether, why not use a Slack add-on that automatically celebrates birthdays and work anniversaries? With built-in reminders, CultureBot can help notify team members of birthdays and other important events without adding more stress to team leaders. This means you can keep your employees engaged and make them feel as included as any non-remote employee, all through simple Slack acknowledgments.
Pairing these celebrations with physical gifts and surprises, like a late start to work or a gift card to a local coffee place, can also drive engagement and keep remote team members engaged despite not being in the office.
You can also use Slack reminders to key off monthly birthday celebrations for several employees at once, perfect for large teams looking to note important events without spending several days a month celebrating birthdays.
4. Include Remote Employees in the Fun
While many people find working in the office to be the opposite of fun, there is one part of workplace culture that’s difficult to port online: office parties. Now, with the help of Slack integrations, office parties, and co-op games are part of the virtual workplace.
There are countless gaming options for your virtual workplace, from ten-minute gameshow events perfect for group participation to individual games great for lunchtime fun. Not only does this show your remote employees you value their downtime, but it allows them to engage with other team members in a casual, fun setting, leading to better overall connection and productivity during the workday.
Mixing in fun workplace events and parties you help your team members avoid burnout while encouraging teamwork and participation. These games help drive overall engagement and act as icebreakers for remote team members, allowing physical employees, hybrid teams, and remote members to compete on the same playing field. You can even up the competition by offering physical rewards for office competitions, allowing all team members to win something tangible while competing alongside their team members.
5. Set Wellness Initiatives
Just because your team members are remote doesn’t mean you should care less about their overall health. Setting up workplace wellness programs and incentives is a great way to keep your remote team members included. Not only does it help stave off burnout, but it’s a great way to keep people engaged in the workplace.
A great way to incentivize wellness in the workplace is to set aside chunks of time during the day as meditation or personal wellness breaks. This could be a half hour or an hour for employees to go to the gym or work out at home. By working this into the work week, you not only show your team members that you value their time, but it also gives them a chance to reduce stress during the workday, leading to less burnout and greater productivity.
If you’re looking for a great way to include your remote employees, consider getting CultureBot for your workplace Slack. CultureBot allows you to connect with remote team members through Slack-based automation and prompts and also helps you craft a positive, friendly, and productive virtual workplace. To find out more, check out our features or contact us today.