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The Top 5 Ways To ReEngage Employees Working Remotely

The coronavirus pandemic has been raging across the nation for several months. In early spring, many states issued stay-at-home orders and forced the closure, at least temporarily, of bricks-and-mortar workplaces. Though most did not have the remote working infrastructure already in place, the rapid shift to fully online operations was necessary. Likewise, not all employees were prepared for the switch to a virtual work life.

A Disengaged Workforce

A few months in and the pandemic is taking its toll on everyone. Employers might notice more disengaged employees than they had previously. It is crucial to recognize that the virus can have serious impacts on workers’ lives. This understanding should guide you as you work to re-engage staff. Here are the top five things you can do to bring disengaged workers back into the loop.

1. Identify the Causes for Disengagement

The first step in finding a solution is to get to the root of the problem. Even previously highly engaged workers might become disengaged during this crisis. Look first to your organizational structure. If your company moved hastily to remote working, you might need to make some adjustments to operational procedures to improve system effectiveness. Assess how well your leadership is functioning during this time. After all, they, too, are affected by the pandemic.

2. Communicate With Disengaged Employees

Open up lines of communication with all of your employees, but especially with those who have become withdrawn and uncommunicative. The adjustments to a new way of living extend beyond the work world. Take the time to acknowledge the challenges, and set up additional measures that allow people to discuss what it is they need in order to be productive. Reach out individually to uninvolved workers.

3. Recognize Progress and Successes

Make an even greater effort in recognizing progress and success than you did during “normal” times. Acknowledging what individuals are doing right can have a much more positive impact on disengaged employees than solely focusing on what they are doing wrong. When you give recognition, it is more meaningful when it is:

  • Immediate
  • Sincere
  • Specific
  • Personal

4. Provide Additional Tools

Provide employees with the tools they need to be successful. This might mean additional training on how to be efficient when working from home or how to use new software designed for remote working. It can also include providing specific EAPs for employees who are having a hard time coping with COVID-19. Make it easy for people to access these programs and encourage disengaged employees to utilize them.

5. Build a Virtual Community

Staying in the loop might be more difficult for your workforce when there is no common meeting space. Gone are the after-work gatherings, lunches with coworkers, and office celebrations that help build community. Find ways to help workers connect. Schedule company-wide or departmental social Zoom meetups weekly that provide employees the opportunity to chat about non-work happenings. This can help all of your employees feel part of a community again.

New Summit Leadership Support

New Summit Leadership provides support for companies needing assistance with disengaged employees. We identify a problem and we can explain how to solve it. We are the leaders in training managers and Fortune 500 companies in successful ways to train the leaders not only of today but of tomorrow, too. Contact us to find out more about our services.