Until earlier this year, most businesses had the ability to share news and information with staff with a quick stand-up meeting at the start of the day. But under Covid-19 social distancing restrictions, many businesses have been forced to go to a work-from-home model for the employees that creates several challenges. Now, businesses have had to rethink not only how to conduct virtual meetings, but also how to keep those off-site employees engaged while working from home and how to ensure they feel rewarded in their jobs. of those same types of meetings require a conference room and audio, video, and screen-sharing technology.

Trying to keep remote employees engaged can be challenging. Here are a few helpful suggestions to not only manage employee interest and effectiveness, but to also reward employees working at home.

Find the technology that is right for your group

Now more than ever, businesses are relying on the latest technology tools to keep everyone connected and to assist in conducting meetings virtually. Just last week, Vernon held its annual National Sales Meeting – usually an in-person meeting with nearly 220 participants – virtually. With the help of online tools like Zoom Meetings, You Tube, Calendly and more, we were able to pull off a very successful virtual/live meeting in which participants were engaged and rewarded.

Another creative way that we helped our salespeople participate in our sessions was that prior to the meeting, we sent a goody bag with everything they would have received had we been able to hold the in-person meetings. Our were given personalized session schedules, a meeting/trade show bag, literature from our vendors, and even a logoed notebook and branded pen for taking notes during the sessions.

Part of the team

Out of sight does not have to mean out of mind. To help remote employees feel like a part of the team, include them in regular meetings, teambuilding activities, and even social gatherings online. Consider holding virtual social hours and breakfast club sessions online to allow time for employees to interact with one another. Again, technology plays a key role in doing this successfully. Use video conferencing to keep remote and in-office relationships strong and to effectively to build relationships with remote workers. To assist at-home workers, employers can provide branded headphones or logoed earbuds.

Consistent communication is key

The most important aspect of successfully managing remote employees is communication. For many people, this is via email, online chats, or phone calls. Video chats are also great because they help make the interaction personal. Again, services like Zoom are easy to use, allow you to see participants live, and give attendees the ability to share content from their computers.

Recognize remote employees

Similar to in-office staff, remote employees want to be recognized for their efforts. As a leader or business owner, this may seem to be difficult, but try to recognize stay-at-home staff just as you would with onsite workers. Show your appreciation for teams or individuals during an all-team video meeting or thank them during a group conference call. For a job well done, reward them by sending them personalized gifts that they will appreciate for years to come. For terrific recognition gift ideas, visit this page on our website.

The first step to recognizing your remote workers is to simply do it. Talk to them regularly, recognize them constantly, and include them just as much as you would any in-office employee. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to success with your remote workforce.