Employee engagement is a measure of how emotionally attached a staff member is to their job, coworkers, and employer. An “engaged employee” is fully involved in and enthusiastic about their work. Your staff members that are actively engaged will work to not only meet their goals, but the organization’s goals.
Employee engagement may be challenging with a remote workforce or off-site employees. You miss the daily “How’s your day? What did you do last night?” face-to-face conversations. You don’t have an easy shared connection to discuss local events, sports teams or even the weather forecast. It’s more difficult to find out what remote employees really like, what their hobbies are, and generally just get to know them.
Not only can remote employees feel left out, but it may be more difficult for other staff to communicate with remote employees. There are actions you can take as an HR representative or remote manager to connect and make sure all your employees are feeling engaged with each other.
Encourage employees to interact with simple events and get-to-know-you activities. AgCareers.com organizes “3 Questions of the Month” for all employees. We ask everyone the same series of questions via email. We share all employee’s responses (that choose to take part) with the entire team in an email or document. This always entices fun conversations between all!
Simply Googling “get to know you questions” will return thousands of results. Following are a few examples we’ve used:
• If you could go back to any time in history, where would you go?
• What movie title best describes your life?
• Where is your dream vacation spot?
• Do you collect anything?
• If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?
• What was your first job?
• Is there a song that makes you cringe?
• What weird food combinations do you really enjoy?
• What’s your pet peeve?
• Favorite show to binge-watch?
• Do you have a pet? If so, share a photo.
Another AgCareers.com structured activity was our holiday gift exchange, coordinated through Elfster. With a little wish list magic, online shopping, and shipping, employees that chose to participate opened their gifts live during our video staff meeting.
Digital Connections & Meetings
Email is, of course, vital with off-site employees, but instant messaging brings employees closer together with the opportunity for quick responses, or just a simple chat. You can’t stop by their office to say howdy, but messaging is the next best thing!
Regular meetings via phone are acceptable, but video conferencing is ideal for a team spread out around the country, or even the world. Connect via Skype, Go to, Teams or other conferencing services where you can hear AND see team members, and even share files live.
Nothing can replace real face-to-face meetings. Bring remote employees into an office periodically or meet in a neutral (or fun) location for staff meetings or retreats. Sometimes this personal interaction is all that is needed to reconnect, and recharge disconnected employees.
The majority of agribusinesses tell us they measure employee satisfaction and engagement, most often through an internal survey conducted yearly. Ask your employees! Do they feel engaged? Invested in the business? Connected to their coworkers?
For more ideas, check out our Talent Engagement Blogs.