We all know the best way to engage our workers, right?
(No, we’re not giving a pop quiz…but if we were, we’d expect an A+ from everyone at this point.)
If you said, “Pay them what they’re worth,” you’d pass with flying colors! Engaged and happy employees are ones that are adequately compensated, plain and simple.
Ensuring that you’ve got competitive compensation packages is a fantastic first step to meeting the needs of your employees. But it’s just that: A first step. And if that’s all you’re doing, you’re still risking a disengaged workforce.
Particularly with remote workers, it can be difficult to evaluate exactly what they need for a rewarding employee experience beyond fair pay. The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” exists for a reason! Since remote workers are often overlooked, a little bit of thought can go a long way. Read on for three areas to step up your game!
1. Don’t. Micromanage.
You may be thinking, “How could I possibly micromanage someone I never even physically meet with?” Dear reader, believe us when we say it can happen. It does happen. But you should never let it happen in your business! (Unless you’re okay with employees becoming more annoyed and less productive, in which case…curious business tactic.)
You may not be able to stop into their office, but you can still micromanage from afar with excessive Slack messages and requests for meetings. Don’t do it! Encourage your employees to block out time on their calendar for deep work, and respect that time.
If you think you might be a micromanager, don’t worry. This is a judgment-free zone! To turn it around, begin to evaluate your personal leadership style. Study other styles with an open mind, and consider adopting some new strategies in your practice.
Servant leadership is a highly compassionate and effective strategy when it comes to leading your team. This style of leadership is all about decentralizing power in your company, flattening the hierarchy, and focusing your energy on serving the needs of your workers. (We did a blog post on it a while back…check it out!)
2. Create a mentorship program.
If you don’t have a mentorship program in place, you’re falling behind, with a whopping 84% of U.S. Fortune 500 companies boasting mentor-mentee programs. It’s the new status quo in the workplace, and for good reason: of these companies with established mentorship programs, 90% of employees reported being happy at work.
Each new team member deserves individualized career coaching, guidance, and feedback. And delegating these important tasks through a mentorship program may be just what you’re looking for. It’s inexpensive and effective, but does require thought and intention to build a top-tier program. Some things to consider as you build your mentorship program for both in-office and remote workers:
- Create incentive to participate
If your employees don’t want to participate in your program, then you don’t have a program. Ensure that your leaders effectively communicate the benefits of the program to both mentor and mentee.
- Set a timeframe and ground rules
There’s no right answer when it comes to setting a length of time for your program. That all comes down to the unique needs of your company and employees. Consider polling team members to get a feel for the length of time they’d find most helpful, whether it’s three months or twelve.
- Find the best mentor/mentee matches
Because mentors will be passing company knowledge down, you might consider pairing senior team members with employees who may one day step into their roles. It’s never too early to set the foundation for a smooth transition of responsibilities.
3. Support mental and physical health.
Your employees aren’t robots. They’re people, and if you’re not treating them as such…you’ve got a big problem. Asking your workers to burn the midnight oil might work for a short time, but you’ll eventually end up with sick and burned-out employees who are all using their lunch breaks to look for new jobs.
Build a strong sense of work-life balance into the culture of your company. Ensure that your employees have built an adequate amount of breaks into their schedule. Never make your workers feel guilty for blocking out time to get fresh air and get out of their home office! When people take breaks, they’re healthier and more productive.
Another big don’t? You should never ask your teams to take work home. (Yes, we know that remote employees work from home. You know what we mean!) That time should be for family and rest. Keeping work within contracted hours is a great way to build trust and respect among your employees.
And speaking of adequate time for family and rest…let’s talk about PTO. Discouraging your employees from taking their rightfully-earned PTO may be the norm, but it doesn’t have to be in your practice. In 2021, only 27% of US employees used all of their PTO. Sure, plenty of us are descended from work-obsessed Puritans, but…come on! If your employees fall into that statistic, they’re on a fast track to burnout, and you’re on a fast track to losing engagement.
Especially if your employees are remote, it may seem easy to respond to a few emails or hop on a few calls during their vacation. Don’t let them. Encourage your workers to set and respect their own boundaries.
Bottom line here? Your employees, remote and in-person, won’t have the capacity to be engaged and productive if their mental and physical needs are not taken care of. Be generous, and treat your workers as they deserve to be treated.
While you’re hard at work on the support systems for your remote employees, it can be overwhelming to keep up with your bookkeeping and finances. Give yourself a break by contacting KYN today. We’ll take care of your finances so you can take care of your most valuable asset…your team!