20 Amazing Virtual Team Engagement Ideas in the Remote Workspace
The COVID-19 pandemic left many businesses with no choice but to adopt remote work practices, leaving founders and human resources (HR) professionals struggling to find creative ways to keep their remote teams engaged. While there is no doubt that team engagement is essential for business success, managing remote teams adds an extra layer of complexity to an already challenging process.
Most ecommerce businesses today are expanding their capabilities to create and run virtual team engagement activities in an effort to ensure ideal collaboration and engagement among employees, despite working remotely.
In this article, we'll provide the answers to your team engagement questions and discuss some of the most unique and most effective virtual team engagement ideas for remote workers to boost morale and productivity.
Last but not least, we’ll explore how the personalization and gamification features on Core Teams will help you along the process and maximize your results, regardless of your industry and the size of your team.
Table of Contents
- What Is Team Engagement?
- 5 Team Member Engagement Benefits
- 20 Powerful Virtual Team Engagement Ideas When Working Remotely
- How to Create Effective Team Engagement Activities: 4 Tips
- Boosting Your Team’s Engagement in 2023
What Is Team Engagement?
Team engagement is an HR concept that describes the levels of enthusiasm and dedication a team of employees feels and shows towards their jobs. It is the degree to which employees engage with the company, feel passionate about their work, and are committed to their enterprise.
Meanwhile, remote team engagement refers to the extent to which off-site employees feel engaged with the team, their work, and the organization.
Data from LinkedIn as of May 2021 shows that job postings with the tag “remote work”, increased by 357% from the year before. In addition, a survey from Gartner also revealed that 82% of employers expect to allow remote work options in the post-Covid-19 pandemic environment.
With more businesses transitioning into remote workspaces and remote work models, remote team members often feel less engaged and connected with the company, a situation that can negatively impact the performance of individual employees as well as the overall performance of the business. Remote employee engagement is highly critical to a company’s success, given its links to employee satisfaction, employee morale, and - as a result - increased productivity.
Statistics quoted in the Business Journals show that while 75% of employers consider teamwork and collaboration as a direct result of team building as very important, 86% of employees believe that lack of collaboration and ineffective communication are what lead to workplace failures.
Some of the ways employers can encourage employee engagement include ensuring effective communication, offering rewards and promotions for a job well done, keeping employees informed about the company’s performance, and providing regular individual and team feedback.
5 Team Member Engagement Benefits
Many companies today prioritize engagement to track employee satisfaction and maximize productivity.
Highly engaged ecommerce businesses experience numerous benefits ranging from reduced absenteeism to workplace safety, and these and more are elaborated on below:
- Increased sales: Most importantly from a business’s point of view, team member engagement is not only beneficial to productivity amongst the employees, but it is also more likely to build strong customer relationships. This directly translates into the conversion of leads and as a result a 20% increase in the company’s sales, as discovered by Gallup.
- Safer workplaces: It is important to minimize workplace accidents that pose huge reputational and financial risks to organizations. Engaging team members ensures that employees are in the right mindset, meaning that they can focus better and are less likely to make mistakes that can result in workplace accidents. That's why Gallup reports that companies that regularly organize team building activities for team engagement have 70% fewer accidents than companies that don't. That can lead to many different types of additional benefits.
- Reduced absenteeism: When employees love what they do and where they do it, they are unlikely to take an unscheduled day off without a good reason. On the other hand, absenteeism is common when employees are dissatisfied with their work, team, and management. Improving overall employee engagement can result in a 40% reduction in absenteeism, according to Lumapps.
- Increased productivity: With 69% of employees (based on Wallable data) reporting that they would be more productive if they felt more appreciated at work, the organization’s growth and productivity need to prioritize team member engagement. Engaged employees often have a positive attitude towards their work and company, and this translates into higher productivity.
- Improved collaboration: An important aspect of running a successful business is team member collaboration since the best results are achieved when employees work together. Keeping employees fully engaged in their work roles makes them aware of the employer’s team expectations and encourages employees to have good working relationships where they share thoughts and brainstorm unique ideas for business growth.
These important advantages make it worth it for managers and HR departments to put the necessary efforts into providing team building activities for team engagement when they work remotely.
20 Powerful Virtual Team Engagement Ideas When Working Remotely
Having virtual team engagement activities in place is an assured way to better relations between an enterprise and its remote workers.
Below are 20 virtual team engagement ideas that your business can implement to boost remote employee engagement for all the benefits described above:
Idea #1: Hold One-on-One Video Calls with Employers
Having short face-to-face meetings with remote employees every week is excellent for employee engagement. Aside from having the remote employees voice their concerns and providing them with relevant feedback, the calls could be casual conversations to check in and talk about life.
Idea #2: Offer Virtual Rewards and Recognition
Rewarding and recognizing employees for a job well done will make a huge difference in the satisfaction levels of your remote team members. This should be done regularly by asking the whole team to applaud the employee during virtual meetings or offering rewards such as bonuses and electronic gift cards.
Idea #3: Distribute Employee Surveys
To show employees that the organization cares and values their opinions, HR ought to carry out monthly surveys. This is an important aspect of understanding the employees' challenges, suggestions, and expectations of their employers and fellow team members.
Idea #4: Allow Flexible Work Schedule
As long as the employees are getting their work done on time, they should have the freedom to set their own schedules. Creating flexible scheduling is the best way to show remote employees that you respect their personal and social lives, which enables them to maintain a satisfactory work-life balance that boosts loyalty to the company. You also show that you trust their commitment and responsibility which boosts their morale. No one enjoys being micromanaged.
Idea #5: Organize Introduction to In-House Employees
Onboarding your remote employees is essential to making them feel part of the team. This can be executed by organizing a video call with the entire team and asking all the employees to introduce themselves and encouraging them to interact with one another.
Idea #6: Provide Online Training and Career Advancement Opportunities
Setting up an online learning management system and providing different training programs for your employees allows them to advance in their careers and helps them reach their individual preset goals. This will not only improve their performance within your company but also ensure that they stay with your team for longer.
Idea #7: Allow Frequent Breaks
The pressure of working long hours can be high and eventually lead to burnout, especially when working from home, leaving your remote employees stressed and displeased. Regular breaks are essential to the promotion of remote employees’ wellbeing seeing as they provide them with a chance to rejuvenate and boost themselves.
Idea #8: Organize Virtual Water Cooler Activities
On-site employees often have casual conversations about day-to-day activities by the water cooler or in the break room, something which remote employees miss out on. Creating a virtual water cooler for remote workers is a vital remote team engagement activity since it encourages bonding and does away with disconnectedness among employees. This could be a dedicated social channel, virtual coffee breaks, or weekly lunchtime calls.
Idea #9: Gamify Your Teamwork
Gamifying your teamwork is a fun way to ensure that remote employees stay engaged and motivated. You can provide your remote employees with an opportunity to unwind and relax by inviting them to play multiplayer games. Gamification allows your remote employees to get to know their colleagues better with team engagement games such as virtual murder mysteries, Call of Duty: Mobile, and Words With Friends.
Idea #10: Publish Internal Newsletters
Getting updates and news from the office is not convenient for employees who work remotely. Therefore, publishing a weekly company newsletter is necessary to keep your remote employees updated with the happenings of the organization. The newsletter could include client feedback, internal job openings, and employees’ birthdays.
Idea #11: Honor Virtual Mental Health Initiatives
Being in a remote workspace can be challenging for any person, especially with political and economic developments in the world, anxiety, and stress. It is, therefore, vital to support positive mental health practices to ensure the wellbeing of remote employees. HR can support employee wellbeing by inviting team members to guided meditation sessions and providing counseling to those that ask for it.
Idea #12: Simplify Collaboration
It’s important to make it easier for your remote employees to collaborate by providing your team with the right tech stack to work with. The right tools and software will exceptionally improve remote working conditions. These could include Skype, Google Docs, Zoom, Slack, and many others. If you’re not in the tech business, make sure that all tools are very user-friendly, even for non-tech savvy employees.
Idea #13: Set Clear Remote Guidelines
Having an easily accessible remote work policy is important to keep everything running smoothly. These ground rules could include work hours and availability, remote work benefits, tools and equipment, remote work termination guidelines, security, privacy, and client confidentiality.
Idea #14: Provide Funds to Set Up Home Offices
An excellent remote team engagement idea is providing your employees with the funds to set up their remote home offices. Since remote employees have no dedicated workstations, some employers with a healthy budget provide their remote employees with the funds to build home offices or renovate the already existing spaces.
Idea #15: Encourage Virtual Peer-to-Peer Feedback
Encouraging peer-to-peer feedback is a great way to get coworkers to applaud one another and share constructive criticism. Such open and honest communication among peers creates trust and communication among employees which boosts engagement.
Idea #16: Train Managers
Managing a remote team comes with a different set of challenges in comparison to managing an on-site team. Equipping managers with the relevant skills for this job greatly boosts remote team engagement. Leaders could be trained on how to bring people together, how to set expectations, and how to build a recognition system.
Idea #17: Encourage Knowledge Sharing
Unlike on-site team members, remote employees don't get the opportunity to sit in a boardroom and brainstorm. It is advisable, therefore, to streamline knowledge sharing by investing in knowledge management software such as digital adoption software, knowledge base software, documentation tools, and file storage tools.
Idea #18: Set Measurable Employee Goals
Despite allowing remote employees to set their schedules, employers should set measurable monthly goals for each employee to give them a sense of direction and create a culture of accountability. In this way, team members will feel like they are working towards something and contributing to the success of the overall team and the entire company.
Idea #19: Check Employee Performance
Running regular performance checks gives the employer a better understanding of employee strengths and weaknesses and creates a sense of accountability for remote employees. It is also a great way to keep track of each remote employee’s progress in achieving their set goals. You can consider adapting the Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) model to organize the system of setting up and measuring performance against goals.
Idea #20: Assign Virtual Buddies
This is especially important for new employees trying to understand the company culture. A virtual buddy shows the new employee how the enterprise functions, and helps them fit in with the team better.
How to Create Effective Team Engagement Activities: 4 Tips
Having laid out the most creative and inspiring ideas for effective virtual team engagement, the next step is successful implementation to enable ecommerce businesses to reap the benefits of having highly engaged employees.
Here are 4 specific tips on how to create effective team engagement activities:
- Embracing feedback culture is one of the best employee engagement strategies. Multi-directional feedback is key to improving workplace communication and team member engagement. Employers should not assume to have all the answers and encourage their employees to voice their opinions and concerns as well.
- Organizing regular team building activities that are not work-related enables engagement since all employees put forth the effort and work together. Activities such as virtual coffee dates, gamification, and puzzle-solving facilitate bonding outside of work, hence giving employees common ground beyond strict job duties.
- Supplying your team with the right tools is a great driver of effective employee engagement ideas. Having the right tools to get the job done simplifies collaboration among employees and boosts team engagement.
- Using the best employee and team engagement software tools is a must in the current environment of remote work and digitalization. Core Teams can help with this. The available features use personalization, gamification, challenges, and rewards to make employee training fun and productive, encourage their growth, and support their ongoing development.
To learn more about Core Teams can help you executive all the best team engagement ideas in an easy way, schedule a demo with our team.
Boosting Your Team’s Engagement in 2023
A highly engaged team results in better employee morale, reduced absenteeism, and improved productivity. Team engagement activities are a worthy investment as they enable an increase in productivity and reduction of costs, leading to higher levels of profitability.
The deployment of Core Teams guarantees that your enterprise will benefit from well-trained teams, lower turnover rates, and higher employee retention among others.
Click here to get started today.
The Ultimate Guide to Boosting Employee Engagement at the Workplace: 3 Strategies
Business owners and HR managers understand the importance of building a strong team that is not only...
AI and Personalization
Daniela has 6 years of experience in digital marketing for ecommerce businesses.
Aws is the Co-Founder of Coretava, a complete retail ecommerce growth platform. He has 6+ years of experience in managing and growing ecommerce businesses.