Engaging employees is possible even when they are remote working and not interacting face-to-face. All you need is a spark of creativity to make it work. Inspire yourself to use these fun and creative ideas to boost remote employees’ engagement and motivation.
The following list of creative ideas to boost remote employees’ engagement was made to improve the relationship between employers and employees. The purpose is to boost morale and participation.
This list includes:
- Online knowledge sharing sessions
- Quarterly Christmas
- Virtual happy hour
- #you-are-awesome + #small-wins Channel
And many more fun and creative ideas to boost remote employees’ engagement.
So, without further due, let’s dive right into it.
Employee engagement idea #1: A virtual bring your pet into your workspace
For your remote employees, every day is a “bring your pet to work day”, which is considered a highlight for many. The “pet effect” is known for decreasing stress levels and increasing a sense of purpose, happiness, productivity, and even exercise levels.
How about you start celebrating the pet effect on your company’s intranet or team software?
Create a space where your employees can bring their pets to work virtually, like a Slack channel where team members can post pictures and gifs of their pets doing hilarious things or making funny faces, for example, a cat keeping watch on their owner from atop of the printer.
Employee engagement idea #2: A virtual happy hour
A virtual happy hour can be conducted via an online meeting software, preferably one such as Zoom or Google Meet, that allows multiple screens to be viewed at once. This is a great way to combat structured time burnout by scheduling unstructured time into your team’s calendar too.
Make this virtual happy hour a memorable one: give your people time to hang out and talk about whatever they please. Share beverage ideas and join your co-workers via video for some well deserved and needed laughs.
Employee engagement idea #3: Friday close-off meetings
When remote working, always working and chilling at the same place, it isn’t as easy to maintain clear boundaries between working and resting as it was when working in an office.
It comes as no surprise that a thorough State of Remote Work 2020 research conducted by Buffer has found that the third biggest challenge of remote employees is unplugging from work.
This is a disastrous problem because staying plugged in means your employees aren’t able to rest, which will eventually lead to burnout. To prevent it, we suggest you implement the ideas given in this blog post, especially this particular one.
What are these suggested Friday close-off meetings like?
At the end of the workday on each Friday, gather your team for a brief, half an hour video meeting. Use it to acknowledge the work everyone’s done during the week, celebrate their wins, and share plans for the weekend. Try fitting in a fun virtual experience, such as the one mentioned in this blog post, to switch things up a bit.
Additional useful ideas and examples:
Check out 25 fun ideas for your next virtual coffee break!
Employee engagement idea #4: Fun video meetings
Break the ice with your remote team and make fun video meetings so that your collaborators feel encouraged to really interact and stay engaged with the conversation. Each of your video meetings should have a clear purpose and a well-defined agenda, shared in advance before the meeting starts so everyone can come prepared.
To spice up your video meetings and make them truly fun, try with the pet, hat, or similar theme. Invite your video meeting attendees to wear a funny hat to identify when someone has something to say or hold star-shaped signs, such as green stars to hold up and indicate if the attendees agree to what the speaker is saying and red stars to show otherwise.
Employee engagement idea #5: Mister Rogers Calls
This employee engagement activity is based on 1 on 1 video connections to get to know your remote work neighbours.
How can you make it work?
We suggest to use an app which can be set up to randomly match two people of your remote team each week. The team members must then schedule a call for sometime during the week. You can provide other guidelines, such as that they aren’t allowed to talk about work and that the call should last about 30 minutes or so.
Employee engagement idea #6: Online knowledge sharing sessions
According to scientific research, knowledge sharing significantly and positively affects employee engagement. Want more person and group level growth for your employees? If so, this is a perfect idea for your team.
There’s nothing more enriching than sharing expertise, information and skills among employees in a company.
A few good practices that will help you start online sharing sessions:
- Book Club
- Discussion group
- Mentoring program
- TED-style talks led by team members
- Problem-solving workshops
- Use online tools to set up fun brainstorming sessions, such as Lucidchart, Miro or Mural
- Webinar watching
Check out some more knowledge-sharing best practices here!
Employee engagement idea #7: Online team buildings
There are plenty of different online activities and games you can use to help your remote employees to get to know another better and build stronger connections.
Consider suggesting a few options of online activities to your team and ask them for feedback, allow them to choose the one they prefer.
Here are just a few ideas of online team building:
- Company culture workshop
- Gaming session
- Hackathon or mini 90-minute hackathon
- Karaoke or movie night
- Online board games
- Virtual Olympics with trivia and communication games
Unsure of when you should program online team buildings? Well, Moodbit can help you with that. Moodbit is a real-time Employee Experience analytics tool, which helps you identify the mood structure of your employees by artificial intelligence (A.I.) to give you real-time data with in-depth insights about employee’s behavior and emotions. Click here to find out how Moodbit can help you manage remote teams.
Employee engagement idea #8: Quarterly Christmas
Surprise your employees with gifts and sending holiday cheers throughout the year.
You can gift your employees with simple tech gear like upgraded chargers, books, amazon gift cards or movie passes.
Don’t worry about the expense, stay on budget and remember: the magic is less in the items gifted and more in the act of sending a surprise. It’s fun to get surprise packages in the mail.
Employee engagement idea #9: Spreadsheet Pixel Art
Spreadsheet Pixel Art is a fun activity you can do with remote teams to increase engagement. This can be a collaborative game, a competition, an art show or anything else you want it to be. Whatever you choose, this activity will deliver in fun together-time for you and your remote team.
Employee engagement idea #10: #you-are-awesome / #small-wins Channel
Try creating Slack channels or email threads such as #you-are-awesome and a #small-wins.
#you-are-awesome can be a channel or email thread where any team member can give shout-outs to other team members. Cross department shou-outs would be awesome to include on this channel as well.
#small-wins can be a channel or email thread to celebrate modest size wins for the company. Here you could include press mentions, nice blog comments, business milestones, a celebrity following you on social media and so on. Celebrate the little things, those usually go unnoticed. This is a great way to connect with your employees and boost their engagement.
If you are looking for ways to improve the company’s culture and ensure your employees’ job satisfaction while working home, then you must make it a priority to invest in virtual employee engagement activities and schedule the necessary time for them.
Don’t wait to set up the absolute perfect employee engagement ideas, you just need to take action and get started. How about you start next week with one of the creative ideas to boost remote employees’ engagement mentioned above?
Don’t forget to put your people first and redeem your 30-day free trial of Moodbit on Slack!