Illustration: A woman working remotely thinks about her coworkers as she works on her laptop.

9 Ways To Keep Your Remote Workforce Engaged

Loren Learny | 5 min read

It’s clear that remote work is here to stay, but transitioning to this new way of working is not without its challenges. Remote employees often feel disconnected from their peers and it can be a challenge to keep them engaged. There’s no longer a watercooler to “shoot the breeze” at or in-person happy hours to head off to after work on a Tuesday.

The good news is that even though your team might not be meeting in person anymore, you can still build a thriving virtual community, and we’re here to help you with that!

We’ve rounded up nine ways to build that social engagement and connection in an online space. Try some out with your team and share your experiences with us!

1. Challenges & Competition

Nothing gets people working together like a good challenge, right? Have departments compete against each other, or issue a challenge and see who can work together to beat corporate. Any Wordle fans on your team? Encourage everyone to get on board and share their daily high scores. 

2. Create Clubs

Running club, gardening club, chess club, crafting club, true crime club — the possibilities are endless. A great way to connect your teammates is allowing room for shared interests to blossom. They can share photos, stories, tips, and tricks. This one is great for encouraging cross-departmental engagement and can be easily integrated into preexisting digital spaces like your company LMS or LXP or shared messaging systems like Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Photo: A group of people walking down a path in the woods on a sunny hike.
Photo: A young man reads a book on business secrets while sitting in a coffee shop.

3. Professional Development Opportunities

Set up opportunities monthly, quarterly, or even yearly that the entire company can participate in to enhance their skills or learn something new. According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report, 94 percent of employees say they would stay longer at a company if it simply invested in helping them learn. By investing in professional development opportunities, you’re investing in more engaged remote employees.

This is also a great opportunity to improve your workforce’s in-demand soft skills like effective communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. A win for your employees, and a win for your company.

As part of our Whole You wellness program here at Wisetail, each quarter we gather together to expand our knowledge about a topic with a presentation from an expert. In the past, we’ve explored topics like financial wellbeing, goal setting, foundational training, effective leadership, design thinking, and many more.

4. Show Your Appreciation

Everyone likes feeling appreciated, and employee recognition is a top driver of engagement at work. According to research by Quantum Workplace and Bamboo HR, employees would like more recognition from their manager (52.5%) and peers (41%.)

Here at Wisetail, we show appreciation through our Wisebird program. Each quarter every team member is given 4 Wisebirds to award. If someone steps in and saves the day, completes a big project, or just knocks your socks off — give them a Wisebird. They can then redeem their Wisebird from a pool of gift options and have it drop shipped directly to their house. We run this program through our own LXP, “APEX”, so when someone is recognized it gets added to their profile and everyone can see it and celebrate them.

Photo: The Boseman Wisetail team volunteers at a food bank.

5. Volunteer Day

Maybe you set up a theme, or maybe you leave it open. Either way, set aside a day where everyone on the team volunteers with a local nonprofit. Ask people to take pictures and share their experiences with the rest of the team! This is something we do quarterly at Wisetail and our team loves it. It’s a great way for us to practice what we preach in sustainability and giving back to the community.

6. Flat Persona

You’ve heard of Flat Stanley, right? It doesn’t just have to be for kids. Create a fun persona for your company and print out a flat version of it. Then, start some chain mail. When a team member receives your Flat Persona, they have to bring it on an adventure — big or small. Take a picture and post a story about that adventure in your LXP’s user contributions, or in your shared messaging platform. Once you go on your adventure, mail it to the next team member. It’s a great way to learn about your team’s interests outside of work and to learn more about the place they live.

7. Start Your Weekly Meetings with Fun

Weekly team meetings are the norm in remote settings. Why not start off your meetings by having people share the best non-work-related thing they did that weekend? It’s a great way to share and connect with your team, and learn more about them outside of the office. We all need to celebrate personal wins!

8. Scavenger Hunts

Create a list of things you can find in virtually any place — parking meters, wildlife, a letter of the alphabet, or a weird street sign. Post the list to your team. They’ll need a time frame, their smartphone, and somewhere to send their pictures. Have your team members share their photos to the whole team, and again — incentivize them with cool prizes! Here’s a fun idea: find something / someone in someone else’s pictures to make it even more interactive.

Photo: Photo of a smartphone taking a photo of mural art.

9. LXP Social Features

You didn’t really expect us not to tell you how our awesome LXP can keep your remote team engaged, did you? Even better, all the ideas you just read can be easily integrated into your LXP. Wisetail helps you build your digital water cooler by encouraging learners to access cross-functional materials, break down work silos, enable internal communication, and create socially connected teams no matter the distance.

Looking for even more ways to keep your remote workforce engaged?
Download our 20 Ways to Keep Your Remote Workforce Engaged cheatsheet!

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