How to Keep Remote Employees Happy and Engaged

08.12.2016 Articles

Thanks to the internet, continued advancement in communication technology, and the global economy becoming more connected, long gone are the days of having every employee in the office Monday through Friday, from 9-5. Telecommuting is becoming more popular and acceptable for a wide range of industries. For BDSmktg, remote employees allow our agency to have a farther reach, and service markets across the nation simultaneously – even with corporate headquarters being located on the “best” coast.

Whether your organization has remote team members, full-time telecommuters, or simply a handful of employees who work from home occasionally, you may find yourself challenged with keeping them happy and engaged with your organization’s culture and goals. We asked our Human Resource Business Partner, Lauren Schultz, what her top tips are to keeping our remote employees happy, and here is what she shared with us:

  • Establish relationships from the get-go

The biggest predictor of our remote employees’ happiness and success stems from their relationship with their manager. Since the manager is their main point of contact, if that relationship isn’t a good one, the remote employee typically feels unhappy, unsupported, and alone. We encourage managers to get to know their remote team members not just as employees, but as people. Having both a personal and professional relationship helps build a bond and strengthens the connection between the employee and our agency.

  • Encourage communication in all forms

Remote employees can sometimes feel isolated and have a difficult time feeling like they are part of the team. To combat this, we make sure to send corporate newsletters, emails, social media posts, and other communication to our remote team members so that they can see what is going on with the agency, and still feel like they are involved. Our remote BDSers are also invited to use the app GroupMe to communicate with other employees – whether it be about a project they are working on, or something exciting going on in their personal life.

  • Provide initial and ongoing training

Our secret to developing happy and successful remote employees is by providing them with extensive, engaging training the right from the get-go. We’ve established an onboarding and training process for new employees that helps them understand their role, our agency, and how their position helps fulfill our organization’s goals. Our Field Immersion takes our remote BDSers through detailed information about the agency, our services, our leadership, history and culture. Our proprietary learning platform, BDS University, allows our employees to complete online courses related to their position, sharpen their soft skills, and become retail and product experts. Additionally, our program managers conduct off-site group trainings and one-on-one in-market training with remote employees to keep them engaged all year long, and make sure they have the tools they need in order to be successful out in the field.

  • Recognize their accomplishments

Regardless if you work in the office or in the field, everyone wants to feel that their work matters and is appreciated. At BDS, we have found that “shout outs” that recognize remote employees’ exceptional efforts are a great way to let remote team members know that their hard work is being noticed. We also award one of our field employees with “Field Employee of the Quarter” in order to give kudos to those individuals who are making a difference outside of our corporate office. In addition, we put together Employee Spotlights to showcase both our corporate and field employees on our blog, and in our bimonthly newsletter. These Spotlights are a way for others to learn about the team member’s role, what they do outside of work, and why they love BDS.

Though remote employees may be states away, we’ve found that with some creativity and thoughtfulness, you can keep your teams happy and engaged no matter where they are.

Does your organization utilize remote employees or allow team members to telecommute? How do you keep those individuals plugged into to your organization? We’d love to hear how you’re keeping your remote teams engaged!