Distributed Teams: How To Keep Them Engaged

Managing a distributed team has its fair share of challenges. But how to keep these employees engaged is one of the most pressing concerns that HR leaders and company CEOs must address now to take their businesses to the next level. Why?

According to a recent study by the Engagement Institute in collaboration with the Conference Board, Deloitte, and Sirota-Mercer, U.S. businesses lose from $450 to $550 billion annually to disengaged employees. Industry experts further warn that the figure could way high for companies that rely heavily on distributed teams.

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Fortunately, the pandemic forced many companies to rely heavily on distributed teams. That means many leaders will identify this hurdle and find ways to jump it. So if you don’t act now, your competition may take the lead, and you might never catch up. Why take that chance when you can follow these proven strategies to keep your distributed workforce engaged?

Prioritize Great Communication

How you communicate with your distributed workforce has a huge impact on engagement. When your team is distributed, they can easily miss a lot of communication. And that makes them disengaged at work.

In a recent study by GSG, only 30% of employees interviewed said their employers are very effective at communicating. And 40% of them admitted that their employers use outdated communication techniques. This is quite unfortunate since great communication solutions exist today.
Using the right video conferencing for instance can improve face-to-face communication. Messaging apps, chatbots, and voice bots are also great tools to get instant information.

Invest In Employee Training

The more your employees feel valued the higher the level of engagement. And training is one of the most effective ways to show that you value your distributed workforce and believe in their potential.
According to LinkedIn’s Workforce Learning Report, a staggering 94% of employees said they’re willing to continue working at a company longer if they invest in their training and development.

Training a distributed workforce doesn’t have to be expensive. Many companies are adopting mobile-based learning management systems. This way, they can offer personalized training, and the employees can also access learning resources 24/7.

Listen To All Your Employees

Team managers bear the largest responsibility for employee engagement. According to a study by Gallup, managers determine a whopping 70% of the variance in the levels of team engagement. And their listening skills are crucial in this.

Effective managers listen to what workers say and act on it. Apart from helping companies pinpoint and address issues on time, comprehensive listening also makes employees feel valued.

So if you want to engage your distributed workforce, empower your team managers. Train them to inspire growth, be transparent when communicating, make informed-decisions, and to be good listeners.

Recognize And Reward Loudly

Undoubtedly, regular rewards and recognition can improve employee engagement tremendously. Companies, therefore, need to make their missions and purpose clear so that distributed teams know how to fit and what behaviors are rewarded.

Disney’s leaders for example are reaping great benefits from this strategy. Most of their employees know that customer experience is crucial. They also know that they will be recognized for creating enchanted experiences for them. As a result, the company boasts of being one of the top companies with the most engaged employees.

Key Takeaways

Keeping your distributed teams engaged is more important now than ever before. Studies show that employee engagement is on the rise, but we’re not out of the woods yet. Less than 40% of American employees say they’re engaged.

With more companies relying on distributed workforces, businesses that don’t invest in employee engagement are more likely to lose. Low levels of engagement results in poor customer service, reduced productivity, high employee turnover, and dwindling profit margins.

We are always looking for talented individuals to join our team. Check out our open positions and apply today.

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