16 Mar, 2023

Be The G.O.A.T of Remote Team Engagement

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Ad Hoc Gifts
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Written by
Gifted Team
If anything has been made clear in the workplace over the last few years, it’s that remote work is a big win. Younger employees value the flexibility and autonomy that WFH empowers them with. Talent can be sourced from far and wide, enriching teams with diverse skills at easily scalable rates. Companies are shrinking overhead costs and freeing up funds for major growth opportunities.

What’s not to love?

Well…there are some challenges associated with WFH, especially for HR professionals. For allits rave-worthy benefits, remote teams also experience unique hiccups which can meanheadaches for team leaders and HR professionals - especially when it comes to employeeengagement and productivity. Fortunately, there is a solution to each of these challenges!

How to be the G.O.A.T of remote employee engagement

There’s nothing to suggest that remote teams are less productive or engaged than their in-officepeers. That being said, remote work setups introduce a different set of difficulties than thosetypically experienced in the office. Putting in the right engagement strategies for eachenvironment will make you the G.O.A.T (that’s Greatest of All Time, not a- oh, you know whatwe mean) of employee engagement.

One of the most obvious drawbacks of a remote work setup is the loss of visibility. It’s difficult totrack how engaged or disengaged employees are when you can’t see them at their desks likeyou would at an office. Sure, there are productivity tracking apps which help remote workers logtheir work activity, but this doesn’t always give you detailed insight into how they’re feeling aboutwork.

Moreover, while we can’t sing the praises of remote work apps loudly enough, they aren’tdesigned to engage employees or create an office culture - they are designed to make doingtheir jobs easier. Wouldn’t it be great if you could implement a tool that made their jobs moreenjoyable?

If only there were an app for that…

There is! By automating employee engagement (it’s less robotic than that, we promise), Giftedmakes it that much easier for team leaders and HR reps to build a flourishing office culture -even without the office.

To kick us off, we’ve identified the top three challenges facing WFH employee engagement -and our proposed solutions for each one.

Challenge 1: Routines get mean

One of the most positive things to come out of the lockdown was the global investment into timespent on self-care. The hours that employees used to spend commuting were dedicated insteadto preparing home-cooked meals, developing hobbies, and working out in the driveway.Nowadays, many remote work environments include a home gym or a flourishing vegetablegarden in the front yard. A lot of employees take initiative in this area, but when HR and teamleaders demonstrate their interest in this part of their employees’ health and happiness, it’sgreat for engagement.

The solution: get employees OOO

No, not that kind of out-of-office (though regular breaks are encouraged!). Gifted has curated ahost of WFH-specific solutions to create engaged and satisfied remote employees.

If monotony threatens to keep employees trapped in a cycle of dissatisfaction, make it easy forthem to shake things up - literally. Get those feet moving! Transform the home office into ahome gym with gift cards from popular brands like Nike, Athleta, and Lululemon.

Some workers might prefer to swap high-intensity intervals for high-intensity interior design. If achange of scene is what’s going to refresh their perspective on work, then gift them with abouquet of vouchers from vendors like Best Buy and Home Depot. That’s a way to build ahealthy work-life balance.

Challenge 2: It can get lonely out there!

Sometimes, satellite office spaces can feel like working on the International Space Station - verycool, but occasionally distant. Even with the hundreds of tools designed to help us connect withour coworkers, employees who go too long without seeing one of their co-workers can feel likethey’re operating in a vacuum. An outer-space-level vacuum.

The solution: connect over coffee

What’s the easiest way to make people happy at the office? A coffee run, of course! The bestway to do that remotely (and connect people while doing it) is to gift teams with regular coffeebreaks at nationally available vendors like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts with Gifted.Team members who live in the same city can meet up for in-person coffee, or remote teams canraise their Starbucks cups in unison at the first Zoom meeting of the morning. No matter howsmall the gesture, we say cheers to connecting with co-workers over a good old cup of Joe.

Challenge 3: The visibility challenge

One of the advantages of a physical office is that it’s pretty easy to see if employees areengaged and satisfied with their work. All it takes is a quick sweep of the floor to observe bodylanguage or a quick meeting to check in with a colleague.

This degree of visibility is only sometimes possible with remote work. Performance numbers andstatistics are helpful, but they don’t give the full picture of how engaged and satisfied anemployee is.

The visibility challenge works both ways, too. Employees can become frustrated with aperceived lack of transparency when it comes to management, which can make it more likely forthem to disengage from work. Without the infrastructure of a brick-and-mortar office, employeesand managers alike have to go the extra mile to check in with each other

That goes for HR, too

In an interview with Sam Blum of HR Brew, Jennifer Watson (VP of HR at workforcemanagement SaaS provider Lasso and certified WFH veteran) pointed out that the visibilitychallenge is probably even greater for HR professionals than it is for managers.

“Because nobody wants to call HR. Traditional HR has always said no. Traditional HR is abarrier. So, it’s really creating a brand for yourself to say, ‘Listen, just because I’m callingyou, [it] isn’t a bad thing’...Small talk isn’t everything, but at least there is some form ofrelationship. And so you have to facilitate that.”“Because nobody wants to call HR. Traditional HR has always said no. Traditional HR is abarrier. So, it’s really creating a brand for yourself to say, ‘Listen, just because I’m callingyou, [it] isn’t a bad thing’...Small talk isn’t everything, but at least there is some form ofrelationship. And so you have to facilitate that.”

Easier said than done! Or is it?

The ultimate solution: don’t call them out; pull them in

The thought of regular phone calls to check in is well-intentioned, but it isn’t always effective. Inthe in-office world, it would be the equivalent of being called into HR “for a little chat”. Whoops!Unfortunately, even the best intentions can cause employees to put their guard up.

So, don’t just rely on calls to build a relationship with employees. Send them a gift. Better yet, set up an automated gifting campaign that takes all the work out of thinking up ways to check inwith employees without scaring them deeper into the murky waters of disengagementYeah, we’re a gifting tool - and a great one at that. But the true value that Gifted brings toremote teams is the gift of an appreciated and engaged workforce. HR is complicated. Gifted is

simple. Be the G.O.A.T of remote team engagement with our easy-to-use gifting campaigns

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