The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed millions of employees around the world out of their offices and into makeshift home offices as they do their daily work. Around six months into the pandemic, 71 percent of Americans who said their jobs could be done from home were doing their jobs from home.
And because many workers would like to continue working from home at least some of the time, hybrid and remote teams are becoming a lot more common extremely quickly.
That means a lot of things for workplaces and those who manage them, but one of the most important considerations for remote and hybrid teams is employee engagement. More specifically, how do you keep employees engaged with the work and the company when they’re working from home?
Start by understanding the employee engagement types. In this article, we’ll address the elements of employee engagement, types of engagement, and the engagement challenges remote teams face. Read on to learn more.
What Are the Three Key Elements of Employee Engagement?
To truly understand and increase employee engagement, you need to understand what it’s made of. So, what are the three key elements of employee engagement? What makes engagement in the workplace happen? The answer: feedback, recognition, and validation.
Feedback is critical to keeping any employee engaged. Workers need to know when they’re doing well or falling short, and they need to hear it from someone they believe has their best interests and success at the company in mind.
How remote and hybrid work makes feedback more difficult: Periodic performance reviews and even quick desk-side chats between managers and employees are commonplace in traditional work environments. But in the world of remote work, those chats fall by the wayside. The schedule may be too full with other meetings to pencil in performance chats, and there’s no virtual desk for a manager to walk by.
Feedback is step one, but when it comes to good performance, recognition is the necessary second step to fostering employee engagement. Sincere recognition from a manager — both publicly and privately — goes an incredibly long way in keeping an employee engaged with their job.
How remote and hybrid work makes recognition more difficult: In the virtual workplace, no one overhears the manager praising the employee or sees the high-five for a job well done. And the meetings that do include all hands usually have an express purpose, one in which public recognition of a single employee’s work may not feel appropriate.
Validation may sound a little like feedback and recognition, but as it relates to employee engagement types, it’s quite a bit different. To remain engaged, employees need to know that their managers see them as human beings and value them intrinsically. Everything from the morning “How are you?” to the follow-up questions on big life developments contributes to whether an employee is getting the validation they need to be engaged at work.
How remote and hybrid work makes validation more difficult: Scheduling a video meeting to ask how an employee is doing today is awkward and, frankly, not a good use of company time. And hybrid and remote work almost invariably require more meetings to keep everyone on the same page — almost none of which provide many opportunities for managers to validate their employees.
Employee Engagement Types
Hybrid and remote work environments make each of the elements of employee engagement a challenge. But what, exactly, are the employee engagement types that are suffering because of the sudden global shift to remote work?
Cognitive engagement refers to an employee’s ability to focus on the task at hand. Those who are highly engaged with their work suffer from fewer workday distractions and are more productive.
An emotionally engaged employee is invested in their role and the success of the company they work for. They don’t feel distant from the organization’s goals and fully understand how their everyday work furthers those goals.
Physical engagement is about presence — how present does the employee feel while they are working? In other words, does the employee feel that their job is simply happening to them (unengaged) or that they are taking an active role in their job and making moves to further their skills and career (engaged)?
Preciate: Another Word for Employee Engagement
If you’re looking for another word for employee engagement, we have one for you: Preciate. The Preciate team understands that remote and hybrid work environments are making employee engagement more difficult than ever before. And that’s why we have designed our platform to bolster all of the employee engagement types.
With our virtual office technology, which allows employees to “move” from group to group within a virtual office, we address physical engagement. With Preciate Recognition, a feature that allows highly visible and customized praise for employees in a team activity feed, we address recognition — the key to cognitive and emotional engagement. And with improvements on all the standard remote work tools, we address the needs of the modern remote workplace.