5 ways to use technology to keep remote employees engaged

From collaboration to messaging to making sure global staffers don’t get shafted by currency conversions, these hints can clarify communication and keep everyone on the same page.

Keeping your employees engaged is difficult, even when you see them every day.

Keeping a remote team engaged can be even tougher.

Working from home, without peers and tight accountability for motivation, can be tough for many people, including your star performers. A globally distributed team faces yet other challenges that contribute to disengagement, low performance and even attrition.

Here are five simple ways to keep your remote team engaged:

1. Simplify salary payments. One major challenge for globally distributed teams is payment processing. Banks and most payment providers also charge high fees as transaction charges and currency conversion charges, which often range from 5 percent to 20 percent. Use a service such as Transferwise or another low-fee platform that streamlines payments.

2. Provide clear directions. When your team members aren’t clear about tasks, they will make mistakes. That hurts productivity, staff morale and the bottom line. Bosses become unhappy with their team members, who in turn fault bosses for not giving clear directions. To increase clarity, use social project management tools that simplify assigning tasks, detailing tasks and mitigating doubts through a built-in commenting system. Whichever platform you choose, find one that makes task roles, responsibilities and statuses crystal clear.

3. Hold regular video calls. One big drawback of remote teams is a feeling of isolation. How do you make up for the lack of physical proximity? Hold regular team video calls over Zoom or Skype. If you have daily scrum meetings, why not do it through video? Nonverbal cues play a huge role in communication and boosting camaraderie. Video calls can go a long way in making your team feel closer.

4. Avoid email overload. A flood of email leads to messages’ getting unnoticed in overflowing inboxes, which wastes valuable time. Instead, use tools like Slack, which are designed for internal team communication. Slack has multiple channels for different topics of group conversations, as well as one-on-one messaging that mitigates confusion.

5. Use collaboration tools. Cloud-based tools help your team to collaborate on all sorts of files. Use Google Docs or Microsoft Office 365 to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc., and store all your files in Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox. The easier you make it for your people to do their work, the happier they will be in their jobs.

Vaishali Badgujar is a digital marketer with Time Doctor. A version of this post first appeared on Irish Tech News.


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