4 Strategic Ways to Keep Remote Employees Engaged
Remote Employee Engagement

The good news is that employee engagement among U.S. workers is on the rise. The bad news is that even with a recent uptick in engagement, only 34% of employees describe themselves as engaged at work—which means of course that more than half say they’re disengaged. Additionally, more than 13% of employees describe themselves as “actively disengaged,” which means in simple language that they’re unhappy doing their jobs.

Why Employee Engagement Matters

The problem for American businesses is that employee engagement is closely aligned with other metrics— those with the potential to do serious harm to business viability. Chief among these is employee attrition. With an average cost to replace an employee who leaves at approximately 150% of that worker’s annual salary, prudent businesses need to pay close attention to employee attrition metrics like the following from Medium:

  • On average, more than half of all workers are thinking about leaving their jobs.
  • Businesses lose more than 25% of new employees within their first year.
  • More than 70% of employees who leave do so to pursue career advancement opportunities.
  • Businesses that offer flexible work options (like remote work) reduce turnover by more than 25%.

The impact of engagement on employee retention is just one of the reasons striving for a more engaged workforce is so important.

What Can Employers do to Boost Remote Employee Engagement?

According to one recent analysis, more than 70% of employees now work remotely at least part-time. Because those workers are not “in the office” every day, they require special attention to ensure their continued engagement. 

Creating a remote employee engagement plan isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Every business is different, with different engagement challenges and different flexible work options. Only you can decide which strategies will work best for your company. That said, most companies will benefit from implementing best practice strategies like the following 4:

  1. Provide an “enabling infrastructure.”
    That’s how
    Deloitte refers to the tools that help employees succeed. Those tools could be anything from conducting meetings through a video hosting service to using task management software and chat services. The point is, the easier you make it for your employees to do their jobs remotely—and succeed—the greater the odds they’ll enjoy coming to work and remain with your company.
  2. Give them the training they need to excel.
    Effective training comes in many forms. It could be assigning a skilled mentor (particularly effective during onboarding) or coach for remote workers. The point is to link remote training opportunities to a long-term career advancement plan—mapping out the ways in which new skills are an integral component of each worker’s future with your business.
  3. Know who they are.
    Because remote workers see you face-to-face less frequently, it’s critically important to cement your ongoing relationship with them—to know who they are. The simplest (and arguably the best) way to know who your employees are is to ask them. America’s workforce is increasingly diverse; knowing what your employees believe and care about will go a long way to boosting engagement. It’s also important to conduct occasional employee surveys to learn what kinds of programs and benefits your employees care about most.
  4. Celebrate their accomplishments.
    Promotions and bonuses are a tangible sign that you value your remote employee’s achievements, but announcing those accomplishments at public events signals that you also consider them important contributions to company culture and community. Be sure in organizing these events that you consider all your remote employees’ contributions significant—again, the point is not only to demonstrate appreciation for individual accomplishments but also to promote a feeling of community and belonging for all employees, including those who work remotely.


The strategies you implement to boost engagement among remote employees should never be gratuitous or half-hearted. Your workers look to you to model behavior, and they pay close attention to the ways in which you engage with them. That said, if you care about the success of your business, you should also care about the success of your workers—the two, after all, are inextricably connected.

To ensure you’re making the right moves when it comes to the critically important matter of enhancing engagement, you might want to get some expert help (the stakes are that high). To learn more about the ways our employee survey platforms and data-driven approach can help your business improve employee engagement, experience, and retention, give us a call at 877-439-9315 or contact us today.