How to keep remote staff engaged

How to keep remote staff engaged

Managing a remote workforce comes with a whole new set of considerations.

BY Business Chicks, 5 min READ

Thanks to our friends at Employment Hero.

Every employer wants to secure the best talent to deliver the highest quality of work. It’s a no brainer. And Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer at Employment Hero, believes that remote workforces are the key to attracting this talent. “We are all unique and work most productively when given the trust and freedom to deliver on outcomes.”

This freedom might look like early starts for some, late evenings for others, and longer breaks in the day to fit in caring responsibilities or self-care practices. Employment Hero’s survey of 1200 Australians found that 84% of them enjoy working from home and 92% would continue to work from home regularly if given the opportunity.

Managing a remote workforce comes with a whole new set of considerations for employers.  And working with hundreds of businesses every day, Alex knows what works to maintain company culture and staff engagement.

Trust and Psychological Safety

The paramount consideration for employers is to build a safe space where employees are given the trust to have open and honest conversations. Employees shouldn’t feel the need to be constantly visible when working remotely. “If they are struggling with priorities or workload, they need to feel safe to be able to bring that topic up.”

Consider scheduling time to check in with your direct reports, to see how they’re doing mentally and outside of work.

Communication and Transparency

Cascading business decisions, strategies and tracking company goals in a transparent way is important to all businesses, regardless of how they operate. It’s even more important when working remotely. “As leaders we often take this for granted… even if this is not positive news to communicate, it must be done.” Make sure key announcements are circulated via email or video call, and not kept as conversations between those in the office.


Alex’s policy at Employment Hero is for all meetings to be dial-in or via video call. Employees should never feel excluded or at a disadvantage because they are working remotely. You can even take the chat around the boiling kettle remotely, by setting up water cooler channels in your virtual communication platforms.

Reward and Recognition

Reward and Recognition programs are fantastic for building morale and motivation, and they can be amplified across remote workforces. Alex suggested setting up a platform where team members can recognise each other across the business, and setting up a reward program based on your organisations values to build meaningful value.

A cadence for communication

Regular check ins are a great way to start the day. Whether the team share a highlight, a word of the day, or barriers they need assistance with, the process is a great way to build and maintain culture when working remotely. Leaders should approach this with vulnerability, to make it clear that it’s okay to not be okay. “If you have an Employee Assistance Program, make sure your employees are aware of it. If not there are amazing resources such as Beyond Blue.”

Alex advised managers to be very conscious of reading visual cues from their employees, “if someone has their video off, you may want to reach out to them after the stand-up to make sure they are doing okay.”

And remember to have some fun! It’s about making time for connection.


Want more tips on navigating the new way of working? Read on for practical tips on keeping staff engaged and productivity high when you’re not sharing an office space.

Employment Hero is an all-in-one HR, Payroll and Benefits platform that powers employee management from anywhere, anytime.


©2020 Business Chicks

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