January 2022


The era of remote work has fully arrived. The post-Covid world has seen a lot more companies offering hybrid work practices that include a combination of working from home and attending an office space, creating the need for HR to look at employee engagement in a new way.

What is virtual employee engagement?

Virtual employee engagement are online activities for employees to participate in to create team cohesion and improve employee morale. It allows people to easily meet online with one another, deliver presentations, and connect with or without video, in real time.

How remote working can affect your business

Employees working remotely can easily become detached from a team or business if relationships are not nurtured in other ways. A disconnected employee becomes disgruntled, depressed, lose sight of their own worth or the worth of others, misunderstands expectations – the list goes on and creates a vicious cycle that’s difficult to break. The knock-on effect is an unproductive employee.

Providing virtual engagement opportunities for employees will ensure everyone remains connected and aligned. This is beneficial for a business in many ways.

How can HR engage with virtual employees?

Thankfully technology provides ample opportunities to ensure employees remain connected even when they’re geographically scattered around. Setting up team building activities conventionally fall to the HR department. Virtual employee engagement is no different. HR has numerous strategies to their disposal to create opportunities for employees to connect virtually just as effectively as if they were meeting physically.

Personal interaction

HR can connect with individual employees regularly, and check in to ensure they know they aren’t isolated. HR can have personal interactions through a phone call or email. The point is to have that personal contact with someone in the organisation who is reaching out and wanting to connect.

Video meetings

Video meetings give employees the chance to see the person or people on the other side. It helps to break down some of the feelings of isolation that can easily creep in when you’re working on your own in a physical space.

Let them know they are still part of the team

HR is responsible for letting people know that they’re part of a team. If you have personal interactions and video meetings with employees, they will more likely know that they are part of a team. Moreover, remind employees that they’re a part of the whole organisation and instrumental in achieving organisational goals.

Remote employee engagement ideas

HR can create numerous virtual activities to encourage employee engagement. The only limitation, really, is creativity. Here are some ideas.

Virtual team building

Virtual team building activities can include ideas like bringing in a guest speaker to host a meeting for the team to get different perspectives. Design games, challenges or exercises for teams to participate in on virtual platforms like Zoom, Google Meet or Teams.

Ask for feedback and listen

When having personal interactions with employees, ask for feedback about specific points relating to the job, team, virtual work environment, and so on. More importantly, when employees give feedback, ensure they know that you’re listening.

Introduce new employees

Introduce a new team member on a Slack channel, via video meeting or on an employee forum. Introducing the new employee to the team and to the greater organisation is important. It creates a sense of inclusion and connectedness that goes a long way towards ensuring employee engagement in the future.

Virtual coffee breaks

You only need to allocate 15 minutes to half an hour for employees to virtually meet for an informal chat or a catch-up.

Keep the employees in the loop

Chat Apps like Slack or WhatsApp are good for quick updates. You can send regular news emails or host a virtual meeting or video conference to keep employees updated on company movements, policies and other company news.

Offer a virtual social employee gathering group

Invite employees from across the company to join a virtual social catch-up.

Offer online training

Even when employees work remotely, they know you have their career enhancement and progress at heart when you offer them online training that helps them with their job, develop them and offer new skills.

Empower your remote employees

Employees need the right tools to have access and connect to others in the organisation. Make sure they have what they need to be in charge of their own destiny as much as possible. A great Human Resources Management System (HRMS) offers all the tools in one place.

Have the right tools available

Tools include basics like computers, good video tools like webcams if not included in a laptop, and easy access to Apps used by the organisation for connecting and HRMS remote access. If an employee can’t access a video conference or join a Slack conversation, they will feel more isolated than before.

Have relevant information when needed

When an employee asks for additional emotional support, make sure they know where they can go to for that support, what the support entails and how the company provides for it. Same goes for other things like training, career advice and conflict management.

Effective and engaging communication tools

Invest in communication tools that best fits your company’s goals and budget and make sure these tools are accessible to all in the organisation.

Be available and supportive

If employees know that they can come to you, how to contact you, it enhances engagement, trust and loyalty. It is the first and last rule of successful HR management: be available and supportive.

Manage your remote employees and offer virtual employee engagement through a powerful HRMS tool


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