Engagement matters when it comes to remote employees

by Apr 6, 2021

You’ve probably felt it before. You’re alone in a quiet house. The kids are finally back in school. Your partner is running errands. You have a day full of meetings, but after the cameras turn off and everyone hits “leave meeting,” you’re left with the stillness of your home and the noticeable absence of workplace banter.

Or, what about scenario #2? You’re surrounded by yelling children, your partner is late for their own meeting, the house is a mess, and your headphones aren’t noise-cancelling. After the cameras turn off and everyone hits “leave meeting,” you’re left feeling exhausted and unmotivated to focus through the noise.

We understand both situations, as well as the dozens more that remote employees have navigated in the last year. The lack of casual connection with other colleagues or face-to-face collaboration with your team members can make even the most hard-working person feel disengaged and isolated. Plus, when you’re working at home, it’s easier to use household chores as an “excuse” to take your fifth break in an hour.

For all of these reasons and more, engagement is more paramount than ever when it comes to remote workers. Without accessible in-person office challenges, water-cooler chatter over leaderboards, or actual high-fives, how else can you keep your teams focused on participating in your programs and collaborating during contests? If the wellness programs being offered aren’t engaging, they aren’t going to get any traction.

Don’t leave it to HR to fulfill a “checklist” of providing wellness support – provide actual wellness support. That’s why our number-one differentiator from competitors is … engagement. Our pillars are limitless because we focus on all aspects of wellbeing, and our platform is fully customizable, personally relevant, and socially stimulating.

So, how do you do that? First of all, offer an incentive for reaching a goal. Rather than dishing out kudos for simply committing to a challenge, offer rewards for hitting a milestone (think: click-bait versus returning visitor). Here at Sonic Boom, we provide this opportunity through Featured Contests. Our clients are in the driver’s seat when it comes to the rewards they want to give when a member hits the contest goal. That way, they have something to aim for, and they feel accomplished in the process.

Second, make things social. Don’t keep rewards programs or challenges siloed and individualized. Encourage your team to engage with one another, offer perks for teaming up, create a kudos-based system, and communicate the standings with everyone. For example, we have our uber-popular Caught Ya function for all members who use our program. This encourages colleagues to “catch” each other (or themselves!) doing something healthy, and posting it for everyone else to like and comment on.  

Third, encourage leadership participation. It doesn’t necessarily scream “motivating” when your supervisor or executives don’t participate in any of the activities they’re urging you to check out. Wouldn’t it be cool to see your CEO and President doing the virtual plank challenge, too?

Next, communicate well. Don’t leave the engagement solely up to fun contests and daily challenges. Rather, connect regularly with your teams. A recent study out of MIT revealed that the top way companies can support remote workers is through frequent communication, which also includes emotional and social support, as well as resources they find to help boost day-to-day productivity.

Are you looking to improve your employees’ wellbeing at home and at work? Click below to find out how Sonic Boom’s comprehensive, fully customizable wellness programs can help!