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10 Virtual Employee Engagement Ideas That Aren’t Boring 2023

Employee engagement is already difficult as it is. What more in a remote setting? However, don’t let that discourage you from making an effort to boost engagement among your employees. In this article, we’re going to tackle ten virtual employee engagement ideas that aren’t boring to do this 2023.

1. Allow Colleagues to Have an Easy Communication

It’s impossible to keep your employees engaged when you can’t communicate with them or when they can’t contact each other. However, when you give the whole workforce a social collaboration tool that they can easily access, then it allows opportunities for connections and collaboration among employees no matter where they are.

Features such as file sharing and instant chatting make communication much more streamlined, and a feed that has a similar vibe to social media lets employees feel more encouraged to participate. Additionally, nobody gets out of the loop because each update or message will reach all employees at the same time.

Implementing easier ways to communicate let your employees remain in contact when they’re on the clock, making sure they’re engaged even when they’re far away.

2. Help Them Set Up a Productive Home Office

Not every employee working remotely has a proper home office set up already. Employers can let employees know that they’re invested in them by helping them establish a dedicated working space at home.

Whether it’s specific equipment that’ll help improve their work performance or technical support, employers can assist them in a lot of ways while they’re setting up the office. It’s helpful for your employees that they have a working environment that’s comfortable so that it boosts their job satisfaction and productivity.

3. Acknowledge Their Performance

Even though recognizing the performance of a remote employee is more than just dropping by their desk, it’s pretty worth it to place a priority on these acknowledgments. When employees are told that their work is valued, they feel happier and have higher engagement levels, making them more likely to stay with the organization.

It’s important for employees to receive support from their managers, but oftentimes leaders become so busy that they overlook their employees’ daily accomplishments. By utilizing software for peer recognition, employees can give their fellow coworkers virtual compliments that managers can access for performance reviews.

4. Host Virtual Pub Crawls

We recommend hosting this activity after working hours for obvious reasons. However, it’s a great way to get the employees involved in after-work socialization. 

One of the most common ways that office workers connect is by grabbing drinks after work and hosting social events. Even though these can be trickier to do when the employees are remote, it’s crucial not to neglect this factor of working life because it is essential for employee engagement.

You can set up a virtual pub crawl easily. Let your employees know to have some drinks (it doesn’t have to contain alcohol) ready beforehand and place someone in charge of making the map for the virtual pub crawl. The leader has to change their team’s background throughout the event and can even have different activities for each location. This is an entertaining social activity to bring engagement within your employees and keep the company’s social culture kicking.

5. Plant a Virtual Team Garden

With the rise of working from home in 2020 came the rise of the house plant. Never before has there been such an interest in growing and nurturing plants in homes (and home offices). Why not encourage the trending habit, and add it to your list of virtual employee engagement ideas?

Provide each employee with the essential ingredients and equipment to raise a plant: a pot with soil, seeds, and instructions for their plant variety. Then, schedule check-ins with your team to share your plant’s progress, problem-solve anything not going well, and talk about the experience.

6. Have Ted Talks

Incorporating presentations similar to Ted Talks in existing meetings or setting them up as stand-alone events are a great way for employees to get to know one another and feel a connection on a level that’s more personal.

Give employees the platform to talk about a topic they’re passionate and knowledgeable about, whether it’s an important life experience that impacted their journey or a skill they discovered and practiced.

When it comes to leadership and employee engagement, these “Ted Talks” can be an opportunity for leaders to share the wisdom they’ve acquired and experiences that can be helpful to their teams. Other great topics to dwell on are hurdles they overcame and personal stories with life lessons they’ve learned along the way.

7. Kickstart a Healthy Habit Challenge

Unfortunately, working remotely can play a part in unhealthy habits, especially if there are snacks readily available, as well as the idea of staying in pajamas throughout the day.

Nonetheless, virtual employees can reap the benefits of company-led initiatives that promote the improvement of their mental and physical well-being. Throwing a healthy habit challenge is some of the best virtual employee engagement activities because they help employees’ physical and mental health, benefiting them both personally and professionally.

An example would be challenging employees to keep track of the number of glasses of water they drink each day or giving them 20 minutes every day to do something for their mental health.

Just take note of physical challenges that may leave out some employees. Should you decide to include incentives in these challenges, be sure also to indicate how your organization values employees’ health.

8. Throw Online Birthday Parties

When it comes to virtual employees, celebrating birthdays in the workplace may not be the same compared to working at an office. Make birthday celebrations fun again by throwing online birthday parties, which your employees will definitely enjoy!

Schedule a “surprise” meeting where other staff members celebrate the employee’s birthday and share their favorite memory working with them. Encourage employees to send thoughtful greetings with a dedicated channel for birthdays in your team’s chat platform. This type of celebration can be applied to work anniversaries or other milestones as well! 

If recognizing each occasion may be difficult because of the size of your team, then hosting monthly parties is still enough to bring some much-appreciated encouragement at work and recognize many employees at the same time. Besides, some employees may appreciate not having the center of attention on them anyway.

9. Establish Virtual Happy Hours

You’ve probably heard of virtual happy hours, but when it comes to virtual employee engagement ideas, what’s even more important is how engaging the activity is. But, simply placing a happy hour on the calendar and waiting for employees to show up is not enough. Make it more enticing to join!

Virtual happy hours are perfect for online games when it comes to boosting employee engagement. The moment employees have arrived alongside their drink of choice, start with a game of trivia or an ice breaker. And proceed with other games to keep the entertainment going so that the employees are enjoying themselves while being with their fellow colleagues.

10. “Show and Tell”

With a lot of remote employees working from home, coworkers often enjoy the occasional sight of  pets, partners, or kids during video calls. An interesting virtual engagement activity you can host for your employees is an online show-and-tell segment.

Include your show and tell team calls that are regularly scheduled or host an individual meeting. Encourage employees to show something from their surroundings that makes their work-from-home environment much better. This allows you to see different sides of your employees and know them much more.

Conclusion

Following these virtual employee engagement ideas diminishes the loneliness and disconnection remote workers feel in this type of work setting. Using the appropriate tools can help your team build more meaningful connections and create a more strong company culture.

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