Effectively Managing and Engaging Remote Employees

Laura Iniguez

Laura Iniguez

Laura Iniguez is an HR professional and content expert, running all marketing, content creation, and social media for Hirebook. Her professional path has allowed her to work with renowned names in the industry and ally with international leaders. She’s a theatre enthusiast and writes about it on international theatre websites.


Last year, as everything changed, businesses had to rapidly move their teams towards remote work. Thinking that it would just be temporary some companies even had a “return date to the office” that just kept stretching. It’s been well over a year, and most organizations are thinking of maintaining a fully remote or a hybrid office, but they still haven’t overcome the biggest challenge of the modern age: effective remote management.


Remote work demands new skills from managers, which most managers have never experienced. Changing your management style is not an easy thing to do, especially when their style is effective in-person! Almost no one was prepared to implement remote management with their teams, and many organizations didn’t care to prepare since they thought that that work would be back to normal within a few months’ time.


Now, as we we face the new normal, we must prepare to help our teams thrive amidst these challenging times.


Why is Managing Remote Employees Difficult?


Achieving effective management is already hard enough when working on-site; not every person reacts the same way to the same stimuli. Knowing how to make your employees perform their best and keeping them motivated is a daily task… but doing so without having your team physically around you is a way harder task.

As humans, we communicate more through our body language. According to Dr. Mehrabian, the interpretation of a message is 7% verbal, 38% vocal and 55% percent visual; this means that 93% of communication is nonverbal in nature!

Effective communication deeply relies on body language, ergo managing a team without physically interacting with them becomes extremely challenging. We no longer know exactly how our employees are feeling because we can’t just look around and check on them, and we focus only on their numbers, because that’s the only thing we can actually see and grade.

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Preparing for remote working post COVID-19


In an era where we’ve realized that employee engagement is an important subject to focus on to get better results and high performing employees, we have been ripped away from our regular ways to engage with them.


So… how to engage with our teams if we can only partially see them through a screen?


Despite the commonly discussed downsides, there are a lot of benefits when it comes to remote management (beyond wearing pyjamas all day)!

But one of the best things organizations can get out of remote work is hiring talented people located anywhere in the world! Businesses can search for exactly the people they want regardless of their location, adding not only talent but diversity to their companies.


Now that we’re on a more positive note, let’s dive into our subject matter: Effective Management and Engaging with our Employees when Working Remotely.


Desperate times do not always call for desperate measures. When working remotely, well-thought-out strategies work better. We understand that, as remote employees, letting your manager know you’re not feeling 100% and you can’t perform your best is difficult, that “trust” easily built in person is harder to build through a computer screen, and through almost strictly written communication since we don’t exactly know how busy they are at all times.

A survey made by BlueJeans showed that employees working remotely tend to work an average of 3.13 to 4.64 extra hours a day than when working on-site, because they feel like they need to “prove” they’re performing their duties. This not only leads to burnout, but demotivates employees if they feel like their efforts are not appreciated. In situations like these, organizations are looking for ways to improve their employee engagement through tools that allow them to build that trust virtually and take that burden off of their employees.

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We know that being on top of everything as managers is stressful, and we want to make it easier and more efficient for them to manage their team while motivating them to get the best outcomes.


● Remember to Check-In: Even when we can’t always meet with our team, checking in on them shows that you genuinely care about how they’re feeling and if they have any kind of blockers. Using a tool where team leaders can schedule weekly, biweekly and/or monthly Check-Ins, enables productive conversations and allows employees to keep their managers updated on how they’re feeling and connect to solve problems successfully. Managers should also customize the questions they want their employees to answer to get a better scope.

● One-on-Ones go a long way: Meeting with your employees, even virtually, makes it easy to keep track of your team’s agenda and link action items, key results, KPIs and check-in data to ensure all topics are relevant, efficient and effective. To have honest conversations and efficient one-on-ones you don’t necessarily need to meet in the same room, it’s all about how you carry the conversation and having bilateral interactions. Sharing a meeting’s agenda over a trusted software will also allow smoother conversations.

● Tracking Performance is not just about results: When it comes to tracking performance, following KPIs and OKRs will not only let you know what your employees are up to and how they’re doing with their tasks, but you’ll also discover if what they’re doing actually works the way you expected or if there are changes that need to be made. Your employees should also be aware of how their actions leverage on the company’s main goals and how every outcome builds onto the company’s bigger picture.

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There are so many softwares out there offering solutions for so many different matters, but it’s not always justifiable to use so many softwares to achieve one common goal: Effective Remote Management.

That’s why using a solution like Hirebook that integrates meetings, goal-setting and effective check-ins with your employees is a great way to drive your team, department and company’s employee engagement and performance in one simple space. Connecting these dots across your organization provides your team all the right tools to tackle their employee engagement worries, track performance, check in on their teams’ wellbeing, and keep meetings fast & focused.

During times when everything feels so uncertain, having a sense of certainty at least in one aspect of our lives is not to be underestimated. Caring for our employees is not just about getting high performance and positive outcomes for our company, but is also about helping on a deeply personal level and getting through adversity together, achieving the highest possible level of employee engagement and personal satisfaction.


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