As organisations approach the one-year mark since the pandemic propelled them to abruptly switch to remote work, leaders around the world continue to scramble finding ways to keep employees engaged in a virtual environment.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, only 17 percent of U.S. employees worked from home, but after the reinforcement of standard operating procedures, WFH is being widely accepted. In fact, according to a recent Gartner survey, 90% of HR leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely at least part of the time, even after vaccines are widely adopted.

1) Keep the Wheel of Employee Appreciation Moving

Employees who work remotely may feel pressure to prove themselves to their coworkers and bosses. To keep your staff motivated and their morale boosted in this era of remote work, embed recognition in your company culture.

According to insights from McKinsey, being rewarded and recognised for work is one of employees’ top concerns during the COVID-19 era. Their survey results also show that organisations can achieve a 55 percent improvement in engagement by addressing employees’ need for work recognition through nonfinancial means.

As a leader, you need to consistently encourage engagement, fun and recognition in your company. You could switch to a virtual recognition system and celebrate new initiatives, team collaborations and wins as well as personal milestones like birthdays and anniversaries. Shouting out successes on a group video call or sending personalized appreciation email for hard work is also a great idea.

2) Empower Employees with Upskilling and Reskilling Programmes

As companies gradually return to the office and adopt hybrid working model post-pandemic, it’s essential to make sure those working remotely don’t get left behind when it comes to skilling and career development.

An effective approach is to offer flexible skilling opportunities, so employees can learn at their own pace as per their convenience. Provide them with a strategic skilling roadmap that will be mutually beneficial to both their career goals and your company. Besides offering courses and formal skilling resources, you can also challenge them with new projects and gigs to help them uncover untapped skills and abilities.

3) Take Care of Their Well-Being

After Covid-19, we have faced circumstances and levels of stress that we never had to deal with before. Majority of people struggle to keep a check on their mental and physical health as they maintain social distancing and worry about their personal and financial safety.

As a manager, you shouldn’t be taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to leading teams. It’s important to be mindful of the individual circumstances that your team members face and alter your approach accordingly. Also, make sure your employees take rest periods and set healthy boundaries to get work-life balance.