Four Ways to Encourage Employee Engagement Virtually

Over the past two years, working from home has quickly transformed from a rarity to the new normal. Some companies have evolved to give employees hybrid options, while others have built entire teams of remote contracted workers. So, employee engagement in virtual conditions becomes important for each company.

While the virtual workplace has given many employees greater flexibility to balance their responsibilities, it has also posed challenges. Employers and managers have tested employee engagement tactics to boost team morale and camaraderie in an environment where team members don’t meet in person.

Four Ways to Encourage Employee Engagement Virtually

1. Icebreakers

Games and “getting to know you” activities have long been a part of work culture. After all, you can’t expect a group of strangers to immediately fall into effortless teamwork and strong communication if they have yet to introduce themselves.

To mimic the positive social aspects of the office, many team leaders have implemented virtual icebreakers during Zoom calls and Google Teams sessions. Video chats may not give you the benefits of face-to-face communication, but they allow employees to learn more about who they’re working with and chat in real time rather than waiting for a Slack response.

You can implement trivia, minigames, storytelling, and more into virtual meetings. It might feel overwhelming to run a productive meeting and plan games in a single Zoom session, but you can look up prompts ahead of time or invest in gamification software.

Gamification can go beyond the meet-and-greet stage; you can implement gamification tactics in your team’s work and their icebreakers. Games break up the monotony of tasks by integrating a competitive aspect. They can also generate excitement during brainstorming sessions and give employees a clearer understanding of the performance metrics you use to gauge their work.

2. Support Employee Health

Traditional health and safety protocols change when you lead a virtual team, but maintaining employee well-being remains a top priority. Healthy employees experience greater job satisfaction, improved work-life balance, and are more engaged in their professional lives.

You can support your team’s well-being through benefits like insurance, mental health resources, grocery funds, and gym subscriptions. You can also set up challenges designed to promote teamwork and health. You might implement monthly initiatives for spending time outside, journaling, or trying new exercise classes. You can hold one another accountable, have fun, and build more personal relationships when you support holistic wellness.

3. Career Advancement

No employee wants to feel stagnant in their jobs, whether they’re working in the office or from home. One of the best retention strategies in any organization is offering career advancement opportunities; you can upskill and support employees as they seek to grow in their careers.

Ask your employees what they want from their roles and within the company during virtual one-on-ones and feedback surveys. Solicit feedback on what resources you can offer that will boost their confidence and curiosity. Let your employees take charge of some projects. Workers find greater fulfillment in their jobs when they receive challenges, execute objectives, and receive constructive feedback. Giving your employees challenges and the resources to overcome them demonstrates your trust in their abilities and allows them to exercise creative freedom.

4. Celebrate

Employees need to know you value them and their work if they are going to fully engage in the workplace. Remember occasions like birthdays, set up a virtual shoutout board, and set aside time for casual team catch-ups online. Keep channels open for communication; when employees need support or have suggestions, they should feel comfortable reaching out to leaders. With clear, established communication channels and best practices, you foster an honest environment where employees can share their hopes and concerns.

Celebration boosts motivation and morale. It provides a refreshing break from routine and encourages a sense of unity amongst team members. Take the time to celebrate occasions and accomplishments, big and small. It demonstrates that you care about your employees’ experience in your organization, not just the work they produce.


If you want an engaged virtual workforce, get to know your employees as people. Learn how they like to work and receive feedback, and do your utmost to take a personalized approach to lead them. You might also (with their permission) send your employees information and announcements related to their interests. Some members of your team may join or form online groups based on their shared hobbies. Employers and team leaders must intentionally craft employee engagement activities and practices for their remote employees to reduce turnover rates and improve their well-being.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan