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Employee engagement will be a top priority for many companies in an environment where many employees continue to operate remotely for home, and rarely have in person contact with management & colleagues.

What are the 5 key elements that will shape engagement in the this new era of employment relationships?


Effective leadership means leaders need to change how they interact & support with their employees in an environment where working remotely can be lonely & especially for team members like new hires and junior executives. How do you build and lead a high-performing and engaged team?

Effective leaders will devote their time to supporting their team and forming relationships of trust with employees. They need to frequently recognise positive behaviours and reward performance and learnings.


Leadership drives employee engagement and engagement ultimately drives organizational performance.

Using tools that enable leaders to show their personality, influences how managers interact with their employees and how teams interact with each other. This will create a positive company culture.

To improve engagement and maintain high performing teams in 2021, Business and HR leaders must be strategic in their choice of tools to support their reward and recognition programs that enable to them to personalise communication & support company values in a consistent method that is facilitated by remote contact. Standard and non-personalised interactions no longer drive positive behaviour.


A big challenge to maintaining engagement with a high performing remote team is identifying which team members are becoming disengaged. Anyone can appear engaged and motivated during weekly calls. It is important for managers to gain the trust of their employees so that they can have open and honest conversations about engagement and what can be done to keep them motivated.

Setting clear objectives and goals – then recognising their achievement is a great way to ensure that employees don’t feel taken for granted in a remote work environment.

Real engagement

As employees continue to work remotely, companies are now adapting to deliver several employee engagement and wellbeing initiatives. Initiatives designed to make working life easier for staff and maintain cohesive and engaged teams.

Employees have traditionally relied on social interaction in the workplace to reinforce their loyalty and cultural values. Social outings, one on one coffees and company functions have traditionally reinforced these values. Businesses need to learn to embrace the flexibility and support that this environment offered. Work schedules and availability can be tailored to suit the individual, although clear goals and objectives with appropriate measurement and recognition need to be maintained.

Engagement is not something that is ‘done’ for employees, but rather something that is earned from them through continued support and strong leadership. The single most powerful step a company can take to boost engagement is to ensure that managers are communicating and collaborating effectively with their teams, with wellbeing initiatives like the above re-enforcing this support structure.


Employee engagement is a constant moving goal. The challenge is how to drive continues improvement in engagement to achieve better performance & loyalty. Findings indicate that while challenges arose for workers following the shift to remote work, attitudes towards leadership and engagement remained stable and positive. Many employees understand that the challenges of remote work and also know that everyone is going through the same challenges – managers included – and as a result their emotional commitment to their organizations has not dramatically changed.

Taking into account these 5 key factors in employee engagement, most HR strategists recommend a formal approach to establishing a Reward & Recognition Programme in your business. It will keep employee engagement top of mind and give managers the tools to drive performance and behaviours aligned to your company values.

Whatever the programme, it needs to be simple to understand, simple to implement and simple to repeat.