A 2015 Gallup poll states that 37% of the U.S. labor force works remotely — and that number is on the rise. Remote work is increasingly popular due to rising business expenses, such as rent, as well as technology creating the opportunity to work from anywhere. But with every opportunity comes challenges and for remote work, communication and employee engagement are the biggest. The same technology that allows us to use the world as our office also employs digital communication with dashboards and apps to send messages, recognize achievements, and give feedback, no matter our location.

Here are a few ways you can use today’s technology to boost employee engagement with your sales teams.

 

Communicate Everything

When your team works in different cities and time zones, direct communication is a struggle and it’s easy to miss important information or feel out of the loop. The onus is on managers to utilize technology to craft clear messages to their entire team. While email is used more globally, the bottomless pit that is an inbox makes it easy to overlook or mistake a piece of mail as nonessential. Email also makes it easy to leave someone off the list, which can lead to social isolation or poor performance.

With the onset of Slack, the real-time communication tool for businesses, managers are adopting this as a method for mass communication. Messages are organized in channels, all devoted to a particular theme or project. The added benefit of Slack is that it integrates with gamification technology like Hoopla in order to send newsflashes via your company’s digital dashboard. You can customize the way people are alerted to these messages, who receives them, and more.

 

 

 

Competition Among Teammates

Your sales team does not need to sit next to one another to compete for top ranking sales. A performance dashboard that can be viewed remotely promotes healthy competition among colleagues. This is a powerful and low-input way to strengthen your employees’ engagement with their goals.

An added opportunity is allowing employees to challenge each other through motivational games with low stakes wagers like coffee or lunch for the winner. Remote employees can quickly feel like their work is meaningless, but when you give them the opportunity to work together, apart.

 

 

Improve the Feedback Loop

How do you reward success when you don’t enjoy daily, or even weekly, face time with your team? Leveraging the power of your gamification tools to award your team with badges or newsflashes is an easy way to remind someone that they are appreciated—and remind the rest of the team that they are working as a unit. And let’s face it, using Employee Appreciation Day to deliver mugs or other “participation trophy-like” swag is not nearly as valued as getting instant recognition for a job well done.

 

 

Similarly, performance dashboards that are designed with an employee’s KPIs in mind is an excellent way to keep remote sales teams focused on their progress. You may not be able to schedule regular meetings, either face-to-face or through a video conference.

Building on your digital communication to offer feedback in real time helps recognize their achievements, outlines missed opportunities, and identifies promotion or growth options. With publicly displayed communication, your team will be clear on your expectations on company goals.