If you currently employ any number of remote developers, you should think about how to keep them engaged throughout the entire year. And even though things tend to slow down around this time of year, it’s important to keep employee engagement on your radar—especially as your company starts to celebrate around the office in the coming weeks. Before you get too caught up in the season, here are a few tips to ensure that your remote workers get to share in the fun.
If you've ever had to purchase holiday gifts for employees, you know the perils of selecting something that will please everyone. When you consider adding your remote workers to the shopping list, you might look at the logistical issues behind the operation and say, “Let’s just buy something for the employees who commute to the office every day.” But with the office perks they already can’t enjoy, making your holiday gift consistent regardless of everyone’s location is an easy way to keep remote developers engaged during the holidays.
Gift exchanges amongst colleagues can be touchy when some colleagues work remotely and can’t participate. However, no rule says you have to be in the same room as someone to exchange holiday gifts. In fact, Hannah Wright at Form Assembly recently wrote about how her team organized a virtual gift exchange using an app called Elfster to handle all the logistics. The team also took selfies with their gifts when they arrived and shared the photos with the entire team, which gave everyone the opportunity to see each person's reaction to what they received.
In an ideal world with an unlimited budget, you’d fly everyone in for your company holiday party. However, not only is this out of reach for most companies from a financial standpoint, but many of your remote workers wouldn’t be able to drop everything to attend your company’s holiday party. In addition to the holiday activities your team does together, send your remote developers a gift card towards a night on the town. Although they won’t get the participate in all the events happening around the office, this small gesture will go a long way in making them feel like valued members of the team.
Developers want recognition for their efforts and accomplishments. While this shouldn’t be reserved exclusively for the holiday season, set aside some time before the end of the year to review the things your remote developers achieved. Not only is this a low-cost way to reflect on the previous year as a team, but recognizing each developer’s work will increase employee engagement after the holiday season comes to a close.