Four Ways to Engage Team Members You Only See Over Zoom

Engage your remote team

We all are adjusting to the pandemic in every aspect of our lives including work. For many people, working from home is filled with distractions. The disruption from our normal routine can be difficult to navigate. There are no more water cooler conversations. You can’t pop your head over the cubicle wall for some quick feedback. We see our team members over Zoom but we’re not getting that personal human interaction that reinvigorates us.

The importance of engaging remote team members

This is a challenge for leaders who need to keep employees productive and engaged. Not surprisingly, the most effective approaches to engage and motivate employees are rooted in modern, adaptive leadership.

Here are four ways adaptive leaders keep their teams highly engaged.  They

  • replace those important ad hoc office discussions with regular one-on-one conversations. They recognize that communications is key and in a virtual environment it needs to be planned.
  • begin these conversations by checking-in on their employee’s life. How are things going at home? How are they feeling? Leaders also share what’s going on in their own lives. This builds stronger connection, understanding and trust.
  • are great coaches. Great coaches are empathetic, they listen and look for meaning. They empower their employees to solve their own problems and grow in the process.
  • celebrate successes, always looking to recognize when someone is doing something right. They make recognition personal, perhaps with a thank you card instead of an email.

Open and transparent communication is key

An Oyster client provides a great example. We worked with leaders in this large multi-billion-dollar organization and identified important gaps around open and transparent communication as well as psychological safety. Top leadership committed to addressing these gaps and changed their behaviors. As a result, they have seen a steady increase in the organization’s employee engagement scores including these last few months. One senior leader said recently, “We now have a much healthier organization.” You can read more about this case study at

Another valuable resource for you is a recent article at Harvard Business Review: 8 Ways Managers Can Support Employees’ Mental Health.   It outlines important leadership practices in the current environment.

We are all struggling in one way or another which means leaders have an opportunity to connect, understand and engage.

Article written by Larry Shoop