Top 14 Tools to Keep Your Remote and Hybrid Workforces Engaged

Sep 9, 2022 4:03:45 PM / by HR Tech

What is the top tool for engaging remote or hybrid workforce?

With the increased need to keep up effective communication channels with remote teams, there’s been a tech boom for collaborative project tools. But which of these are worth investing training time and resources into?

HR Tech Tools for Remote Workforce Engagement

Below, 14 HR professionals and business leaders shared their favorite tools to help you pursue the best option for you and your team.

Slack

The top tool that I’ve found to be effective for engaging today’s remote or hybrid workforce is Slack due to its ability to offer multiple forms of communication and collaboration on one platform. After all, communication is the foundation for employee engagement. There are three key, beneficial features to highlight: 

  • Chat – Real-time, two-way communication helps colleagues share information. Have a quick question? Don't send an email—just slack your colleague. Need to align on a group project? Slack group members to gain clarity on next steps.
  • Video – Maybe that slack chat is taking longer than anticipated or the conversation is nuanced. Easily select the video call icon in the chat and speak face to face with your colleague(s).
  • Channels – Channels permit employees to engage with the entire organization. Channels are created by a hashtag. For example, #allhands meeting or #advice. Employees may respond in real-time to questions, comments, or announcements with a written comment, a like symbol, or emoji reactions.

Lindsay Hoag, Founder and CEO of Totally Remote HR

 

Kona

Kona is a mental health check-in and coaching tool for distributed teams that integrates with your Slack. It's an easy way for remote and hybrid workspaces to drive engagement through recurring rituals. You can think of this as a "culture officer on autopilot". There are many tools like Kona, such as the alternative Donut.

Iwo Szapar, CEO of Remote-how

 


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Facebook's Workplace

I believe that Facebook’s Workplace is a powerful resource to pivot internal communication in any business model, especially those that are remote. It’s very intuitive to use, simplifies and displays information instantaneously. This network is private and operates similarly to traditional Facebook, especially when you facilitate the user experience.

I believe the key to maximizing Workplace’s benefits is to use it alongside other existing protocols and invite open participation from colleagues. This creates an enriching interaction between all collaborators, leaving little to no room for silence. Without a doubt, everyone responsible for internal communications in HR should be aware of and include this tool in their service offerings.

Ricardo Diaz Colombo, Director & Senior HR Advisor of RDC Consultora

 

World Time Buddy

World Time Buddy is convenient and keeps remote teams engaged. It’s a software that converts time to distributed teams across the globe. Additionally, it allows you to schedule meetings and conference calls in multiple time zones. Lastly, its world clock allows for sending the perfectly timed email that won’t get lost in inboxes that fill up overnight. In short, World Time Buddy helps global teams reach optimal connectivity.

Michael Van, CEO of Furnishr

world time buddy quote

 

 

Basecamp

It's really easy to get lost in a remote environment if there is no tool to welcome your team members on a daily basis. I love Basecamp for remote teams, with fewer than 150 people. It is user-friendly, allows to both synchronously and asynchronously communicate, manages projects and timelines, stores documents, and serves as an all-company literal "base camp".

Have you ever walked into a job on your first day, nervous and trying to understand a new environment? Don't let your employees get lost—design your Basecamp through the lens of your culture, and you'll be on the right track!

Darcy Boles, Remote-First Workplace Designer (Consultant) at Shift with Darcy Marie

 

Parabol

I'm always asked: How can I improve collaboration on my team when we work remotely? For starters, it's important to not only involve your team in finding solutions, but also to create an environment where everyone has an equal opportunity to be heard, provide input, and share their ideas. My favorite tool for this is Parabol. It provides leaders with an easy-to-use platform where they can engage the whole team in effective, collaborative coaching conversations.

Here's a three-step process I'd recommend for leaders that wish to get their team out of the day-to-day and have deep, meaningful collaborative working sessions:

  1. Understand what the objective of the collaboration is. Focus on one thing at a time.
  2. Provide a clear problem and meeting objective. Ask participants to share their thoughts and ideas ahead of time.
  3. Use a collaborative tool (like Parabol) that enables people to write down or draw out their ideas instead of just talking.

Shauna Moran, Founder of Operate Remote

 


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Zoom

While there are lots of tools I have used in managing remote and hybrid workforces, Zoom remains my favorite tool for effective engagement. Zoom is very easy to navigate and it’s relatively data efficient. In addition, Zoom has some lovely features that aid remote work. Examples include Zoom Marketplace which I found very useful for collaboration and team tasks, especially with the use of Google Drive and Workspace.

There is also Zoom’s Virtual Background feature that helps me to conceal my actual background during official video conferencing with colleagues or clients.  There is also a Meeting Transcription feature, so I don’t need to worry about note-taking during meetings because I can always refer to the transcript. Finally, Zoom’s Screen Share has made training and other L&D activities possible from practically anywhere. These and other Zoom features have been very useful in engaging today’s remote and hybrid workforce.

Laolu Egunjobi, HR Manager of Graceco Industries Limited

 

LinkedIn

Too many leaders view social media as a risk, the place where they lose control of the carefully crafted narrative they've paid millions to create. Regulated industries have to be careful. LinkedIn has over 800 million users globally. Most users don't create, they simply scroll and consume content. If you’re training your staff to use LinkedIn effectively, you’re teaching them how to minimize risk, create original content, and share company-created messages strategically so you have a competitive advantage.

By using LinkedIn effectively, your employees build skills for the future, a network that can follow them, and you’re amplifying the company message by seizing the power of network science. Any internal messaging the employee shares is amplified by posting externally. It builds industry credibility too. Your CEO maybe won't log into Yammer or Slack, but they probably read LinkedIn. Showcase your expertise on LinkedIn and get noticed. Internally and externally.

Nola Simon, Hybrid and Remote Work Futurist of Nola Simon Advisory

linkedin quote

 

SoWork

At our fully-remote startup, all employees collaborate virtually with avatars. We use SoWork, a fun and interactive virtual office space that allows all team members to log into our own private metaverse with an avatar of their choice. Staff members stay logged in all day as they are working independently. They can “walk up” to each other within the metaverse and informally strike up a video chat for collaboration, or for after-work happy hours and team bonding. The remote employee experience we're building is one where people will be included and engaged.

Lindsay Hischebett, Head of People and Partners at Flaus

 

Bonusly

I find Bonusly to be one of the most effective tools for engaging today's remote or hybrid workforce. Bonusly helps organizations give and receive recognition in a way that is simple, social, and fun. With Bonusly, employees can give each other points for doing great work, which can be redeemed for real-life rewards. This system helps to foster a sense of connection and camaraderie among employees, even those who are remote or work part-time.

Linda Shaffer, Chief People Operations Officer of Checkr

 

Krisp

We use video a lot in our communications. It's a more engaging way to brainstorm and deliver live training. In the beginning, we noticed that most of our staff took some time to prepare for video calls. Others were anxious about getting special equipment and everything properly set up—none of this was productive. Our advice was to just use the devices they already owned, from anywhere, at any time.

Video calling became as easy as talking face-to-face in the office. But then background noise became a problem. We used Krisp to cancel background noise, echoes, and distractive virtual backgrounds. We use it with Zoom, Skype, and Join.me, but it supports hundreds of tools.

Jon Torres, CEO of Jon Torres

 


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Nuclino

Nuclino is online software that allows team members to bring their projects together on a platform. It helps to build Wikipedia content, project management, and share documents with team members without any switching in a smooth way. This platform helps connect all team members for discussions and meets. It offers lists, board, and graphic views which helps to organize the documents and improves workflow. Communication features, project management, and file sharing make it more effective. It also features an easy and clutter-free editor which saves hours on editing documents. Nuclino is easy to use and works at a good speed.

Cole South, Cofounder of Synchronize

 

Miro

Miro is the most effective tool for engaging with a remote workforce. In the workplace, brainstorming sessions that let everyone's creativity flow are one of the most important tasks that teams do. In a hybrid workplace, it seems to be quite challenging to replicate the excitement of working in person on ideas with others. Miro has offered a modern solution to this problem: Team members from across the world can join forces and work together online using a virtual whiteboard.

You can collaborate more visually using Miro. You can add sticky notes, communicate with your team members, and bounce ideas off each other. Additionally, it has drawing features that let you express your creativity. When working remotely, managers can avoid hindering and blocking the creative side of their team members.

Daniel Close, CEO and Founder of We Buy Houses in Kentucky

 

Google Docs

Google Docs helps our staff collaborate seamlessly on projects. For example, before publishing a blog or social media post, our marketing team can edit each other's work by leaving comments and edits—highlighting what needs to be revised, and signaling when the change has been completed. The program is popular among teams of all sizes for good reason—we all use Gmail, and Google Docs can easily be accessed through GoogleDrive.

Breanne Millette, CEO of BISOULOVELY

google docs quote

 

Topics: hr technology, employee engagement, remote workforce

HR Tech

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