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  • Jessie I.

How to engage your remote employees

Updated: May 30

Due to a number of advantages, many other businesses are letting their employees work from home even post-Covid 19. Sadly, as this becomes more prevalent, it also presents a number of difficulties, particularly for managers. It is not the same as managing someone who works in the same office as you every day to manage remote workers.

Remote workers are also your employees. They still want to feel heard and understood, even if they don't always have a water cooler or a lunch to share with you. They want to discuss topics other than work.

Here are some common mistakes managers make and what you can do to help your remote employees feel more connected.

a female in front of a computer during zoom with 4 others

If your team is entirely virtual is important that communication channels are clear. If you have hybrid model of work is also important to let people know that any important decisions and ideas must be discussed so that everyone can participated regardless of the mode whether you are going to use a written communication or in a virtual meeting. Also, showing preferences over the employees who work in the office is a red flag. That way your employees will lose your trust and resent you more. So makes sure you treat everyone equally.

Build rapport

The foundation of effective management is rapport. The relationship between a manager and an employee is strengthened when people have the impression that you know who they are and can connect with them outside of work. While they felt excluded, those of us in the office felt guilty for not including our remote team members. It was simple for them to become enraged and believe that their perspectives were not valued.

It only got worse when we didn't get important information or good ideas from them. We were just trying to move quickly, but we weren't able to use everyone on our team. Don't be surprised if your remote workers aren't motivated to complete their work if you don't involve them in important discussions. In a meeting, even if you don't take into account all of their suggestions, making them feel like they are heard and understanding their point of view can help you frame their work better and get their support.

Create non-work related opportunities to connect

Since Covid a lot of team-building companies have created virtual activities. There are so many options you could do with your team virtually. If you don’t have a big budget you can create activities yourself.

Disconnectedness is one of the most common feelings experienced by remote workers. While the majority of these other mistakes will make them feel connected to you and the team they're on, this one is about your entire business.

When a worker works from home, they are disconnected from the rest of your business. You will never have a random conversation with John in engineering or Jane in sales that will help you understand how they are doing. They may miss the conclusion of a significant sale, are unaware of the launch of a new feature, or are unaware of the fundraising process. It's easy to overlook all of the information you have access to every day when you're constantly in the office having conversations. A feeling of connection is created by the sum of those conversations and meetings.

So why not create a common chat just for catching up or chit-chatting. That way people can read it whenever they have time and share as much as they want.

Talk about their career goals regularly

Another common frustration of employees is that they don't get the development they want, and it's particularly valid for your telecommuters. It's so easy to never make the effort to talk to someone you don't see very often. In order to avoid that keep arranging your one to ones and talk about their progression and career goals. It is important not to cancel one to ones and rather reschedule if something urgent comes up. Also, make sure you are on time. Regardless of whether or not the meeting is a virtual one or face to face. This shows how much you care about your team. There should not be anything more important than that because your success depends on their productivity and well being.

To sum up, it is important to have clear communication channels. In order for people to communicate with you also need to build rapport with them so that they feel at ease to share their ideas and problems. To help them create an office-like atmosphere open non-work related chats so people can still keep in touch with each other. Makes sure you treat them the same and talk about their career goals.



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