Staying Connected with Remote Employees
As the world evolves, so does the way in which people work. For many employees, technological advances have made it possible to effectively do their jobs from across the country, or even the globe. Things such as cell phones, email, laptops, Wi-Fi, and video conferencing have allowed employers and employees to stay connected, even when apart. However, while that connection is still technically there, many remote employees feel that the saying “out of sight, out of mind” remains true. So how do you keep your remote workers connected and feeling like part of the team? In this article, we’ll take a look at some expert suggestions on how to accomplish that task.
Make Communication Seamless
“This may seem obvious, but it bears repeating: If you have remote team members, invest in all of the necessary tools to ensure that they feel connected. From HipChat to Skype or Slack and Asana, finding ways to limit the amount of email and also help everyone understand where a project stands will make their lives — and yours — much easier” (John Elvkrog – Entrepreneur.com).
Hold Regular Recaps
“Our team is spread across four continents, so every Friday we have everyone submit their weekly recap to their entire team. Team members are encouraged to share their biggest triumphs, challenges and upcoming goals. It helps the team get to know one another’s personality in ways you might not pick up on in brief conversations on Skype, or when assigning tasks via project management software” (Matt Wilson – Under30Experiences via Huffington Post).
Get Them Together
“While many employees prefer not to have to come into the office every day, just as many don’t mind having the option to do so when they feel like it and mingle with other people, just to get a break from the monotony of working alone from home every day.” (Tamara Luzajic – Humanity.com).
Keep Your Door Open
“Make yourself accessible to them and let them know they can reach out any time. Encourage them to check in or set a time for them to call or message for a chat.” (Peter Daisyme – Calendar via Huffington Post).
Reach Out Regularly
“To keep remote workers engaged, it’s imperative to reach out often and get them involved. Take advantage of technology and use a video conferencing platform like Skype to conduct regular department check-ins. Schedule and plan annual or bi-annual face-to-face meetings and team-building events, and pick up the phone often to have a conversation versus sending another email.” (Ashley Wilczek – AV Solutions via Forbes).
Turn Them into Local Ambassadors
“Create opportunities for your remote workers to be active in their local community on behalf of your business. In addition to giving them opportunities to socialize, it’s a great way to make a remote employee feel empowered and valued as a full-fledged member of your team.
Ask them to represent the company at conferences in their area or to attend meetings with other businesses, potential partners or prospective clients. There is no better way to make them feel as if they are part of the team than to get them to represent your company in their community and fly your business’s flag high.” (Tamara Luzajic – Humanity.com).
Communication is the cornerstone of any successful, remote working arrangement. Whether you’re managing a group of outside sales reps or an administrative team, it’s imperative that you figure out a way to keep everyone involved and engaged. Implementing some of these suggestions will go a long way towards achieving that goal.