So, you’ve got a team of employees working most of their days remotely, away from the office environment, and you’re hoping that they can still feel like they’re part of the team. It’s a legitimate concern; without water cooler chat-breaks, after-work drinks and the ability to physically be a part of the office space it can be challenging for remote staff to feel connected to the culture of the company and like an integral part of the machinations, even if their productivity levels remain high. With that in mind, this article looks at a few ways you can work with your HR personnel to support your remote team.
Retain regular engagement
Always be reaching out. The more far-flung the employee, the more critical it is to close the perceived gap with positive communications. As a minimum, make sure they are part of any company-wide WhatsApp groups, Slack channels, and a plethora of other online connection platforms, and make sure that conference calls are as regular and routine as possible. Making remote staff feel like they are included in the daily habits and routines of your business will make them feel less isolated and as equally valued as office staff. Not everything has to be done electronically; remember, although we have many ways to keep in touch with everyone via the internet these days, there’s nothing like a phone call to make a valued connection, certainly better than a text message.
Everyone is different, so are their engagement needs
It’s harder for a remote worker to feel like they are meaningfully engaged with the company and their colleagues in the same way that a local worker can. It is the responsibility of forward-thinking business leaders to ensure that they are having the kind of employee experience that leads to happy, satisfied staff. Without content workers, it can be hard to maintain productivity and can even present employee retention issues, especially if they start to feel that they are ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
Supporting an employee engagement policy within your organization will go a long way towards helping you understand how each unique employee is engaging with their work-life in your business. Your employee engagement survey can be made so much easier these days thanks to sophisticated online platforms that have simplified tasks and allowed managers to keep on top of employee engagement regardless of their location.
Make sure you give them reliable IT support
Remote workers rely heavily on their IT equipment, devices, and network infrastructure to do their work, communicate with you and their colleagues, and generally stay connected to the business. Make sure they have the right equipment to regularly and reliably video conference, access synced data and files in a shared cloud environment, and to work collaboratively online with other departments in a variety of locations is imperative.
Give them consistent connections to the future of your business
Your remote employees need to feel connected with the culture of your company and the future of your business. Always make sure they are included in any significant discussions about future plans, so they feel valued by the business and invested in the broader picture. Keep them motivated, and as much a part of your staff training and development policies and plans as the rest of your internal staff are.
With reliable communication channels, a sense of their experience, and a steadfast policy of inclusion, your remote staff can feel just as essential and integral to the success of your business as they deserve and will reward you with both long term loyalty and high-quality productivity.