Managing a remote workforce can be challenging. The methods and strategies that apply in a traditional office setting may not work at all with remote workers. And although there have been enormous advances in communication and collaboration software, miscommunication and productivity dips are common issues when managing remote employees. Remote employees also often feel isolated and disengaged from their companies.
These issues can all be easily remedied by implementing these tips for keeping remote employees engaged:
Set clear expectations
Let your employees know exactly what you expect from them from the very start. Tell them how often you expect them to check in with you and how you want them to go about this. Maybe you want every employee to check-in at the start and end of their shifts via a short instant message. Or perhaps you want them to send you an email at the end of the day detailing the tasks they completed and what is still pending. As long as you communicate your expectations clearly, then you can decide on what works best for you and your team.
Be clear about your communication strategy
Make sure that every remote worker has access to a communication protocol document where you detail what kind of communication tool they should use on each occasion. That way it will be clear for everybody which questions or issues can be solved via instant message and which require everybody to connect to a video conference. This document should also include details about expected response times for each communication channel.
At the very minimum, you should engage with each of your employees at least once a day. You can do this via email, instant message, video call, or a quick phone call. Interacting consistently with each employee will ensure that they remain engaged.
Schedule regular team meetings
Regular team meetings are a great way to encourage employee engagement. If done right, team meetings can help your employees interact and collaborate with each other outside of these meetings, which in turn helps them feel connected to the company. Make sure to celebrate and recognize each member’s achievements.
Encourage team-building events
Team building events are a fantastic way to keep employees engaged. This is true for both employees working at a traditional office and remote employees. Some ideas for team-building events for remote employees are care packages, encouraging employee side projects, or having a remote office party where you send remote employees a drink and a meal.
Managing your remote team may be easier than you think, with some practice of course. These tips will certainly make this task less daunting. For all of your remote-employee office needs, you can contact us here.