Every member of your staff has a need to feel included in the corporate culture and valued by management. Such fundamental principles of employee engagement apply to all types of workers regardless of whether they work in the company office or in their own home. In the wake of the pervasive growth of remote employment, your company needs to adjust by learning how to engage your diverse workforce. Traditional management styles do not work the same way for remote employees as they do for in-office workers. As a manager, you need to use a different skill set for coordinating the efforts of remote workers located in diverse parts of the country and world.
Making employee engagement your top priority can make the difference between the startling success and disappointing failure of remote-work initiatives. Luckily, technology and good managerial habits can compensate for the physical distance that comes between employers and their workers. The following tactics can help you make your virtual team feel valued as an integral part of your organization.
Making #EmployeeEngagement a priority is the difference between success or failure of remote workers. Click To Tweet
Improve the Quality of Communication
Employees working from home can’t participate in the nuances of daily workplace activities. They miss chatting in the break room or by the water cooler and often become a forgotten part of the team. This can make them feel insignificant as team members in the office take charge and make the most significant contributions. When remote workers feel ignored, it tends to make them withdraw further from company activities.
Spend time improving the quality of communication between you and your remote employees. Stay conscious of the fact that you must clearly articulate instructions to your team in ways that can overcome language or cultural differences.
Implement a virtual coffee break to chat with your employees and use video conferencing to include everyone in your team meetings. When you build relationships with your workers, you can easily sense how they feel on a daily basis.
Weekly one-on-one meetings with your remote employees help ensure that you and they stay on the same page while bonding in a meaningful way. Keep your interactions with your workers vibrant by using a variety of tools. For example, mix email and chat conversations with a staple of video and voice calls. Always show courtesy and respect by giving your remote employees notice of pending meetings and discussions.
Gamify Your Remote Team
The application of game-playing tactics to business setting helps to engage employees by making work challenging and fun. Keep your workers engaged with their jobs by making routine activities competitive and fun. Just as in a gaming environment where players strive to accomplish the necessary things to move to the next level, your gamified work environment will create recognition and rewards for workers who have made notable achievements.
Gamification also supports teamwork by encouraging employees to coordinate their activities to add to their score. You can assemble teams based on either their business role or location as you work intentionally to build feelings of inclusion and value.
You can use game-like performance management systems to create metrics and other criteria for evaluations. Doing so will help your remote workers have confidence that they do not lose opportunities for promotion because of their status.
Show Interest and Empathy Towards Your Team
Display a sincere interest in your employees as people, not just as tools you use to generate profits. Remote workers who feel understood and well-regarded on a personal level will develop deep feelings of loyalty to their employer. Failure to invest in relationship building will result in trust issues that can doom your effort to build a diverse payroll.
Remote workers tend to work 10% longer than traditional employees and they are also more productive. They can often have feelings of isolation and lose the balance between their work and personal life. Become familiar with the unique circumstances your remote employees face. Show empathy and let them know you understand the problems they deal with.
Recognize and Reward Each Remote Employee
Recognizing the good work of your employees will energize them and strengthen the bond between managers and their team. Daily recognition for good work will provide your employees with the fuel they need to strive for excellence. Gamification provides the opportunity for you to create digital recognition programs for your employees. Such a system of rewards provides an even playing field for your entire staff.
Give each of your team members goals that they must achieve. Provide coaching and guidance, but encourage your employees to accomplish important things for the company on their own. Establish benchmarks and milestones to keep each worker on track. Giving your remote employees a sense of belonging and purpose will help you strengthen your operation on multiple levels.
Communication improvements and a personalized management approach will engage your remote employees so they will work hard and efficiently in support of your corporate mission. Remote work has become popular because of the benefits the employment offers workers and employers. Recognize and reward your entire team using equal measures and watch your team unite under your leadership and engage your vision.
Guest author bio:
Jill Phillips is a freelance writer from Buffalo, NY. She is an aspiring entrepreneur and tech enthusiast, who loves to share her insight on various topics. When she is not writing, Jill enjoys taking photos and hiking with her dog. Connect with Jill via Twitter @jillphlps.