As an inspiring leader, you should be asking yourself constantly, ‘Am I treating my remote employees affectively to help them stay informed and on-track with their objectives?’
Here are 7 ‘essentials’ in relation to keeping your remote employees/teams upbeat, informed and included:
1. Make time for him or her
It’s really important that employees who don’t regularly come into the office are kept in the loop and feel supported by leadership. Never make them feel that they matter less or that they are ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Always involve them in all the business-related discussions. There are many digital collaboration platforms to choose from making this easy to do. Don’t forget to include remote employees in any get-togethers after work. They might not always be able to come along, but they will always appreciate the invitation.
2. Establish a routine
Sticking to a schedule is key. It will help your remote employees work to an agenda that is set and worked to the business plan. Remote employees aren’t able to see how the workflow is going for colleagues if they aren’t working in the same location. This means that getting a routine in place around dependencies and key deliverables is critical for the business. Once work is scheduled it means everyone knows where they are and what part they are playing.
3. Communication is the way forward
Over-communicate to keep connected. Communicate regularly and clearly with your remote employees. The level of communication that works in co-located workplace setting isn’t enough for people always offsite. This is because remote employees aren’t getting regular conversations and updates from colleagues and managers. Without this interaction a remote worker can start to feel isolated pretty quickly. Always make a note to yourself to ensure that your communication strategies, encompass those working remotely.
4. Set precise expectations
Set up regular up-date meetings with your remote employees, to ensure they are on-track and that their expectations are in-line with the overall business objectives. This will stop any mission drift creeping in. It’s also better for the employees themselves. Regular update meetings also allow employees to discuss any blockers or challenges in their workflow. This is means any problems can be swiftly resolved which is good for workforce wellbeing.
5. Encourage teamwork
It’s never been more simple to support teams working remotely. Digital technology and cloud computing offer lots of solutions for online meetings. There is a wide choice of project management tools online that supports multiple users. Design a document management system in place for sharing documents and files internally. Sharing is caring!
6. One-to-one meetings
One-to-one meetings are an important part of maintaining a productive and supportive relationship between employees and their manager. Where possible, never cancel your direct reports time scheduled with you. They will take this time seriously and therefore you will need to take them seriously too. Ring fence this time in your calendar and your team will feel respected and valued.
7. Face time the team
Where possible use video calls with you and their team. This helps to give remote employees a sense of inclusion. It also helps to build great relationships between team members, team leadership and the business. Face to face video calls can be critical to progressing a project, especially when coming up to significant milestones. The opportunity to all be in sync and on the same page is worth the investment of everyone’s time. It is always fun to talk to people directly instead of doing the majority of conversations via the phone.