Maintaining a solid workforce and engaging in effective team building is hard enough when all of your employees work from the same place everyday. Add geographic distance and the lack of face-to-face communication to the mix and it can be even more challenging – especially if you don’t have a solid plan in place. However, new technologies and innovative techniques can help you manage remote employee engagement, no matter how far away they are dialing in from.
Tips for Remote Managing Employee Engagement
Want to make sure your remote employees are engaged, happy, and productive? The following tips for remote employee engagement can help.
One of the best ways to collaborate with team members is to strengthen your ability to empathize with each other. This means establishing a bond by becoming friends. A recent MIT study found that one of the main ingredients in a smart team was being able to consider and keep track of what other people feel, know and believe. The more you understand your employees’ perspectives, the more effectively you will collaborate with them. Make time for small talk, ask questions and stay engaged.
Make Use of Video Whenever Possible
Even if you’re not standing in the same room, video can be an effective way of keeping your team members connected. Over half of human communication is non-verbal, after all. It’s great to have visual clues to what others are thinking during your meetings. There are tons of free and inexpensive solutions, too – Skype, Google Hangouts and Sqwiggle (just to name a few).
Never Cancel a Meeting
To the extent that you’re able to, try to avoid cancelling meetings, especially one-on-ones. There’s no faster way to build resentment in your team – they will feel like their time isn’t respected and the meetings themselves will lose value in their minds. Stick to your planned meetings and appointments as best you can, and you’ll get more done while strengthening your relationships with all your remote employees.
Have Annual Meetups
If your employees are scattered all over the country or world, it might not be realistic to get together that frequently. But scheduling at least one meetup annually will help your team build more rapport in a day than in months of working remotely. You can host a meetup in your headquarter city or have everyone meet up at an industry summit or conference.
Managing remote employees and keeping everyone happy and on the same page isn’t easy. But with a little added effort, you can maintain a tight, high-functioning team that will collaborate as effectively as possible. Thoughts/questions? Get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.