Engaging Your Remote Team: 9 Tips to Avoid Isolation
During onboarding, have a session where senior leadership reviews the mission and values and what they mean to the organization. Remote employees should be able to feel the impact of the vision and culture, even from afar.
4. Make role expectations and goals transparent
A remote team member can easily become disengaged and feel left out if they aren’t clear about what’s expected of their role. There’s a good chance you may not talk to your remote team members each day, and you definitely might not see them that often, so you’ll need to set them up for maximum success on their own.
Provide them with the tools and knowledge to complete the expectations of their role, and if you assign them a new project, give them proper training and expectations.
Being remote, it’s easy to feel isolated and that you aren’t meeting up to your goals as your co-located team members are. As a leader, you’ll need to be extra clear about goals and how your team members are performing towards those goals. Have regular one-on-ones with your team members to communicate what’s happening.
5. Create communication standards
Remote and distributed teams call for a greater focus on communication standards. The more effective your communication is, you’ll be able to eliminate more misunderstandings.
Clarify what communication tool will be used for different messages. For example, you could choose a messaging tool such as Slack to be used as a chatter channel. This can help replace the daily chit-chat that comes with a co-located team. However, a channel such as email can serve for the big announcements that could be lost elsewhere.
Err on the side of over-communicating with your team rather than under-communicating. A simple check-in each day with your team member reminds them that you’re there to help and they aren’t alone.
6. Don’t micromanage
A great characteristic of any leader is to avoid micromanaging and allow your team members to have freedom. This is especially true for managers who lead remote workers. Consider allowing your remote workers to have a flexible schedule. As long as they’re getting their work done, you should let them complete it when they want.
Give them tools to help with their time management. A project management tool can help you stay on top of their progress and give you visibility on where you might need to jump in and help a bit.
7. Call out a job well done
Employee recognition is crucial no matter where your employees are located. However, you’ll need to take an active approach to recognizing your remote employees since it won’t come as naturally as it does when they’re in person. Improving your remote employee engagement can be made even simpler with an employee recognition platform.
Notice something small that they did above and beyond their normal expectations? Make sure they know you saw it. These little compliments can add up a lot to how valued team members feel in the workplace.
8. Meet more often
Meeting more can help your team members feel better connected to you, the rest of the team, and the entire organization. However, don’t have meetings for the sake of them. Make sure that they are productive meetings (and maybe even enjoyable). Requiring that these meetings have a camera may seem annoying, but the face-to-face connection is a great way to engage your remote teams.
Try to have meetings where you bring your entire workforce together, yes including your remote team members. Having a large offsite gathering can enhance relationships and remind remote employees that they’re part of the team no matter where they spend most of their days.
9. Measure and improve
Engaging your remote employees is no walk in the park, but it’s important in order to have an engaged team. Measure with eNPS surveys to gauge employee engagement and get an accurate snapshot of what your company culture is like. Once you review the results, make improvements to fill the gaps and reinforce actions that are already supporting your areas of strength.
Successful companies are made up of engaged employees, so make sure to prioritize employee engagement for your remote team members, as well. Need a few more ideas? Check out this resource: