Remote work never used to be a norm… until suddenly it was! Remote work is no longer a luxury; it’s now an expectation in most organizations. The normalcy of remote and hybrid work doesn’t make it any easier for leaders and employers to navigate. Creating cohesion and alignment in teams is a challenge even when everybody is together and in-person. The challenge significantly increases when you add in the obstacle of remote and hybrid work.
Here are three ways to engage your remote employees:
- Clarify expectations and set quantifiable goals
- Communicate how your team is valued and contributes to the bigger picture
- Create opportunities for connections
1. Clarify expectations and set quantifiable goals
Overcommunication is your friend when you are leading or working with remote employees (or if you, yourself, are a remote employee). Historically, you might have relied on impromptu touchbases and check-ins with your team, with consistent and flowing lines of communication. With some employees working from home, you will need to be intentional with your communication, making more of an effort so remote employees feel included and aligned with the rest of the team. You don’t want to go overboard and communicate so often that you hurt productivity; allow for autonomy and keep open lines of communication. Set clear expectations for all team members, laying out roles, tasks, timelines, and a path. Setting quantifiable goals will create transparency and motivation in your team as you all reach toward collective goals.
*Pro tip: Hold regular meetings with your remote employees, even if it’s a quick 15-minute touchbase. During this time, you can review accomplishments and struggles, current tasks, and upcoming/future projects and plans.
2. Communicate how your team is valued and contributes to the bigger picture
Ensuring employees know they are valued will lead to higher employee engagement and loyalty, reducing dissatisfaction and turnover. When you share the larger vision and goals, explain how each member plays a part, emphasizing their importance. When employees understand their role in collective success, they will be much more likely to be engaged and motivated at work. Remote employees can quickly become distant and disengaged if they aren’t receiving consistent communication and encouragement. Take a minute to give kudos where kudos is due; it’s the little, consistent actions that keeps employees moving forward with you.
*Pro tip: Encourage recognition within your teams, getting creative and offering incentives if possible.
3. Create opportunities for connections
With remote and hybrid work being so prevalent, it has become difficult to build connections with colleagues. Building connections and community within teams and organizations is what strengthens workplace culture. Instead of the impromptu happy hours your company used to rely on, you may have to schedule in advance opportunities for employees to be together and get to know each other. You could schedule outings annually, quarterly, and even monthly. Nurturing a culture of community in your team will increase belonging, creativity, collaboration, productivity, and loyalty. Cultivating a connected and thriving team may be more of a challenge with remote and hybrid work, but it is not impossible by any means.
*Pro tip: Think out of the box with your team outings! You could start a quarterly book club, with everybody meeting at the end of the quarter to review the book while enjoying a cold drink.
Remote work can work for you and your team! With a little extra time and thought, your team can be stronger and more aligned than ever. Focus on keeping your employees engaged, motivated, and satisfied, and you will see team and organizational results skyrocket.
The changing work environments can be breeding grounds for misalignment, frustration, and lack of community in your team. With a little guidance, you can create a feeling of alignment, an environment of collaboration, and an increase in motivation and productivity in your team!
Chat with a CoreCounts Consultant today to find out how you can make this shift.