Maintaining cohesion is crucial in a successful and engaged workplace, both in the office and remotely. Several dynamics are at play regarding remote employees: management style, communication styles, and lack of real-life supervision.
At Brainbox, dealing with remote workers and building teams offshore has taught us a few things. Below are some of the essentials we noted.
Learn about what drives your remote staff.
Remote employees can feel uncertain and fearful over their work product, performance and tenure. Meaningful communication and support, including understanding their preferred way to work and be recognised, can help ease worries.
Ask if they like frequent feedback. Do they need regular praise? How do they feel about not having contact for a whole day? How will they react or feel if you do not acknowledge their work?
At Brainbox, we ask our recruits to undertake multiple behavioural assessments to ensure cultural fit.
Ask about their well-being.
The pandemic taught us the importance of people management among managers. In many ways, remote employees are just another version of your work-from-home employees. Check-in with them regularly, and don’t be afraid to ask how they are.
When dealing with extra pressure and a busy schedule, it can be easy to let overwhelming feelings and negative thoughts affect your communication. Being abrupt, harsh, and unreasonable or simply ignoring your remote employees can afflict your remote team dynamic.
Instead, communicate your current pressure and busy schedule to ensure there is no misinterpretation within the team. Your remote team will appreciate it, and there will be more understanding moving forward.
Lead with trust.
Trust plays a pivotal role in the success of remote teams. If you have set clear expectations and have trained and supported your remote employees so that they can deliver their tasks well, trust that they are doing their job.
Instead of micromanaging, use regular checkpoints and effective communication to get progress updates and track task progress. Course correct and re-align as early as required if the task is off track, then get back to trusting that they’ll work accordingly.
Establish a communication flow.
Remote workplace setup requires constant and consistent communication. Aside from clarity, it cultivates connection and engagement. Keep your remote employees looped in and engaged daily.
You simply cannot over-communicate with remote teams.
You can use instant messaging apps like MS Teams or Slack, turn on your video and have those interactions. Send audio messages, whatever your flow is, communicate communicate communicate.
At Brainbox, we love Monday morning 1:1 to set goals and expectations for the week ahead and a Friday afternoon review to look at the week’s passed and goals accomplished.
Set clear goals and expectations.
Understanding your expectations is crucial in setting up your remote team for success. While a healthy dose of trust is required to help them feel empowered, clarity in your expectations propels them to exceed expectations.
Communicating the criteria for successful work performance, including practices, guidelines or updates you may have along the way, is imperative. For example, ask your people to inform you if they’ll be away from their computers for longer than an hour. While it sounds tedious, communicating your requirements clearly from the outset help avoid misunderstandings in the future.
Utilise technology to collaborate effectively.
Technology has paved the way for connectedness around the world. Utilise these tools in your workplace when managing remote employees. MS Teams, Slack, Zoom, Skype and other communication apps are only some of the tools you can use to practice real-time collaboration.
Ask yourself: Can your remote employee chat with you as fluidly as they would in the office? If your answer is no, how do you expect them to feel engaged, connected and set up for success?
Organise a team gathering.
Whether on-site or remote, bringing your team together and creating lasting in-person relationships and memories uplift workplace morale.
Ask yourself: What would stop us from flying our newest remote employee to the office for a few days?
If meeting face-to-face isn’t feasible, organise a team video chat where you ask everybody to dial in and meet everyone. Small gestures like these can make a massive difference in helping your local and offshore teams work together.
At Brainbox, we conduct a monthly team video call where management reviews the month that has passed and talks about pivotal moments and upcoming events in the company.
If you need more insights on remote employees, contact email@example.com today. Alternatively, our Brainbox Partners, Tony Friday and Alexis Guillot can provide in-depth knowledge and advice on how to maximise your remote and local team, attract global talent, and integrate a workplace culture that transcends borders. Follow Brainbox for more updates on exclusive content and webinar.