Having the privilege to be able to work with remote employees for the past decade, I’ve learned a few lessons over the years on how to keep remote employees engaged and embedded in our culture.
Lesson #1 is be intentional
If hiring a remote employee, when possible within their first month of employment, have them spend two weeks with the local staff so that they get to know each other. Invite them into your competitions such as workspace decorations competitions because they can still participate remotely. Invite them in for holiday parties, and if you can’t, be sure to send them a holiday dinner. Don’t forget to also celebrate their wins together and with the whole team!
Lesson #2 is use technology to your advantage
Use technologies like Microsoft Teams to conduct daily focus calls or check-in calls with your entire team. Create Teams channels that are not entirely work related. For example, we have a channel named “Overheard” where we post silly and fun things that anyone has seen or heard. When doing video calls, be intentional about having and using video cameras. They are important more-so for the remote side to feel connected to the home office, and each other. Supply your remote employees with the same equipment that you supply your local staff.
Lesson #3 is have one-on-one’s
One-on-one’s become really important to have the time and space to clarify any concerns or expectations (both ways), as well as remove barriers to their productivity. This is also important because you’re engaging how they are doing. If an emergency or something else gets in the way of a one-on-one, be sure to get it rescheduled and not just let it slip by.
Technology does not need to be a barrier to remote worker productivity. Feel free to reach out with any questions or if you would like to discuss any ideas on this topic.