Whether an employee is present in the office or offsite they are exactly the same when it comes to keeping them engaged. Both groups of employees must be fully immersed in company culture and feel that their contributions are valued.
While these basic tenets apply to all employees, regardless of their location, those working offsite do require a different approach. What works in the office doesn’t always translate to remote employees.
When companies fail to realize that their offsite staff needs to be managed a little differently it can leave remote team members feeling lost, unfocused and isolated. Here are four tips that will help companies keep their remote employees engaged and productive members of the team.
Have “coffee breaks” in cyberspace
The break room and water cooler are natural gathering places for employees, and this gives managers an opportunity to check-in with their staff. They can get informal updates on how projects are progressing, along with other work related reports.
It also gives leaders a chance to get to know their employees. When managers interact with their staff on a daily basis it is easier for them to notice when there might be a problem in their work or personal lives. This also gives employees a feeling that company leaders actually care about them.
Thanks to video conferencing tools this can also be accomplished with remote employees. Simply set up a meeting time and have everyone participating online sit down with their favorite work appropriate beverage. Texting and instant messaging allows managers and offsite workers to communicate almost as if they are in the same room. Having these meetings regularly will help remote employees feel like they are a valued member of the team.
Face to Face time is important
Even though it is not always possible to regularly meet with remote employees in person, it is something every leader should do. When and how often will depend on several factors, but it can help build trust and loyalty between offsite workers and management. Studies show that when a face to face meeting occurs at least once, remote teams can be just as productive as those working onsite.
Bring them into the meetings
Meetings are work are necessary for everyone to be on the same page, and to ensure projects are successfully completed on time. This means that leaders have to bring their remote employees into the office meeting. It also have the added advantage of ensuring that offsite team members don’t feel left out or forgotten about.
A few tips to ensure a successful meeting for all employees is to keep the length under two hours. Only having offsite employees log on when the meeting pertains to them is a good way to keep them involved without wasting their time.
Don’t forget to reward offsite employees
Rewarding employees for their hard work is important, and this also applies to offsite staff. Don’t forget to recognize their contributions and achievements. This will help them stay motivated and productive members of the team.
Communication, face to face and virtual meetings, along with showing appreciation will all help businesses keep their remote employees happy, satisfied and engaged.