Now that we’re a nation of remote workers, and practically overnight there are several areas that need to be discussed. It’s a big adjustment under normal circumstances, and many businesses are trying to pull off this radical cultural change under extreme stress and time pressure.
1. Establish Clear Expectations of Each Employee
We measure performance based on our results, not on hours “in the office” or length of lunch breaks. This may be a bit of a shift for companies, but it’s an important one to make, especially in a remote environment. Take the time to outline clear expectations of what each employee needs to focus their attention on, and devote more time than usual to providing feedback and illuminating how that work connects to the current business goals.
If you find that your remote team isn’t engaged or has a high rate of turnover, it likely means they don’t have the tools, resources, and/or support to thrive. There are plenty of books, online sites and more that have useful and practical tips on engaging, managing, and retaining a strong remote workforce.
2. Commit to Connecting Regularly
All-company video or Zoom calls are a must way for your team to stay engaged. We recommend having three per week, every other day, each with a specific agenda to share updates, track progress against short-term and long-term goals, as well as time to celebrate achievements and milestones. Seeing everyone’s face is important to your business and employee environment. Embrace cats on desks, barking dogs, and kids barging in so your team will see that interruptions make us all human and strengthen our virtual connection.
3. Put Systems in Place to Facilitate Communication
Virtual communication tools catalyze opportunities to interact. Using programs like Microsoft Teams and Sharefile to collaborate on client activities is a great option. Using sites like Yammer to share articles, personal and family achievements, amusing GIFs, and you can even discuss what the team is currently watching on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.
Instant messaging is another easy way to get quick questions answered or find out how the weekend went. It’s our way of having that quick “hallway” chat—regardless of where we’re located.
Weekly team calls keep you in touch and they only take a few minutes to check in on how people are doing, share mini wins and ensure that everyone has a view of what the team is working on and where we are making an impact.
If you need assistance with the transition to remote or with keeping your team engaged, let’s talk. We’ve been working remotely for a long time and can partner with you to help keep your team and business on track during this period of uncertainty. We’ll share what works across organizations—including our own—to save you time and expensive trial and error.