This whole pandemic has helped us in a lot of ways which include making the remote team feel more at home and convenient. It supports both employees to feel more convenient and employers save a lot of expenses they would otherwise have to pay with a traditional office setup.
Though many companies enjoy this set, a lot of challenges came with this. One of the main challenges we all can relate to is the lack of connection. How to ensure that your team feels connected while working remotely. One can implement several tools and strategies to ensure your team is connected.
▪️ Have an open communication
One of the very essential and prime ways to make your team feel connected is to keep an open line of communication. Allow room where your employee can come to you and share their feedback regarding work, ask for suggestions, and be motivated to do better. A company that allows its employees to voice their opinion and make them feel heard without fear of consequences allows room for creativity. Such an employee takes ownership of their work and performs far better than the latter.
▪️ Ensure proper review & feedback
It is a well-known fact that we perform better when our efforts are recognized & valued. There should be a proper channel to give honest & frequent feedback on the work. Review the work and also ensure you guide your employee to correct their mistakes as well as allow room for their efforts to be well recognized is important to make them feel connected.
The expectation regarding work is clearly established and it motivates others to perform better and contribute equally.
▪️ Keep collaboration tools handy
There are a number of collaboration tools available in today’s world. Connectivity in today’s world is not just restricted to sending emails but has multiple avenues.
Having various cloud-based storage tools like google drive, dropbox, etc ensures that all the documents and presentations essential are shared with the respective team and everyone can work on it together without wasting a lot of effort that they would otherwise have to make to ensure work is done and collaborated with
There are also plenty of tools like Zoho Connect, and GotoMeeting that can allow employees to collaborate on the project and also build a social network for them.
▪️ Interact weekly on a video call
It is always better and the bonds are much stronger when employees interact with each other face to face. We feel better when we add a face to the voice and it allows for more connection. Fix a time for weekly video calls and adhere to it.
A great way to get a weekly call started would be to add a personal touch. For example, if you have a weekly call every week ask about how their weekend was or if they have any good news to share. This allows for a feeling of family and a place where employees know that their employers care. Then proceed with a weekly agenda and plan your entire week over face-to-face interaction so you have a productive week ahead.
▪️ Assign a mentor
There are employees who just start out and don’t feel comfortable reaching out to people in case they are facing trouble or don’t know if their work is even good enough. To avoid the guessing game it is best to have a mentorship program on board. It is important to realize that a mentor is different from a manager. A mentor is someone who is at your level at the firm you can talk and freely express concerns. Ensure there is a proper mentorship program on board.
▪️ Allow room for flexibility
One of the prime reasons any employee does remote working is it allows them to have better quality time at home where they can spend time with family and also be productive and contribute. Allow for flexi-time when working and make a schedule based on what works for them.
This will allow your employees to feel like the work they do can be a long-term plan and can establish a good work-life balance.
▪️ Have some fun company traditions
Another way to ensure that remote teams feel connected is by having fun traditions. Have a festive video call where employees talk and play games, on birthdays wish them a good day on a group chat, and have a board game day on a Friday so employees are connected and contribute like a family to the company and help it grow profoundly.
▪️ Clarity in communication
A text message or any virtual message for that matter is always open to interpretation and can many times be misinterpreted. Be as clear as possible while communicating its best to have each team member type in a meeting brief so they are clear on what is to be done.
Also, check in between to ensure they are on track and feel connected.
▪️ Schedule one-to-one lunch dates
Fix a time in your calendar to have lunch with your co-workers once in a while. “Lunch” is just a placeholder! Grab virtual coffee as a social get-together idea, or, like I wrote above, have your lunch at 1pm your time with a colleague in an international office who’s just starting her day.
When you are in a traditional office setup it’s easy to feel connected but working remotely is different. In the traditional set up you take your team out for a happy hour or dip out coffee in a small shop below the office and you know the team is connected. Having these fun company traditions can allow your team to feel like they are a part of a family and take more ownership and hence perform better.
As they say “Happy employees ensure happy customers. And happy customers ensure happy shareholders in that order.”