The pandemic has completely redefined the way teams work and communicate. Gone are the days when remote work used to be offered by some exceptional companies. It was taken as a way to offer a better flexible lifestyle to employees with special needs or concerns.
Currently, remote work has become the norm for the majority of businesses. It is not at all an option or a privilege anymore but more like a normal lifestyle of companies. Especially, right after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that COVID-19 reached pandemic status.
Now the remote employees aren’t physically connected anymore. As a result, they’re likely mentally disconnected as well. This is all because of the distractions at home. Looking for ways to make employees reconnect with your organization? Is it even possible?
Connect Your Remote Team Better in 10 Steps
Building strong remote employee connections is a key part of building a strong overall business. Here’s how to make your remote work team feel more connected.
It’s Time to Align or Realign the Vision
Before Covid-19, companies had different visions but now, the majority have one important vision, that is, survival. The majority of remote employees clearly understand it is a fair short-term goal. But they still seek a meaningful vision when it comes to strong connections.
You can do two things here. The first one is, either you continue to emphasize your purpose (this can be something rooted in a greater good for the community, environment, society, and/or the people you serve.) The second thing is to realign your company with a vision that speaks better regarding the current situation.
Keep an Open Line of Communication
The most effective way to make your team feel connected is to make them feel clearly heard. When you keep an open dialogue of constant communication as well as feedback, it greatly increases the connectivity. This works amazingly for those companies with remote workforces.
It is suggested to host regular check-in meetings. Doing so makes sure each team member has the necessary tools and ample support to give their best. When employees gain the confidence to be honest – and they feel their feedback is being valued– they feel deeply connected to the organization.
Keep Everyone Involved
The best way to help employees stay connected to your organization/company and colleagues is through shared (although apart) experiences.
Some of the creative ideas include:
Positive #WorkFromHomes messages. Photos and video tours to make employees show each other their new work space. Daily Orange Alerts when colleagues praised different achievements and project completions. Parent Panels on interesting topics such as working efficiently at home with kids at home. Weekly videos updates about company news and pep talks.
Hold Weekly Video Meetings
One of the effective ways to make your remote work team feel connected is with limited face-to-face interaction. A lot of recent studies claim that technology has killed face-to-face interactions to some great extent.
It’s true, but in the case of remote work, technology actually allows and brings on the possibility to make face-to-face interaction possible. Since the remote workers are unable to visit the office, you can arrange weekly video meetings with any video communications tool. Some of the notable ones are Zoom or Skype.
Doing so will allow remote workers to get that face time they are badly missing. Ultimately, they will form better bonds with co-workers.
Tweak what works
In case of employees leaving your facility engaged with your shared traditions, it is important to keep those alive remotely as well (as long as your employees enjoy them). All you need to do is just tweak them for offsite work.
Here is a good example. The CEO Howard Spector ensured they could still connect over the midday meal when all the employees went home. The company also set up a tele-lunch during which anyone who wished to join colleagues for lunch would get in on a daily Zoom call.
Empower Employees with Flexibility
It is critical to let your remote employees have flexible working hours and arrangements. When you let employees choose their own working schedules, it especially benefits those remote workers who have children or other family members as a responsibility during the workweek.
Giving your employees the freedom to choose their own working hours can serve your business in a wide variety of ways. It can no doubt improve employees’ well-being as well, giving them a better work-life balance. Doing so also allows them to adapt to changes when it comes to their personal lives. These benefits can definitely help your remote team feel better connected and well-appreciated by your organization.
Break the Mold
HR professionals might want to follow the same mantra that worked on-site to engage as well as connect employees. But there are a plethora of emerging ideas now.
One of the super quirky ideas comes from Nimbus Therapeutics. It is a biotech company well-known for gardening and painting happy hours which is being the norm on-site.
At home, the company heads offered a ukulele-building class and other entertainment music lessons for their employees to join during their virtual happy hour.
Create a Mentor Program
Assigning employees with an internal mentor is a good way to keep them connected with each other. A mentor program is specially designed to help new employees who still lack fostered close working relationships with the other team members.
A mentor can definitely serve as a valuable resource for your remote team, especially, to turn to with any questions or concerns. An important thing to keep in mind is that a mentor is way different from a manager.
Celebrate the Team
Another great way to keep your remote employees and co-workers connected is by recognizing the accomplishments as well as improvements they are making. It is a great way to make them feel proud. It gives them the sense that they are an important part of the team.
So, in order to make your remote workers feel more connected, take out some time to celebrate their proud moments. Not only praising them will make your team feel more connected, but also it will increase productivity.
Make Efficient Collaborations
Team collaboration is one of the great and main elements when it comes to greater productivity. Therefore, a number of employers are working hard to improve the way their remote teams work as a team.
Team collaboration along with employee engagement solutions are known as the best ways when it comes to eliminating remote team challenges. This challenge is faced by the majority of companies that have remote employees.
Sum It Up
A pleasant employee connection can greatly impact how team members view your company/organization. If they are unable to feel connected, there’s a bright chance they won’t feel connected to your company’s mission and yourself. As a result, this can ultimately lead to a high turnover rate.
Try out these 10 steps to bring a vital change to your remote team.