How to Make Remote Employees Feel Connected
As organizations begin to embrace remote teams, leaders need to know how to make remote employees feel connected in more innovative ways. Working remotely relieves burden of the employees and cost of reporting to work.
However, having remote employees also presents challenges, one being that it leads to remote working staff starts feeling disconnected from the company’s vision and this negatively affects their commitment to the company. When you make employees feel connected to the company, they are proud of and believe in their work. They become concerned about the future of the company and remain productive at all times.
What does it mean to make employees feel connected?
In the simplest of terms, an employee who feels connected to the company deeply understands the importance of the work they do, and feels that they are a valuable part of the company. A connected workplace functions like a community. Employees are highly engaged with one another, feel secure and comfortable sharing, and this extends beyond office hours.
Great leaders know that truly making employees feel connected goes beyond making sure they like their jobs. It requires a deep understanding of the employees and what motivates them. For example, an employee’s private life is an extension of the working environment. It impacts everything they do and how they feel, which finally boils down to their productivity.
Making A Remote Workforce Feel Connected
During the coronavirus pandemic, most businesses are more worried about their survival than high growth figures. Employees need connected workplaces where every employee freely interacts with others, loves their job, and feels free to express themselves, and socialize with colleagues every single day. A team of friends who understand the value of their contribution to the company, and are self-motivated to secure its future. Creating real connections with people requires giving them attention and showing true concern for their well being.
Making a remote workforce feel connected in the new landscape can be achieved innovatively using the following strategies among others.
1. Use Digital Workplaces
One strategy is to exploit the same technology to create an inclusive platform that facilitates interactions among the team and with the leaders. Digital workspaces available today provide powerful collaboration tools that keep the team on the same page. They provide messaging tools that make it easy for employees to communicate with each other, and the team gets the job done faster. Additionally, the document sharing capabilities of digital workspaces makes them great tools to keep remote employees feeling connected to the work process. Great examples are Google Workplace and Microsoft 365.
2. Maintain a steady flow of information
Keeping in touch with employees makes them feel they are being heard, and this brings a sense of closeness. Remote employees do not have immediate access to their leaders because they can’t just walk into a supervisor’s office, and information may tend to flow more from top-to-bottom than the other way. Even with the power of collaborative tools, communication needs to be well designed to ensure that remote employees can reach their leaders easily. Messaging channels should be created where remote workers can communicate freely with their leaders without fear of consequences, which will make them feel more connected to the company.
3. Use collaborative tools
Teams need an easy way to collaborate on projects. Use collaborative tools designed for remote teams, as they provide seamless communication channels for sending feedback back and forth. For example, Slack, an advanced messaging platform for remote teams, supports creating group chat style communication that enables different teams to work together remotely. With such technologies, employees can send feedback easily and quicker than sending emails that may not be read in time. This smoothness of operations makes remote employees feel connected to the process.
4. Keep the interactions going
People need to connect regularly to build relationships. With a remote workforce, employees do not see each other often, and this loss of touch can lead to a feeling of being disconnected from the team. Employees strategies such as regular check-in video meetings which bring everyone on board. Additionally, dedicate some time for remote employees to chat freely. In such meetings and free chat sessions, they interact, share and get to be heard, which gives them a feeling of togetherness and maintains group focus on the common goal. The company’s social media pages on platforms such Facebook and Instagram, and chatting apps such as WhatsApp can all be leveraged to create engagement and is another way to make remote employees feel connected.
5. Team building with online gaming platforms
A popular and great way for team building with remote employees is to engage them in online gaming platforms where they play online games with each other. This provides an ‘out of office’ fun activity and is an innovative way to make a remote workforce feel connected. Fundoo Friday is one such great platform, which allows HR leaders to organize games between larger teams and maintain weekly score charts. Fundoo Friday is worth your organization’s time as it has games and interesting quizzes which promote high employee engagement.
6. Create mentorship programs
Mentorship programs are a great way to make remote employees feel connected. These interactions make them feel they are being cared for and heard, bringing them closer to one another and to the organization’s goals. These programs can be conducted using digital platforms. Ensuring that remote employees get every opportunity to express themselves through such digital platforms will increase engagement and boost the levels of connectedness.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a paradigm shift from the traditional office-based model of work to remote workforces and organizations to need innovative ideas on how to make remote employees feel connected. The technology that enables remote working can be leveraged to ensure that the remote workforce remains connected and committed to the company’s vision and mission.
These efforts will ensure that a company not only survives the pandemic economy, but also register some growth.