It’s therefore a no-brainer that we need to ensure we are keeping those people, and all of our non-office staff, feeling connected, informed and engaged.
Igloo’s State of the Digital workplace Report 2020 shows that the picture for remote workers is getting worse and not better, with 4 out of 5 now feeling left out – that’s up 10% on the previous year.
With that in mind, here are 3 golden rules for keeping your remote team players feeling valued and part of the team…
Ensure your comms is on-the-money
And “on the money” doesn’t have to cost the earth. There are many comms platforms available (see here for a few ideas) for keeping in touch with your people in a more engaging and collaborative way than an e-mail or phone call will allow. It’s vital that all of your remote staff have the tools they need to stay in touch and that they are being held accountable for using it. Where possible, encourage and/or incentivize collaboration.
Encourage social and collaborative interaction
Dialling in to a meeting only to listen to dry data delivery and in-office banter between those still sharing hand-sanitiser at Head Office is only going to make your field-based folk feel even more isolated.
A lack of light-hearted interaction, whether work-related or not, can also crush collaboration and inhibit innovation.
Do your office-based staff know what your remote workers are doing and achieving? If not, suspicion and resentment can grow in that direction.
Do your remote workers know what they need to know about what is going on at HQ?
An employee recognition scheme that includes and involves office-based and remote workers is a highly effective tool for keeping people connected and motivated. Sharing the nominations and awards on conference calls and virtual team meetings is a great way of keeping dispersed and disparate teams connected, informed and appreciative of each other’s efforts.
Lead by example
Engagement needs to start from the top. And it’s absolutely the same story with remote workers. Regardless of any extra effort required, prioritising full inclusiveness at all times will make all of your people feel that they are important, regardless of their location, and will set the tone for others to follow to ensure it becomes a part of your company’s culture.