Do you have any remote employees working for you? Definitions of a remote worker vary but essentially it’s someone who works from a location other than your office base. It’s becoming increasingly common, saving companies thousands whilst helping attract young talent who see no point in the daily commute.
Of course, remote working is not all plain sailing and the challenges of managing a remote workforce are likely to grow. Two of the biggest challenges are the shift in approach to engagement and recognition. How do you keep employees feeling connected and appreciated whilst they are busy in their sheds at the bottom of the garden?
1. Get social
Physical separation can inhibit collaboration. Remote employees may feel they’re missing out on important conversations. Fewer opportunities for social interactions with colleagues can result in remote employees feeling left out.
Social recognition networks provide a solution. They’re no longer simply downtime diversions. They’re a way to bring employees together, even when they’re physically miles apart. They let employees share content and information with each other. They allow achievements to be celebrated. Values are broadcast, irrespective of location, and behaviour is shaped by ongoing positive feedback acknowledging the achievements of one another.
2. Make mobile part of your solution
With today’s technology, it’s easy to shrink the distance, no matter where people are located. Social recognition platforms let all employees be part of ongoing real-time positive conversations. It helps reduce the fear of missing out on everything that’s going on as and when it’s happening. And it means that people’s efforts – wherever they’re located – can be appreciated and highlighted across the business, not hidden away. Make sure everyone has access to the same technology so everyone can participate.
3. Adapt your management style
Sustaining strong relationships is one of the most important activities a manager can do. It’s easy to start chatting informally face to face and find out what is going on in people’s lives, especially issues and challenges that employees are facing outside of work. But conversations with remote employees are often scheduled in for specific work reasons and leave little time for general chat. With today’s employee recognition applications now offering new ways to reward employees with hundreds of time and activity based perks, it is increasingly important managers have their nose to the ground and keep abreast of remote worker’s daily lives.
4. Recognise teams
When you’re working remotely doubts can surface about whether work’s being seen and valued. But it shouldn’t matter where employees are working. What really matters are the results from the work itself. Find ways to connect remote workers and office workers to the results and outcomes of one another. Connecting individuals to projects and successful outcomes is a powerful way to demonstrate your trust in all your employees and to reassure them their contributions are valued.