How to Keep your Remote Team EngagedApril 2, 2020
When it comes to remote work, there are many misconceptions surrounding the growing trend. Remote work has been on the rise, in fact, remote work has grown by 140% since 2005 according to Global Workplace Analytics. HR departments have had to evolve along with the trend and learn about engaging remote teams.
In this post, we’re offering HR tips on how to manage remote teams. From recruitment and training to HR responsibilities and benefits, learn more about keeping remote employees engaged.
Why Build an engaging environment
The way business and the world is moving, remote work is not expected to slow down anytime soon. In fact, many expect the rate of remote workers to continue increasing at a dramatic rate in the years to come.
Just like you would in an office setting, it’s important to make efforts to keep employees engaged in a remote environment as well. Some organizations that are new to remote work may have a learning curve in how to engage employees remotely.
But it is incredibly important to make efforts if you want to establish and maintain a company culture. Company culture is where productivity and engagement are born, and helps promote a sense of belonging in your employees.
Tips for keeping remote teams engaged
Here are some effective ways of managing remote teams and keeping employees engaged while remote:
Make collaboration and communication simple
The way teams collaborate and communicate when working remotely has to be thought about and planned carefully. Many feel that the biggest trade-off is not getting enough time face-to-face with other employees. While it may take some upfront effort, HR departments can definitely make communication more seamless in a remote environment. Ways to streamline communication are:
- Using software like Zoom for video calling and audio calling
- Utilizing shared, collaborative cloud documents
- Chat applications (Google Hangouts, Teams, Slack) for smaller communications
Set Productivity standards
Setting standards and goals from the top of the organization all the way down to the individual employee is important. For example, if all employees are working remotely, you may want to establish a range of working hours, like 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and then allow employees to work eight hours within that range.
Standards can also include goal-setting and deadlines. Say a new project needs to get completed, it is a good idea to set up a framework or even project management software (Trello, Jira, Asana, Teamwork, etc.) in which teams can assign tasks and keep track of progress.
Get properly equipped
Remote teams should be provided with the right equipment to do their jobs efficiently or be given a stipend to purchase the tools they need to carry out their work. Items like computer monitors, laptops, tablets, printers, headsets, and more are all important tools that companies should assist their employees in obtaining.
To know how to properly equip employees, try surveying and asking questions about their needs, workflows, and daily routines. Once you have gathered a reliable amount of data from your employees you can identify patterns and establish what types of equipment and software to provide to them.
The mission HR should have in mind when trying to engage remote employees is trying to give them a similar experience as possible to a productive office environment.
Supportive work culture
When employees are working alone most of the time, it helps to know they have support from within the organization. HR departments can work to keep remote employees engaged by offering support services and hotlines (or facilitating that through an outside resource).
It’s also helpful to have regular updates in place whether that’s via continuous 1 to 1 talks, conducting live chat roundtables to increase social interaction or another type of regular online meeting so that individual employees don’t feel siloed off. Read best practices to manage globally distributed team
Promote online video chats and calls
Whether teams are partially remote or fully remote, employees need to be comfortable with communicating via video chat, phone calls, and other online services. Encouraging employees to continue to communicate with the appropriate software and tools as well as holding meetings with leadership on how to carry out remote communications is important.
Video chats and calls are important over sending emails because it gives the face to face time that employees and management need to pick up on non-verbal cues and form better relationships. Communicating verbally and on video chat also helps information to not be lost in context.
1 on 1 (by Heartpace)
Because remote teams do not have opportunities for any of those “walk-by” office meetings. It’s important to be intentional and set up regular 1 to 1 talks not just between managers and employees but between team members as well.
Team meetings (by Heartpace Talks)
Heartpace Talks can add value to group team meetings. This is because it is a functionality that gives everyone the opportunity to look at the meeting agenda before the meeting itself and add their own insights and comments beforehand. This means teams are much better prepared going into meetings and thus can conduct more efficient plans and talks.
What’s more, is Heartpace Talks enables users to be more action-oriented in their meetings. Each team meeting can be summarized with capability to set goals and conclusions.
Performance Check-ins are a feature in the Heartpace Pulse survey. Pulse Check-ins let teams seamlessly track their progress and KPIs. It is an easy-to-use and intuitive tool that helps employees track progress and improve performance.
Alignment or OKRs
Having proper goal-setting in place and getting aligned is yet another highly effective method in managing remote teams. You can learn more about specific modules we have for alignment as well as OKRs.
If your HR department is ready to take managing remote teams to another level, get started with Heartpace software today.