Establishing a company culture can be difficult when the entire team is in the same place. But when companies adopt remote work as an option, it can be difficult to keep people feeling connected and tied to the same purpose and common goals.
As a manager, how do you ensure your team stays a team? If people are in different places, how do you keep everyone feeling united?
Here are some tips.
Remind your team of their shared purpose.
If people know they’re all working together toward the same goals, it can unify them, regardless of where they’re sitting. When people know the role they play is important to the group’s success, it can be a powerful motivating factor to do their part and keep things rolling toward a shared goal, even if the team isn’t physically together.
Stay connected with video.
Schedule regular calls and meetings with video chats to make sure people are seeing each other. Encourage conversations and team meetings and for people to video call each other instead of sending emails. This doesn’t need to be the format for every meeting, as being on camera is creating stress and a feeling of being burned out after a year of fake smiles on video chats with everyone from coworkers to relatives and friends, but make it a regular enough occurrence that your team can enjoy and reconnect seeing each other’s faces again.
The team members who are working on site have an advantage over those who aren’t: They can see their manager and coworkers multiple times through the course of the day, both in scheduled meetings and casual greetings. As a manager, it’s important that your off-site employees feel they can talk to you when they need to and that they’re not missing out on knowing what’s going on since they’re siloed to a different location. Make time to talk with them and do your best to answer when they call. Show them attention and concern like you would the employees you see every day.
Handle conflict in a responsible manner.
Some remote employees might feel slighted over things that aren’t really happening. Feelings of isolation and being left out, even if they’re not obvious to the person who feels that way, can cause a rift within a team. When conflict occurs, try to take the middle ground and work toward a solution in which everyone involved feels heard and understood. Institute policies and practices that can build bridges and mend fences instead of walls and tension.
If people working onsite receive a treat or reward for a job well done, make sure the remote workers are involved and receive a comparable item at the same time. If there’s a conference call and everyone needs to be on it with their cameras on, have your on-site workers call in from their workspaces or offices to avoid the optics of a united office and separate, isolated off-site workers. Think about the equity or lack thereof, people might feel if they need to stay remote or never worked in the office, and they see everyone else gathered without them? It’s not a very welcoming feeling, and the person might decide it’s time to stop trying to fit in. It’s important to set the same tone for your workers, regardless of where they sit during the day.
Some companies have fully embraced remote working as an option for their employees; for others, it’s a temporary solution to a global pandemic and might not stay around forever. As a manager, it’s your job to make all your employees feel valued, important, and respected. If that’s not happening, figure out how to fix it.
At Debbie’s Staffing, we are ready to help you build a team of workers that will fit your needs, whether that’s remote or onsite. We have contacts with employees who have just the skills and talent you’re looking for. Contact Debbie’s Staffing today, and let’s get started!