Remote work is no longer a growing trend. It is here, and as leaders, we need to continue to strive for connection in this digital world. Whether you’re the type of leader who views remote work as driven by circumstance or is fully embracing the change, it all rests on your shoulders when it comes to how engaged your team is.
When you aren’t following a traditional workday schedule, small talk needs to be used to your advantage. It shows that you value socialization and human interaction.
Allow your workers to engage in “watercooler talk” as they would in a regular office environment so they can share life updates, talk about movies or TV shows, exciting news they found, and anything in-between.
Tip: Create a #Watercooler channel in Slack (or like platforms) to get the conversations going.
Ask for feedback
Communication must be a two-way street. Just like you need to reach your team, your team needs to contact you in real-time. With a positive company culture and encouragement, your employees will freely share their feedback, thoughts, and ideas. Always acknowledge when an employee shares an idea so that they know they’ve been heard and valued.
Tip: And whatever you do, don’t wait for an annual review! Actively seek your employees’ feedback and suggestions.
Everyone loves a paycheck, but it’s not the only way you can show your gratitude. Sharing positive feedback, glowing customer reviews, a shout-out when a project goes well, and more – this is magic and goes a long way.
Tip: I’m not saying to stop bonuses or pay very little. Still, when you pair the monetary benefit with employee recognition, you’re on the path to engaging remote employees every day.
When you’re striving to create and maintain an engaged workforce, remember that it takes consistent focus and attention, and a willingness to learn along the way. Engagement is never a one size fits all approach; keeping remote employees engaged turns them into your best and most significant asset.