If you are a manager, you likely have at least one employee that works remotely. Data shows that 30-45% of employees work outside the office today, and that number continues to rise each year. There are a host of benefits to hiring remote workers, but keeping those employees engaged and feeling like part of the team can be difficult. Remote workers report feeling isolated, underappreciated and excluded from the group. Here are some strategies to help your remote employees feel like they are at the office.
Leverage Video And Collaboration Tools
In-house teams build relationships based on proximity. They see each other every day and have the opportunity to chat about everything from work to the latest episode of Game of Thrones. Remote workers do not have those opportunities. If their only interaction with the group is through email or conference calls, it’s difficult to establish rapport.
Video can be a great way to break through barriers and make virtual employees feel like part of the group. Take advantage of technology like Google Hangouts so that everyone can see each other and put faces to names. Video meetings also promote engagement during the meeting. On a conference call, it’s very easy to check email, work on a report, or browse the internet. On a video meeting, employees must stay focused.
Include Remote Employees On Every Communication
It’s easy to forget to CC remote employees on internal emails, include them on impromptu staff meetings and keep them in the loop with other in-house communications. However, important information gets conveyed in these conversations and virtual workers deserve the chance to be included so they can do their jobs well. Even if the communication is about cleaning up the break room or notifying the team on the third floor of a new printing protocol, include your virtual team so they feel included and part of the group.
“As the manager of the King of Prussia office, I was asked to also manage our Jacksonville office. I modified all meetings and distribution lists to always include those employees. Sound basic, but with consistent structure and clear goal setting, we are making sure that office feels like we are one. There are still challenges in front of us, but we will address them head on as a team, everyday!” says Alyssa Cenekofsky, Branch Manager of CSS.
Consider taking advantage of tools like Slack, as well. People are used to staying connected with friends and family through group text messages and related technologies, and Slack can allow for collaboration on a familiar platform, and it gives people the opportunity to let their personalities show through.
Recognize Their Work
All employees want to be recognized for their accomplishments, and it can be easy to skip over the team members who are not physically present. Send out a weekly or monthly team newsletter that recognizes employees for their successes, including remote workers. Don’t forget to submit virtual employees for company-wide recognition, as well.
If you are looking to build your call center or office team with the top talent in the market, the expert recruiters at Contemporary Staffing Solutions are ready to help. We specialize in connecting vetted and qualified candidates with leading companies. We can connect you with candidates who have the experience and knowledge that you’re looking for drive your business forward. Contact CSS today to learn more about our proven methods for success.