Three Strategies To Maximize Team Engagement and Productivity While Working Remotely
When the outbreak of the pandemic started in March of 2020, companies across the country were forced to shut their offices and send their workers to work from home. Millions of people are still working a year remotely after the closure was expected to last only a few months. Even with the widespread availability of vaccinations, many businesses are opting to retain a significant proportion of their employees at home due to the move to remote work. Other companies also use the hybrid approach, where workers may work both from home and in the office.
Remote Work Will Stay
According to a survey by research firm Gartner, more than 80% of company leaders said they plan to allow their employees to continue working remotely at least some of the time after the full reopening from the pandemic. The survey found that 47% of respondents said they intended to allow employees to work remotely on a full-time basis, while 43% said they would grant flex days and 42% would provide flex hours.
Working remotely has a lot of benefits for both you and your team. Due to the absence of a physical office, startup and overhead expenses are substantially reduced. Additionally, you are not limited to recruiting locally, giving you a greater opportunity to attract top talent. Also, greater employee autonomy and flexibility in scheduling usually result in higher job satisfaction, enhancing productivity and morale while decreasing turnover.
However, managing a remote workforce has its own set of unique challenges. This is particularly true when managing a team and ensuring engagement and motivation. Management strategies that work well in an office setting often do not transfer well to a remote environment, where you must find a balance between an individual worker’s freedom and the general cohesiveness of your team. With this in mind, use the following three methods to improve your remote workforce’s engagement and management.
1. Effective communication is essential
Facilitating communication among your team should be a key concern if everyone is working from different locations. Fortunately, modern technology makes it simpler than ever before to keep in contact with your remote employees. The importance of email and phone conversations hasn’t changed, but video chat and messaging services are revolutionizing distance communication.
Because face-to-face contact, whether one-on-one or in a group, offers the greatest connection, videoconferencing should be an important element in the communication process at your business, too. Over the past year, Zoom has proven to be one of the most popular video-chat platforms, as it allows you to interact face to face and facilitates collaboration by allowing chat participants to share their individual computer screens with the entire team.
Slack is another online communication tool that can serve as the main hub for your team’s daily communications, and it too has proven quite popular. Using Slack’s versatile instant messaging system, you can communicate with your team and exchange documents, pictures, and other files right in chat. Slack lets you organize team conversations into channels to make communication more topic-or department-specific. You can create non-work channels on Slack so your staff can get to know one another and socialize and use them to create a sense of community.
2. Promote Genuine Connections
To build trust, your team has to communicate often and meaningfully. Remote employees may not need continuous support, but it is easy for them to feel isolated and disconnected if your team does not communicate consistently. Feelings of isolation may be especially damaging for newly hired employees.
Weekly video chat sessions with your team enable you to regularly discuss company goals and progress while allowing remote employees to get together, creating a feeling of unity, belonging, and camaraderie. Encourage your staff to engage in meetings by asking for their input actively so they feel like they are a part of the broader direction and decision-making of the business.
Along with weekly or even daily team meetings, think about arranging frequent “check-ins” when team members engage with their leaders one-on-one through video chat or instant messaging. These check-ins provide people a chance to talk about how their job is coming along and how their personal lives are doing. This fosters genuine interpersonal connections. Of course, getting your team together in person is the best approach to building genuine relationships. If feasible, conduct on-site meetings and encourage nearby team members to come together and spend time together.
3. Create Well-Defined Procedures
Because you can’t see what your team is doing, they must know exactly what you want them to do. To that aim, create simple work processes to understand so that everyone knows what is expected of them and how, where, and when their work is delivered.
Video lectures outlining standard operating procedures may be an option for overall operations that affect the whole workforce (SOP). Share these with your team to clearly show how typical tasks should be completed. You may assign tasks more structured way using online project management tools like Asana and Trello. Project tasks should be organized in a checklist format so that team members may finish each one step by step to ensure maximum consistency and efficiency.
As an added benefit, these tools provide a detailed picture of each project, allowing you to monitor workflow and track where individual team members are in the overall process, eliminating the need to micromanage.
Create a Stable Foundation
Managing a successful remote business requires more than simply team management. You’re also responsible for the nuts and bolts of business management: the legal, insurance, financial, and tax (LIFT) components. Yet, with your company’s workforce spread out over several states—maybe even different countries—these essential tasks are even more complex.
Simply complying with continuously changing employment and tax regulations across multiple states can be a massive task. And making just one mistake can cost you a lot.
This article is a service of Greg Gordillo, Family Business Lawyer™. We offer a complete spectrum of legal services for businesses and can help you make the wisest choices on how to deal with your business throughout life and in the event of your death. We also offer a LIFT Start-Up Session™ or a LIFT Audit for an ongoing business, which includes a review of all the legal, financial, and tax systems you need for your business. Schedule your LIFT Session today!