Supporting your employees, whether near or far, is critical to the success of your organization’s operations. By adopting strategies to support your remote employees, you’ll give them the tools, support, and confidence they need to work remotely.
Check out 7 best tips for supporting remote employees:
- Communicate Through Team Huddles
- Create Opportunities For Peer-To-Peer Collaboration
- Equip Employees With The Tools They Need
- Schedule Regular 1:1 Check-Ins
- Set Expectations Early On And Update As Needed
- Avoid Micromanaging Your Teams
- Celebrate Successes
Do you have a partially or fully remote workforce? Perhaps your organization has recently adopted a hybrid work model and is looking for strategies to better manage your remote teams.
No matter the size of your remote workforce, you may find it challenging to support your employees and meet their needs without in-person collaboration.
At Roundtable Learning, we know that remote work is here to stay. It’s critical to set your remote employees up for success, but how exactly can you ensure your remote employees feel supported and valued? We’ve got you covered!
This article will explore 7 strategies for supporting your remote employees and provide tips to make these strategies work at your organization.
1. Communicate Through Team Huddles
Communication is critical when it comes to employees working remotely. Scheduling regular touchpoints with the team, like a daily or weekly huddle, helps keep the manager and team informed on what others are doing. These team huddles can be as short or as long as needed for the team to regroup and align projects.
Team huddles accomplish the following:
- Keeps the manager and team updated on projects
- Helps the manager and other team members see where they can get involved
- Allows employees to get to know each other better
In addition, team huddles give managers an opportunity to connect the remote team with what’s going on in the organization that they may miss because they aren’t on-site.
2. Create Opportunities For Peer-To-Peer Collaboration
When working remotely, it’s easy for employees to feel disconnected from their colleagues. To avoid feelings of isolation, we recommend creating opportunities for peer-to-peer collaboration through the following activities:
- Encourage Employees To Join Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) — Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are employee-run communities that focus on supporting development by leveraging the knowledge and experience of others. These groups can be held virtually over a remote communication software (e.g. Slack, Zoom, Google Meet)
- Assign Peer Mentors — Peer mentors keep employees connected and cultivate positive workplace relationships by assigning an upper-level employee with someone at a lower level.
- Encourage Cross-Functionality — When employees with different expertises work toward a common goal, it creates a feeling of togetherness across departments at all levels of an organization.
Peer-to-peer interactions over virtual communication platforms, including Zoom, Slack, and Google Meet, give remote employees an opportunity to collaborate with their colleagues in real-time and feel a sense of belonging.
3. Equip Employees With The Tools They Need
In order to do their job, remote employees need to be equipped with the tools necessary to complete their work out-of-office. These tools may include:
- Hardware (e.g. laptop, camera, keyboard and mouse)
- Support Resources (e.g. FAQ sheets, job aids, articles)
- Software (e.g. video conferencing and virtual communication platforms)
When your employees have the tools needed to do their job, it allows them to be as productive as possible in their role with minimal disruptions. Employees should have access to the same resources and tools needed to do their job just as they’d have if they were to work in-person.
4. Schedule Regular 1:1 Check-Ins
42% of supervisors say they forget about remote workers when assigning projects, potentially damaging employee success, morale, engagement, and belonging. Regularly scheduled 1:1 check-ins avoid this tendency by keeping managers and their team members aligned on various assignments, projects, and tasks.
1:1’s accomplish the following:
- Give managers time to talk with employees
- Build rapport with them
- Understand what support and guidance they need
- Discuss other professional development needs and interests
1:1’s are also a great opportunity for managers to develop their soft skills (e.g. coaching and mentoring) by leading their remote employees and helping them overcome any challenges.
5. Set Expectations Early On And Update As Needed
Switching to a remote format may affect your team’s understanding of your expectations toward them. Setting expectations early on in the remote work process helps accomplish the following:
- Sets boundaries regarding projects and tasks employees should be working on
- Gives employees an opportunity to ask questions and clarify expectations
- Clarifies priorities and performance goals for each employee
Rather than assuming your team knows what to do, you should set expectations early on to ensure your team knows where to focus their energy and understands what’s expected of them. This helps avoid potential misunderstandings in the future and delegates tasks to each team member.
6. Avoid Micromanaging Your Teams
Micromanaging is a hard habit to break with the potential to stunt your team’s growth and lessen your employees’ trust in you. It can be difficult to avoid micromanaging your team while finding ways to stay informed on how their projects are progressing.
To avoid micromanaging, managers should take the following steps:
- Reflect on your behavior — Does your team feel they are micromanaged?
- Ask for feedback from your team — How do your employees feel about your management style? Do you check-in too much and nitpick their work?
- Prioritize what matters most — Do you strategically delegate tasks fairly to each team member?
- Trust in your team — Do you have faith in your team’s abilities and give them the power to lead themselves with minimal guidance?
5. Celebrate Successes
It can be easy to focus on what needs to get done instead of celebrating successes, big and small. Despite employees working remotely, successes should be celebrated to ensure their efforts feel valued. Virtually celebrating successes comes with the following benefits:
- Makes employees feel accomplished by recognizing their work
- Cultivates socialization over digital communications platforms
- Creates a feeling of togetherness among a team
To celebrate a success virtually, your organization could send SWAG (stuff we all get) to employees when appropriate, create a team dashboard that posts successes, or even host a virtual dance or karaoke party.
So, How Will You Support Your Remote Employees?
This article has reviewed 7 strategies to effectively support your remote employees. We hope that by reading this article, you feel better prepared to support your remote workforce with the tools, resources, and encouragement needed to succeed in their role.
Have questions? Feel free to reach out to our team of L&D experts today or read more about all things employee support in our resource center.