7 Unconventional Ways To Build Connections With Your Remote Teams
In the new normal that we live in, many employees and teams are forced to blur the lines between work and home life. Such a large and impactful shift means that the focus on increasing employee engagement is now greater than ever, but old methods may not carry over into a remote workplace.
Creating the space each week to focus on the well being of your people can help to forge more meaningful connections among your remote teams. This level of support can also motivate employees to do the best work of their lives.
Especially during a time when things feel heavy, here are tips for alleviating some of that pressure by helping you connect with employees, even when you’re fully remote.
1. Encourage employee activity groups
Studies show that employees who have friends at work are more engaged and less likely to leave. On the flip side, remote employees who feel lonely or isolated are less productive, less healthy, and even more likely to quit.
Bringing remote teams together with like-minded interests outside of their day-to-day work is a great way to build unlikely connections. For example, hosting a book or film club via Zoom where people can gather to have discussions on a regular basis can interest people from various teams who may not otherwise get to interact.
2. Over-communicate gratitude and praise
High-performing organizations are far more supportive and complementary than low-performing organizations, but the truth is, when employees aren’t in a centralized location it’s easier to let great work go under the radar. A great way to bridge that gap is by giving your remote employees the ability to send their praises to each other in a public way through virtual High Fives.
3. Support employees’ hobbies
Sometimes doing something to support your employees’ other interests outside work can do wonders for building a deeper connection, even if it is from afar. This shows that you not only care about their professional development, but their personal growth too. While it may seem paradoxical, making an effort to have conversations that aren’t about work can lead to more fruitful professional relationships.
4. Create fun remote traditions
Sometimes your employees need to take off their work hats together and engage in some fun company activities. A way to embrace change is to create new traditions that everyone can enjoy, even if it is only through the virtual space.
Schedule time for company game night or talent show. Or even just round up stories about personal milestones, fun anecdotes about their families, kids, or pets, then share these in a weekly newsletter.
5. Give extra incentives, if you can
Let your employees know you’re looking out for them by offering new, extra incentives you might not have been able to offer when you were working in an office. For example, aside from existing benefits like healthcare, create perks for remote employees such as reimbursements for their home office or gift cards and vouchers for essential services.
6. Check in regularly
Conducting regular check ins is easy when you’re in an office, but going the extra mile to set these up with your remote workers throughout the week can act as an effective pulse check. During these times, it’s important to consistently ask how your people are managing and gauge how they’re feeling about their work.
7. Strive to be asynchronous
Asynchronous work is essentially task-based and not hours-based. This boosts employee morale if they know they don’t have to be online all at the same time, so they’re able to handle things in their day-to-day lives.
This too builds trust among employees and gives them ownership over their roles and tasks. So that makes it crucial to the right online collaboration tools like Google Suite or Asana.
For example, WaveApps for accounting teams allows for bookkeeping and invoicing collaboration on the cloud, so people can work seamlessly together and during hours that work for them.
Being intentional with how you interact and connect with your remote employees can help you form more meaningful connections no matter where they work. Going outside of the box and finding effective ways to boost employee engagement can keep your remote teams both happy and productive. Your efforts won’t go unnoticed, either.
Kevin Payne is a content marketing consultant that helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads.