How to Ensure Your Remote Teams Don't Feel Forgotten
Mar 14, 2023 · 8 mins read ·People Management, Remote Working
Nowadays with more and more companies working remotely or to a hybrid model ensuring people who are working from home or from another remote location feel included is crucial.
Some employees who are remote workers can suffer from feelings of isolation. Not only is this likely to have a negative impact on their mental health which is obviously something you want to help them avoid but it can also affect their productivity and engagement at work.
It doesn’t look like the remote work model is going anywhere anytime soon which is why you as HR and your company’s leaders need to make sure that you are actively engaging with your remote people.
But how can you do that? How can you ensure that your remote teams don’t feel neglected? Let’s look at a few ideas.
How to ensure your remote teams don’t feel forgotten
There are any number of effective ways to engage your people both office-based and remote. For example there are some great team building exercises you can do in the office but happy hour drinks and getting to know people in person may not be feasible if your teams are scattered across multiple locations.
Therefore these ideas for engagement are specifically related to your remote workers.
Interact with them from the get-go
The minute you offer a new hire a position within your company and they accept you need to start engaging with them.
One way of doing this is to make your onboarding process interactive informative and welcoming.
You also need to ensure you have all aspects of onboarding covered so think about creating a new hire checklist for remote workers or using an HRIS software solution to make sure you don’t miss any steps.
A good way to make sure new employees feel engaged with and motivated from their first day is to give them a project they can work on while they are being onboarded so that they feel productive and part of the team immediately.
This approach also helps a new hire get to know their team mates on a deeper level rather than just a brief “hello” and exchange of names over video chat.
Make YOUR expectations and THEIR goals clear
It can be easy to foster feelings of isolation if you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing. Therefore you must make their role clear whether your remote worker is a new hire or an existing team member who is switching to remote or hybrid work.
Your people will only be able to succeed if they know what’s expected of them - for example when should they be online? How often are they expected to be available to attend meetings?
Chances are managers might not speak to their team members on a daily basis so people will need to know exactly what they are meant to be doing at any given point.
Offer training on a regular basis
Just because people aren’t in the office it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be offered the same opportunities as employees who are onesite.
No one likes to feel like they’re stagnating - or that other employees are being given access to training and tools to advance their career.
Disengagement and boredom will soon set in so offer employees the opportunity to participate in online training video courses or webinars.
Training can be held and hosted internally or can be outsourced to an external training provider and can cover everything from mental health and wellbeing to business-related disciplines or skills.
Check in with employees
When people don’t know what they’re working towards and can’t see the bigger picture there’s going to be a disconnect.
Even if someone is working from a different country or in a different time zone to their manager they should still be kept abreast of the status of projects as well as team or company goals.
Check-in with your remote people and also encourage your employees to talk to one another as well - communication is key in helping make remote teams feel part of the company as a whole.
And communicating with each other will make sure that tasks and projects are kept on track deadlines are met and misunderstandings are kept to a minimum.
Reward and recognize teams
It doesn’t matter where your employees are located if you’re not recognizing them for a job well done then it’s not going to take long for them to start looking elsewhere for another position.
However you’re going to need to be a little more proactive about rewarding and recognizing remote employees as it won’t be quite as simple as throwing out a “nice work!” as you pass their desk.
You might find that jotting down a note when someone has exceeded your expectations or met a deadline well in advance is helpful.
And make sure to express your thanks either to the person directly or in the team conference call. And if someone has really gone above and beyond the call of duty reward them.
Send them an online gift card or award them a half day off - there are plenty of ways you can thank someone remotely.
Host regular meetings
Again this goes back to communication and makes sure employees who work remotely don’t feel like they’re working in a void.
Meetings are crucial in helping team members feel connected to one another and to the company in general.
A bi-weekly stand-up meeting is a good way to check in with everyone and make sure that everyone is on the same page. Encourage people to speak up if they need help too.
A word of warning though: Although we encourage over communication to help remote employees feel part of the company don’t hold meetings for the sake of them and try to keep them on track so that people don’t just see them as an annoying time suck.
How not to neglect your remote employees: conclusion
Whether you have a combination of people working from the office and from home or you’re fully remote making sure employees feel part of the team - and the wider organization - is crucial in ensuring their engagement productivity and ultimately their loyalty.
Use our tips above to help ensure that none of your people feel forgotten or neglected and you’ll be set for success in this new age of remote and hybrid work.
Eve Jones - Content Writer at Hezum
I'm a UK-based content writer here at Hezum. I've an interest in all things HR and company culture.