Effective Strategies for bridging the gap between Companies and Remote Workers
The number of remote workers around the world had risen by 140% in the last five years. This may be unprecedented, but that figure is set to rise as companies soldier on through this pandemic.
Even tech giants such as Google, Facebook, and Google have switched to fully remote work environments. You can conclude that it’s just a trend/fad. But, it’s the present situation and will continue to be so into the foreseeable future.
Times are hard, and employees are facing various barriers to their productivity. For one, school is out, and daycares are closed. So, remote works have to mind their children. Some workers also have aging relatives and immune-compromised loved ones on their minds.
Your company faces the need to build remote work strategies cantered around the needs of all employees. At the same time, employees need to keep productivity and collaboration high.
Here’s what to do if your company is struggling to bridge such a gap:
What’s The Difference Between Remote Workforce Engagement and Management?
Many companies use these two terms, interchangeably. But, understanding their subtle differences could have a profound effect on your strategy.
Remote Workforce management: Most companies use this process consistently to ensure they have the right staff on a task. It helps to think of it as an automated HR system that builds teams featuring the most talented workers.
- Predicting future workflow volumes
- Ensuring your staff is available whenever they are needed.
- Controlling absenteeism and dips in productivity
- Contingency planning for the sake of business continuity
Workforce engagement management embellishes on the former’s strength, yet it’s a bit more technical in its approach. It factors in the human needs of remote workers and acknowledges the part they play into your enterprise’s success. This means that your organization plays a more prominent role in the success of your remote staff.
It includes the following measures:
- Onboarding newly recruited employees
- Improving employee performance via frequent evaluation
- Factoring your workers’ availability and PTO
- Maintain an open dialogue with remote staff.
- Constant analysis and revision of business processes
How Do You Deploy A Remote Workforce Engagement Management Strategy?
There are two areas of your company’s organization to consider when implementing such a strategy. Effective implementation will boost remote staff productivity and engagement. These areas of focus include:
Establishing Personal Connection Among Remote Staff
A Gallup poll found that camaraderie and personal ties developed among employees profoundly affect their engagement and productivity. Sadly, remote workers have fewer opportunities to establish connections with co-workers.
They work from home, and interactions with others consist of emails and other static communication means. Building such lasting relationships requires proximity and a conscious effort. Here’s how to foster such links as a manager:
- Schedule breaks within the workday so that remote workers can call or video chat with their co-workers.
- Schedule video call debriefs after long and tiring work shifts. This ensures that workers are less stressed by impending deadlines and can share their input while exchanging pleasantries.
Eliminating Barriers to Collaboration
Collaboration and critical engagement go hand in hand. The best way to encourage this spirit is to build a professional connection between your remote workers and your organization. Brainstorming sessions via video call work towards this goal.
But, the casual conversations are the best way to build organic engagement within your ranks. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this challenge.
Here are a few proactive measures that will ensure a measure of success towards eliminating the barriers to collaboration:
Tips for Fostering Trust Between Your Organization and Remote Workers
Transparency is Key
Most companies focus on the activities of remote workers and time spent performing tasks. This sets the wrong expectations by failing to quantify the desired outcomes. Your company and remote staff could benefit more from a system built on mutual trust and transparency in transmitting desired results and data.
Be Reachable and Responsive to New Ideas
Remote workers often feel isolated and ignored by the company. Bridge this gap by prioritizing remote staff needs as they arise by offering impactful feedback. Set out clear guidelines on communication tools to be used and how often you’ll be available. Setting up regularly schedule calls for everyone in the team also helps.
Team Profiles Enhance Engagement
Remote working puts a strain on collaboration and camaraderie. Some companies have created coffee breaks where co-workers can chat and share pictures. Others have set up watch parties through social media that give remote workers a measure of social interaction.
Encourage team members to create personal profiles based on their favorite activities, brands, movies, hobbies, and other factors. Employees can then share videos and pictures as they bond over mutual interests.
Consider Their Privacy
Set conventions that define and protect personal remote workers’ data and privileged client information. Make it clear to the entire team what data they can share publicly and what’s to remain confidential.
Proactive Assessment and Progress Reporting
It’s easier to observe signs of stress and anxiety when dealing with in-office staff. But that’s next to impossible with remote workers. They often feel burdened, so always ask if they need additional support. So, taking a genuine interest in the progress and challenges facing your remote staff helps alleviate the stress.
Recognize the Individual Aspirations of Each Team Member
Remote work can feel like a thankless task that offers few opportunities for personal growth for employees. It’s essential to identify your employees’ aspirations so that they can grow.
- If an employee achieves success at a challenging task, show recognition, and provide more challenging tasks.
- If employees gain a high status among their peers, allow them to lead a working group or work on projects green-lit by top executives in your company.
- If an employee gets along with their peers, they involve them in projects that are stuck due to friction among the working group.
As we brave such challenging times, most companies have remained operational by switching to a remote work environment. Cloud technologies, virtual desktops, instant messaging, and video may have made this transition easier.
However, companies still face a challenge when it comes to motivating remote workers. We hope these strategies will help bridge trust between your company and its remote staff.
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