Engage Your Remote Workforce With These 3 Simple Tips
April 12, 2020
By Gene Park
Working remotely has quickly become the status quo for many workers. Managers who are used to interacting with their team face-to-face are adjusting to overseeing their team virtually and are getting up to speed on how to keep everyone on track, engaged and feeling connected.
Technology plays a huge role in keeping us all connected. Here are three tips for utilizing project management, communications, and engagement platforms to help ease the transition into working remotely.
Organize virtual meetups
A key aspect of managing a remote workforce, or being a remote manager, is consistent communication to make sure everyone’s efforts are aligned and all priorities are being handled.
On Monday mornings, have everyone sign into your company’s communication tool of choice (Skype, Microsoft Teams, Slack, etc.) for a meeting to go over the week’s top priorities and share any need-to-know information. Ask employees to share what projects they’ll be working on and if they’ll need to collaborate with others on the team. Establish deadlines for any projects that can be completed by the end of the week.
Check-in with each employee at least once during the week to see how they’re progressing or if they have any roadblocks that you may be able to help with.
On Fridays, ask employees to send an email to recap what projects have been completed and which projects are moving over into the following week.
Keep everyone connected
In today’s workplace, there’s more opportunity than ever before to keep a remote team engaged and productive through technology. Teams can keep projects on track and can be updated in real-time through project management platforms, like Monday.com or Trello. Multiple departments can collaborate on projects through virtual whiteboard applications, like MURAL and Miro.
Employees can also stay connected to one another through engagement platforms and other communication tools. Engagement platforms can be used to keep employees up to speed on company events and announcements, as well as allow employees to recognize one another for professional achievements, meeting team goals, or life events, like a birthday.
Don’t have an engagement platform? No problem. Here are a few ideas for you.
- Instant messaging tools like Microsoft Teams or Slack keep teams connected beyond email messages, as it allows employees to send quick messages to update team members on project details or ask a co-worker a question. Consider offering a few communication tools for employees, as they may prefer using more than one. For example, they may email documents to a colleague in another department and prefer to use instant messaging to ask a request of a co-worker on their direct team.
- Managers should also conduct one-on-one meetings with each employee on a regular basis. Communication platforms with a video chat feature are ideal for this type of meeting because they mimic the feel of an in-person conversation and can help you build camaraderie with your employees.
Don’t forget to have some fun
Although your team may not be able to get together in person, you can still find ways to connect with everyone beyond work. Consider something entertaining like having a virtual trivia tournament or playing a game of video charades at lunchtime during the week where managers can award gift cards to the winners. Incorporating fun virtual gatherings can go a long way in combating some of the biggest challenges in working remotely such as wanting to communicate more with teammates and combating loneliness.
As remote work becomes more commonplace, both managers and employees will be navigating a new landscape when it comes to staying in contact and keeping productive when not in the office. Technology platforms can be a great way to keep everyone engaged and motivated to move forward.