Quick Tips #8 - Five Ways to Help Remote Employees Maintain Their Connection to Your Culture
Written by Injoy Global Co-Founder & COO, Jeff Baietto on May 27, 2020
Out of sight should never be out of mind when it comes to your remote employees. Spread out across the landscape, staff members who work apart physically can grow apart emotionally – and lose their sense of belonging. Your culture depends on them feeling connected to your company, values and mission.
Here are five tips that’ll help them increase that sense during our growing remote work environment that looks like it is here to stay.
1. Communicate Regularly on a Personal Basis – Remote employees run the risk of feeling forgotten. And while you don’t want to overwhelm them with constant messaging, regular check-ins will give them the structure they desire, along with the reassurance that they are still part of a larger team.
While you should always remain professional, make sure you remember to ask how they are doing personally. Make them feel safe enough to share their frustrations and anxieties. This will allow them to feel like they matter – and that their input is valued.
2. Encourage Peer-to-Peer Dialogue – While it is important that your managers communicate with their staff – remember, the dynamics of the boss-employee relationship are vastly different than those of one employee to another.
To help promote such dialogues, companies like the web-based repository manager GitLab actually set up “virtual coffee breaks” between random staffers who may not even know one another. This enables them to learn more about each other, express their feelings openly – and further bond as team members.
3. Invite Employees to Share Their Home-Office Setup – and then Vote for their Favorites – Getting a look at your fellow employees’ at-home work environment will help you see them as real people who are facing the same crazy challenges as you are. Bringing home how we really are all in this together.
Inviting employees to vote on each other’s offices can add a sense of competition, creativity and fun to our unusual circumstances. The company InfoBlox recently received hundreds of shots from their workers’ home offices around the world – which helped to further humanize those faces you usually only see on a tiny Zoom screen.
4. Organize Non-Mandatory (and non-work related) Group Meetups – Such events can help employees ward off a sense of isolation from the world. While some workers may have lots of additional people at home – others may have no one around – and no opportunity to socialize. This can help.
These meetings can run the gamut from group games, to video playing events, to virtual happy hours and more. But again, you should not make them mandatory. As previously discussed, Zoom fatigue is real. Make it clear participation is optional.
5. Use a Cloud-Based Culture Improvement Software – Most corporate culture programs are delivered on-site, in-person, to larger groups of people. This obviously won’t do much good during the lockdown.
But companies that use a cloud-based culture improvement software – like our Culti-Vate Performance Improvement Platform - can keep their employees connected 24/7 via any desktop, mobile or tablet device – no matter where they are in the world.
Such software can help employees increase their bonds and connection by forming teams, working on projects together – and even adding a bit of fun competition. Helping them to improve their skills – and giving them that badly needed sense of belonging.
We hope our “Quick Tips” series is helping you thrive during these unusual times. We firmly believe those companies who work to keep their culture strong will benefit exponentially once COVID-19 has passed.
We’ll get through this.
P.S. Please share your own tips or suggestions on what you are doing with your teams in the comments below.