The office landscape has changed quite a bit over the last few years. It’s now very common for organizations to have associates who work exclusively in the office, fully remote, or have a hybrid work arrangement where they work in the office some days and from home on others. There's often a mix to accommodate what works best for the organization – and the team that staffs it.
It was most likely easier to manage and motivate your team when you saw each other in person everyday so how can you carry that motivation to your remote associates while also trying to attract top talent? This article will help provide you some tips on how to set the foundation and solidify a positive company culture.
1. Keep Everyone Connected
Team collaboration is a critical component of productivity, so do what you can to make sure every branch of your business stays connected.
- Find the right technology and make it a necessary part of the workday experience. Ensure team members connect with one another frequently through apps such as WebEx or Microsoft Teams. This brings a human element to those working away from the office and helps them see they're still a valued part of something larger than their home office.
- Keep everyone updated frequently throughout the workday. Share company news, interesting articles, and even water-cooler jokes with your remote associates.
- Give your team members opportunities to connect over topics other than work. Encourage them to check in with each other and share stories about their days, important life events, and vacation pics.
2. Make It Fun
It can be difficult to roll out of bed each morning and report to work at a corner of the kitchen table. This is a common issue among remote workers. As a manager or person in charge of employee morale, it’s important to ensure the remote working experience is a positive one. One way is by appointing a committee to add fun and informal events to the roster, such as:
- Monthly walkathons
- Coffee meetups
- Birthday lunches
- Company retreats or dinners
- Holiday celebrations
- Department or company picnics
Most remote associates enjoy opportunities to congregate in person on occasion. This gives them the chance to catch up in real-time with what's going on in the lives of friends and coworkers. Any events that welcome family members, like spouses and children, are always popular.
3. Show Gratitude
Someone working from home isn't present to read facial expressions or body language, so make sure you show your gratitude in other ways. Be constructive and encouraging in your feedback, and be sure to provide it often, especially to those workers who aren't physically in the office. Reward your team members for jobs well done and recognize them in virtual meetings for going that extra mile.
Talk with your top talent and learn what makes them happy. Maybe it’s three days a week working from home or non-traditional benefits such as a free gym membership, increased vacation days, or time off to volunteer within their communities. Benefits such as these make associates feel valued and heard.
4. Emphasize the Importance of Personal and Professional Growth
Along with a wellness program, like the type offered by many of today's top employers, you should also encourage professional growth among your remote staff. Offer opportunities for advancement for associates who take the time to earn college credits, certificates, or degrees. Give staff access to online training materials and programs that are designed to further skills in areas such as communication and technology. Finally, assign value to soft skills such as adaptability and dependability. Combining all of these elements will increase levels of morale among your remote staff. They'll also help to establish a strong, positive company culture that values both teamwork and individual effort.
5. Attract the Best New Talent
In addition to retaining the top talent you already have in place, you'll need a plan for attracting new, quality associates. Competition is fierce in today's market, and experienced, educated individuals who display a solid work ethic is crucial. If you offer nontraditional benefits and a balanced work-life experience, you already have a leg up on your competition. People will want to work for your organization because of how much you care about your staff. However, there are always additional steps you can take to draw in quality applicants including:
- Emphasize your company's best assets in your job listings: If you offer great opportunities for advancement, tuition reimbursement, and on-the-job training, make sure people know.
- Share the positives about your company's culture: If you offer a diverse, flexible work atmosphere that values creativity, your listings should reflect it.
- Offer employee incentives for recruitment: Encourage your staff to spread the word about what they enjoy most about their jobs.
- Search in different places: If you're looking for bright, new minds, scour college campuses or hire interns. If it's experience and specific expertise you value, turn to online resources such as LinkedIn or Indeed.
Working from home is far from a passing phase. Now that it has become commonplace, the companies that offer it are seeing the advantages. Whether your workplace is fully remote or if you're still using a hybrid method that brings workers into the office a few days a week, it's vital to keep your employees satisfied and feeling connected. Focus on the things that help make your team fulfilled. Happy associates are some of the best contributors. They uplift your whole team, and that is a win-win.
Looking for more tips? Here's more articles about keeping remote workers satisfied and appreciated and staying healthy while working remotely.