Are you managing remote employees? If so, it’s up to you as a leader to create open communication and encourage collaboration to maintain your company culture and boost morale. Here are five tips to help make managing and engaging remote employees a little easier.
#1: Help Maintain Employee Connections
Employees aren’t seeing each other in the hallway or by the water cooler anymore, so it’s important to keep your team connected. Structure and consistency is key to help teammates feel as bonded as they were in the office. Recurring digital team meet-ups are one way to help foster this collaboration. Here are a few ideas to make these meetings more engaging and ensure your team feels connected:
- Monday coffee conversations: Start each Monday with a quick coffee chat to go over everyone’s key projects for the week. To make this more fun, team members can share something exciting they did over the weekend.
- Monthly team meetings: Host a monthly team meeting where employees go around and discuss a personal and professional achievement they’re proud of.
- Video chats: At least once a week, use videos for your meeting to help your team feel more connected. To make these even more exciting, encourage the use of virtual backgrounds.
- Fuel your team with food: Provide a meal credit from time to time. Just like in the office, food is a great way to improve your meetings and ensure your team feels valued and engaged. Employees can share their favorite local restaurants and dishes.
#2: Set a Clear Policy on Working Hours
When it comes to managing remote employees’ working hours, many companies are keeping the regular work hours that were followed in the office, although some businesses are letting employees set their own hours.
Regardless of the specifics, the most important thing you should do is communicate the policy to your team and inform them that they don’t have to be online and available 24/7. It can be difficult for remote workers to disconnect when their home is now their office, so it’s critical to communicate openly with remote employees to minimize burnout.
Additionally, in the office, many employees would step out for lunch, a cup of coffee, or even a doctors appointment. You should make sure your team knows that this is still okay. Many companies are setting up wellness hours during the day as a dedicated time for team members to step away from their computers. Blocking off an hour on your team’s calendars encourages employees to take a consistent break each day.
#3: Host Virtual Culture-Building Activities
Managing remote employees requires some extra work to build and maintain your company culture. Your goal as a leader should be to continue to bring your team together in fun ways that encourage engagement and collaboration.
Virtual team-building activities can be fun for everyone; consider hosting quarterly digital trivia nights, bi-weekly coffee chats, or monthly team video lunches. One way to increase engagement with these culture-building events is to add food! Consider offering a meal credit for employees during these events to increase attendance and satisfaction.
#4: Communicate and Check-In Regularly
Communication when managing remote employees is just as, if not more, important than when your team worked in the office. If you had regular 1:1 check-ins before going remote, these should still continue. Make sure you establish different channels of communication, including chat, email, video, and phone calls. While video is an important medium, many teams switch up the format from time to time to avoid video burnout.
You also want to ensure your employees are in communication with one another. This can be done through the virtual events listed above, and also by assigning collaborative projects that require creative brainstorms and check-ins.
Overall, the goal here should be to err on the side of over-communicating so your business keeps moving forward with a strong team.
#5: Keep Regular Celebrations and Employee Perks
Perhaps the most important tip for managing remote employees is that regular team celebrations and employee perks should live on.
Milestones such as birthdays, company anniversaries, and holidays are still important to your team. Make sure you celebrate these as they happen by planning fun virtual activities and sending digital gifts and cards!
It’s critical for remote employees to feel just as valued as when they worked from the office. Just because the working location has changed, doesn’t mean your company benefits should. Most companies are offering the same benefits they provided in the office to employees working from home. For example, if you offered a food perk before shifting to remote work, you should still offer this benefit. With a meal benefit in place through a flexible corporate ordering solution, like Grubhub Corporate Accounts, you can easily provide food for all team members, no matter where they’re working.
Grubhub Corporate is Here to Help
While managing remote employees creates unique challenges, there are steps you can take to maintain your company culture and boost morale. Take these tips for managing remote employees into consideration and let us know how they are working for your team.
If you’re looking to provide meals to your remote employees as a regular perk or for virtual events and celebrations, a Grubhub Corporate Account can help.