With the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, working from home has become the new norm for many Canadian employees, but it can often leave individuals feeling isolated. Employers must learn how to effectively lead a remote team, keep workers engaged and remain productive to satisfy customers' needs and meet company goals. Consider the following 10 ways to keep your remote team connected.
1. Create Multiple Channels of Interaction
Communicate with your employees through several channels. Choose email for company memos or announcements, and use social media posts or recorded messages to keep employees engaged.
2. Maintain a Constant Chat Forum
Ensure management is always available to answer questions or provide feedback with an open chatroom. Slack is a popular communication tool that works well for both large and small groups.
3. Schedule Live Weekly Meetings
Face-to-face interaction is the best way to keep remote teams connected. Schedule weekly meetings to go over new information or address any concerns.
4. Insist on Consistent Check-Ins
Hold each employee accountable for their workday by using a time tracker software like Time Doctor or ezClocker. Time Doctor is free to use for 14 days and lets you see in a glance what your employees are working on and how much time is spent on each task. The app ezClocker is available for a low monthly fee and is downloadable on most mobile devices.
5. Offer Work Incentives
If the budget allows, provide a delivered lunch for an employee who meets their goals for the week, give gift cards to a favorite online shop or provide a paid afternoon off to someone who lands a new client.
6. Encourage Team Collaboration
Encourage departments to chat regularly or pair employees to work on projects together. By building relationships with other workers, remote workers will feel less isolated.
7. Provide Adequate Cloud Storage
Google Docs and DropBox are excellent ways for employees to share files and access company information from any location with an internet connection. Free plans are available for minimal storage needs, while larger storage options are available for a small investment.
8. Provide Regular Feedback
Check in often with remote workers to see what they are working on and if there are any issues that need to be addressed. Provide feedback on their work and let them know they are valued and appreciated.
9. Celebrate Accomplishments
Recognizing an employee who has gone above and beyond expectations is an excellent way to help remote workers feel proud of themselves and make them feel part of the group.
10. Allow Flexible Work Schedules
Working from home often means employees will have distractions. Allow flexible work hours to accommodate interruptions and family time, but also insist on consistency. Provide employees with a window of time throughout the day when they must log in to complete their work. This ensures workers are on at the same time to collaborate with one another.