As the 21st century progresses, more and more businesses find themselves switching either completely to remote operations or to a remote model. Not only does this allow businesses to save on office space, but it also allows their operations to be more agile and to take advantage of trends in society at large. However, moving your company into virtual teams can sometimes alienate certain employees, especially if they are used to the hubbub of the office. This is one of the greatest challenges of businesses in the modern era, particularly or those who have employees who are not used to integrating technology into their daily lives.
However, there are several ways that businesses can make sure that their virtual teams feel appreciated and connected to one another. For one, employers need to cultivate company culture from the onboarding process. When onboarding new employees into a virtual team, you need to make sure that they immediately feel as though they are a part of a team, and that their efforts and contributions to the team will be valued. To do so, you can announce their employment with your company on a Slack channel, and also ensure that they being to build camaraderie with their co-workers though the use of an introductory Zoom meeting. If you get this right, you can ensure that your new remote employees stay at your organization for three years or more.
Managing a remote team is more than just onboarding process through. It’s the day-to-day work of making sure that your employees feel connected to each other and the company they work for. As such, you want to make sure that employees feel like teammates to one another, and that feel as though they are working toward a common goal they can all be proud of. To do so, promote the achievements of your employees through Slack channels, and make them feel like their work is valued, even if you can’t physically do so in person.
Besides for offering praise, you want to make sure that employees feel comfortable with one another. To do so, you can facilitate weekly or monthly Zoom hangouts among employees, and it may make sense for you to not even attend. This will allow employees to blow off steam and really get to know one another outside of the traditional workday. If you want to make them feel appreciated, you can even send them over a small gift card or other token of appreciation that they can enjoy along with their co-workers.
Managing a remote team is, of course, quite difficult. Not having facetime through is not a reason to not foster company culture and make sure that employees feel connected to and proud of the company they work for. Furthermore, it is any employer or manager’s job to make employees feel as though they are valued and that they are working toward a common goal that matters both to the company’s bottom line and to their own lives. While virtual teams don’t allow for that in-person touch, that doesn’t mean that they don’t require a personal touch. Sharing with employees that are working remotely can be an opportunity to make them feel more connected to both each other and who they are working for.