Anyone who has managed a team remotely knows the benefits of hiring remote workers. You get access to better applicants as you’re not geographically bound to one location. It is also a great way to cut down on unnecessary costs such as office bills, rent, security, maintenance, and more.
However, when you hire a new remote employee into the team, things feel slightly different initially, and both employers and employees have to face a few challenges. The two of the most common challenges an employer has to face during this time are;
- How do you make your new employee feel welcomed and a part of the team?
- How do you build trust and keep them engaged?
Although multiple studies have shown that remote workers are more productive than their in-office co-workers, some managers still struggle with the concept of remote working and that people can work without continuous supervision. This trust issue is common among employers who handle remote teams.
Moreover, if remote employees don’t feel a sense of belonging, they may also mistrust and doubt their managers and company leadership. But why is trust so important, and why should companies care about it?
For one thing, building trust is key to employee engagement and can significantly impact your employee turnover rate and the organization’s operational efficiency and success. In other words, when there is a lack of trust between the employers and the employees, the chances of employees being engaged dramatically reduces, leading to people quitting their jobs and not staying committed to the organization’s goals and values.
Here is how you can help your remote employees feel like they are part of the team and help establish trust between them and their managers.
Set Clear Expectations For Remote Work
The remote work model can only flourish if managers are carefully briefing their employees about what’s expected of them in terms of;
- Their performance level
- Project prioritization
- And workload
By setting clear expectations and ensuring that remote workers are fully aware of their responsibilities, job roles, and performance, managers can show employees that they care about their success and are invested in their growth in the company.
Furthermore, managers need to provide their employees with clear guidance and the required tools and information to get the job done. Managers should also set up a way to let team members provide their feedback about every project to keep them engaged and feel that they have a voice in the goal-setting process.
Keep Lines Of Communication Open
Communication is key to keeping employees engaged and motivated. Regular communication with employees in the form of virtual meetings, calls, emails, and messages ensures that they are connected with the team and are committed to their work.
Working from home also entails feelings of isolation and being disconnected from co-workers and managers, which can cause employees to lose interest in their work overtime. However, if managers keep their lines of communication open, it stops employees from thinking that they can’t share their work-related issues with their managers.
Regular contact helps employers build a better relationship with their team members and hence establishes trust between them. When working remotely, make sure all your team members stay in touch with each other and with you, and set realistic expectations for response times, especially when your team members work across different time zones.
Offer Thoughtful Feedback
It is essential to keep in mind that to build trust with your employees, you have to keep them in the loop and make them feel valued. Most employers make the mistake of only talking to their employees when something is wrong. This demotivates the employees and makes them question the company’s leadership.
The correct way should be to update the workers regularly about their performance and regularly provide positive feedback on their strengths, accomplishments, and talents. You should also not be afraid to point out areas that require improvement as long as you do it in a constructive and supportive manner.