Updated: Aug 12, 2020
For some managers, having remote employees is old hat. For others, this is the first time that they have had to manage remote employees. Old or traditional management protocols need to be revised. What worked in person in the office, may not translate to our new online environment. How do you help your managers to engage your employees? Here are three simple tactics that work.
First, find a way to communicate with your employees on a daily basis. If you have the ability to use instant messaging (IM) with them on a daily basis it is a good way to replace the good morning discussions that were traditionally found in the office setting. A simple IM that says "good morning", provides the employees with the assurance that you are there to support and assist them throughout the day.
Second, have compassion. It is a new way of managing and for some employees a new way of working. Understand that not everyone has the same level of technical knowledge and help those employees who may need additional assistance leveraging technology. It is important for your employees to understand that you are there to help and to ensure that the company is providing all of the tools needed to achieve a high level of remote productivity.
Third, find a way to "see" your employees weekly. A Zoom or Webex meeting, with cameras on, will allow your team to see each other and discuss whatever hurdles that they may be facing. Understand that for new remote employees this kind of contact is important to allow them to feel a sense of office "normalcy". It will also give employees an opportunity to collaborate and to talk through the new processes that they are facing. It is important to make sure that you give the employees a chance to talk freely and, while you may have an agenda to discuss, there should be time at either the beginning or the end to allow them just communicate freely.