As technology advances, more companies allow employees to work remotely, both in the office and outside. Several studies have shown that people are happier when they're allowed to work from home and that remote employees tend to be more productive, so this decision makes business sense and human sense. But how can HR ensure remote employees feel connected to their colleagues and the company?
Human Resource personnel can help to bridge the gap between remote employees and the company by staying in touch via email, instant messaging, or phone. Managers can record employees' hours and log on to see where they are working at any given time. In addition, companies should provide reminders for remote employees about when it is time to come into the office for meetings or training sessions. Lastly, employers should offer remote employees incentives, so they don't feel left out from some of their counterparts' benefits.
Be clear on how to communicate: Be clear on how to communicate with your remote employees. Provide an email address, phone number, and social media account so they can contact you when needed. You may also want to include the best time for communication or what kind of information should be communicated (i.e., work-related vs. personal). Employees must know when to reach out to their boss without feeling like they are bothering them.
One way that HR can help remote employees feel connected is by automating processes. This can include creating an employee portal where employees can access all the information they need in one place. By automating processes, you can make it easier for employees to find the information they need and stay up-to-date on company news.
Providing tutorials on doing a specific task remotely is an excellent way to give your remote employees the necessary information. For example, teaching them how to book a meeting room on the company's intranet or how to take notes during a conference call. Additionally, it can be helpful for new employees by giving them instructions on how to log in and access certain resources. You could also create tutorial videos to show team members how to use software programs or other necessary tools for their job duties.
HR can help employees feel connected by leveraging tools such as Cubo. Another important factor is in-person meetings. It's often hard for remote employees to feel like they're part of the team if they don't get to see each other face-to-face periodically. In addition, video conferences can be helpful because they allow them to see each other's facial expressions and body language. The HR department should also set up regular lunch meetings with remote employees so that they know someone cares about them and their well-being.
Remote employees can feel comfortable sharing their work with team members in-person, but they may not have the same comfort level when sharing with colleagues outside of the office. One way that HR can help remote employees is by recognizing Progress. Celebrate and encourage small achievements like reaching a goal or completing a task, even if they happen over video conference. The little wins add up and make people feel connected to the organization and their teammates.
You can ensure Respect by taking an active role in your remote employee's life. Ensure that you take the time to learn their preferences and how they prefer to be managed. Some people thrive on feedback, while others need more autonomy. If you aren't sure what their needs are, ask them for their feedback! They'll appreciate the extra effort you put into learning about them and respecting their preferences.
Set Up Facilities and Tools for Success With all the communication tools available, it's not a surprise that remote employees often feel disconnected. As an employer, one of your responsibilities is to provide tools and resources to help employees stay connected to the company. Here are a few suggestions:
- set up conference rooms so they can be used by remote employees as needed;
- make sure they have access to company email addresses;
- maintain an up-to-date list of how to reach anyone in the company (from the CEO on down); and, last but not least, create an employee handbook that addresses topics such as telecommuting policies, use of social media, and remote working arrangements.
HR should learn to provide incentives and rewards for their remote employees. One way is by setting up a monthly or quarterly virtual meeting, where the team can be recognized for their work. Additionally, they could organize annual events that all employees can attend remotely. They could also offer shorter work weeks or flex hours as an incentive. Finally, they could reward remote employees with company merchandise that can only be accessed if they meet certain milestones in the company, such as reaching a certain number of hours logged in or completing projects on time.
Have regular check-ins with employees. If you can't have face-to-face meetings, use phone or video chats to maintain the connection. Include remote employees in team events and company announcements. Communicate with remote employees about their successes and milestones regularly.
In conclusion, there are many ways that you can help remote employees feel connected. These ideas have been tried and tested to work for several companies. If you're struggling with this, start with one or two of these techniques and see how it goes.
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