Over the last year, 55% of businesses offered remote work in some capacity. This added flexibility in work schedules has been well received by the majority of workers, with 65% of remote workers stating that they have a better work-life balance now than when they previously worked onsite.
But, remote work isn’t for everyone and remote employee engagement strategies require a little structure.
While the extra freedom in scheduling is nice, some employees feel isolated or removed from their team. Additionally, without a solid remote work structure in place, employees can feel a lack of oversight and accountability. Below, we discuss three things leaders can do to implement more structure into their work functions to cater to those that prefer the office.#RemoteWork isn’t for everyone. @CaliperCorp offers advice for #engaging and #developing your remote employees that crave more structure in their role: Click To Tweet
1. Analyze & Evaluate Your Current Structure
Chances are your organization has been working remotely for a chunk of time over the last 12 months. While remote work can be beneficial for many organizations and often yields higher employee productivity rates, a poorly structured remote work hierarchy can slow down business and cause frustration. Leaders need to consistently evaluate the effectiveness of their workplace structures and identifying areas for improvement.
Make sure your workplace structure works for the daily functions and operations of your teams. Are you providing the tools and resources needed for your finance and purchasing departments to collaborate on budgets? Does your marketing department feel adequately involved with the sales team? The structure of your organization should be clearly defined and dictated to all involved parties. To be successful in their roles, your remote teams need to understand the hierarchy of your organization. When you clearly express your expectations of your employees, they will feel a greater sense of loyalty and motivation to deliver high-quality work.
Tip: One way to manage the sentiment of your teams is to use organizational surveys. These quick questionnaires will help shed light on whether your structure and policies are working as intended. Check-in frequently with your employees to make sure you are encouraging a supportive and productive workspace.
2. Lean On Collaborative Performance Management Tools
Without added accountability, your remote teams will suffer. Workplaces thrive when employees clearly understand expectations and can track their task progress in real-time. A collaborative and insightful performance management tool will be your best friend when it comes to remote teams.
Managers need access to insights to see whether their employees are staying on task and accomplishing goals as needed. Performance management tools allow managers to see their teams’ progress, analyze performance based on historical data, and evaluate the quality and quantity of work their employees can manage. But, just having access to this information isn’t enough. Leaders need to draw on this information to deliver meaningful and timely performance feedback.
It’s no secret that employees crave consistent feedback from their employers. However, 50% of remote staff agree that they don’t get as much feedback now compared to when they worked onsite. Leaders need to capitalize on opportunities to recognize the excellent work or offer advice on how to improve performance. This not only reaffirms your vested interest in the development of your employees but also helps to break down any silos. By providing feedback and advice, you can grow new personnel to take on additional responsibilities.
Bonus Material: Need some advice for motivating and engaging your remote employees? We’ve got you covered!
3. Encourage Informal Communication and Structure
As you and your teams navigate remote work, creating a formal structure for your days is essential. Your formal structure consists of all activities that are official organizational policies, such as daily meetings, weekly deadlines, and the leadership structure of your business. It’s imperative to create a clear and transparent formal structure, but the job doesn’t stop there. Organizations need to also take an active role in creating a culture and informal structure that encourages conversations and connections between employees.Your #remote employees want to feel connected to their coworkers and your organizational #goals, and @CaliperCorp says the key lies in instilling some structure to your virtual workspace. Find out more: Click To Tweet
Unlike your formal structure, your informal structure should be less about organizational policies and more about relationship-building. Many employees who have been working remotely have cited feelings of loneliness. The informal structure you create in your organization can help to reduce these feelings of isolation. Having consistently structured conversations with your employees and coworkers will stimulate employee engagement, increasing workplace productivity.
When you look at your informal workplace structures, ensure you offer ample opportunities to communicate with your employees. While these conversations don’t need to be scheduled consistently on your calendar each week, they do need to be reliably available. Set up a quick check-in with your team, or schedule a Zoom meeting to catch up face-to-face. Ensure that your employees have access to and are using internal communication platforms and instant messaging apps to facilitate quick conversations with their team members. Informal communication reminds employees that they are still an essential part of a larger team with shared goals even though they are working remotely.
Bonus Material: Check out the 7 things leaders need to keep in mind when it comes to managing remote teams.
While employees have expressed their appreciation for flexible work environments, you need to make sure you have a robust and resilient structure to keep those that prefer an in-person experience engaged and connected. Your employees want to feel connected to their team and overarching organizational goals, and they need remote employee engagement strategies to assist. Leaders need to ensure they are providing ample tools and resources to facilitate collaboration and communication. By leaning on digital performance management tools, leaders can easily track their teams’ progress and address any challenges or pitfalls before issues arise.
Using our Caliper Profile, managers can better understand the motivators and competencies of their remote teams. Our science-backed assessments can be used to provide direct feedback, offer ongoing coaching support and even develop job skills. Are you interested in how Caliper can help you refine your employee development and coaching strategies? Reach out to our team of experts and get started today!