Employee engagement is a hot topic in recruiting circles. Gone are the days when employees would stay faithful to one company for their entire working lifetime. Engaging employees is more important than ever; if they’re not satisfied, they’ll start making plans to move on. This is especially true with millennials.
Gone too are the days when workers would have to faithfully commute to the office every day. These days, many employees work at home, whether for a day or two a month or for their whole working week. Communicating well with these workers is especially important, as they may miss out on information by not being in the office. Here’s how to improve communication with your virtual rockstars:
Regular check-ins will help your staff feel connected and appreciated. You can do this by e-mail, video conference, or even by simply calling them. Ask your employees broad questions like how they’re finding their jobs and if their workloads are manageable. This way, they will be able to let you know if anything needs to change. Make sure you’re updating them on what’s happening in the office, too. If they miss meetings, you might like to send them notes of what was discussed. This could be done by weekly e-mail.
Although you’ll be checking in on your team, they also need to know that they can freely reach out if they have any questions. Ensure that you answer any questions employees may have in a timely manner. Delayed responses may leave your virtual employees feeling neglected. In turn, this will lower their morale. Ensure that your virtual team know they can contact you whenever they like. Try to respond as soon as possible, even if their queries don’t feel especially significant to you.
Ensure a great internet connection
Most of your communication with your virtual team will likely be done using the internet. Video calling is especially important to do once in a while. The tone of written communication can often be misinterpreted as being more negative than intended.
Ensuring a great internet connection is important, as it will mean that you’ll be able to video call your team with minimal delays or issues. If your budget allows, you could also pay to upgrade your virtual teams’ internet plans so you know that they can always be reached with ease.
Host regular get-togethers
If your virtual employees live near the office, try and get them to join the in-person team regularly. You might like to plan activities in which employees can blow off steam, like sports days or trips to local attractions.
If this isn’t feasible for your company, try hosting lunches or dinners every once in a while. Providing food is a great way to thank your staff for their hard work and allow them to bond with each other. Your remote employees will feel much more connected with their in-person counterparts if they are able to spend time together.
Ask for their input
Communication is a two-way street. Not only should you regularly tell your virtual rockstars what’s happening in the office, but they should also be able to voice their opinions. Virtual team members will feel much more connected with their team if their input is heard. Next time you have a decision to make, ask all your employees what they think, rather than just the ones you see every day.
Improving communication with your remote employees can be as simple as regularly checking in. Ensuring the lines of communication are always open will keep them feel connected and appreciated. Ideally, this will result in higher employee engagement – and less turnover for your company.
Cloe Matheson has been enjoying her freelance writing career, producing high-quality content for various sites and blogs. Check out Cloe’s work on her personal blog.